Black swan

Black swan

Latin name: Cygnus atratus

An Elegant Emblem!

  • It is the only swan with a black plumage. It is also one of the few large birds that are capable of flight. A male can weigh nearly 8 kg and reach a flying speed of 80 km/hr. 
  • Its long "S" shaped neck contains 25 vertebrae. Its posture can indicate the swan's intention to the others, whether it is ready to take flight, disapproval or attraction to another individual. 
  • The swan is a symbol of fertility. Couples mate for life, but genetic testing has shown that infidelity does exist among swans: one in six cygnets is the product of an extra conjugal union.
  • The emblematic Black swan can be found on the Canberra, Australia coat-of-arms: it represents the aboriginal Australians while the white swan beside it represents the white settlers.  
  • Protected under Australia's National Parks and Wildlife Act, the populations are stable. In order to protect crops however, some Australian regions permit a regulated hunt.
  • Distribution

    Australia

  • Habitat

    Lakes and rivers

  • Diet

    Herbivore

  • Status

    Least concern

  • Zoo Zone

    Australian Road Trip