Swift Parrots Lathamus discolor

Swift Parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate to the Australian mainland every winter. Here they are highly nomadic and follow their food sources, nectar collected from flowering eucalypt trees. In years of little flowering they need to travel long distances to survive the winter.

Swift Parrots are relatively small birds, not more than 25 cm long. They are bright green with red around the bill, throat and forehead and have a long thin tail. They fly very fast, hence their name.

Our daughter Christine and I went to Bruny Island in November 2016 to see and photograph these birds. The Swift Parrots do not breed every year in the same spots in Tasmania, their breeding ground are determined by their main food source: flowering Blue Gums. And in 2016 there was a massive flowering happening on Bruny Island, and so the vast majority of the Swift Parrot population was on Bruny. We were lucky to arrive there, before the birds fledged and left the nest.


I have added some photos from August 2016 when the Swift Parrots were still on the Australian Mainland, Quorrobolong, NSW in this case.

Enjoy and if you like, feel free to provide comments via the Contact page!