Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

Black swan was an old English metaphor meaning “that which could not exist or was impossible.” To the
English, all swans were white until news in 1697 that there were such animals living in Australia. This irony changed the meaning of the metaphor to “something thought to be is impossible may actually come to be..

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has a black swan in its New England Farmyard.


Black with white wing tips, red and white bills, and black legs and feet.


Lakes, rivers swamplands brackish and salt water.


Australia and Tasmania. Introduced to Europe, New Zealand and North America.


Wide variety of aquatic vegetation and, occasionally, insects.

Life Span: 

Up to 40 years in the wild.

Family Life: 

Black swans are the are the least territorial species of swan and sometimes nest in colonies. Parents often carry young cygnets on their back when they are swimming. They use calls and visual displays to communicate or to ward off predators.