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Black-necked Swans

Black-necked Swans
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The Wildlife, Plants and Scenery of Chile [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-08-31 3:02
Viewed: 5196
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot during our Christmas trip to Chile. The location was the northern end of Chiloe where 6-7 large flocks were feeding in the bay. Taken with 300mm 2.8 + x2 converter and monopod.

The Black-necked Swan, Cygnus melancoryphus is the largest waterfowl native to South America. Males are 115-140 cm (45-55 in) and 4.5-6.7 kg (10-14.8 lbs); females are 102-124 cm (40-49 in) and 3.5-4.4 kg (7.7-9.7 lbs). The wingspan is about 177 cm (70 in). The body plumage is white with a black neck, head and greyish bill. It has a red knob near the base of the bill and white stripe behind eye. Both sexes are similar, with a slightly smaller female. The cygnet has a light grey plumage with black bill and feet. The Black-necked Swan was formerly placed in monotypic genus, Sthenelides.

The smallest member in its genus, it is found in freshwater marshes, lagoon and lake shores in the southern South America. The Black-necked Swan breeds in Zona Sur, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and on the Falkland Islands. In the austral winter, this species migrates northwards to Paraguay and southern Brazil. The Laguna Blanca National Park in Argentina is a protected home of this swan. The wetlands created by the Great Chilean Earthquake like Carlos Anwandter Nature Sanctuary in Cruces River have become important population centers for the Black-necked Swan.

In 2004 and 2005 thousands of Black-necked Swans in the Carlos Anwandter Nature Sanctuary in Chile died or migrated away following major contamination by Valdivia Pulp Mill located on the Cruces River which feeds the wetlands. By August 2005 the birds in the Sanctuary had been "wiped out"; only 4 birds could be observed from a population formerly estimated at 5,000 birds. Autopsies on dead swans attributed the deaths to high levels of iron and other metals polluting the water.

The Black-necked Swan, like its nearest relatives the Black and Mute Swan is relatively silent. Also, unlike most wildfowl, both parents regularly carry the cygnets on their backs. The female lays four to six eggs in a nest of vegetation mound. The diet consists mainly of vegetation, insects and fish spawn.

Widespread and common throughout its habitat, the Black-necked Swan is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Argus, boreocypriensis, bahadir, marius-secan, CeltickRanger, zulfu, rousettus, xTauruSx, horia, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

this is a verry nice picture of this interesting swans.Well done.Regards.Alin.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-08-31 3:36]

Hello James,
a fine capture of this group of Black-necked Swans, a species i have not seen shown in the wild state on TN before. The head markings are well seen with excellent sharpness in this well presented group.
Thanks and all the best,

Hi Bro James,

An excellent and beautiful capture of this flock of Black-necked Swans from low and wonderful POV with nice composition.
TFS and have a nice day!


Hello James, wonderful shot of these pretty black-necked swans with nice composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-08-31 6:48]

Hello James,
Very nice photo of these special swans. Beautiful natural and contrasting colours in good sharpness. Good composition.

beautiful swans, TFS Ori

Hello James,
An excellent photo with Black-necked Swans. Very nice composition, natural colours and good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-08-31 8:22]

Hi James nice to see you i hope you are keeping well. Your trip looked like it was worth it giving pictures like this. I have never seen a Black-necked Swans before so thanks for showing this flock. Well taken TFS.

Hi James,

nice shot from these Swans with good pov and fine natural colours.


hello James

black & white in a colour image, beautiful photo
of these Black-necked Swans, with fine POV & DOF,
excellent sharpness and excellent details
specially of the white part of the plumage, TFS


  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-09-03 14:46]

Hello again James, lovely shot of these pretty swans in group with nice composition.
TFS and R's,

Hello James
upto now, I have seen three species of swans in nature. but all of them in white exxcept for beak and legs. I also know black swans from films and books. this is new to me. Black-necked Swans are very beautiful anserin birds. you greatly captured and presented them. thanks for sharing this beautiful scene. best wishes friend

Hello again James, excellent and lovely shot of these black headed beauties with nice composition.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-09-07 0:56]

Hi James

How's Vancouver this time of the year? Did you find any time for exploring some nice places? :)
This is another very beautiful capture of yours and, as usual, another very educational one - at least to me, because i must confess i've never seen this species of swans before.
Your shot here is very nice and impeccable sharp - considering the very long focal length and that you supported it only on a monopod.
Also, the shallow DOF had a very nice effect on the water in front and behind the black-necks, blurring it a little and thus focusing the entire attention on the beautiful birds.
...Sorry to hear about what happened to the ones from Carlos Anwandter :(

Anyway, very nice post and thanks for sharing it with us!

Hallo James
Sjoe, this is really a wonderful sight. This is such a beautiful image with these striking swans in such a relaxed mood. The colours captured here is great and the contrast between the white, black and red really awesome. Each individual has a different pose and expression on their faces and each one is facing a different direction. This makes this image so natural, without any pretence. It was indeed a pleasure stopping by this "Lake of swans" or would I rather say "Swan Lake". Best regards and thanks for sharing.

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