Black swan

Writer: Issac Cohen  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A black swam is seen in a Bao'an park. Photos by Isaac Cohen

The black swan

The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a unique bird species native to Australia. Known for its distinctive black plumage and bright red bill, the black swan is a popular subject for photographers and birdwatchers alike.


This astonishing animal is a large bird with a wingspan of up to 2 meters and a weight of up to 9 kilograms. Its black feathers are iridescent in the sunlight, giving the bird a shimmering appearance. The bill of the black swan is bright red, and its eyes are deep red.


Black swans are found in various wetland habitats, including rivers, lakes, and estuaries. They are also commonly found in parks and gardens, as in Shenzhen, where they have been introduced. The species is a herbivore, feeding on various aquatic vegetation, including algae and grasses.


A close-up look at the bright red bill of a black swam in Bao'an.

In addition to their striking appearance, black swans are known for their social behavior. They are monogamous and form strong pair bonds, often remaining with the same mate for several years. During the breeding season, the birds perform elaborate courtship displays, including head-bobbing, wing-flapping, and synchronized swimming.


Two black swams are seen bobbing their heads during courtship in Bao'an.

While the black swan is not considered endangered, protecting the species and its habitat is still essential. Wetlands are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and climate change, and efforts to conserve these ecosystems are critical for the survival of many species.