Friday, 2 February 2018

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

OTHER NAMES: Kooldjak, Gooldjak
Latin Etymology: Cygnus ("swan") atratus ("black")

Escapee Adult Black Swan (subspecies C. a. atratus) at Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire - January 2018

Featured Subspecies: Cygnus atratus atratus
Weight: 3.7-9kg
Length: 110-142cm
Wingspan: 1.6-2cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

While a number of duck species have escaped captivity and gone feral, swans haven't had the same success.  In part this is because they tend to be less popular in collections to begin with.  The Black Swan is a native of Australia and the closest thing to an established feral swan species we have - there are a few small established populations dotted around the country, plus other sole individuals like this.  Interestingly, a black swan existed in European folklore before before Australia was discovered - a symbol for extreme rarity in contrast to the white swans familiar in Europe.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Cygnus
Subspecies: C. a. atratus, C. a. sumnerensis (extinct)

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A Rare Feral Breeding Resident and Regular Escapee
 - Single bird seen at Holme Pierrepont (January 2018) 

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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