Profiles

RAINBOW LORIKEET

(Trichoglossushaematodus)

Family: Parrot

Origin: Widespread in timbered areas of eastern Australia from Cape York to Tasmania.

Size: 320mm including a 135mm tail.

Description:

This cheeky bird has a violet-blue head with lighter blue feather shafts on the collar and yellow-green on the nape. The rest of the upper parts of the body, including the tail, are green.

The breast and sides of the body are bright orange-yellow and barred with dark blue, while the centre of the belly boasts a large patch of deep violet-blue.

The thighs, lower flanks and under tail coverts are green with yellow markings with a narrow yellow band on the underside of the flight feathers. Its eyes are orange-red, the beak is coral and the legs are grey-green.

The mouth parts of the Rainbow Lorikeets have been specially modified to allow them to easily collect a diet of plant nectar. 

Habitat:

Large flamboyant mobs will hang out noisily in gums along the coast from the Cape York Peninsula to Victoria and into South Australia to feast on nectar and pollen.

They are abundant from Sydney northwards, but are becoming rarer south of Sydney. An increasing population throughout Perth is thought to be derived from escaped aviary birds.

The preferred habitat is coastal forests as well as urban gardens. Noisy flocks of up to several hundred may congregate in flowering trees to feed and roost, at times in the company of Scaly Breasted Lorikeets. 

At your place:

In the wild these boisterous parrots like to nest in the hollow limbs and holes found in trees and will make themselves right at home if you can provide this type of setting in your backyard.

A good selection of native trees and shrubs (such as Grevillia and Eucalypts) combined with plenty of fresh water every day will help create an ideal environment for these attractive birds and keep them coming back. 

Eats:

In the wild these beautiful birds thrive on a diet of fresh nectar extracted from native trees and shrubs. A specially formulated bird food such as HARMONY™ Lorikeet and Honey Eater acts as an ideal supplement to their natural diet.

Call:

When flying together in a flock these birds give out a continuous screech and a shrill chatter when feeding, and a soft twitter when they are feeling safe and relaxed.

Personality:

Lorikeets appear to be fearless and are usually quite comfortable when in human company - especially when there's food involved.

Breeding:

The breeding season is from August to January and the female usually lays two eggs which incubate for 23 days. The male usually helps feed the chicks once they have hatched.