Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Coscoroba swan

Coscoroba coscoroba

Photo by Cláudio Timm (Flickr)

Common name:
coscoroba swan (en); capororoca (pt); coscoroba blanc (fr); cisne coscoroba (es); coscorobaschwan (de)

Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

This species breeds throughout most of Argentina, south-eastern Chile and in the Falklands. The more southern population from Argentina and Chile migrate north to winter along the central coast of Chile, and in northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil as far north as São Paulo.

These birds are 90-115 cm long and have a wingspan of 155-160 cm. Males tend to be larger than females, weighing 3,8-5,4 kg while females weigh 3,1-4,5 kg.

The coscoroba swan is found in freshwater lakes and swamps, favouring wetlands with well-vegetated margins.

They are omnivorous, taking both vegetable matter such as grass and aquatic plants, and small aquatic invertebrates and fishes.

Coscoroba swans breed in May-December, varying among different parts of their range. They are monogamous and mate for life, nesting in solitary pairs or in small colonies. The nest is a large mound of aquatic plants, lined with grasses and down, and placed in a small islands, among reedbeds or in tall grasses, always near water. The female lays 4-7 eggs, which she incubates alone for 28-36 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and are able to swim and feed themselves, being protected from predators by both parents. They reach sexual maturity at 3 years of age.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 6.700-17.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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