Parrot Alley is a haven for twitchers

Melbourne Water’s Maroondah Pipetrack in Greensborough has become a haven for birdwatchers (or ‘twitchers’ as they known) hoping to get a glimpse of the critically endangered Swift Parrot.

The location has acquired the nickname “parrot alley” due to the wide array of Parrots and Cockatoos which attract many birdwatchers, with the elusive Swift Parrot being the most prized sighting.

The presence of large trees with hollows for roosting, as well as food sources and proximity to Plenty Gorge Park provides an ideal habitat for birds. 

More than 30 Swift Parrots have been recorded at times within the pipe track site, representing more than 1% of the total remaining Australian population.

Melbourne Water manages hundreds of kilometres of pipetrack around the city. These land corridors house important pipes which convey either drinking water or sewerage. The pipetracks require maintenance such as grass cutting, weed control and tree pruning.

Melbourne Water has modified its management activities at the site so that we do not disturb the Swift Parrots or breeding of other bird species.

Warren Tomlinson, Waterways and Land Officer, Regional Services (North East) said the strong bird population at the site was a good example of how these water assets provided additional environmental and community benefits.

“We have been aware for many years that our pipe track reserves offer recreational opportunities for local residents with informal paths for walking and riding,” he said.

“We are excited to now be learning more about how many native bird species, including the Swift Parrot, are using these sites as habitat”.

“Small, linear parkland reserves like Melbourne Water’s pipetrack sites provide valuable habitat for native animals as they move through urban areas”. 

“As the city grows, these locations will become even more important for these animals, and at the same time, will provide an increasingly rare interaction point for Melburnians to observe these wonderful native species.”

“Melbourne Water supports and encourages the use of these areas for both recreation and as habitat for wildlife and we hope to see Swift Parrots here for a long time to come.”

Melbourne Water is currently scoping a project to improve the habitat of the Swift Parrot around many of Melbourne’s waterways. If you would like more information about this program and opportunities to get involved please contact Melbourne Water on 13 77 22.