Briefly describe the Swift Parrot.

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) is a small, endangered species that breeds in Tasmania and migrates to Southern Australia. It is a green bird with blue and red highlights, and eats mainly Eucalyptus flowers; the dead trunks of Eucalyptus trees form their habitats. The Swift Parrot is estimated to have a declining population of less than one thousand pairs. It is a social bird and often joins Lorikeets in feeding and flying.

Deforestation and climate change leading to the loss of feeding trees are the main causes of its endangerment; there are plans to grow new, winter-blossoming trees in Swift Parrot feeding areas to keep them from dying out. Swift Parrots are protected and it is illegal to sell or trade them, which causes problems for previous owners and conservationists who want to raise them in captivity and so keep the species alive. Legislation is currently being drafted to offer conservationists more leeway in protecting the Swift Parrot, but the biggest danger to their species is deforestation and human housing in their flight zones.

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