Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cygnus atratus

The three black swans on the bridge in Northbridge, near Perth Railway Station.
I was once seriously wondering why Perth or Western Australia, as a whole, is so fond of swans!  The huge and beautiful river in the capital of W.A. is called Swan River, and the bell tower by the river that houses the 18 Swan Bells is called the Swan Bell Tower!  And around the city are dozens or hundreds of swan figurines, sculptures and sketches- most are black and some are white.

The white swans in Freo!

It was the tour guide/bus driver who became the victim of my curiosity.  While we were travelling to the Pinnacle Desert, I asked him why...?

Simon, our friendly guide and my personal photographer, answered, "When the Europeans first came to this place, they were surprised to discover a great flock of black swans everywhere!  For them it was so amazing because in Europe they've only seen silver swans."

Today, black swans (Cygnus atratus) are still endemic in the area, especially in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia though there are reports saying that these large waterbirds are in danger of extinction.  Unfortunately, I haven't taken a photo of a black swan in W.A..  That's one of the good reasons for me to travel back to Perth someday.

A black swan in Adelaide's River Torrens, South Australia


1 comment:

Sardonyx said...

Pretty interesting story about the swans...and I haven't seen a black swan yet