Bruny Island Birdlife - Swift Parrot


Bruny Island is home to abundant birdlife, including all 12 species endemic to Tasmania. Some are critically endangered, such as the Forty-spotted Pardalote, the Swift Parrot, and the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle. All 12 endemic species are protected under Tasmania's Nature Conservation Act 2002.

Bruny Island is a popular place for bird watching, and has been named in the top 10 bird watching sites in Australia by Australian Birdlife magazine.

Watch out for the next Bruny Island Bird Festival, (date TBA).

Photos from award winning photographer Rod Hartvigsen


Swift Parrot
  • Swift parrot

Swift Parrot

The brightly coloured Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) can be found in south eastern Australia, but only breeds in Tasmania. It grows up to 25cm long. This bird species is critically endangered.


The Swift Parrot lives in forests and woodlands, and sometimes urban parks and gardens.


The Swift Parrot spends most of its time in trees. It feeds on the nectar of flowering eucalypts, seeds and flowers. They can be often seen hanging upside down while feeding. The Swift Parrot migrates to Tasmania for breeding season in September. The Swift Parrot requires a nesting habitat (usually a tree hollow) near flowering Tasmania blue gums and black gums, as this is their primary food source.


The Swift Parrot is critically endangered, with an estimated population of 2000. Logging has resulted in a loss of their nesting habitat. Measures to restore the population include the installation of nesting boxes  and artificial tree hollows, a moratorium on logging on Bruny Island and installation of barriers to discourage illegal logging.