The Rainbow Lorikeet.
We are privileged in Australia to have native birds such as Rainbow Lorikeets. These birds are common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia. The habitat of these birds is rainforest, coastal bush areas and woodlands but they also seem happy in suburban areas where there are lots of trees. According to Wikipedia, they are part of the parrot family.
These birds are around 30cm long including the tail. There is little to visually distinguish between the sexes of the birds with their bright red beak and their brightly coloured red, blue and green feathers. Rainbow lorikeet’s feed mainly on fruit, pollen and nectar, but they also eat seeds and some insects. Not surprisingly, they possess a tongue adapted especially for their particular diet.
In many places, wild birds are so used to humans that they can be hand-fed. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast in Queensland, is visited by hundreds of lorikeets daily – or maybe thousands, depending on the season. They come in around 8am and again at 4pm in a large, very noisy flock. Visitors can feed them a specially prepared nectar, and the birds will happily settle on your arms and head to consume it from the feeding plates.
Breeding usually occurs during spring (September to December), but can vary from region to region. It seems that they are mostly monogamous and remain paired for long periods, if not for life. The clutch size, incubated for 23 days, is usually one or two eggs. The eggs are laid laid on chewed, decayed wood, in a hollow of a eucalyptus tree. Whilst both birds prepare the nest, the incubation duties are the domain of the female alone.
What You Need.
If they visit your back yard and you have a lens that zooms in to about 200 mm or so, you might manage to take some video of the the local bird life. These birds here are feeding on pollen and nectar from a palm tree. Notice the sting-less Australian native bees sharing the nectar.
Using a tripod or leaning on something to steady yourself is a great way to ensure you get crisp pictures. I was using a Canon DSLR camera with a standard package lens (55-250 STM). Although you could shoot this on a phone, unless you have a clip on lens, this type of video is not something a phone would normally handle very well.
But They Can Be a Pest.
All is not well for the birds everywhere however. Some lorikeets were accidentally released into the southwest of Western Australia in the 1960s and they have since been classified as a pest. In addition a feral population of rainbow lorikeets was established in New Zealand after an Auckland resident illegally released significant numbers of captive-reared birds. Within 10years, they had grown to a population of 150–200, proving that they could survive and adapt to the New Zealand environment.
On the Gold Coast they can make loud noises at sunset and if that’s just outside your bedroom window, you may love them as much as the New Zealanders do!
But, as much as the Western Australians and New Zealanders dislike these bird, we love them (mostly) and enjoy having them in our back yard.
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