Rainbow Lorikeets. Cedar Creek, Queensland, Australia.

Ralph de Zilva

Cedar Creek, Australia

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Nikon D700 & Nikkor 80-400mm lens

Featured in
This And That on 07.03.2014
All Things Photographic on 02.12.2013

The Rainbow Lorikeet is a species of Australasian parrot found in Australia, Eastern Indonesia (Maluku and Western New Guinea), Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In Australia, it is common along the eastern seaboard, from Queensland to South Australia and Northwest Tasmania. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. Several taxa traditionally listed as subspecies of the Rainbow Lorikeet are increasingly treated as separate species.

The Rainbow Lorikeet is a medium-sized parrot, with the length ranging from 25–30 cm (9.8-11.8 in) in size, and has a wingspan of about 17 cm (6.7 in). The weight varies from 75–157 g (2.6–5.5 oz). The plumage of the nominate race, as with all subspecies, is very bright. The head is deep blue with a greenish-yellow nuchal collar, and the rest of the upperparts (wings, back and tail) are deep green. The chest is red with blue-black barring. The belly is deep green, and the thighs and rump are yellow with deep green barring. In flight a yellow wing-bar contrasts clearly with the red underwing coverts.

There is little to visually distinguish between the sexes, however to a keen observer of their colouring and behaviour, their dimorphism is readily apparent.

Juveniles have a black beak, which gradually brightens to orange in the adults.

The Rainbow Lorikeet was accidentally released into the Southwest of the state of Western Australia near the University of Western Australia in the 1960’s and they have since been classified as a pest. Rainbow Lorikeets can also be found in New Zealand, particularly around the Auckland area. New Zealand’s Department of Conservation has declared them a pest and is implementing methods to control and eradicate them.

Many fruit orchard owners consider them a pest, as they often fly in groups and strip trees containing fresh fruit. In urban areas, the birds create nuisance noise and fouling of outdoor areas and vehicles with droppings.

In Western Australia, a major impact of the Rainbow Lorikeet is competition with indigenous bird species. This includes domination of feeding resources, and competition for increasingly scarce nesting hollows. Birds such as the Purple-crowned Lorikeet and the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo are adversely affected or displaced.

Artwork Comments

  • cieloverde
  • Ralph de Zilva
  • kalaryder
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  • Celeste Mookherjee
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  • Dominika Aniola
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  • Barbara Burkhardt
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  • TeresaB
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  • Elfriede Fulda
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  • miroslava
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  • EdsMum
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  • BlueMoonRose
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