Local ecology

Meet Sydney Park’s new family members

The black swan couple of these inner city wetlands recently became proud parents to a brood of cygnets.


If you’ve been getting your daily dose of fresh air at Sydney Park, you may have seen some fluffy new additions in the wetland rushes and waterways.

A pair of black swans have recently become parents to cygnets who are getting bigger by the day.

City of Sydney urban ecologist Sophie Golding said black swans breed in wetlands, with some staying permanently but most travelling large distances outside the breeding season.

Sydney Park has been a breeding spot for the swans in the last few years.

“Black swans pair for life and have been known to return to a breeding site, so we may be getting the same visitors each year,” said Sophie Golding.

“It’s hard to know if they are the same pair, but we can do a little wishful thinking.”

The cygnets can swim and feed themselves as soon as they hatch.

“They’re vegetarian and adore their greens, like algae and weeds,” said Sophie.

Have you spotted the Sydney Park swans?
Have you spotted the Sydney Park swans?

While the cygnets are very popular with park visitors, we ask you to keep your distance if you see them – and please, never feed them bread.

“They have to learn how to survive in the wild and what food to eat. Bread in particular is not good for their health.”

Our first Budding Birdos program with BirdLife Australia kicked off in 2019, where a group spent a year learning about birds and honing their birdwatching skills.

The group identified 73 bird species in Sydney Park, with 13 species breeding in the wetlands and native habitat.

If you’re keen to sign up, we hope to run the program again in 2021.

Once a brickworks and a local tip, these days Sydney Park is an oasis of thriving wetlands.

“It’s remarkable what you can see and experience at these urban wetlands. It shows us what a vital part of city life these open spaces can be,” said Sophie.

“Urban parks offer our wildlife a safe place to rest, forage and breed. And more and more research shows us that a biodiverse nature, including an urban wetland, has direct benefits on our mental health.

Proud to call home: the Sydney Park wetlands have been a breeding ground for swans in the last few years
Proud to call home: the Sydney Park wetlands have been a breeding ground for swans in the last few years

“It’s a win–win for Sydney residents and our native wildlife.”

These grey-brown cygnets will grow black feathers and eventually fly away. In the meantime, congratulations to the proud parents!

Published 16 June 2020