Black Swan - Blank Park Zoo

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Scientific Name:       
Cygnus atrataBlack Swan
Class:                        
Aves              
Order:                        
Anseriformes
Family:                       
Anatidae       
Feeding Type:          
Omnivorous  
Range:                       
Australia and has been introduces to some parts of New Zealand        
Habitat:                      
Near fresh or brackish water, especially swamps and lakes.     
Diet in the Wild:        
Water plant and small water animals                     
Diet at the Zoo:         
Free feeding             
Description: 
Like its name, these swans are black instead of the familiar white.  They can weigh up to 20 lbs. Black Swans are large, graceful birds. Both sexes are black with bright red bills that have a white band near the tip, gray feet and legs and white primaries that are seen only in flight. Immature swans are quite different in appearance, being dull brown overall with a dark bill.
Adaptation/Behavior:
Black swans have fine grooves along their bills that help grip their diet of underwater plants. Together with specially adapted bills, black swans also have very long necks that reach deeper into the water than other waterfowl, so they can feed on vegetation in deeper water than most ducks. Interestingly, swans have over 20 vertebrae in their necks (the exact number depends on the species.) This large number of vertebrae provides great flexibility in their necks.
Courtship/Breeding:
Black swans begin nesting in June and July in Southern Australia (winter) but nesting season varies with the rains in other regions. Large nests are made of twigs, reeds, and water plants and lined with down. About 4 to 10 greenish-white eggs are laid and incubation is about 35 days.  Both the male and the female share the incubation of the eggs.
Conservation:                       
Black swans are common in Western Australia and being highly adaptable, they are a thriving population.

Interesting Facts

Our Animals

  • The male swan is called a cob, the female is called a pen, and the young is called a cygnet.
  • We have 2 females.
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