Count yourself lucky to spot a Swiftie

Monday 3 June, 2024
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority is celebrating birds and bats in 2024 with the ‘Year of the Wing’ community awareness campaign. This month, the critically endangered Swift Parrot is featured. With around just 500 of these beautiful birds remaining in the wild, the ‘Swiftie’ is listed as Critically Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Goulburn Broken CMA Project Officer, Janice Mentiplay-Smith, said over the cooler months Swift Parrots make the journey from their summer breeding grounds in southern Tasmania to the forests of Victoria’s Goulburn Broken catchment and beyond.

“Their timing is perfect, as the autumn and winter-flowering eucalypts produce their flowers full of nectar,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“Of the 800-900 or so species and sub-species of eucalyptus in Australia, the Goulburn Broken catchment has a mix of trees favoured by the ‘Swiftie’ including grey box, white box, red box, red stringybark and yellow box.”

Swift Parrots nest and breed in Tasmania during the summer. They require deep nesting hollows in large old trees, either in the trunk or in the end of a branch. This habitat can take up to 150 years to develop, which is time the Swift Parrot does not have. Swift Parrots prefer natural nesting sites over artificial ones.

“The Swift Parrot is one of Australia’s most beautiful parrots but is on a trajectory to extinction if numbers continue to plummet,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

‘Saving the Swift Parrot: A Conservation and Management Guide’ by BirdLife Australia contains interesting case studies, facts, stories, advice and stunning photos:  WL_Saving_the_Swift_Parrot_CMG_low_res_2021.pdf (birdlife.org.au) 

Birdlife Australia coordinates Swift Parrot search events at Benalla Reef Hills, Boweya, Courtney Springs Reserve, Dookie, Euroa, Heathcote-Graytown, Heathcote-Costerfield, Mangalore Nature Conservation Reserve, Nagambie, Numurkah, Rushworth, Shepparton, Tooborac, Toolleen and Violet Town. The next searches to be held are between July 13 to August 25. For more information, visit https://birdlife.org.au/events/swift-parrot-search/

Local birding group Murray Goulburn BirdLife meet monthly to conduct bird surveys and to enjoy the local environment with an outing scheduled for Saturday June 15 in the Strathbogie area. For more information, contact: robertsdon680@gmail.com or thebrowns1@bigpond.com

Swift Parrot by Chris Tzaros

The Goulburn Broken CMA acknowledges and respects First Nations people and the deep connection they have with their land and waters.

We acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and Taungurung people and their ancestors/forbears as Traditional Owners of the land and waters in the Goulburn Broken Catchment (and beyond). We value our ongoing partnerships with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council for the health of Country and its people.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge and recognise the primacy of Traditional Owners obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters.

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