Who is it?
There are at least 22 known subspecies of rainbow lorikeet, differentiated by the colour of their head, nape and chest. The predominant colour in this robust bird’s chest is green: on its back, rump and pointed tail. Juveniles’ beaks are dark brown in colour (that of the adults is orangey or red). When it flies, it spreads its bright wings and screeches a lot. When feeding, however, the rainbow lorikeet is silent (to such an extent that it may remain unnoticed among the vegetation, due to its green plumage). Within the islands of its range, and given the absence of predators, it has adopted a preferentially terrestrial way of life.
What are its habits?
It normally lives is large flocks since it is a gregarious animal capable of forming mixed groups with other species. It feeds above all on nectar, mature fruit, flowers and insects (soft foods, rich in proteins and vitamins). Its own tongue, in the shape of a broom, has adapted to this diet: it uses its beak to crush the pulp of the fruit and extract the juice and seeds. There is no visible sexual dimorphism, and only the female broods on the eggs for about 27 days, although the nest is prepared by both sexes, which share the task of feeding the chicks. The leave the nest eight weeks after hatching.
Did you know…
Rainbow lorikeet nests are usually found in hollows of rotten wood, as well as in the end branches of the eucalyptus. The clutch varies between three and four eggs, and are laid at intervals of one or two days.