This most striking coloured and noisy bird is one of 328 species of parrots found
and 1 of 21 subspecies of Lorikeets found over the south west Pacific.
Its scientific name is Trichoglossus haematodus
This is truly where a picture is better than a thousand words
There intense colours have patches of emerald green, orange midnight blue, dull blue, ruby red,lemon yellow, purple, violet greenish grey.
Surprisingly enough this colourful bird can be hard sometimes to pick out in its natural habitat
They are a small bird generally 11 to 12 inches long, weighing 120 to 140 grams on average
females are generally a bit smaller and adolescents have duller markings
They are said to live over 20 years in the wild
Their vocalisation is varied from "screeching" in flight to "chatting" during feeding
Habitat and Distribution
Rainbow lorikeets distribution is mainly over the north-east in Australia
Their habitat ranges from forests of all sorts (heathlands, open forests, rainforest, sclerophyll forest)
coastal or inland, to any area including urban areas that have suitable trees,
These birds are normally found in flocks, large flocks at night roosting in trees (thousands)
but during the daytime they move and feed in much smaller flocks ranging up to 20 odd birds
Late evening you may see larger flocks as they head towards their roosting site
They are arboreal, which means they like trees, and can be very noisy, active, gregarious (sociable)
and are often seen in the company of other birds
They will spend long times feeding in trees but in hot conditions will have an afternoon break from feeding
These birds spend a lot of time feeding and most of their food comes from trees.
Flowers, pollen, nectar, blossoms mainly from (Myrtaceae, Proteacea, Eucalyptus, Xanthoroaceae ,Banksia, Melaleuca, Callistemon), berries and fruits, so they can be a pest to suburban and commercial fruit tree growers
Rainbow Lorikeets have tiny hair like appendices on the end of their tongue, to help extract nectar etc.
For harder fruits or seeds, they grate the fruit inside their beak or roll the fruit with their tongue against the inside of their beak
Whilst feeding because of the good grip they can get with their claws they can be observed hanging upside down etc to feed.
They occasionally feed on insects and larvae
They obtain moisture from water trapped in leaves, but can also drink water directly.
Birds of prey like Raptors - peregrine and brown falcons and whistling kite are their main predators as a number of reptiles like the diamond python
Rainbow lorikeets after 2 years reach sexual maturity and breeding occurs normally in the spring time with these birds paring up for life
The nest is located in a tree hollow, knot hole or cavity high up and is lined with wood dust.
2 white oval eggs are normally laid and takes 25 to 26 days to hatch whilst the female incubates
Both parents help to feed the young which fledge in 50 to 55 days
Birds reach sexual maturity after two years