SWANTON VILLAGE — Sam’s lonely days are over.

The Messenger spotted Swanton’s signature avian rubbing beaks with a special lady this Monday morning in the village park’s swan enclosure.

Although their courtship is relatively new, Sam and this new swan seem to already have formed a bond.

The couple nuzzled necks and beaks after a brisk lap around the pond and the new swan guarded Sam from the paparazzi with all the devotion of one mated for life.

The Swanton Chamber of Commerce has named this new swan Betty, of course.

The chamber has named every swan couple Sam and Betty after Swanton’s first swans. Queen Elizabeth sent those swans in 1963 as a gift, according to The History of Swanton, Vermont by Rodney R. Ledoux. Thus Betty for Queen Elizabeth and Sam for Uncle Sam.

This new Betty is clearly female. One can tell from the knobbing on her beak. That’s the black bump at the beak’s start.

For more on Sam’s new companion, pick up a copy of Monday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.