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The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) breeds in Tasmania and migrates north to south eastern Australia from Griffith-Warialda in New South Wales and west to Adelaide in the winter. It is related to the rosellas, with the feeding habits of a lorikeet. It is the only member in the genus Lathamus. The Swift Parrot is endangered with only about 1000 pairs remaining in the wild, and its population is declining.
The Swift Parrot is about 25 cm (10 in) long and has long pointed wings and long tapering tail feathers. It is mainly green with bluish crown and red on the face above and below the beak. The adult female is slightly duller, and the juvenile has a dark brown iris and a pale orange bill.
The species breeds in Tasmania from September to December. It nests in tree hollows about 620 metres from ground level and usually with other breeding pairs. Eggs are white with 35 per clutch. Voice is of high pitched tinking chattering, piping pee-pit, pee-pit.
The Swift Parrot migrates across the Bass Strait between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia. They arrive in Tasmania during September and return to south-eastern Australia during March and April. They can be found as far north as south-eastern Queensland and as far west as Adelaide in South Australia, although recent sightings have been restricted to the south-eastern part of the state.
BirdLife International has identified the following sites as being important for Swift Parrots: ;New South Wales * Brisbane Water * Capertee Valley * Hastings-Macleay * Hunter Valley * Lake Macquarie * Richmond Woodlands * South-west Slopes of NSW * Tuggerah * Ulladulla to Merimbula ;Victoria * Bendigo Box-Ironbark Region * Maryborough-Dunolly Box-Ironbark Region * Puckapunyal * Rushworth Box-Ironbark Region * St Arnaud Box-Ironbark Region * Warby-Chiltern Box-Ironbark Region ;Tasmania * Bruny Island * Maria Island * South-east Tasmania
Usually inhabiting: forests, woodlands, agricultural land and plantations, and also in urban areas.
Seeds and grains, green vegetation, fruit, nectar and pollen, insects and larvae.
It is thought that only 1000 pairs remain in the wild. Habitat destruction and loss of old trees with nesting hollows is the critical factor in its decline.
Swift Parrots are listed as endangered on the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.