The Palace of Fine Arts will not feel the same without its most famous resident, Blanche. The beloved swan passed away on January 12 at the age of 28.
After a lifetime spent charming visitors at the Palace of Fine Arts lagoon, Blanche retired to a country estate in Sonoma County in 2022, where she was reunited with her son Stanley.
Blanched was moved to Sonoma due to concerns about avian flu and lead-tainted soil in the area. Her longtime partner and mate, Blue Boy, died in 2021, at 17, with zinc and lead poisoning reported as a likely cause.
The SF Rec and Parks Department shared the news of Blanches passing and the story of her SF life in a moving tribute on their website.
The post noted that “while mute swans are normally territorial & aggressive, Blanche was blessed w/ a sanguine, gregarious temperament. She charmed visitors w/ her proud poses & bottom-wiggling greetings. She had a passion for corn & clover, & a weakness for the occasional Cheez-It for dessert.”
Blanche was born in 1994 in the Palace of Fine Arts lagoon to parents Stella and Friday. As the years passed her parents and siblings died or were moved away for a variety of reasons. She was the last member of her family to grace the lagoon, and there’s no report yet as to whether new swans will be brought to the historic area.
SF Rec and Parks has expressed that Blanche had countless admirers, including SF residents and tourists from around the world. They ask that in lieu of flowers, that folks honor Blanche by getting outside & enjoying a park.
Featured image: @mr_kwu via Instagram