Black Swans are common to the wetlands of Australia. Their preferred habitat is permanent wetlands including ornamental lakes, but they may be found in flooded pastures, tidal mudflats or on the open sea near the shore. The species is nomadic with no set migratory pattern.

The males (Cobs) are larger than the females (pens) and have a longer and straighter bill. Young Black Swans (Cygnets) are a greyish-brown. A mature bird measures between 43-56 inches in length and weighs between 8.1-20 lbs with a wing span between 5 and 6 feet.
An interesting fact: Black Swans have white flight feathers.

Black swans are noted for their musical bugle-like sound, but they have a wide range of softer crooning notes and can whistle when disturbed while breeding and nesting.

The Black Swan is very popular as an ornamental waterbird in Britain with nine breeding pairs recorded and an estimated 43 feral birds in the UK. Five black swans reside at The University of York. Though they have shown some aggressive behavior toward students, they will eat bread from the hands of humans. For forty years, the bird has been the town of Dawlish, Devon’s emblem.

Black swans nest in the winter months from February to September. Typically, a clutch contains 4 to 8 greenish eggs that are incubated for 35-40 days. When the eggs hatch, the parents tend the cygnets for approximately 6 months. For longer trips into deeper water, the young may ride on their parent's back.

Another interesting fact about the black swan is sexuality. An exhibition in Norway called

Against Nature explored homosexual behavior in several species which exhibited lifelong homosocial behavior, where it serves as a flexible life strategy. The build nests and have sex.
Same-sex pairs are a major bonus to a pen. A pen without a partner seek out these couples, have sex with one of the cobs and lay her eggs in their nest. She is then chased off, and the cobs raise the cygnets. With access to more food, the cygnets have as much as ten times the survival rate of a brood with a heterosexual swan couple. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a rewarding strategy for the cobs as well.

And that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about black swans!

In my spicy vampire story, Black Swan, available from The Wild Rose Press, black swans are mortals who willingly submit to the vampire to experience the euphoria of the Kiss.
Blurb: Suffering from a broken marriage, Carol Langston meets Tristan McLaghlan at a Black Swan party. Black Swans are mortals who willingly barter blood for the sensual ecstasy and euphoria vampires give in return. To Carol, this looks like the real thing until her handsome vampire runs away from her and his true nature. Separated by miles, divided across two species, can their love survive?

Drop by my web site: http://www.lindanightingale.com/ and answer the following question from Vampire Hunt, a short story, to be entered to win a Black Swan coffee mug and autographed cover flat.
What color is Jaime’s hair?

11 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // July 31, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

    I knew very little about the black swans and their habits. Interesting information.

  2. Toni V.S. // July 31, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

    Hey, I don't know the answer to the question--for a change! Really interesting article, Linda. Weren't the black swans once property of the Royal family and one of the marks of favor to someone was the gift of a pair of swans? A question: Can we draw a vague similarity between Lucien and Morgan in Sinner's Opera (as regards Morgan's future daughter) and the behavior of black swans? Lucien is such a great villain I think he deserves his own novel.

  3. Pamela Varnado // July 31, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

    Linda,
    Like Mary I knew very little about black swans and their habits.But they're very interesting birds, and I can see why you included the Black Swan organization in your story.

  4. Mary Ricksen // July 31, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

    How Cool!!

    I never saw a black swan or even a picture of one before. They're just beautiful creatures and I am so glad you posted these pictures of them.

    I like this kind of blog for a change, good idea Linda!

  5. Nightingale // July 31, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

    Toni, I think you're right about hte Royal family and the black swans. Yes, Lucien wants his own novel. I need to get cracking on it.

    Thanks everyone for reading about my black swans!

  6. Autumn Jordon // July 31, 2009 at 9:06 PM  

    Nature is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Beth Trissel // July 31, 2009 at 9:42 PM  

    Fascinating, Linda. Who knew?

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 31, 2009 at 11:05 PM  

    Linda great post! First I want a pond, then I want my own pair of black swans! But I'd rather they were Cob and Pen, rather than the other. Thanks for sharing this and yes, I agree with Toni about the royals using them to show favor. Good job. Now get busy on Lucien's book! Your writing rocks.

  9. Nightingale // August 1, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

    I enjoyed researching this little post, and I appreciate everyone's comments!

  10. Judy // August 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

    Never knew about black swans. Interesting info. They're so lovely to look at...Thanks for sharing!

  11. Dayana // August 2, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

    Very insightful informations and as Toni said there could be some interesting correlation there:) hmmm...

    Great post, Linda:)

    Dayana~