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Black Swan

Black Swan
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Florida
Date Submitted: 2007-05-10 1:13
Viewed: 4130
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This black swan was sitting on a nest with three eggs inside.
This shot was taken at an animal park.

Black Swan
Cygnus atratus

The graceful Black Swan is the official bird of Western Australia although it can be found in wetlands throughout Australia, including Tasmania. Along with the emu, this swan is found on the Australian coat of arms and represents Western Australia. On Canberra's emblem, the bird is a symbol of the Aboriginal people while the white swan represents Australians of European ancestry. The Black Swan even runs through Australian folk lore. There are Aboriginal stories about some people in a tribe in Western Australia who began life as Black Swans but were then changed into men.

In January 1697, Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh first reported to the western world about a most astounding black swan that he had seen while in Australia. Europeans, familiar with white swans, were intrigued with this bird.

Throughout the world, seven species of swans have been identified. There are only two that are not pure white, the South American Black-necked Swan and the Australian Black Swan. Both of these two swan species reside in the Southern Hemisphere.

In Australia, Black Swans are common and numerous with almost 50,000 Black Swans being reported at a single site. These birds have been introduced to Sweden and New Zealand, doing too well in some areas resulting in restrictions and controls because they were interfering with the native birds.

Swans are the largest type of water fowl. Black Swans range from 44 to 55 inches (112-140 cm.) with a wing span of 6 feet (183 cm.) with black feathers that sometimes look almost brown or gray. Immature Black Swans will be light grayish brown for about 2 years until they finally get their beautiful black feathers. The swan's long wing tips, only seen while the swan is flying or stretching, are pure white. Swans molt once a year, during which time they are flightless.

Black Swans' flattened bills are red and white with fine grooves that help grip the underwater plants. Their legs and webbed feet are black. They do not dive for food. Their long necks allow them to reach down and feed on plants in deeper water than geese or ducks.

Nesting season occurs from February through September. Black Swans mate for life and build nests in the wetlands, usually on islands or on water plants. These nests, large and built of sticks and vegetation, are created by both parents. Most species of swans will not allow another swan into their territory during nesting season. Black Swans are the exception and will often build their nests in colonies.

Once the female lays 4 to 8 pale green eggs, both parents incubate the eggs for about 35 - 40 days, with the female doing most of the nest-sitting while the male does most of the defending and chasing off of enemies. The young swans, called cygnets, are covered with a fluffy gray-colored down that they keep for 3 - 4 weeks until their new feathers begin to grow in. Shortly after hatching, the cygnets can swim and learn quickly to feed themselves. They also may ride on their parent's back for longer trips into deeper water. This family unit stays together for about nine months until the next breeding season when the young swans go off to find their own territory.


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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-05-10 3:27]

Hi Manyee

Great shot of the black swan. Great composition and colour.

Hi Manyee,
This is a very clear image of this swan!
An uncommon pose for this imponent bird.
You managed pretty well with the flash, to get this clear details on all over the image.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-05-10 8:22]

Hi Manyee. good shot of the black swan. good dedtail in the feathers and rich colours.with a nice POV. TFS well done. great notes.
Nick pt

You got a lot of detail in this shot ManYee. I love the feathers. Birds always seem so bored but dutiful on their nests. Have you tried compensating the flash. You can turn down the brightness in one third increments if you feel that the light is a bit harsh.

Evelynn : )

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