Animal Class: Birds
Length: Up to 4 feet, neck longer than body
Weight: Up to 20 lbs.
Life Span: 40 years
Diet: Wild: Herbivores as adults, eating aquatic vegetation; cygnets feed on small insects found on the water’s surface.
Habitat: Black swans are native to Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, near lakes and rivers. They are also found as imported species throughout the world. These swans are non-migratory and have relatively small home ranges.
Black body plumage with white feather tips on wings; orange-red bill with white band near tip; red eyes; males and females similar in appearance, dark gray webbed feet. Cygnus atratus is the world’s only black swan. Male swans are called “cobs”, females are called “pens”, and chicks are called “cygnets.” The young are born white. Flocks of black swans are called “fleets.” Black swans are able to fly at speeds up to 50 mph. Pairs mate for life and vigorously defend their nests and young. Their long necks contain 24 to 25 vertebrae, three times the amount of most mammals. Vocal calls include loud bugling, hissing, and whistling.