Swift parrot

Lathamus discolor

NZ Various 07 20 AD ONB LR 25 1
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittacidae

We currently have one swift parrot which can be found over near the penguin pool, in a mixed species exhibit along with our long-nosed potoroos and hooded parakeets.

This parrot breeds in Tasmania and migrates to south-eastern Australia. They usually inhabit forests, woodlands and even urban areas.

They eat a varied diet of seeds, fruit, nectar and insects.

Interesting facts!

  • Swift parrots are quite noisy and showy birds and can fly very fast with their direct flight.
  • The species is a vivid green with bluish crown and red on the face above and below the beak. The adult female is slightly duller and juveniles have a dark brown iris and a pale orange bill.


Swift parrots are classified as Critically Endangered, with what is thought to be less than 2000 birds left in the wild. The main threat to this species is habitat loss, with more than 70% of the forests and woodlands they rely upon no longer present.

The introduction of the sugar glider to Tasmania has added to the threat. The glider establishes itself in the bird’s nesting hollows and is responsible for increased deaths among the adult females sitting on eggs.