Black Necked Swan

This beautiful swan is easily identified by its distinctive black neck and head. This bird primarily feeds on underwater vegetation. Since the black-necked swan doesn’t dive for food, it has that nice long neck to reach underwater for food. Besides being an excellent swimmer, the black-necked swan can fly at speeds of up to 50 mph. This swan does migrate within its range.

Black Necked Swan

Phoenicopterus chilensis

Distribution: Coasts and wetlands of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil

Diet in the wild: Aquatic plants, algae, insects, small aquatic invertebrates, fish spawn

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Grain

IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, population stable

Interesting Facts:

A male swan is called a cob, a female is a pen and a baby is a cygnet.

Black-necked swans are the largest waterfowl in South America, but the smallest members of the genus Cygnus.

In mating season, black-necked swans form monogamous pairs. The pen is the only member of the pair that will incubate the eggs she lays, and will forgo food to do so. Once the eggs hatch after about 36 days, she will go out to forage for food and regain the weight she lost while the cob guards the cygnets in the nest. From then on, both parents will assist in the raising of the cygnets.

All Rights Reserved