Black Swan ( Cygnus atratus )
Black Swan - Black Swan information - Black Swan facts
The Black swan is distributed in Australia (especially its eastern part and western shore) and Tasmania. In 1864 it was also successfully introduced to New Zealand, where it lives even these days. It inhabits freshwater lakes, ponds, slow flowing rivers and even sea shore lagoons.
Cygnus atratus is approximately 120 cm in size, whereas the males are a little bit larger. The weight is from 5.6-6.2 kg. Wing span reaches from 150-200 cm. As its name already reveals the plumage coloration is predominantly black. The wings are black apart from the band at the end, that is white and rather vivid when flying. The bill is orange-red, the top is white, legs are black. The females have slightly lighter plumage coloration. The young have greyish- brown feathers which change to black colour at the age of one year. These swans have got the longest neck among all of the swans.
The black swans are very adaptable birds. They are able to fly all over Australia with only a few stops by the water resources. Their diet mainly consists of water plants. The hatching time generally begins with the raining season. In the north-eastern part of Australia it is around February whereas in the western part it can be in August. The swans are exually mature at the age of 18 months, however they start hatching usually at the age of 3-4 years. They are strictly monogamous just like other swans. The nest is approximately 40 cm high, elliptic shaped with a diameter of 2 meters. It is made of twigs, sticks, grass fixed with mud. The hen has usually from 5 to 12 light greenish eggs, 110x70 mm. Both parents take care of eggs for 40 days. After three months the young are able to fly. Life expectancy is about 10 years.