A popular student location for recreation and relaxation, Manzanita Lake was constructed on the University of Nevada, Reno campus in 1911, and has been home to swans since the 1930s. There are generally two swans at the lake, and past swans have included black Australian swans Boris and Natasha, and white mute swans Olivia, Zubb and Zeus. A new female swan joined the University family in 2013 and shares the lake with the male swan, Zeus. A public vote decided her name and she is called Athena.
Unlike geese or ducks, swans are not local to Nevada, therefore they require extra care all year long. University caretakers have watched over the swans throughout the years by making nests for them to live in and lay eggs, as well as providing extra food during the winter months.
When two swans first meet, they touched beaks. This is a courting behavior known as billing, and is the formation of a strong monogamous bond, which few animals create. The newest swan was introduced to the lake at two years old and will produce cygnets when she turns three. Living at the lake, she will eat grasses and plant material and mate for life.
Feel free to stop by Manzanita Lake on the University campus to watch these graceful animals who have made this Nevada lake their home.