Swift Parrot Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Common Name:Swift Parrot
Scientific Name:Lathamus Discolor
Life Span:15 years
Size:25 centimeters (9.75 in.)
Habitat:Forested areas and woodlands
Country of Origin:Australia


The Swift Lory is small yet is known for its rapid flight. They spend their winter in Australia’s south-eastern part before they breed in Tasmania during the late winter or early spring.

The primary food source of these birds is the Tasmanian flowers such as the blue gum or Eucalyptus Globulus and the black gum or the Eucalyptus Ovata. Their flowering is unpredictable, so there is just a small amount of production in any one year for the Swift Parrots to have habitat for their breeding.

What makes them rare is the loss of their nesting habitat or foraging, and they are threatened by the sugar gliders or Petarus Breviceps and the mortality of the adults over with the crash between the human-made structures like windows and fences. To keep the Swifts Parrots number, it is needed to restore their remaining foraging and nesting habitat.

Physical Description

The dominant color of their body is green, while on their crown is dark blue. The forehead to the throat is crimson, and the end of the wing, there is a crimson patch. They are a slim and medium-sized parrot.

They have pointed wings with a long pointed tail colored purple-red. The female slightly lacks brilliance with a creamy underwing bar. They are spectacular with their color. They may be noisy at times but also are active and showy, with a very fast and strong ability when it comes to flying. Swift parrots are also known as the Red-faced and Red-shouldered Parrot.

Lories as Pets

Show them love and care to keep them happy and healthy. If you want to have a bird, you should prepare yourself to clean their cage every time because they can be messy. They are loud most, especially in the morning, for they lived in the wild with their flock mates.

Give them something to chew like so they won’t ruin any furniture in your house. A huge enclosed cage for swift parrots is advisable with a huge and thin snare to protect these rapid flyers from cutting winds so that they can spread their wings.

Native Region or Natural Habitat

The Swift Parrot is growing only in Australia and breeding in Tasmania. These birds are dominant in the southern and central parts of Victoria during winter and also in eastern New South Wales.

These Parrots are found in dry forests and woodlands also in parks and gardens and flowering fruit trees. In Tasmania, they are often among Tasmanian Blue Gum, Eucalyptus globulus. They stay often in the same tree each night. They are almost always in trees, specifically at the top of the trees, and only go to the ground to drink.

Behavior or Temperament

Parrots are excellent in mimics; they can copy sounds that they hear in their environment; they can have good vocabulary by copying human words and even their laughter. Parrots are social birds; they live together with their flock mates for as many as 20 to 30 birds. They communicate with others by squawking and moving their very own tail feathers.

Some parrots are nocturnal; they sleep during the day and find food at night. Swift Parrots are able to fly long distances; they can fly from Tasmania to New South Wales. As their name is, they are rapid fliers. And generally speaking, they are not an aggressive bird.

Speech and Sounds

Swift Parrots are loud. Their calls are noisy like a scream, but it happens frequently, and that is not a problem. Their voice is high pitched chattering like piping pee-pit, pee-pit. And every parrot with proper training can mimic sounds and some basic phrases. However, they aren’t for owners who live in an apartment.


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The housing size of aviaries for 2 pairs of parrots to breed must be 5m long, 1.5m wide and 2.2m high. By now, they live in a house 3m long, 1m wide and 2m high, which is smaller than what must be, and that causes them not to fly as what they are expecting. Each owner of the parrot must have a complex large cage which happens to have most of the male parrots than female, and on the other hand, the young parrots are not easily seen.

The only problem they may encounter of being rapid fliers is that they are at risk of a broken neck or wings, especially at night. This so-called night shock is the main cause of Swift parrots dying in their cage.

In making a cage for parrots, the very important thing to consider is to ensure to minimize the heat build-up in it. Swift Parrots can’t tolerate extreme heat, especially when they are breeding because they may lose chicks. Breeders in landmass experience the real heat problems during summer, which results from taking care of the young than losing them in their nests. That is only during the summer season. But in cooler weather, like when winter, there is a hope that they can breed and maintain stocks in the mainland.


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Swift Parrots typically eat the two Eucalypt species. First is the Eucalyptus globulus or the blue-gum and the Eucalyptus Ovata or the black/swamp gum. They eat the flower heads of these species and some creeper that grows in the sides of the aviary.

If they consume all the flowering parts of the Eucalyptus, they are to consume different foods, and they recommended in a varied diet if possible. one of the famous recommended diets for birds is the pelleted diet to help them with their feces too. You can also give them wet food lorikeet mix, parrot seed mix, and must supply fruits like grapes, oranges, pears, apples, kiwi watermelons, and kiwi fruits in season.

They love to eat vegetables such as broccoli, celery, spinach, and peas. Also, you can give them a limited amount of sunflower seeds to avoid obesity. As for a treat for parrots that is in their cage, you can give them nectar twice a week. Their freshwater should always be available and fill it up twice a day every day. Insect feed is also needed and is their major food source plus mealworms when swift parrots are breeding; these have successfully bred for a couple of years.

How to Address Your Lory’s Screaming

As we all know, screaming is normal for the birds, and we can’t change that fact. It is how they exercise, and their vocalization is their way of saying they are healthy, and sometimes there might be a problem or they are sick.

Here’s how to address if your lory is screaming:

  • Do not give too much attention to their screaming. Once you scream back to, parrots will think that you are just encouraging them to scream more.
  • When the bird still screams every time you go out of the room, you need to find a distraction to stop them from screaming. Each time you leave, bring some treats to their cage. So they will understand that you give them treats when you leave to stop them from screaming.
  • The simplest way is to come quietly, don’t say a word, and put a blanket to the cage for just 10 to 15 minutes to let them realize that you are trying to discourage them from their behavior.
  • The best way to stop them is just to stay quiet whenever they are screaming and reward them when they stop. Then if they scream again and so don’t mind them.
  • Teach your lory how to whisper and talk, and it is best instead of them screaming.

Teaching Your Lory to Talk

Teaching birds require a lot of patience and time. Birds have different learning abilities. Some might learn how to talk within a month while others take some years before they start talking.

Here are the things you need to consider when teaching your lory how to talk:

  • The first thing is when you are to teach a bird is to select the right bird. You should know what kind of species they are. They must belong to a species that is known for talking, especially when they are still young and in a good environment. If they can utter some words, then you won’t have a hard time teaching them anymore because that is a sign that your bird is intelligent and can mimic a word.
  • Second is give a lot of time with your bird. Teaching them how to talk takes a long time and effort. And one thing for you to know is to get their trust so they will pay attention to what you say or teach them. The more you talk to them, the more it will retain to their minds. Repeating words over and over until the bird can mimic those words and phrases consistently.
  • Third, make a plan or routine when you are going to teach them. Follow that plan until the bird starts talking.
  • You must begin with simple words like the greetings: hi and hello. And phrases like how are you and during the time of the day like: good morning, happy lunch, and goodnight. Also, their favorite food so that it is easy for them to learn and recall every time they see it.
  • It is also important to put actions in your words like come, up here, hop, let us eat so that they can easily do things you want them to do every time you say it.
  • Either you leave them with your recorded tape while you are teaching your bird or you keep them with other birds that are talking.


Do these things frequently until your bird can make certain words and actions. And after, teach them by mentioning their names so that they are aware.

  • Show your bird your affection and make them feel the warmth coming from you.
  • Tickle their neck the same way how their parents trained them in their nest. It’s an act of giving them a love signal.
  • By capturing your bird’s hearts, you may teach birds them to say basic and simple words.
  • When you do the act of tickling their neck, you whisper, “I love you” so that the bird will take that a token of love.
  • You say “kiss” as you kiss their beak, so the bird will understand you show them, love.

After teaching basic words and gestures, we can dig deeper into their cognitive behavior.

  • You simply say phrases during the time of the day like good morning and goodnight; address the foods they are eating, especially their favorite ones.
  • Teach them the basic actions as what they are expected to do like hop or come to go near to you, hop, and they are going to hop on their branches, or lend them your arms and say “scratch” when you are going to do it to them. Fly, and they will spread their wings and fly.

Now, this is the finale where you are going to let them learn while listening and   watching. You now do the jealousy method where you do a certain action that you will catch the attention of your bird. Particularly when you are talking on a phone and do things that will trigger their jealousy. Later on, you’ll see they are searching for a certain member of the family and do what the bird was observed.

Availability: Where to Get One?

For those who want to be the owner of Swift Parrot, you can visit pet or bird stores and as for a swift parrot. If not, you may check online for some websites selling this species.

How to Care

These Swift Parrots are very active parrots, so each owner provides them a spacious cage for them to live with lots of branches, swings, and ropes inside it and different sized perches and ladders for climbing for their playing habits. Also, provide lots of flowering branches which are mainly a part of their diet, make sure it is unsprayed, bird-safe flowering branches. These birds also enjoy bathing, so you should have shallow water bowls for them to bathe.

They can be housed with others with the same species and other birds. Also, provide lots of toys like wooden and vegetable-tanned leather that is chewable so that they can have something to play on during their vacant times.

Keeping Your Lory Safe, Happy and Healthy

  • Varied Diet
    It is important to keep your parrot healthy with varieties of diet. Not only with pelleted and seeds diet but also provide them fruits and vegetables. Aside from seeds and pellets, Swift parrots also need fruits and vegetables.
  • Cage Size
    Ensure your parrots with a wide range of cage that is sized to them so that they can spread their wings freely and exercise. Make sure it can accommodate toys, perches, and several foods.
  • Out of Cage Time
    It is also important for the parrots to go out of their cage so that they can exercise in a free area to have a quality life.
  • Toys & Perches
    Having toys and perches in their cage is needed for them to have a quality playtime.
  • Socialization
    Parrots are sociable creatures in nature. Especially Swift Parrots, because they enjoy living with people, so make sure when you have a parrot place them in your living room where the whole family usually gathers together.
  • Sunlight
    Exposure to sunlight makes their life more natural when they are housed
  • Bathing
    Have your bird take a bath regularly for their grooming routine.
  • Sleep
    They also should sleep 8 to 12 hours a day to keep their immune system well.

What A Veterinarian Looks for in a Healthy Lory

  • Dry and open nares,
  • Clear and bright eyes,
  • Alert and erect posture,
  • Smooth beak,
  • Body free from bumps or lumps,
  • Smooth and bright feathers,

Common Disorders of Lories

The majority of these diseases are due to malnutrition. Bring your pets to the vet regularly to prevent diseases.


•Fungal infections

•Liver disease


•Reproductive disorders




•Bacterial infections

Treating Beak and Feather Disease

Recognizing the Symptoms

1. There might be bleeding if the feathers on the wings and tails fall out easily

2. The bird is infected when they have a problem with their flying activity.

3. You check if their tails have yellow patches, for it is a sign that they are infected. So you must know the coloration of your bird.

4. If they lie low with their vocalization or excessive screaming, there might be a problem.

5. Monitor for secondary symptoms such as vomiting, difficulty eating, weight loss, and green mucus.

6. Check for fracture or brittleness of their beak, if there is have your bird go on a test.


1. Separate the infected birds in a distance to prevent healthy ones from being harmed.

2. Provide them supplements.

3. Put an infrared light on one side of their cage with a 25 to 35 degrees Celsius for within-day and night.

4. Take them to a vet to treat the secondary infections.

Preventing Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease or PBFD

PBFD is caused by a simple virus, infecting and killing the cells of feathers and beak of the lory. Also, the virus attacks the immune system.

Here are some tips to avoid PBFD:

  • Quarantine new arrivals for 2 months.
  • Disinfect your house by cleaning the whole area and applying a concentrate.
  • Clean your home from the dust where diseases can be transmitted.
  • If possible, have your birds vaccinated.

FAQ Section

Why is swift parrot endangered?

They are endangered because of loss of habitat and predation. They are the most threatened parrots of the world.

How many swifts are left?

There are only 2,000 Swift Parrots left.

Are parrots migratory birds?

Yes, almost all of the parrot’s specifically swift parrots and orange-bellied Parrots.

What do parrots eat?

They are omnivores. So, they eat meat and vegetation, such as nuts, fruit, buds, seeds, flowers,  and insects.

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