Swift parrot

The swift parrot is a small, fast and colourful parrot that is only found in the wild in Australia. It is critically endangered, and Skansen is working on the species’ conservation together with other animal parks.

  • The swift parrot is a small, fast and colourful parrot that is only found in the wild in Australia. In the autumn, after the breeding season, the entire wild population migrates from Tasmania to the Great Dividing Range on the mainland. The swift parrot is critically endangered.

    Licks up nectar

    The swift parrot’s diet includes nectar and pollen which it licks from eucalyptus trees with its brush-like tongue, but it also likes insects, fruit and seeds.

    Nests in tree hollows

    During the breeding season, it is not uncommon for several pairs of swift parrots to nest in hollows in the same tree. As soon as they arrive in Tasmania, the nest is built by both the male and the female, with the female then laying three to six eggs. They brood for almost a month, and after another three months the young fly out of the nest.

    An active bird

    Like many other parrots, the swift parrot is noisy, active and playful. It can be kept as a domesticated caged bird, and is fed nectar, fruit and seeds.


    As a pet it likes to sleep in a nesting box, whereas wild ones spend the night in hollows high up in trees to avoid predators. Parrots thrive in the company of other parrots.

    An endangered bird

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates in its red list (2018) that there are only 1,000–2,500 adults remaining in the wild, and this number is declining dramatically. The latest research published by the Australian National University (ANU) in 2020 has found that the number of wild adult individuals is likely to be fewer than 300. Forestry has been a driving factor in the species’ decline. Other threats include climate change, fires and nest predation by the sugar glider.

    At the current rate of decline, it is feared that the swift parrot will be completely extinct in the wild by 2031.

    Conservation work at Skansen

    A large part of an animal park’s mission involves helping to preserve animals for the future. At Skansen, this is done partly by sharing knowledge and understanding about animals and nature with our visitors every day. The animal park also plays an important role in working to preserve species at risk of extinction, through conservation projects such as maintaining healthy reserve populations of a species.

    The swift parrot breeds at Skansen, enabling us to contribute toward the reserve population at animal parks. In recent years, Skansen has sent several swift parrots hatched here to other animal parks in Europe, which is good news for the critically endangered parrot that is feared will be extinct in the wild within ten years.

    Certain individuals can sometimes learn to mimic words, but they do not understand what they are saying.

You can find the swift parrot here

Childrens zoo