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Surveys and bird counts

Swift Parrot Search

  • Date Saturday, 20 April 2024 - Sunday, 25 August 2024
  • Locations Widespread sites across QLD, NSW, ACT, and VIC

Help to save Swift Parrots from extinction by joining in the Swift Parrot Search

The migratory Swift Parrot is closer to extinction than ever before. First recognised as a declining species back in the 1980s, Swift Parrot numbers have continued to decline rapidly for the past 40 years. By participating in the Swift Parrot Search, you can make a positive difference.

  • The Swift Parrot Search collects data on this species, the availability of foraging resources and other threatened other woodland birds in the area, particularly including the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater
  • There are nearly two thousand permanent monitoring sites on public land throughout south-eastern mainland Australia
  • Birdwatchers are asked to undertake a 5-minute/50-metre radius search at each fixed site location

Join the Swift Parrot Search 2024: Explore Multiple Sites in Biannual 6-Week Count Periods

We encourage you to visit as many sites as feasible during biannual 6-week count periods: between the last week in April and the first week in June, and again between mid-July and late August.

In 2024, the Swift Parrot Search dates are: 20 April to 2 June and 13 July to 25 August.

Why is the Swift Parrot Search important?

  • About 750 Swift Parrots currently exist in the wild — a population decline of more than 50% since a previous estimate in 2011
  • Impacts associated with the ongoing destruction of their habitat, such as commercial logging, continues to be the most significant threat to the survival of Swift Parrots
  • In the past decade, searches undertaken across the Swift Parrot’s non-breeding range on the Australia mainland have indicated a marked change in how they’re using the landscape. Currently, we don’t precisely know what’s influencing this apparent shift
  • To promote the species’ recovery, we need to better understand what determines Swift Parrot presence and habitat selection across their vast winter range, with the Swift Parrot Search specifically designed to address key knowledge gaps and enable us to better protect the species
  • To improve the collective survey effort for monitoring Swift Parrot populations by complementing traditional ‘roaming’ searches with the Swift Parrot Search survey method. By using both methods, we can improve the overall effectiveness of our monitoring, as neither method alone will satisfy the monitoring needs for this species
  • Additionally, it’s an opportunity to get more information about other threatened species that also occur in the Swift Parrot’s mainland habitats, like Regent Honeyeaters

Where can I take part in this survey?

Widespread sites across Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria. For a breakdown of regions within each state, please see below, or visit the Birdata website to view a map of all survey sites. 

VIC NSW QLD ACT
  • Corangamite Region
  • Central Tablelands Region
  • Condamine Region
  • Canberra Region
  • East Gippsland Region
  • Central West Region
  • South East Queensland Region
  • Goulburn Broken Region
  • Greater Sydney Region
  • North Central Victoria Region
  • Hunter Region
  • North East Victoria Region
  • Murray Region
  • Port Phillip & Westernport Region
  • North Coast Region
  • West Gippsland Region
  • North West Region
  • Wimmera and Glenelg Hopkins Region
  • Northern Tablelands Region
  • Riverina Region
  • South East Region

Victorian Regions and Localities

Corangamite

  • Aireys Inlet
  • Anakie-Steiglitz
  • Anglesea
  • Bannockburn
  • Linton-Clarkesdale
  • Ocean Grove
  • Otways West
  • You Yangs
  • Pomborneit

East Gippsland

  • Buchan South
  • Bullumwaal
  • Cape Conran
  • Cann River-Noorinbee
  • Clifton Creek
  • Eagle Point
  • Glenaladale
  • Lake Tyers State Park
  • Marlo
  • Moormung NCR
  • Raymond Island
  • Wairewa-Mottle Range

West Gippsland

  • Glenmaggie
  • Stratford

Goulburn Broken

  • Benalla Reef Hills
  • Boweya
  • Courtney Springs Reserve
  • Dookie
  • Euroa
  • Heathcote-Graytown
  • Heathcote-Costerfield
  • Mangalore NCR
  • Nagambie
  • Numurkah
  • Rushworth
  • Shepparton
  • Tooborac
  • Toolleen
  • Violet Town

North Central Victoria

  • Argyle-Heathcote
  • Bealiba
  • Bendigo
  • Castlemaine
  • Clunes
  • Dunolly
  • Echuca
  • Emu Creek
  • Heathcote South
  • Heathcote-Costerfield
  • Kamarooka
  • Kingower
  • Lockwood
  • Maldon
  • Maryborough
  • Morrl Morrl
  • Sandon
  • St Arnaud
  • Talbot
  • Toolleen

North East Victoria

  • Boweya
  • Chiltern
  • Warby-Ovens National Park
  • West Wodonga
  • Yackandandah

Port Phillip & Westernport

  • Bacchus Marsh
  • Beaumaris
  • Blackburn
  • Braeside
  • Eltham
  • Eynesbury
  • Greensborough
  • La Trobe Uni, Bundoora
  • Lysterfield Park
  • Macleod
  • Monash Uni, Clayton
  • Newport
  • Northcote
  • Parkville
  • Plenty
  • Sunbury
  • Truganina
  • Waverley
  • Western Treatment Plant
  • Wildwood
  • Woodlands Historic Park
  • Yarra Bend Park
  • You Yangs

Wimmera and Glenelg Hopkins

  • Ararat
  • Barrabool NCR
  • Bryntirion State Forest
  • Stawell
  • Pimpinio West Wail
New South Wales Regions and Localities

Central Tablelands

  • Bogee-Capertee
  • Cumbo Creek
  • Cope State Forest
  • Capertee Valley
  • Cowra
  • Glen Alice
  • Home Rule
  • Koorawatha
  • Munghorn Gap
  • Wollar

Central West

  • Back Yamma
  • Bumbaldry
  • Cumbijowa
  • Forbes
  • Forbes East
  • Forbes south-east
  • Grenfell West
  • Lake Burrendong
  • Mulyandry
  • Warraderry
  • Weddin Mountains
  • Wellington

Greater Sydney

  • Bateau Bay
  • Blue Haven-Budgewoi-Colongra
  • Bobbin Head
  • Brisbane Waters National Park
  • Castlereagh NR
  • Cobbitty
  • Campbelltown
  • Cattai NP
  • Chain Valley Bay
  • Cowan
  • Edmondson Park
  • Empire Bay
  • Epping
  • Galston
  • Gosford
  • Gorokan-Toukley-Noraville
  • Hornsby
  • Jilliby
  • Kincumber
  • Killara
  • Ku-ring-gai Chase NP
  • Lansdowne Reserve
  • Londonderry
  • Meadowbank
  • Mulgoa
  • Munmorah SCA
  • Mount Annan
  • North Narrabeen
  • Narara-Wyoming-Lisarow
  • Oxford Falls
  • Pearl Beach
  • Pennant Hills
  • Rouse Hill
  • St Ives
  • Summerland Point-Gwandalan
  • Scheyville NP
  • Terrey Hills
  • Tuggerah
  • Tumbi-Umbi
  • Wambina-Wamberal
  • Windsor Downs
  • Warriewood
  • Western Syd Parklands
  • Wyong

Hunter

  • Kitchener
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Merriwa SW – Hulk Rd
  • Merriwa SW
  • Neranie
  • Pelaw Main
  • Pelton
  • Port Stephens
  • Werakata National Park

Murray

  • Mulwala
  • Talmalmo
  • Thurgoona

North Coast

  • Grassy Head
  • Lake Cathie
  • Laurieton-Dunbogan
  • Port Macquarie

North West NSW

  • Barraba
  • Borah Creek
  • Gulf Creek
  • Ironbark Creek
  • Limbri
  • Linton NR
  • Woodsreef

Northern Tablelands

  • Abington
  • Ashford East
  • Bundarra
  • Cameron’s Creek
  • Emmaville West – Rocky Ck Rd
  • Emmaville south-west
  • Gwydir Park
  • Kings Plains
  • Pindaroi
  • Rocky Creek
  • Thunderbolts Way

Riverina

  • Bethungra
  • Kapooka
  • Kyeamba
  • Livingstone National Park
  • Tarcutta

South East

  • Barraga Bay
  • Bermagui
  • Benandarah State Forest
  • Boyne State Forest
  • Bodalla-Potato Point
  • Broulee-Jeremadra
  • Brooman State Forest
  • Canberra
  • Congo
  • Corunna
  • Dalmeny
  • Guerilla Bay-Lilli Pilli
  • Mimosa Rocks
  • Merimbula
  • Murramarang National Park
  • Moruya
  • Moruya State Forest
  • Mystery Bay
  • Narooma
  • North Batemans Bay
  • North-east Mogo
  • Pambula
  • Wallagoot
  • West Mogo
Queensland Regions and Localities

Condamine

  • Durikai State Forest

South East Queensland

  • Beryl Roberts Park
  • Forestdale
  • Hardings Paddock
  • Mudgeeraba
Australian Capital Territory Regions and Localities
  • Canberra

When participating in Swift Parrot Search surveys, you will:

  • Be an intermediate to advanced birdwatcher
  • Record the number of Swift Parrots, Regent Honeyeaters and other bird species you see and hear during a 5-minute search within a circular, 50-metre radius area
  • Estimate the intensity of flowering, document the presence of lerp, Golden Wattle, and accessible freshwater within the same search area
  • Stick to fixed survey sites, which are located on publicly accessible land. The search area may also cover private land, in which case observers must not enter without permission
  • Visit a survey site as many times as you like!  There are no limits to how many times an observer can survey a particular site, and participants are encouraged to repeat surveys at established sites

What you’ll need to participate in the Swift Parrot Search

To conduct bird surveys and habitat assessments at Swift Parrot Search sites, birdwatchers need the following materials with them in the field:

  • Mobile phone with Birdata app 
  • Binoculars
  • Appropriate clothing, including sturdy footwear
  • First aid kit
  • GPS-enabled mobile phone or handheld GPS unit – or detailed maps and access to instructions from the available user guides and online instructions
  • Other useful guides, documents and links that will be provided to you upon registering

Registrations for the Swift Parrot Search have closed for 2023. Registration dates for 2024 will be announced in the new year. 

If you have any questions, you can get in touch via the contact form available on this page, or refer to our Swift Parrot Search FAQs section for assistance.