The black swan: all about the Australian "native"

Swans are such refined and graceful birds. Our nature has created an amazing variety of these birds, the black swan is one of them.

These birds live on the Australian continent, today the population of black swans is about 500 thousand individuals, and the threat of extinction of the black swan is not threatened. Europeans first met these beautiful birds in 1697. What does a black swan look like, how does it differ from other species of swans?

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus).

The appearance of a black swan bird

The black swan reaches a length of 1.1-1.42 meters, and the weight ranges from 3.7-9 kilograms. The wingspan is 1.6-2 meters. Representatives of this species have the longest neck, curved in the shape of the letter S.

The plumage is black with white feathers on the wings. Beak of red color with a white fringing. The iris is orange or brown.

Females are smaller than males in size. In birds that have not reached puberty, the plumage is light gray, the beak is dark without fringing, and the edges of the wings are light. Black swans make musical sounds in the water and in the air.

Black swans are a masterpiece of nature.

The habitats of black swans on the planet

The black swan of the duck family is a native of Australia and the islands adjacent to it. Black swans live on almost the entire mainland, with the exception of the northern and central regions. The greatest numbers of these birds are concentrated in the southwestern and eastern parts of the continent, since these places abound in wetlands.

The nutrition and lifestyle of the black swan

Black swans inhabit the shores of lakes and rivers with rich vegetation. They can swim in the open sea, being hundreds of meters from the coast.

A pair of swans is formed once and for life.

These birds do not make large migrations, but at the same time they easily change their environment, moving tens of kilometers. The reason for such flights is drought, or, conversely, increased humidity.

During molting, the black swan loses all plumage and cannot fly for a whole month. At the time of molting, the birds do not leave the surface of the water, thereby protecting themselves from predators.

Basically, black swans feed on plant foods: aquatic plants and small algae. In addition, cereals are included in the diet. Also, black swans nibble on grass and eat leaves.

Birds, swimming on the surface of the water, lower their necks deep into the water and get vegetation from the bottom. During such dives, the body remains in a horizontal position.

Boat trip with offspring.

Breeding

Black swans form pairs for life, but 6% of them break up. Nesting time lasts several months from February to September. Birds nest in large colonies.

Couples build nests in shallow water. The nest of grass and branches reaches a diameter of 1.5 meters, and a height of 1 meter. Couple sockets are used annually, repairing and updating them.

The grace of a black swan will be envied by any ballerina.

Clutch consists of 4-8 eggs. Hatching lasts 35-40 days, with both parents participating in the process. Black swans take care of the chicks for 9 months, until the young growth is on the wing. Toddlers often climb onto their parents' backs and so move around. These birds are fully formed by the 3rd year of life.

Black swan guard

Australian law has protected these birds since 1974, and the ban on extermination applies not only to national parks, but also to wildlife. This greatly contributes to the conservation of the population, and today the extinction of black swans is not threatened.

Watch the video: Australia's black swan are no longer the symbol of fidelity (February 2020).

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