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 the males.
1.2-1.4 metres in length.
Trumpet in flight and in display. The male has a deeper call than the female.
The Black Swan is vegetarian and eats algae and weeds.
Black Swans prefer larger salt, brackish or fresh waterways and permanent wetlands, requiring 40 m or more of clear water to take off.
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.
Breeding season is between February-September. Both parents share the care of the nest. A typical clutch contains 4 to 8 greenish-white eggs that are incubated for about 35–40 days.