Posted: January 25, 2012, 3:45 p.m. PST
Courtesy Dejan Stojanovic
In 2010, Professor Robert Heinsohn of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, and his team-members, Debra Saunders and Dejan Stojanovic, began a conservation project, supported by the Loro Parque Fundación
and the Australian Research Council, to study the breeding biology and migratory behavior of swift parrots (Lathamus discolor
The project has several objectives, including documenting critical aspects of swift parrot breeding biology and ecology in relation to land management practices, especially in regard to forestry. The swift parrot is endangered, being affected by habitat loss. It is one of the only parrots that migrate, traveling between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia.
The most recent breeding season has produced a lot of important data that will no doubt help the researchers with conservation efforts. The researchers noticed that all swift parrot nests were located in cavities with very specific characteristics, indicating that these parrots prefer to use large, old trees for nesting, as these trees have more hollows. Furthermore, the parrots prefer to nest in hollows that are deep and wide internally, but have small entrances. This, along with the other data the researchers collected, will help with conservation efforts for the swift parrot.