Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

Introduced from Australia as a gamebird.

 

The black swan can be seen swimming on the river and on the estuary, sometimes over 100 of them.

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A large black bird (1.3m in length), the black swan has white wingtips which can be seen when it's flying and a long neck. The red beak has a white band near the tip. It flies with slow wingbeats, its neck outstretched, landing heavily on water and needing a good, splashing runoff to take off again.

 

The black swan is vegetarian and feeds mostly on aquatic plants, by reaching down into the water with its long neck. When water levels are too high for it to reach the plants it normal feeds on it resorts to pasture and causes problems for farmers. It's usually found on lakes and other wide areas of fresh or brackish water, but non-breeders also inhabit estuaries. It's usually seen in flocks, the members of which communicate with low honking sounds.