Birdorable Black Swans in Sydney Harbor in front of the Opera House

The Black Swan, a bird steeped in history and symbolism, has traversed an incredible journey from myth to reality in the eyes of Europeans. For over 1,500 years, the term "Black Swan" was a metaphor in European cultures for something that was impossible or did not exist. The prevailing belief was that all swans were white, as evidenced by the only known species at the time, the Mute and Whooper Swans, both predominantly white. Mute Swans and Whooper Swans, both mostly white, were the only species of swan known to western culture at the time. The very idea of a black swan was considered as impossible as a flying pig. 

The discovery of the Black Swan in Australia in the late 1600s by European explorers was nothing short of astonishing. It upended centuries of entrenched beliefs, serving as a powerful reminder of the vastness and mystery of the natural world. The sight of these elegant birds, with their striking black plumage and contrasting red bills was as astounding as stumbling upon a mythical creature.

The Black Swan's presence became a symbol of discovery and the unknown, challenging the limits of people’s understanding of nature. It shifted from a metaphor for the impossible to an emblem of the unexpected and the rare.

In Australia, the Black Swan has assumed a significant cultural role, particularly in Western Australia. Its uniqueness and contrast to the northern hemisphere’s white swans have made it a symbol of Australian identity and the distinctiveness of the antipodean experience. This symbolism is reflected in its prominent inclusion on the flag and coat-of-arms of Western Australia.

The Black Swan’s story is not just about a bird; it’s a narrative that intertwines nature, culture, and history. It represents a paradigm shift in thinking, from the certainty of the known to the acceptance and embrace of the unfamiliar. Australians, especially those in Western Australia, have adopted the Black Swan as a representation of their unique place in the world, celebrating the beauty and diversity of their natural heritage.

If you'd like to read more about Black Swans and pop culture, check out this article.

Cute Black Swan Gifts

After a very turbulent early season, there is some wonderful news out of the Rochester Falconcam today. The star Peregrine Falcon pair Beauty and Dot.ca became proud parents with the hatching of their first chick early this morning. Here is a screen shot of Beauty, the fluffy chick, and the two remaining eggs.


Screen shot from earlier today (June 20, 2012) from the Rochester Falconcam

The season began with Beauty in rehab and different female Peregrine Falcon at the nest site. In fact, one of those remaining eggs wasn't even laid by Beauty! Follow the link to the Imprints blog at the beginning of this post for a quick catch-up on this dramatic breeding season. We continue to support the Genesse Valley Audubon Society in bringing the Rochester Falconcam to the world. New designs featuring our updated Birdorable Peregrine Falcon reflect this year's changes to the players in this year's drama. As always, 30% of the retail price for all Birdorable Rochester Falconcam product sales will be donated GVAS.

You can also donate directly to the Rfalconcam via this link: Individual Donors. Follow Rfalconcam on Facebook to stay updated!

The New York Times reported last week that the number of Red Knots stopping at critical refueling grounds on the East Coast of the United States this year was double the number seen last year.

Red Knots on the beach

Each year, Red Knots migrate over 9,000 miles during their migration from South America to their breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle. Along the way, they stop at beaches of the East Coast to feed on horseshoe crab eggs to fuel their remaining journey. Legislation protecting horseshoe crabs has probably contributed to the good number of Red Knots found this year. The population of the American subspecies of the Red Knot has been in steep decline; hopefully this year's bounty is a good sign towards recovery! The Red Knot is one of our 378 cute Birdorable birds. We have commemorated the special relationship between the knots and horseshoe crabs with two unique designs. Check them out: Crab-Knot Cycle and Horseshoe Crabs are Life. The small blue blobs making shapes in each design represent horseshoe crab eggs!

You can learn more about the Red Knot from Cornell's All About Birds website: Red Knot. Hat tip to the ABA Blog for this story.

Red Knot Gifts

Check out these three new Birdorable coloring pages for lots of cute coloring fun! Go to Coloring Pages to download the PDFs.

Birdorable Coloring Pages for cute Harpy Eagle

You can visit the meet pages for each bird to check the colors: Harpy Eagle, Lilac-breasted Roller and Crested Caracara. Which one is your favorite bird?

Birdorable Coloring Pages for Lilac-breasted Roller and Crested Caracara

These downloads will be available until 1 August 2012. Check here for more coloring pages. Subscribe to the Birdorable Blog by RSS feed or by email to get notified when new downloads like this are added. Have you used our coloring pages at home, in your classroom, or at an event? We’d love to hear about it! Send us photos of the pages in action, or the final result – we may showcase them on our blog!