Have you seen this parrot?

The search is on for the swift parrot and a survey period begins on Saturday. Photos: Mick RODERICK.

CALLING citizen ecologists to take part in the ‘swift parrot search’ beginning on Saturday.

The 2023 swift parrot mainland season is well and truly underway, but only a few birds have been seen in NSW, and not many at all north of Sydney.

The critically-endangered bird has only been seen twice in the Hunter region so far this year, one flying over Clarence Town and another at Pelton, and both those sightings were in May.

BirdLife Australia – a charity founded to halt bird extinctions – monitors the swift’s populations.

Woodland bird program manager Mike Roderick said while July arrivals are considered late, some years the birds don’t move north of Victoria.

The annual survey and people’s reports help monitor the population and record important observations, such as dietary preferences.

To report a possible swift parrot sighting or find out more email woodlandbirds@birdlife.org.au

Mr Roderick said people could take their own five-minute, 50-metre-square sample listening for the call.

There are more dates of ecological significance for the calendar, including:

July 29 – bush regeneration project at Morna Point, Boat Harbour.

August 14, 7.30 pm – Where Song Began by The Bowerbird Collective with Simone Slattery (violin) and Anthony Albrecht (cello). Inspired by the book of the same name by Tim Low. Explore the evolution of songbirds in this live classical and cinematic concert experience as part of the Newcastle Music Festival at the Adamstown Uniting Church.

August 20, 9.30am-1pm – birds of woodlands talks, parks and gardens of Port Stephens, expert presenters will help identify local bird species and where to spot them, local conservation projects people can get involved in, as well as tips about how to encourage birds to your garden. This is a free event organised by EcoNetwork.

September 9, 12, and 14 – wildflower walks in Tomaree National Park, a wonderland of winter and early spring wildflowers. Organised by the National Parks Association’s Friends of Tomaree National Park Port Stephens Walking Group, search econetworks.org to book and for start times.

Have you seen a parrot that looks like this, or would you like to help look for one? The swift parrot is critically endangered and has only been spotted twice this year in the Hunter region.

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