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Black Swan | by Geff Rossi
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Black Swan

(taken at Rotorua, New Zealand)

From Wikipedia: The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Black Swans are mostly black feathered birds, with white flight feathers. The bill is bright red, with a pale bar and tip; and legs and feet are greyish-black. Cobs (males) are slightly larger than pens (females), with a longer and straighter bill. Cygnets (immature birds) are a greyish-brown with pale-edged feathers. A mature Black Swan measures between 110 and 142 cm (43-56 in) in length and weighs 3.7-9 kg (8.1-20 lbs). Its wing span is between 1.6 and 2 metres (5.3-6.5 ft). The neck is long (relatively the longest neck among the swans) and curved in an "S".

The Black Swan utters a musical and far reaching bugle-like sound, called either on the water or in flight, as well as a range of softer crooning notes. It can also whistle, especially when disturbed while breeding and nesting. The Black Swan is unlike any other Australian bird, although in poor light and at long range it may be confused with a magpie-goose in flight. However, the black swan can be distinguished by its much longer neck and slower wing beat.

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Taken on January 20, 2008