IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

Swift parrots begin to return from the mainland to Tasmania in early August, with most of the population arriving by mid September. The breeding season coincides with the flowering of the Tasmanian blue gum Eucalyptus globules as it produces nectar during these months, which becomes the main food source for the swift parrots at this time. Soon after they arrive in Tasmania, the searches for suitable nests begin (5). Both sexes are involved with the search, and preferred sites are hollows in old eucalypt trees (5). Gregarious by nature, pairs may nest in close proximity to other pairs, and even in the same tree. The female occupies the nest chamber prior to egg laying, and does not leave the nest until the chicks are hatched and sufficiently developed (5). During this time the male forages for food and returns to the nest every three to five hours to feed the female. Usually four eggs are produced, which are white, glossy and oval in shape. Juveniles fledge at about six weeks and can be seen outside the nests in late November and early December. They remain in the nesting area and gather in flocks before dispersing with the adults. They fly westwards to the Central plateau and western Tasmania as blue gum flowering declines and other eucalypts begin to flower elsewhere (5).

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Source: ARKive

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