Swift Parrots

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Swift Parrots
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Sat, 4 Jul 2009 10:40:41 +1000


I thought the following interesting enough to share round.

John K Layton


An injured Swift Parrot that has just flown over 1000 kilometres from Tasmania will be hitching a ride for the last 300 kilometres following a collision with power lines that left him stunned and concussed.

The injured endangered Swift Parrot was found in Garigal National Park in Sydney's North over a week ago by a National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) officer and has now been given the go-ahead to be set free later today in Cessnock, outside of Newcastle.

NPWS Senior Ranger Mel Hall came across the endangered parrot just over a week ago and was more than surprised to see the endangered bird on the ground walking along the track.

"Swift Parrots are unmistakable bright green and red birds with long thin tails that are very rare, so I was extremely surprised to find one walking along a bush track," Mel said.

"Swift Parrots can fly at extremely high speeds and are prone to having collisions with man made structures, like the power lines I found him under.

"He appeared to be suffering concussion but he was still very feisty even though he couldn’t fly.

"He was transported to a local emergency vet and then on to Taronga Zoo by Sydney Wildlife carer Carolyn Martin, where he has spent time recovering at the Zoo's Wildlife Hospital and is now rearing to get out," she said.

NPWS has been liaising closely with Birds Australia to identify the best place to release the parrot, which due to its endangered status needs to be carefully managed.

"We have been trying to identify where other Swift parrots have been heard or seen in the last few weeks and the best place we have identified is in the Hunter," Mel said.

"Rangers in the Cessnock area have been hearing swifties over the past few weeks as they return from their summer breeding homes in Tasmania.

"Although the birds don't seem to have any set daily routine they are almost certainly present in the general vicinity and it is the best sites for the release.

"There is plenty of food readily available and it shouldn't take too long for the released bird to come into contact with other Swift Parrots.

NPWS Ranger Mel Hall is driving the endangered parrot up the freeway to freedom today.

Following a winter spent in NSW they will migrate back to Tasmania where they breed from September to January, nesting in old trees with hollows and feeding in forests dominated by Tasmanian Blue Gum.

Further information on the Swift parrot is available at


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