Assets with Eyes

Baby Black Swans

28 Jul 2020

The Black Swan is a common resident at Sydney Olympic Park, and it’s the right time of year to see their cygnets (chicks) in wetlands such as the Waterbird Refuge, the Northern Water Feature and Lake Belvedere. This year, visitors to the Northern Water Feature were treated to a front row view of a nesting event on a floating reed bed in the wetland, easily viewed from the end of the pier without disturbing the swan family!

The floating reed bed is one of two installed in the wetland to provide a platform of vegetation to filter stormwater runoff from the urban core, before water is transferred and treated as part of the Park’s Water Reclamation and Management Scheme (WRAMS) and used in irrigation, ornamental fountains and toilet flushing applications across Sydney Olympic Park and Newington. The vegetation on the reed beds also benefit wildlife, providing cover and foraging opportunity for small wetland birds such as Little Grassbird and Australian Reed-Warbler, as well as nesting material for waterbirds, in this case - one of the largest waterbirds at the Park.

Black Swan pairs build nests out of uprooted aquatic vegetation, grasses and sedges. These nests usually range between 1 and 1.5 metres in diameter, and are shaped like a large bowl with the female using her body weight to form the central depression. Five eggs were spotted in the nest built on top of the floating reed bed, with three hatching successfully.

The cygnets are covered in grey down and are able to swim and feed themselves as soon as they hatch, however, you will find they remain close to their parents during this early stage of their life. It’s the perfect time to visit these wetlands and watch cygnets grow over the next coming months. Black Swan parents are protective of their young; make sure to admire from afar and keep your dog on lead as getting too close will cause distress to both parents and young. The wetland provides abundant natural foods so please do not feed bread or other food scraps to these birds as it is harmful to their health and encourages them to be reliant on humans instead of foraging naturally.

Black Swan pair nest on top of a floating reed bed installed at the Northern Water Feature © Roger Huo
Three cygnets (chicks) staying close to their Black Swan parents © Roger Huo
Black Swan and cygnets feeding on aquatic vegetation © Roger Huo

Black Swan pair nest on top of a floating reed bed installed at the Northern Water Feature © Roger Huo

 Three cygnets (chicks) staying close to their Black Swan parents © Roger Huo

Black Swan and cygnets feeding on aquatic vegetation © Roger Huo

           
News

Related articles