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Swift Parrot

(Lathamus discolor)
Alternate name(s): "Red-shouldered Parrot", "Swift-flying Parakeet", "Swift-flying Lorikeet"
Size: 23-26 cm
Weight: 45-75 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Swift Parrot at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information




Adult male(?) Swift Parrot feeding on the nectar of a Swamp Mahogany tree
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

Adult male Swift Parrot, slightly different posture
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

With some Swift Parrot acrobatics one can approach the same flowers this way...
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]


Near-frontal view of an adult female(?) Swift Parrot
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

Sex unknown

Seen from above, even adult Swift Parrots - although so colourful - can appear almost entirely green
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]


This Swift Parrot, with very little red in its face, is a juvenile bird
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

The same Swift Parrot as shown above, now reaching for a twig with a half-eaten leaf, possibly to pick lerps from the underside of the leaf
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

Juvenile Swift Parrot climbing to the tip of a twig
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Flock


Often seen together with various types of lorikeets.

Food, Diet

Apart from nectar, Swift Parrots also feed on lerps.

Swift Parrot licking nectar; it appears that this young bird does quite know yet which flowers/buds contain nectar and which don't...
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

swiftp_aa_20180925.m4a (ACT) Various (flock) © AA

More Swift Parrot sound recordings are available at .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.