Animals & Habitats
Black Swan
Scientific Name
Cygnus atratus
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Aquatic and Terrestrial

Primarily aquatic, this swan inhabits terrestrial areas found around rivers, swamps, lakes and brackish backwaters. When nutritional resources are scarce, these majestic swans forage in flooded fields, crop lands and dry pasturelands to meet their needs.


Known as the largest waterfowl in the swan, duck and goose family, the black swan weighs between 3,500-9,000 grams (7.7 to 20 pounds). Its wingspan measures 150-220 centimeters (59-86.6 inches). It also exhibits a sexual dimorphism – the male, or “cob,” is a bit larger in size than the female, or “pen”.


The black swan forms a monogamous pair, typically for life. It moves in larger flocks or colonies, but stays primarily in its solitary pair when mating. Although the black swan invests in nomadic migration, when necessary it can be more territorial than other swans, and actively wards off other competitors.