Have you seen Swift Parrots (2024)

Swift Parrot (G.Dabb)

In the past years, between end of March and beginning of May, Swift Parrots visited the Mt Majura nature reserve. In 2005 and 2008, a record number of the critically endangered species was observed in the reserve around the lower Hackett water reservoir off Rivett street in Hackett feeding on nectar of Bundy and lerp (the sugary protection cover of sap sucking insects).We are keen to know whether they return this year.

The Swift Parrot’s very specific breeding requirements places the species at high risk with habitat loss due to native logging in Tasmania. New research conducted by the Australian National University confirmed fears, the population of the critically endangered species declined to as few as 500 individuals in the wild.

Swift Parrots are small (24cm) and 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 are occasionally recorded in the ACT, south-eastern South Australia and southern Queensland.

Please contact Friends of Mt Majura at secretary@majura.org if you observe a Swift Parrot. We would be interested in the date, the time of the day, the location and the number of birds; if you have any photographic evidence please record on Canberra Nature Map.

You can also take part in the annual Swift Parrot Survey held from Saturday, 20 April 2024 to  Sunday, 25 August 2024. Further details and registration: 2024 Swift Parrot Survey

Swift Parrot juvenile (G. Dabb)

Critically Endangered Swift Parrot

Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water: Species Profile and Threats Database

In regard to a Recovery Plan, the Department states: “Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).”

The parrots may have gone extinct by the time the minister finds the time to decide…


The Guardian: Watching extinction in real time

ABC: Swift parrots still in peril, despite revised numbers of surviving birds due to new counting method

Photographs of Swift Parrots shown on this page were taken on Mount Majura by Geoffey Dabb.

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