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Black swans may nest at any time of year, although the peak of breeding activity in south-eastern Australia tends to be between June and November.

Black swan incubating its nest on Lake Wendouree (Photo: Ed Dunens)

The nest is a large platform of weeds and other debris, about 1-1.5m in diameter and up to 1m high, usually on islands, in shallow water or at the water’s edge.  Nests are not generally re-used, but are built from scratch in each new year.

The clutch contains between 4 and 11 eggs which are pale green-white in colour, and which are laid at intervals of 1-2 days.  Incubation typically commences only when the clutch has been completed, and lasts for 35-40 days.  The male and the female both contribute to incubation, with the male typically taking the day shift, while the female incubates at night.

Both sexes are highly aggressive in defending the nest and will attack any oncomer with vigorous beats of their powerful wings.

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Did you know?

An adult male swan is called a cob (from Middle English cobbe (leader of a group). An adult female swan is called a pen, and baby swans are called cygnets (from the Latin word cygnus ("swan") and the Old French suffix -et ("little").
2015-05-11T02:20:03+00:00
An adult male swan is called a cob (from Middle English cobbe (leader of a group). An adult female swan is called a pen, and baby swans are called cygnets (from the Latin word cygnus ("swan") and the Old French suffix -et ("little").

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The Black Swan is protected under the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974. It is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A colony of Black Swans in Dawlish, Devon has become so well associated with the town that the bird has been the town's emblem for
2015-05-11T02:23:29+00:00
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2015-05-11T02:23:19+00:00
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2015-05-11T02:23:10+00:00
Black swans occur over large parts of Australia, with estimates of their range varying from 1 to 10 million square kilometers.