Black swan flying in formation with Whooper swan - what's going on here?! (Pictures)

At Old Moor today, a flock of Whooper swans took off and circled overhead while arranging themselves in a loose V-type formation (what a spectacular sight, by the way!).  However, here's the thing: amongst them was a black swan!  What is going on here?  Do swans of different species fly together normally, or is this odd?

  • Lovely pics, Kiera, what a wonderful sight.  Regretfully, I've no idea why, but perhaps the Back Swan was feeling lonely--lol!  (Sorry, couldn't resist.)  Hope an expert has a suggestion or two to answer your question. 

    Kind regards, 


  • What a great photo 

  • I've just noticed the Old Moor/Dearne Valley blog now has photos of the Black Swan swimming with the Whoopers (you can find the links to recent blogs at the bottom of the community home page).  No explanation is given about the Black Swan although there is the comment that Australian Black Swans were introduced to the UK which implies that the Black Swan might be an escapee from a collection somewhere.  There is also the comment that the Black Swan looks comfortable with its companions.

    Kind regards, 


  • We have a Black Swan that shows up occasionally on a local reserve and that one seems to keep company with the Mute Swans on the water but when it leaves it goes on its own.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • I did a bit of Googling, and it seems like black swans escaped a while ago in the UK and are now breeding at several sites.  I also read that in rare cases they can sometimes create hybrid offspring with other forms of swan, including Whoopers.  I wonder if this one is hoping to become an honorary Whooper?!  :)  The thing that surprised me was that there didn't seem to be any tension at all about its presence. Perhaps this might change later in the spring, though?  Would be interested to hear from anyone who knows about this!

  • lovely photo capture Kiera,   wonderful to see the black swan in amongst the Whoopers.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Also, thanks for all the comments!  As for the picture, I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time - they flew immediately overhead!

  • In reply to Kiera:

    Hi Keira, lovely photos of the swans and the lone black fellow with his pals!

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.