Flying Rainbows

Ready to nest, keep an eye out for our feathered friends of the Plains

WE can all breathe a sigh of relief this month as this noisy neighbour finally turns down the decibels this spring.

The Rainbow Lorikeet can be a frustrating backyard visitor at times; due to their loud screeching and noise they create when they get together in their roosting trees.

However, the good news is that many of these flocks are currently dispersing as they spread out to look for nests.

“Right now the Plains lorikeets are looking for some good nesting spots to raise their chicks,” said Ms Susanna Bradshaw, CEO of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.

“They will be starting to nest in tree hollows or nest boxes and both parents will take care of the chick.

“These lorikeets are noisy communicators because they usually hang out in large groups, so they have a lot of other voices to compete with.

“It’s true that Rainbow Lorikeets can be noisy little blighters at times, but humans can be just as troublesome for them if we cut down their nesting or roosting trees or when they become victims on our roads.

“Remember to slow down when there are native animals around and leave big, old trees in your garden—unless they are dangerous, of course.

“Just a few simple things you do can make such a positive difference for not just Rainbow Lorikeets, but all sorts of native wildlife.

“The Rainbow Lorikeet is an iconic Aussie bird that can bring so much colour and personality into your garden. They are endlessly entertaining when they clown around and shower each other with affection,” she explained.

Tips for making the most of Rainbow Lorikeets

• Even though lorikeets have a very sweet tooth and mainly eat pollen and nectar, their bodies are not adapted to the refined sugar that we eat.

So make sure you don’t feed them any honey or sugar as it can make them ill.

Feeding them bread can also cause problems, so let them find their own food as they are very good at it!

• Lorikeets love splashing around in birdbaths so you could place one in your garden, near a window and watch their crazy antics up close. Plenty of other birds will also thank you for it.

Ms Bradshaw said: “The Rainbow Lorikeet is an iconic Aussie bird that can bring so much colour and personality into your garden.

They are endlessly entertaining when they clown around and shower each other with affection.”

Interesting facts about Rainbow Lorikeets

•  The lorikeet is the only parrot in the world with a unique tongue that has lots of little barbs on it.

This tongue is perfectly adapted to mop up pollen and nectar from native flowers, just like a brush.

• When Captain Cook first arrived in Botany Bay, his Polynesian navigator, Tupaia, befriended a young Rainbow Lorikeet and kept it as a pet.

Sadly the lorikeet outlived Tupaia who died on the journey back to England.

Tupaia’s pet would go on to become the first Australian parrot to have its portrait painted by a botanist (Peter Brown).

• Rainbow Lorikeets are almost exclusively arboreal which means they spend all their time in trees.

So you won’t find this buddy on the ground (unless locked in combat with another bird).

Rainbow Lorikeets are very easy to recognise because of their amazing technicolour coat.

Their bright, multi-coloured feathers make them a very special, one-of-a-kind Australian bird.

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