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Pair of black swans seen in north Cornwall

Pair of black swans seen in north Cornwall

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 9:47am 6th November 2019. (Updated at 9:59am 6th November 2019)

Photos: Neale Smith

A pair of black swans have been spotted in north Cornwall, on the canal in Bude.

The sighting was made earlier this week and is being described as super rare.

That is because the birds, native to Australia, are only settled in a few places in the UK.

Black swans at Bude

The biggest number are said to at Dawlish in Devon - so these two might have travelled quite far!

Neale Smith posted the photos to the Facebook Group, Bude Banter, after spotting the birds earlier this week.

Dozens of people have commented, with some saying they have never seen black swans in Cornwall.

Black swans at Bude

What do we know about black swans?

Nature website, Little Peckers, say there could be as many as 120 breeding pairs in the UK.

"The vast majority of swans which you may see in the British countryside are white. 

"The beautiful white mute swan is a common site but you may also stumble across a black swan. 

"The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is a native of Australia but several of these striking birds are now living in the wild in the UK. 

"The swans appear to be jet black but actually boast white primary wing feathers which are visible when the birds are in flight.

Black swans at Bude

"The black swan's natural habitat is similar to that of the mute swan. The birds are native to Australia and are the state bird of Western Australia. 

"The first specimen was brought to the UK in 1791 and the swans became popular additions to private collections and zoos. 

"However, some of the birds escaped into the wild and have bred successfully.

"In 2005 there were fewer than 20 breeding pairs in the UK but there are now many more. 

"There could be as many as 120 breeding pairs and the birds have been sighted at as many as 200 different locations across the country. 

"The largest cluster of the birds is to be found in Dawlish Warren, Devon where they were introduced many years ago. They are the emblem of the town".

Little Peckers

You can read more about black swans here.

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