Black Swan

Black Swan Cygnus atratus (Latham, 1790)

Black Swan Cygnus atratus (Latham, 1790)

(Very rare feral breeder & escapee)


Adult Black Swan Cygnus atratus, Green Lawn © Nigel Milbourne, 2013

  1. One, not aged, 1905 (per D. Carr).*
  2. One, not aged, 30th April-18th Sep. 1983 (per S.M. Taylor). See note 1 below.
  3. Two, not aged, 4th July to 3rd Aug. 1993 (per A.H. Davis).
  4. One, not aged, 1st Nov. 1994 (per A.H. Davis).
  5. One, not aged, 8th June to 20th Oct. 1996 (per A.H. Davis).
  6. One, not aged, 19th-20th April 1997 (N.R. Milbourne). See note 2 below.
  7. One, adult, 26th Oct. to 16th Nov. 2005 (N.R. Milbourne, S. Isgar). See note 3 below.
  8. One, adult, 4th June 2008 (N.R. Milbourne).
  9. One, adult, 7th Sep. to 7th Nov. 2013 (R. Curber et al., photographed).
  10. One, adult, 28th July-3rd Aug. 2014 (N.R. Milbourne, R.Dennis et al.) & presumed same 16th Aug. (N.R. Milbourne).

Note 1: "One moved between CVL & BL, April 30 - Sep. 18, 1983", ABR 1983.

Note 2: I sent in a record for the 19th April that was published as 20th April, unless someone else saw it on that date.

Note 3: The last date pers. comm. S. Isgar was not published in ABR because he probably didn't submit the sighting.

Black Swan Cygnus atratus is an Australasian species that is often kept in ornamental wildfowl collections. A number have escaped over the years, resulting in a small breeding population in this country. They have also hybridized with Mute Swan Cygnus olor in captivity but the young appear infertile (Kear, 2005). They are herbivorous, with animal material thought to be ingested accidentally while feeding on such plants as Ranunculus, Potamogeton and Glyceria spp. all of which occur at Blagdon.

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1993. Avon Ornithological Group.
  2. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1994. Avon Ornithological Group.
  3. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1996. Avon Ornithological Group.
  4. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1997. Avon Ornithological Group.
  5. Kear, J. (ed). 2005. Bird Families of the World. Ducks, Geese and Swans. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press.
  6. Taylor, S.M. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1983. Avon Ornithological Group.
  7. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2005. Avon Ornithological Group.
  8. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2008 Avon Ornithological Group.

Updated 16 August, 2014