juvenile swift parrots

Subject: juvenile swift parrots
From: Debbie Saunders <>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 09:58:17 +1100
Fantastic to hear that even more swift parrots are being seen in Canberra
with up to 14 near Mount Majura.

One of the observers noticed that some of the birds were juveniles which is
great.  It would be invaluable if anyone who gets a good look at the birds
could provide an indication of the number of birds positively identified as
juvenile and adult birds out of the total flock
(eg 2 juveniles & 5 adults positively identified from a total flock size of
14 Swift Parrots).

So how do you tell the difference?  Here is a bit of a guide to help anyone
who may have the opportunity to get up close to some swifties and help us
to get a feeling for the survivorship of juveniles after migrating across
bass strait:

Eye colour ? juveniles have a dark brown iris ? this may become harder to
distinguish as the season progresses but can generally be seen if you get a
good look at the head.

Plumage ? juvenile can be very similar to adult female plumage ? that is,
slightly dull green, red on undertail coverts dull or absent.  Blue on
crown reduced to smaller and duller patch (almost lacking in some), cheeks
only faintly washed blue.  Usually less red on flanks than for
female.  Some birds have little if any red on the throat.

Sexes ? no distinguishing characteristics for juveniles of either sex.

This information was extracted from the last newsletter and can be viewed
with colour photographs at the following web page:

Please also provide coordinates with your observations, either directly to
me  or in your canberra birds/ birding-aus

Enjoy the birding!
Cheers Deb

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