The black swan is an Australian bird and is the emblem of Western Australia. Before European settlers explored the continent and discovered these birds, bird experts believed that all swans were white. When it flies you can see that it has white flight feathers but on water these are tucked away and it looks black.
It has the longest neck of any swan when compared to its body size.
A group of black swans in flight is called a wedge and a group on the ground is called a bank. Male swans are called cobs, females are pens and babies are cygnets.
They lay up to seven eggs. The parents must keep their eggs warm for 30 days and the eggs all hatch within 2 days. Cygnets can leave the nest and swim within 48 hours of hatching.
They are considered native in NZ but they were re-introduced after most of the original population of black swans was killed.
Black swan websites
- Radio NZ Bird Watching – Black swan
- NZ Birds online black swan page
- Oiseaux-birds black swan page
- Wildscreen arkive black swan page