With less than 1000 birds remaining in the wild, the Swift parrot is a rare find. Recent rains in and around the Pilliga have created the perfect conditions for at least six confirmed sightings.

NSW National Parks has reported that over the weekend park officials spotted at least six endangered Swift parrots in and around the Pilliga Nature Reserve for the VERY FIRST TIME!

The reserve, located in Western NSW, just east of Tamworth, is the largest remaining native forest on the Australian continent, known for its old-growth forests and spectacular wildflower displays. Recent rainfall in the area has created the perfect conditions for the parrots to feed, mate, hang around, and be merry!

Swift parrots need the hollows that old-growth trees provide to breed, and the winter flowering trees to feed on. The biggest threats to Swift Parrots are habitat clearing, changing climatic conditions, and altered fire regimes. The Pilliga is also threatened by the Narrabri Gas Project, a government endorsed coal seam gas extraction plan that would place 850 gas wells across 1000 hectares of the forest. Why do we have gasfields where endangered species are struggling to survive?

The discovery is an important reminder to always respect the places you adventure in and ensure Leave No Trace principles are always followed so beautiful species such as the Swift parrot can thrive and flourish.

NSW Parks staff are considering conducting a survey of the birds in the next few weeks. Keep an eye on their socials if you’re keen to get involved, or visit their website for more info.


Feature image thanks to @birdsaspoetry