Bird of the week – Black swan Cygnus atratus

The Black Swan is a water bird. It is usually seen resting on the surface of swamps and lakes. Its call is a loud trumpeting.

What the Black swan looks like

The Black Swan is 120-142 cm in length. It is black all over with white flight feathers. It has an orange-red beak with a white tip, white eyes in the non-breeding season and red eyes in the breeding season, and dark grey legs and feet.

Where the Black swan lives

The Black Swan lives throughout Australia. It also lives in New Zealand and New Guinea. It is found in freshwater, brackish and saltwater swamps, lakes, rivers and estuaries.

What the Black swan eats

The Black Swan eats water plants. It picks up plants growing on the surface of the water and pulls up plants growing on the bottoms of swamps and lakes.

How the Black swan breeds

Black Swans form pairs or groups during the breeding season.

The adults breed from late summer to autumn in the north and winter to spring in the south. They mate.

The female lays three to nine (usually four to six) eggs on a mound of plants. Both parents sit on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after five to six weeks. Both parents feed and care for them.

The chicks fly after 16-23 weeks. They grow into breeding adults.

 Flying birds

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