Black Swan

The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is an Australian waterbird and a member of the duck, goose, and swan family, Anatidae.

Black swans are found in throughout Australia. Prior to the arrival of the Māori a sub-species, the New Zealand Swan used to live in New Zealand. This was hunted to extinction. More recently however, both introductions by Europeans and probable natural migration have helped these birds to re-establish themselves in New Zealand again.

The adult bird weighs up to 20 pounds (9 kg). Unlike many other water birds, black swans are not migratory. Instead they spend their entire life in the area where they were hatched.

Black Swans nest on large mounds that they construct in the middle of a shallow lake. They reuse the same nest each year, restoring or rebuilding it as needed. Male and female swans share the care of the nest, and once the cygnets are fledged, it is not uncommon to see whole families looking for food. They are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974.

It the official state bird of Western Australia.