Large flock of swift parrots spotted

By Australian Geographic 7 June 2021
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Port Macquarie locals were treated to quite the spectacle.

A large flock of swift parrots have been spotted in Port Macquarie on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.

The flock was made up of up to 60 birds and was lucky enough to be spotted by local school principal Catherine Oehlman as they completed their annual migration from Tasmania.

A study released late last year revealed swift parrot populations may consist of just 300 individuals meaning this was a significant portion of their population. 

The flock was observed at The Nature School much to the delight of the school children. “I’m a bit of a bird nerd … it’s so exciting,” Catherine Oehlman told ABC News

“We talk to students about endangered species, but to have a critically endangered species right here on site is really special and unique.

Related: Less than 300 swift parrots remain in the wild

“It means it’s not just a species they are looking at on a website or in a book, it’s one that they can see and hear in their own school grounds. 

“They are citizen scientists in this as well and they can contribute the data they are collecting.”

According to BirdLife Australia, this migration is one of the strongest with good numbers and some younger birds . That the birds have made it further than Victoria is also a good sign, they say.