The release of two new swans in Longboat Key to honor philanthropists involved in a fatal car crash in 2019

The newly named Chuck and Margie bring the total swans on the island to 10
Updated: Nov. 7, 2020 at 1:09 AM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -

A mated pair of swans were released on Friday, November 6, across the street from the Longboat Key CVS on Bay Isles Parkway. After the birds were freed into the lake they immediately went to each other, while a flock of ducks introduced them into their new home. Novak stated that the birds looked healthy and larger than the swans currently on Longboat Key, and was pleased to note that they were already preening, or getting rid of old feathers, and taking care of themselves.

The event drew an audience of friends and intrigued passers-by, as well as Longboat Key mayor Ken Schneier and new police chief Kelli Smith, who posed with the birds. Their names coming from Longboat Key philanthropists Charles and Margery Barancik, who were killed in a car crash on the island in December 2019.

“Their linage is from Chicago and I figured the best naming that I could ever do for that would be to name them Chuck and Margie,” said unofficial swan keeper David Novak.

The newly named Chuck and Margie bring the total swans on the island to 10, and Novak hopes that the new pair will have more success with cygnets and will bring the population back up to 16 or 17 in the next couple of years.

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