Barely any tree hollows are good enough for superb parrot nests, and that could pose an existential threat

A photograph of two superb parrot chicks perching on a person's hand, looking towards the camera.
2 January 2021

One of Australia's most vulnerable bird species is under growing threat from development, partly because it's extremely picky about where it raises its young.

New research indicates superb parrots are so fussy about the tree hollows they choose to lay eggs in that they are limited to about one in 200 available nesting sites — far fewer than previous studies suggested.

And that could spell trouble for the endearing parrot, as its breeding areas come under increasing pressure from urban development, farming, and climate change.

Superb parrots are a migratory bird that range over a large part of south-eastern Australia and choose only certain eucalypt species that are large enough to host multiple tree hollows.

It is thought there are somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 of the birds living in the wild.

Read the full article on the ABC News website, featuring research co-produced by researchers from The Australian National University's Fenner School of Environment and Society