Thursday, September 2, 2010

Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)

PD Image: Coscoroba Swan at the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, England.

The Coscoroba Swan (Binomial name: Coscoroba coscoroba) is a species of waterfowl found in South America. It is the smallest of swans (not a true swan), weighing about 4 kg/ 9 lbs. It belongs to the subfamily Anserinae in which ducks, swans and geese are classified. Coscoroba Swans have an average lifespan of twenty years.

The Coscoroba Swan’s beak, legs and feet are red and it has white plumage with black edges to the wing feathers, which are visible only when they are in flight. Its cygnet is of a patchy color with brown and gray hues.

The Coscoroba Swan breeds in South America from southern Chile and central Argentina south to Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands. In winter it migrates to central Chile, northern Argentina, Uruguay and the south east Brazil.

The Coscoroba Swan’s habitat is swamps and lagoons with flourishing vegetation and grass. It feeds on grasses, small water plants, mussels and fishes. The female incubates the eggs, while the male guards the nest and protects the fledglings against predators.

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