Swift Parrot - profile

Indicative distribution


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Key:
known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Lathamus discolor
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Critically Endangered
Gazetted date: 24 Mar 2000
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017

Description

The Swift Parrot is small parrot about 25 cm long. It is bright green with red around the bill, throat and forehead. The red on its throat is edged with yellow. Its crown is blue-purple. There are bright red patches under the wings. One of most distinctive features from a distance is its long (12 cm), thin tail, which is dark red. This distinguishes it from the similar lorikeets, with which it often flies and feeds. Can also be recognised by its flute-like chirruping or metallic "kik-kik-kik" call.

Distribution

Breeds in Tasmania during spring and summer, migrating in the autumn and winter months to south-eastern Australia from Victoria and the eastern parts of South Australia to south-east Queensland. In NSW mostly occurs on the coast and south west slopes.

You can help map Distribution and Habitat
Each year the Swift Parrot Recovery Team relies on the involvement of volunteers to identify areas the birds are visiting and what resources they are using. This information directly helps the recovery effort for this species. Surveys are conducted twice a year and aim to cover the migratory winter range of this species. Mainland surveys are held on the 3rd weekend in May and the first weekend in August every year.

All information helps and the Recovery Team is also very interested to receive sighting information of these birds outside the survey dates. Surveys are run in combination with the Regent Honeyeater survey effort, another Endangered migratory woodland bird.

Please contact the relevant coordinator for your state (specified below) and let us know which sites you would like to survey or to request some suggestions for new sites to explore.

Survey sheets and instructions can be downloaded from the 'Related Information' pane on the left hand side of your screen.

The Swift Parrot Volunteer Survey Coordinators are:
Victoria/NSW/ACT/Qld/SA - Chris Tzaros (Birds Australia) freecall 1800 66 57 66 or 03 9347 0757 e-mail c.tzaros@birdsaustralia.com.au
Tasmania - Matt Webb (Department of Primary Industries and Water, Tas) ph 03 6233 6952, e-mail matthew.webb@dpiw.tas.gov.au

Habitat and ecology

  • Migrates to the Australian south-east mainland between March and October.
  • On the mainland they occur in areas where eucalypts are flowering profusely or where there are abundant lerp (from sap-sucking bugs) infestations.
  • Favoured feed trees include winter flowering species such as Swamp Mahogany Eucalyptus robusta, Spotted Gum Corymbia maculata, Red Bloodwood C. gummifera, Mugga Ironbark E. sideroxylon, and White Box E. albens.
  • Commonly used lerp infested trees include Inland Grey Box E. microcarpa, Grey Box E. moluccana and Blackbutt E. pilularis.
  • Return to some foraging sites on a cyclic basis depending on food availability.
  • Following winter they return to Tasmania where they breed from September to January, nesting in old trees with hollows and feeding in forests dominated by Tasmanian Blue Gum Eucalyptus globulus.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Basalts Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Outwash Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Known None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
NandewarInverell Basalts Predicted None
NandewarKaputar Predicted None
NandewarNandewar Northern Complex Predicted None
NandewarPeel Known None
New England TablelandsArmidale Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsBeardy River Hills Predicted None
New England TablelandsBinghi Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsBundarra Downs Known None
New England TablelandsDeepwater Downs Predicted None
New England TablelandsEastern Nandewars Predicted None
New England TablelandsGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts Predicted None
New England TablelandsMoredun Volcanics Predicted None
New England TablelandsSevern River Volcanics Known None
New England TablelandsStanthorpe Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsTenterfield Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsTingha Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsWalcha Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsWongwibinda Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsYarrowyck-Kentucky Downs Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastEllerston Known None
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Known None
NSW North CoastYuraygir Known None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Known None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
OceanBatemans Shelf Known None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
OceanManning Shelf Known None
OceanTwofold Shelf Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Predicted None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Known None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None