Report Swift Parrot sightings on Mt Majura (01/04/2012)

Swift Parrot, Lathamus discolor. Photograph by Geoffrey Dabb.

Swift Parrots visited Mt Majura in previous years from end of March to begin of May. Most observations were from around the Hackett reservoir and the Majura paddock east of Rivett Street where they fed on nectar of Bundy and lerp of Yellow Box.

If you observe Swift Parrots please contact FoMM with information on the date of observation, the time of the day, the location and the number of birds.

Click here to learn more about the Swift Parrots.

To view photographs of the species click on the Swift Parrot Gallery of the Canberra Ornithologists Group.

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, Eucalyptus gonyocalyx and lerp – the sugary protection cover of sap sucking insects – of tall Yellow box, Eucalyptus melliodora.

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.

Watch out for the parrots.
Many thanks

Waltraud Pix
FoMM coordinator
1 April 2012

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