WILDLIFE Lorikeets: Four things you didn’t know about them

Loud and belligerent, rainbow lorikeets are the soundtrack of urban Australia.  They live so close to us that we think we know everything there is to know about the iconic bird. Here are a few facts about rainbow lorikeets you may have missed.

In some parts of Australia, lorikeets are considered pests

Okay, we know this is hard to believe, but even native species can be classed as pests if they extend their ranges. And this is the case for the rainbow lorikeet.

Lorikeets get heavily inebriated during the wet season in Darwin

Drunken birds? Yes, we’re serious. When the wet season approaches in Darwin and the mercury starts to climb, lorikeets get on the drink.

Lorikeets eat meat

The diet of a lorikeet typically mirrors its fruity colours: think bright flowers such as grevilleas, banksias and eucalyptus.

There are actually 8 species  of lorikeet

You’re probably most familiar with the rainbow lorikeet, but there are actually seven other species of lorikeet, and all are equally as beautiful as their cousin. Get to know them here...

Red-collared lorikeet

As you probably guessed, this lorikeet is easily recognised by the vibrant red collar it has around its neck, differentiating it from other species of lorikeet.

Trichoglossus rubritorquis

Coconut lorikeet

Trichoglossus haematodus

Relatively similar looking to its rainbow-coloured cousin, the coconut lorikeet has a black belly, a noticeably shorter tail and less blue on its head.

Scaly-breasted lorikeet

Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus

Markedly different from other lorikeets, these guys are covered in green feathers with little streaks of yellow. Their underwings are a mixture of red, orange and black.

Varied lorikeet

Psitteuteles versicolor

Like the scaly-breasted lorikeet, this species has an almost totally green body, but its head is a tropical cocktail of colour.

Musk lorikeet

Glossopsitta concinna

The musk lorikeet has a bright red marking on its face and an exclusively pastel blue-coloured crown. Weirdly, this lorikeet doesn’t mind feeding on the odd insect. 

Purple-crowned lorikeet

Glossopsitta porphyrocephala

This species has to be the cutest lorikeet, with its namesake pale purple-coloured crown, yellow spotted cheeks and greeny-blue breast.  It's often referred to as a ‘blossom nomad’, because it gathers in large numbers in areas it hasn’t visited for long periods of time.

Little lorikeet

Glossopsitta pusilla

Australia’s smallest lorikeet races through flowering eucalypts, almost impossible to see.  Like the purple-crowned lorikeet, they’re considered to be nomadic. 

Rainbow lorikeets

Trichoglossus moluccanus

Rainbow lorikeets are one of the most widespread birds in Australia. These guys are even considered pests in some states. 

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