ACT Coat of Arms

To: "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: ACT Coat of Arms
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 23:07:05 +1000
Very true, I have always thought it is the Mute Swan, based on connection to UK but there are other species of white swans. I would suggest that The Mute Swan Cygnus olor occurs naturally in central Asia, as well as most of Europe, so they are closer to us than Siberia, about 11,000 km away. A book I have looked at says not north of 60 degrees N.
Then again, I was surprised to see feral Black Swans in Wuhan in China, when I was there in 2009.
-----Original Message-----
From: John Leonard [
Sent: Monday, 20 August 2012 5:09 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] ACT Coat of Arms

I sent this email to Katy Gallagher the other day

Dear Ms Gallagher

I understand you have recently been contacted by the Australian Republican Movement about changing the ACT Coat of Arms.

While the republican/monarchist flavour of the Coat of Arms is a subject for discussion and debate, I think that most anomalous feature of the Coat of Arms could be changed without any controversy.

I refer to the White Swan as a supporter. While the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is an obvious and appropriate supporter, the White Swan (Mute Swan, Cygnus alor) is not. The Mute Swan is not native to Australia and nearest naturally occurring populations are in Siberia, about 11,000km away. The Mute Swan has been introduced in a couple of places in Australia, but never Canberra. The Mute Swan is a royal bird in Britain, but does not feature on the British Royal Coat of Arms.

So, there is absolutely no reason to have a White Swan on the ACT Coat of Arms.

If another supporter is to be selected, one of a similar actual size to the Black Swan, then I suggest the Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), also found in the ACT. 

John Leonard

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