Black Swan Bird at Mysore Zoo

“Ma, is that white swan painted black?” was what my eight year old asked me when she saw the Black Swan. She was staring at it with disbelief, in her world of imagination and dreams there were only white swans. I had read about black swans and seen their pictures, but never seen them live and so close. I too was watching it, stunned by its beauty. This was at Mysore Zoo.

Black Swan
Black Swans (Cygnus atratus) are large water birds breed mainly in the region of southeast and southwest regions of Australia. Black swans feature a lot in Western Australia’s art and literature and its state flag has Black Swan swimming right to left on a yellow background.

My daughter’s query reminded of the metaphor ‘black swan’ (disambiguation). Black swan meaning is different. One of the Western misconceptions was ‘All swans are white’. So a black swan was a metaphor for something which could not exist. A Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh recorded the sighting of the first black swan for the first time in 1697. The discovery of the black swan along Australia’s west coast in the late 17th and early 18th centuries led to the shattering of the age-old metaphor.

The Black Swan was an idea put forward by the Enlightenment philosopher, David Hume. It was meant to represent the unexpected, the stuff you don’t know or don’t know that you don’t know. The famous Black Swan theory developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb labels the unexpected rare events in his book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The book makes several useful points for entrepreneurs and investors that come from the existence of Black Swans. Read the interesting interview by Business Online.

What is a Black Swan?

Medieval Europeans had only ever seen white swans. In fact, any impossible event was termed a ‘black swan’. So, when the first settlers reached Australia, they were shocked to find black swans all over! Taleb’s black swans are those events that were once thought impossible, but when they occur, hit hard. In this extract, he writes about how we create narratives after ‘black swan’ events; making them seem predictable after they occur.

Err… I deviated; my main aim was to present the beautiful birds. Below is a picture of the White Swan coexisting peacefully with the Black Swans in the Mysore Zoo. We were cautioned not to get too close as black swans attack.

White Swan


White SwanSave

Beautiful Peacocks of Rajasthan, National Bird of India
Elephant Eye

46 Responses to “Black Swan Bird at Mysore Zoo

  • The swans are beautiful.

  • There swans are very BEAUTIFUL !

    The dark one is more “agressive” that the white one !

  • how interesting. i like the comparison between black and white

  • This Mysore Zoo seems to be holding a lot in it’s kitty.

    Stunning pictures, Amazing facts blogged and got a good book referred for reading. Tku Tku.

  • Hi Indrani!
    Beautiful post. It seems everybody is now around Taleb’s book; I’ve it on my table, but won’t take it into my vacation’s luggage… 😉
    Actually, I’ll finally get some days off this year; not much, just from Friday night (September 5th) through Monday morning (September 15th). But I don’t leave you empty hands: a beautiful beach and lots of champagne wait for you at Blogtrotter. Enjoy! 😉

  • I too haven’t seen a black swan live. Informative writeup.

  • wonderful post..Its time I paid a visit to the Mysore zoo again..went there when i was 8 too ..still have pics of me there 🙂 by the way the nandi statues in the south according to my guide were at Le pakshi,Mahanandi, Halebeedu, Mysore and Thanjavur..though not necessarily in that order

  • it is beautiful..the pics. i have never seen a black swam too or a real swan in real life. an interesting post indeed for me.

  • Loved your daughter’s question 🙂

    The images too as just as delightful.

  • Beautiful! I just took tons of pics of this beauties today in the Zoo:)Mine is HERE if you have a time! Thanks! Happy CC!

  • Nice informative post with great pics. The angle from which the pic of the white swan has been taken is amazing.

  • Your shots are very beautiful. Swans are always beautiful. Your explanation of the fact that a black swan was an impossibility. When I was in New Zealand on holiday with my daughter and her three Australian children, they called me excitedly:”Oma, oma come have a look! There is a white swan”! They had never seen a white swan before.

  • They are such fantastically beautiful birds! We have only white ones in our area. Both are lovely.

  • they are both so beautiful

  • perfect capture! your swan photos are gorgeous and wonderful…

  • Hi I signed in for the second time and now I can reach my blog. I’d like to delete the first time I entered.

  • Your daughter’s thoughts on the black swan made me smile 🙂 Beautiful birds, and photos!

  • Thank you for sharing the black swan photos. I have never seen one. They are beautiful. We only have white swans around here.

  • I like the black swans. Those beaks are so vivid against the black. Beautiful!!

  • Oh my gosh – that is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

  • beautiful post!very nice

  • ever sawa black most interesting sk

  • I love your photos all are clear and excellent! swans are sexy, lovely and beautiful especially the black color, very attractive…

  • you have captured the swans in all their regal elegance! lovely! and the info provided is also very interesting indeed! thank you.

  • It’s beautiful Swans. Honestly it’s the first I see this Black Swan. Very interesting!!

  • What a beauty, i have seen a few black ones and they are always so stunning to me. Love the story as well

  • Great post, I always like a story to accommpany photo’s.
    Black swans are magnificent – I had to go to Canada to see mine!

  • I’d never seen a black swan before, so thanks for that. Your post has it all…good pics, good information, and at the end, a good laugh!

  • A most interesting deviation.
    I first saw a Black Swan in Dawlish, Devon on an ornamental lake about 62 years ago.
    Great post.

  • Trust dear A to come up with that query!
    May she never know the man-made differences between black and white, and all shades in between….

  • Wow Black Swan what great photos.

  • We have no black swans here. These are all so beautiful

  • Great photo! Thanks for sharing.

  • Beautiful photos, Indrani. I very much enjoyed your comments and the explanation of the term “black swan.” Very informative. Thanks.

  • Beautiful shots. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a black swan.

  • Wow, so interesting. Thank you for the lesson in swans. Beautiful photos!

  • Whoa! I love that first shot – the contrast and coloring is pure perfection Indrani!

  • Gorgeous photos, Indrani and entertaining as always. Next thing I know you’ll be telling me that my pink elephants really exist! 😉

  • Beautiful photos and then you go writing about it through so many different angles..

    Lovely as usual..

  • I´ve seen couple of those black swans in a zoo. Unfortunately they had to go away with the bird-flu hysteria that was raging around Europe last year.

  • The black one is as graceful as the white. Nice shots Indrani.

  • Swans are such beautiful creatures. The black swan looks so majestic.

  • So interesting and such wonderful creatures, expertly captured on camera!

  • I came by after reading your interview with David. Great blog and good advice for newbies like me.

  • Like Pouty I only just found this post after reading your Sunday Roast interview. The birds are beautiful, no doubt about it, but the post is also thought provoking on several levels.

    I can see why you thought it a significant one!

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