Black Swan

Black swan on the lake at Wingham Wildlife Park

Black Swan Natural History

Size

This large water bird reaches lengths of 110cm to 142cm with a wingspan of up to 2m.

Habitat and Distribution

The main breeding grounds for this bird are wetland areas of southeastern and southwestern areas of Australia.

Age

These birds have been known to grow up to 40 years old.

Diet

This birds diet is made up of algae and weeds which it finds in the ponds it inhabits.

Groups and Breeding

Females usually lay 4 to 8 eggs which are incubated by the female and male for 35 to 40 days. These birds pair up for life as with most other swan breeds.

Threats

Due to its fairly common numbers in its natural population it is listed as least concern by conservation societies. However it is still protected under the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act.  During a trip to Australia by 2 of our keepers a huge flock of these birds was seen coming in for the night on a tidal lagoon on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Interesting facts

Male swans are called cobs, females are known as pens and baby swans are called cygnets.

Black Swans During Your Day Out in Kent

At Wingham Wildlife Park the black swan lives on the 1 acre top lake which can be found near the big cat enclosures and both indoor and outdoor play areas.  It shares this area with other water fowl, cranes, storks, pelicans, turtles and a number of varieties of carp. The diet consists of a variety of mixed grains and it can often be seen congregating by the coati exhibit along with many of the other water fowl during feeding times.  It is also not uncommon to see it come over when visitors use the carp food dispensers to feed the fish from the shelter attached to the coati indoor housing area.