British Waterfowl Association

Black-necked Swan

Black-necked Swan carrying 3 cygnets
Black-necked Swan carrying cygnets — Frank Todd
Black-necked Swan cygnets
Black-necked Swan cygnets — Trudy Robertson

Cygnus melancoryphus

Black-necked Swans are highly ornamental but not abundant in wildfowl collections. The largest of South American waterfowl, the Black-necked Swan is defined by its white plumage and velvety black head and neck. It has a striking blue bill with large bright red knob or caruncle at its base.

The Black-necked Swan has a soft musical whistle. It is less aggressive than its closest relatives the Mute or Black Swan, however they are known to be particularly intolerant of European Shelducks.

Face of a Black-necked Swan
Black-necked Swan — Morag Jones

These swans spend the majority of their time on the water; with legs set far back on their body for greater efficiency, so they are ungainly on land. The swans’ natural habitat is fresh water marshes, lagoons and shores.

Black-necked Swans frequently lay two clutches of 4-6 eggs a season, incubating for 36 days. After hatching, the young are often carried, by either parent.