Endangered Swift Parrots on Mount Majura. Have you seen them? (April 2009)

Mount Majura was host to a record number of endangered Swift Parrot, (Lathamus discolor) between end of March and beginning of May in 2005 and 2008. The parrots were most frequently observed around the lower Hackett reservoir off Rivett / French Streets feeding on nectar of Bundy and lerp – the sugary protection cover of sap sucking insects – mainly of tall yellow box.

Swift parrots are bright grass green in colour. They have patches of red on the throat, chin and forehead, which are bordered by yellow. They have red on the shoulder and under the wings and blue on the crown, cheeks and wings. A distinctive alarm call of kik-kik-kik usually given while flying, a streamlined body, a long tail and flashes of bright red under the wing enable the species to be readily identified.

Swift parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate to mainland Australia in autumn. During winter the parrots are semi-nomadic, foraging in flowering eucalypts mainly in Victoria and New South Wales. Small numbers of swift parrots are occasionally recorded in the ACT, south-eastern South Australia and southern Queensland. The parrots choose larger trees for foraging and feed extensively on nectar and lerp from eucalypts during the non-breeding season.

Please contact Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) at admin@majura.org if you have observed swift parrots. We would be interested in the date, the time of the day, the location and the number of birds.

Many thanks

Waltraud Pix
FoMM coordinator
4 April 2009

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