Fun Swift Parrot Facts For Kids

Ritika Katariya
Agu 31, 2023 By Ritika Katariya
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Swift parrot facts that you will enjoy.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

Swift parrots are native Australian migratory birds that are very colorful and chirpy. They are a migratory species that move to the south-eastern region of Australia during winter. This infamously threatened species breeds in Tasmania during the summer, and in the fall, the entire population migrates to Victoria, the south-eastern mainland. These birds are housed by the Tasmanian blue gum and the flowering Eucalyptus tree of which, the latter is their primary location of residence. They feed on the nectar and dwell in the hollows of these trees.  Although their breeding season begins in September, a good way to identify the onset is that these birds breed alongside the season of flowering for the Tasmanian blue gum. Today, the natural habitat of swift parrots is diminishing just as swiftly as they fly! Their natural habitat is being threatened, which is contributing towards higher mortality rates, especially in breeding adult females.

Mainland Australia is being exploited for agriculture and human residence, which is singlehandedly ruining the habitat of this species, both in the urban regions as well as in the wild, resulting in a downfall of breeding environments. Although they can inhabit a variety of forests and other locations in the world, the loss of habitat and trees for swift parrots is making them lose out on their foraging habitat as well as the habitat in the wild, which are forests.

If you find this article interesting, you might want to check out some more interesting facts about the Amazon parrot and white-bellied parrot.

Swift Parrot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a swift parrot?

The swift parrot is a kind of parrot.

What class of animal does a swift parrot belong to?

The swift parrot belongs to the Aves class, which are the birds of the animal kingdom.

How many swift parrots are there in the world?

A severely threatened species due to predation, there are less than 300 members left. The swift parrot population is severely endangered and the IUCN has given this species a population status of Critically Endangered.

Where does a swift parrot live?

Their population majorly occupies Australian regions like the Australian mainland, south-eastern Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, and the Ironbark region. This bird migrates to Victoria in the winter.

What is a swift parrot’s habitat?

The swift parrot habitat is a broad one. This bird inhabits box ironbark forest and sclerophyll forest, which is dry vegetation with low rainfall. However, thebreeding habitat is in Tasmania because they only nest in the Eucalypts trees and Tasmanian blue gum which are easily available on the island.

Who does swift parrot live with?

These swift parrots are known to live and breed in flocks by themselves. However, they share common living spaces with birds like woodpeckers and cockatoos.

How long does a swift parrot live?

The swift parrot lifespan ranges up to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for these birds is September to February. The adult female lays and incubates three to four eggs and the incubation period is around 20 days. The nesting sites usually comprise flowering tree hollows. The ideal breeding and nesting location is Tasmania, as all the necessary resources are well available.

What is their conservation status?

The swift parrot population is listed as Critically Endangered in the ICUN Red List.

Swift Parrot Fun Facts

What do swift parrots look like?

Swift parrots are multicolored and their body is bright green in color with other blended colors throughout. The head is green with a hint of blue on the crown and cheeks. The back is blue with shades of purple. However, the most prominent feature about these birds is the red patch around their mouths. The red patch is bordered with yellow fully cover the beak. As for the feathers, the under tail and edges of the flight feathers are bright indigo. The final addition to the this bird is its broad tail which is brown in color, along with the tips of the flight feathers.

The swift parrot's natural breeding habitat is in Eucalyptus trees in Tasmania, Australia.

How cute are they?

Swift parrots are very cute birds that occur in extravagant colors and love to be loud and showy.

How do they communicate?

They communicate through specific calls. The swift parrot call is sharp and piercing to hear. They are known to be loud and overt, just like common parrots. They also tend to warble while making these calls.

How big is a swift parrot?

The swift parrot size ranges around 10 in (25.4 cm). They are medium-sized birds if compared with other birds of the world. They are four times smaller than the hyacinth macaw, the largest flying parrot in the world, which grows up to 40 in (1 m).

How fast can a swift parrot move?

Swift parrots get their name for the obvious reason that they can fly really fast. While taking a direct flight, they can fly at a speed of 54 mph (86.9 kph).

How much does a swift parrot weigh?

Swift parrots are medium weighing birds in their species, with the smallest parrot, the Pygmy parrot being just 0.4 oz (11.3 g), and the largest parrot, the Kakapo weighing the heaviest at 9 lb (4 kg).  

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female parrots of this species are both known as swift parrots.

What would you call a baby swift parrot?

A baby swift parrot is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

The food habits of swift parrots include foraging for food on the ground and sucking nectar from trees. However, foraging has become tough for this species in light of the loss of foraging grounds and overall forest cover. Predators like sugar gliders pose a threat as they destroy this parrot's nesting by attacking the nesting sites.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are absolutely harmless.  

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are friendly and can happily live in the nest box you make them, but considering their vulnerability status, it's best to leave them in their natural environment.  This species occurs in flocks.

Did you know...

Swift parrots are one of the fastest parrots in the world.

This parrot is a nomadic migrant and it settles in an area when there is food available.  

During the breeding season, this species prefers nesting in the Eucalyptus globulus in Tasmania, which are being cleared. This is placing these birds in greater danger.

The species is not the only threatened species in Tasmania. The Tasmanian devil is equally endangered.

Where does the swift parrot migrate to?

Swift parrot migration ranges to Tasmania during the mating season then back to the south-eastern region of mainland Australia, Victoria, in the winter.  

Why is the swift parrot endangered?

The swift parrot population is listed as Critically Endangered in the ICUN Red List. This species depends on the Eucalyptus globulus in Tasmania which are being cleared. This puts these parrots in great danger. During dry years, when the flowering is poor in the Eucalypts trees, they are forced to travel far and wide to find sufficient food. Moreover, sugar gliders specifically prey on the females which has created an imbalance in the species. If the right actions are not taken, it is predicted that there's a 31% chance of swift parrots becoming extinct in the coming 20 years.

However, relevant steps are being taken towards conservation. The National Recovery Plan and the Survey and Conservation Plan are being undertaken by the government of Australia to provide the species with a better environment and breeding habitat free from sugar gliders. Additional methods like LIDAR satellite imagery data are being used to monitor the conservation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these mealy parrot facts and kea parrot facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable parrot coloring pages.

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Written by Ritika Katariya

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritika Katariya picture

Ritika KatariyaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated content writer and language enthusiast, Ritika holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Fergusson College. With a keen interest in linguistics and literary adaptations, she has conducted extensive research in these domains. Beyond her academic pursuits, Ritika actively volunteers at her university, providing academic and on-campus assistance to fellow students.

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