Black Swan

Black Swan


Tasmania, Eastern Australia




Fresh water rivers and lakes

Latin Name

Cygnus atratus

IUCN conservation status

The only black-feathered swan species, its dark plumage is only ever interrupted by a few white feathers showing through when it flies

A herbivore, it eats in the water just as much as on land

The black swan eats a wide range of plants, whether in the water, in pastureland or in farmlands. It especially enjoys common aquatic plants and certain algae. Fine lamellae or grooves line its beak’s lower mandible, allowing for water filtration and facilitating food shredding.

Their beautiful plumage serves as thermal insulation and as a raincoat

Swans are amongst the heaviest birds capable of flight. Their pectoral muscles are well developed, and their sternum, from which the pectorals originate, is large. Nearly 25,000 feathers cover each swan’s body, and an oily secretion produced at the base of its tail furthers the plumage’s waterproofing.

Known as the animal kingdom’s symbol of loyalty, the male becomes aggressive during reproduction

The black swan nests in colonies. Though it’s always been considered the archetype of animal loyalty, studies show that members of a couple often copulate with other partners. During the nesting period, the male forcefully chases away any approaching intruder, including humans.

a population between 100,000 and a million individuals

Black swan populations are considered stable in Australia. They are even regarded as a pest by some farmers when colonies ravage cultivated fields. In some regions such as Tasmania their hunt is permitted during open season.

Other animals from Oceania