Swift Parrots on mainland

Subject: Swift Parrots on mainland
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 08:16:26 +1100
G'day Jack and others,

Deb Saunders, Swift Parrot Project Officer, is away til early April, so I
thought I'd take this one for now.  I'm sure she would be interested in
this observation of 'summer' swifties on the mainland.

I remember seeing a single bird near Bendigo on Christmas day 1995, and
there are only a handful of other similar mainland records.  Perhaps this
latest sighting is one of those, or alternatively birds may already be
moving back from breeding grounds in Tasmania.  Another wild card is that
they could well be escaped avairy birds, though they are quite rare in
private collections.

It is interesting to note when the swifties return to the mainland each
year and relate it to environmental conditions and eucalypt flowering.  I
remember in 1997, Grey Box flowered exceptionally well throughout central
Victoria during March/April (records for March are considered reasonably
early for mainland swifties), and there were already high numbers of
Swifties about in central Vic.  The first record for 1997 was at Bendigo on
28th Feb.

I guess all south-easterners could now resume 'tuning-in' to Swift Parrot
calls when visiting likely areas.  Any reports should be directed to Debbie
Saunders at the Queanbeyan NPWS office, email 

Chris Tzaros

Chris Tzaros
Co-ordinator, Threatened Bird Network
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) 
National Office
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East, Vic., 3123
Ph: 03-9882-2622
Fax: 03-9882-2677
Website address:

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