20-30 Superb Parrots in Hughes this morning

To: 'calyptorhynchus' <>, 'Canberra Birds' <>
Subject: 20-30 Superb Parrots in Hughes this morning
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2019 23:49:17 +0000

John asked a historical question, for which The GBS Report (first 21 years 1980 to 2002) has a suggestive answer, if not a direct one to the particular question. The species has become far more established since then, with surely all the GBS statistics increased since then. (If someone can advise an immediate way to find the stats in the ABR that would be nice).  And for the quote below I add that Site 221 is in Evatt. I would not be convinced they are breeding all that locally if they are flying fast. Could easily have bred much further than Red Hill and still travel to Hughes.


Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii

Canberra is on the south eastern edge of the natural part of this bird’s range (Davey 1997), so it is not surprising that the majority of records are from the north-western suburbs. It requires open woodland with grass understorey. It has a very strong seasonal distribution pattern, with a clear peak in the summer time. Only two observations during winter, both in Year 21 in southern Canberra. There was even one observation of 30 birds in January 1990 at Site 221.
Rank: 122, A = 0.00163, F = 1.60%, W = 1.7, R = 0.066%, G = 2.47.



From: calyptorhynchus [
Sent: Friday, 4 January, 2019 7:38 AM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] 20-30 Superb Parrots in Hughes this morning


They were flying around amongst the trees along the cycle path down from the Golf Course towards Hughes Preschool on Kent Street. There were both males and female type birds, but, I fancy rather more female type birds which would suggest there are juveniles amongst them and therefore that the SPs have bred on Red Hill or somewhere nearabouts this year. (I can't be certain, they were flying very fast and I was running (very slowly)).


When we first moved to Hughes in 1995 the nearest SPs were probably at Murumbateman. I know that the recolonisation of north Canberra in the 1990s and 2000s is them moving back into their previous range, but were they ever known from south of the Molonglo before?



John Leonard

‘There is kinship between people and all animals. Such is the Law.’ Kimberley lawmen (from Yorro Yorro)


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