Black Swan

Cygnus atratus

The Black Swan is a large waterbird, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. The species was hunted to extinction in New Zealand, but later reintroduced. Within Australia they are nomadic, with erratic migration patterns dependent upon climatic conditions.

Black Swans are large birds with mostly black plumage and red bills. They are monogamous breeders that share incubation duties and cygnet rearing between the sexes.

Black Swans are mostly black-feathered birds, with white flight feathers. The bill is bright red, with a pale bar and tip; and legs and feet are greyish-black. Cobs (males) are slightly larger than pens (females), with a longer and straighter bill.

A mature Black Swan measures between 43 and 56 in. in length and weighs 8.2–19.8 lbs. Its wing span is between 5.2 and 6.6 ft. The neck is long (relatively the longest neck among the swans) and curved in an "S"-shape. The Black Swan utters a musical and far reaching bugle-like sound, called either on the water or in flight, as well as a range of softer crooning notes.

It can also whistle, especially when disturbed while breeding and nesting. When swimming, Black Swans hold their necks arched or erect, and often carry their feathers or wings raised in an aggressive display.