The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) breeds in Tasmania and migrates north to south eastern Australia from Griffith-Warialda in Queensland and west to Adelaide in the winter. It is related to the rosellas, with the feeding habits of a lorikeet. It is the only member in the genus Lathamus.
The Swift Parrot is endangered with only about 1000 pairs remaining in the wild, and its population is declining.
The Swift Parrot is about 25 cm (10 in) long and has long pointed wings and long tapering tail feathers. It is mainly green with bluish crown and red on the face above and below the beak. The adult female is slightly duller, and the juvenile has a dark brown iris and a pale orange bill.
Breeding and social habits
The species breeds in Tasmania from September to December. It nests in tree hollows about 6"?20 metres from ground level and usually with other breeding pairs. Eggs are white with 3"?5 per clutch. It disperses to the mainland during from April to September, being found as far north as south-eastern Queensland and as far west as Adelaide although recent sightings in SA have been restricted to the Eastern part of the state.
Voice is of high pitched tinking chattering, piping pee-pit, pee-pit.
Mudgereeba, SE Queensland, Australia
Usually inhabiting: forests, woodlands, agricultural land and plantations, and also in urban areas.
Seeds and grains, green vegetation, fruit, nectar and pollen, insects and larvae.
It is thought that only 1000 pairs remain in the wild. Habitat destruction and loss of old trees with nesting hollows is the critical factor in its decline.
Swift Parrots are listed as endangered on the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
State of Victoria, Australia
- The Swift Parrot is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988). Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has been prepared.
- On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, the Swift Parrot is listed as endangered.