Cygnus atratus


The Black Swan is mostly black, with the exception of the broad white wing tips which are visible in flight. The bill is a deep orange-red, paler at the tip, with a distinct narrow white band towards the end. Younger birds are much greyer in colour and have black wing tips. Adult females are smaller than males.


Found throughout Australia with the exception of Cape York Peninsula, and are more common in the south. The Black Swan has been introduced into several countries, including New Zealand, where it is now common and is a migrant to New Guinea.

Oakvale Distribution Maps png Aus Black Swan
Black Swan Distribution Map


12 years in the wild and in captivity up to 30 years.


1.2 - 1.4m in length with a wingspan 1.6 - 2m. Weighs 3.7 - 9kgs.


They are a herbivore. Food consists of algae and weeds, which the bird obtains by plunging its long neck into the water up to 1 metre deep.


Black Swans prefer larger salt, brackish or fresh waterways and permanent wetlands, requiring 40 m or more of clear water to take off.


The breeding season is between February-September. Both parents share the care of the nest. A typical clutch contains 4 - 8 greenish-white eggs that are incubated for about 35 – 40 days.


Trumpet in flight and in display. The male has a deeper call than the female.