There are only thought to be 300 swift parrots remaining anywhere but about 50 of them have stopped off in Canberra on their migration north from Tasmania.
Her emotion was a mixture of thrill and sadness because of the dwindling numbers of the beautiful bird. "I've seen flocks times this size in my lifetime and my daughters will never see that," Dr Saunders said.
Apart from their rarity, they are very charismatic birds which thrive on nectar like a drug.
"They're like the larrikins of the forest. They get excited. They get a bit high on the sugar load. They scramble around amongst the branches, and they love wild weather."