Black Swan

Zwarte zwaan

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

De Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is een swan uit de familie van de water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).


Nederlandse naam:
Zwarte zwaan
Engelse naam:
Black Swan
Duitse naam:
Franse naam:
Cygne noir
Wetenschappelijke naam:
Cygnus atratus

Taxonomische indeling



Uiterlijke kenmerken:

The body is mostly black, with the exception of the broad white wing tips which are visible in flight. The bill is a deep orange-red, paler at the tip, with a distinct narrow white band towards the end. 

Females are Identical to the males. But Males are Larger.

Young black swans are much greyer in color, and have black wing tips. Get full adult plumage by second winter.

Maten en Gewicht

Lengte man:
De man (woerd) van de Black Swan heeft een lichaamslengte van ongeveer 115-140 centimeters. De vrouw (pop) heeft een lichaamslengte van ongeveer 110-140 centimeters.
Gewicht man:
Het mannetje weegt ongeveer 4600-8750 gram. Het vrouwtje weegt ongeveer 3700-7200 gram.
Het gewicht is notoir variabel en kan alleen als indicatie worden gebruikt!

The black swan needs water and grassland. A pond with an area of 12-15 m2 or larger and a depth of one and a half meters is desirable in aviculture. The depth of the pond is important for mating. Furthermore, scarce low vegetation near the pond is possible. Banks should be at a shallow angle to allow easy entry to and exit from the water; this is particularly important if cygnets are to be parent reared. More than one pair may be kept in very large parks where each pair can establish a breeding territory. Swans appreciate water weed and grass, but other green foods such as lettuce and cabbage may be used as substitutes if necessary. They are relatively slow eaters and care should be taken in mixed enclosures that they get sufficient food. 

Good amounts of vegetation should be provided for nest building, with cover available for early-nesting species. Parent hatching and rearing is usual. Swans are able to defend their young against most predators, and their highly-aquatic lifestyle also makes cygnets less vulnerable. Unlimited green food should be available for the cygnets.


Black swans are generally robust and easily maintained in captivity. They should have access to a good area of water with gently-sloping banks, and good grazing land. Ice-free water should be available in winter, with an area of straw provided on shore if necessary. 

In general they should be kept apart from other swans, although they may share a lake with e.g. a pair of Mute swan (Cygnus olor) if it is sufficiently large to allow two breeding territories which do not overlap. Young birds can be used to establish a colony, but adult pairs should not be mixed. They tend to be less aggressive towards geese and ducks than some of the other swans, but may be particularly aggressive to dark-coloured geese, and can be very aggressive while breeding - may even kill ducks intruding near the nest. They may also be aggressive to people. They can be kept in a mixed collection if there is sufficient water area, grazing area and ample cover. If kept purely for display, group of females is best, as males are likely to fight with one another.

Black swans are easy to breed, laying on a large pile of vegetation. They may breed in any month and sometimes breed in winter. May re-clutch if eggs or young cygnets lost. Juveniles will be rejected if double-brooding occurs.

Cygnets are easy to rear, although care should be taken to avoid imprinting and imprinted males can be particularly aggressive once adult. If hand-reared, cygnets should be kept in a brooder with a heat lamp (to give 33,5°C in the first week), with sufficient room for the birds to choose their own comfort zone. Access to water for a swim is appreciated; this may be in an appropriately sized bowl initially (e.g. while the brooder is cleaned out). Starter floating pellets for the first few days may be given. If weather permits the cygnets may be kept outside in a pen with a pond by two to three weeks old.

Hybrids have been reported with Mute swan (Cygnus olor) (hybrids large, mottled grey and white), Tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus)Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator), Greylag goose (Anser anser), Canada goose (Branta canadensis).


Het vrouwtje Black Swan legt doorgaans zo'n 5-6 pale green or whitish-green eieren het broeden duurt 36-40 dagen.

Kunstmatig broeden:

De ideale relatieve luchtvochtigheid voor het uitbroeden van de meeste watervogeleieren is 55% voor grondbroeders en 40% bij holenbroeders. De temperatuur is meestal 37,4° C. Stel ventilatie in zoals aanbevolen door de fabrikant van de broedmachine. Eieren moeten minimaal 4 keer per dag automatisch of met de hand worden gedraaid. Naarmate de vrucht zich ontwikkelt, verliest het ei water en wordt de luchtzak groter. Bij normale ontwikkeling van een ei met een incubatietijd van 36-40 dagen neemt de luchtzak ongeveer een derde van het ei in beslag, dit bij drie dagen voor uitkomst. Reinheid is van vitaal belang en idealiter moet de luchtvochtigheid worden verhoogd tot 65% nadat de eerste tekenen van uitkomst zichtbaar worden.

Aanbevolen passende ringmaat voor de Black Swan is 20 mm.
De gesloten pootring kan alleen aangebracht worden bij een jonge swan van ongeveer 16-18 dagen oud.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
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Foto's van de Black Swan

Video's van de Black Swan