The black swan is common in the wetlands of southwestern and eastern Australia and adjacent coastal islands.
Food consists of algae and weeds, which the bird obtains by plunging its long neck into water up to 1 m deep.

Black swans are mostly black-feathered birds, with white flight feathers. The bill is bright red, with a pale bar and tip; and legs and feet are greyish-black. Cobs (males) are slightly larger than pens (females), with a longer and straighter bill. Cygnets (immature birds) are a greyish-brown with pale-edged feathers.Mature black swans measure between 110 and 142 centimetres (43 and 56 in) in length and weigh 3.7–9 kilograms (8.2–19.8 lb). Their wing span is between 1.6 and 2 metres (5.2 and 6.6 ft). The neck is long (relatively the longest neck among the swans) and curved in an "S"-shape.