The black-necked swan inhabits southern South America. It lives in a wide variety of freshwater habitats such as estuaries, inland lakes, lagoons, and marshes.
This beautiful bird eats aquatic vegetation for the bulk of its diet, which it gathers from below the surface of the water.
These swans are highly social birds, forming flocks of differing sizes. They become territorial during the breeding season and divide up into mated pairs, nesting in small colonies or as solitary pairs, but they regroup once the young have hatched.
Black-necked swans are monogamous, which means that a pair mate for life. They place their nest in dense vegetation on islets or by lake shores. Females lay 3-7 eggs, and they incubate them for 34-36 days. Fledging occurs within 10 weeks of the cygnets hatching, and they stay with their parents for a period of 8 to 14 months until they become fully independent.
In parts of its range, this species is under threat by wetland drainage and decreasing water quality due to industrial activity in the area. They are an important part of their ecosystem, as they control populations of algae in lakes, preventing them from becoming invasive species.
- Latin Name: Cygnus melancoryphus
- Class: Birds
- Order: Anseriformes
- Family: Anatidae
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
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