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The Birds … July 2010
Nature Photography Challenge … 2010

Photographed at Yerrabi Pond in Canberra, Australia.

Black Swan : Cygnus atratus
Family: Anatidae
Order: Anseriformes

In adult Black Swans the body 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.

Black Swans are 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 vagrant to New Guinea.

Black Swans prefer larger salt, brackish or fresh waterways and permanent wetlands, requiring 40 m or more of clear water to take off. Outside the breeding season, Black Swans travel quite large distances. Birds fly at night and rest during the day with other swans.

The Black Swan is a vegetarian. Food consists of algae and weeds, which the bird obtains by plunging its long neck into water up to 1 m deep. Occasionally birds will graze on land, but they are clumsy walkers.

Black Swans form isolated pairs or small colonies in shallow wetlands. Birds pair for life, with both adults raising one brood per season. The eggs are laid in an untidy nest made of reeds and grasses. The nest is placed either on a small island or floated in deeper water. The chicks are covered in grey down, and are able to swim and feed themselves as soon as they hatch.

Edited from Australian Museum “birds in Backyards” website.


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I love the endless photographic opportunities provided by world around me, from the abundance of nature in my own backyard to historic and scenic worldwide destinations.
I am retired, beyond threescore years and ten.

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  • DBArt
    DBArtabout 4 years ago

    excellent shot…

  • Thanks so much for viewing and your excellent comment!

    – Trish Meyer

  • rain-dogs
    rain-dogsabout 4 years ago

    Great shot trish and interesting info we had black swans where I grew up and they were said to be traditional tucker for the local aboriginals that claimed the stomach was a delicacy roasted……..tho i never met anyone who had actually eaten one!!

  • Nice to hear from you! Thanks for your great comments!
    I had heard that they used to be traditional fare ….

    – Trish Meyer

  • Jenny Dean
    Jenny Deanabout 4 years ago

    nice shot Trish!

  • Thanks so much Jenny!

    – Trish Meyer

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottabout 4 years ago

    wonderful shot Trish

  • Robert, thanks so much for your wonderful comment!

    – Trish Meyer

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganabout 4 years ago

    a beautiful image

  • Thank you so much for your beautiful comments!

    – Trish Meyer

  • Antanas
    Antanasabout 4 years ago

    lovely capture….

  • Antanas, thank you so much for your lovely comments!

    – Trish Meyer

  • Phil Thomson IPA
    Phil Thomson IPAabout 4 years ago

    An excellent portrait, superbly captured and very interesting information, Trish!!

  • Phil, I really appreciate your excellent, superb and interesting comments!

    – Trish Meyer

  • lorilee
    lorileeabout 4 years ago

    A fabulous close-up!!!!! Love that pink beak and eye!!

  • Thanks Lori for your fabulous comments! They are beautiful birds :)

    – Trish Meyer

  • Susan Littlefield
    Susan Littlefieldabout 4 years ago

    Wonderful details in this great capture….beautiful bird.

  • Susan, thank you so much for your wonderful comments and fave!
    They are indeed beautiful birds and one of my favourites :)

    – Trish Meyer

  • Debbie Robbins
    Debbie Robbinsabout 4 years ago

    Fabulous.. and i loved the info… Thanks!!! :))))

  • Thank you so much for your fabulous comments and fave Cookie1951!
    They are indeed beautiful birds and one of my favourites :)

    – Trish Meyer

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