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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Rainbow Lorikeet 2: In Western Australia

Rainbow Lorikeet 2: In Western Australia

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is a small, brightly coloured parrot that is very noisy, continuously screeching while in flight. In Australia it favours open forest and woodland habitats, although it adapts well to urban areas including parks and gardens.

In Perth, the subspecies (T. h. moluccanus) was thought to originate from less than ten captive birds. It soon became free flying, numbering about 54 in the mid 1980s. By 2002 the population has exploded to at least 10,000.

The birds feed on seeds, fruits, nectar, pollen and flower parts from more than 20 plant species in Perth. These include lemon-scented gums (Eucalyptus citriodora), spotted gums (E. maculata), cotton palms (Washingtonia filifera), date palms (Phoenix canariensis), coral trees (Erythrina indica) and figs (Ficus spp). They have also been observed feeding from native jarrah (E. marginata), marri (Corymbia calophylla), and sheoak (Allocasuarina spp). Lorikeets also feed on lerps (scale insects covered in a sweet exudates) and mulberries, and recently they have been noted feeding on grapes, figs, loquats and nectarines in Perth suburbs.

It has become a pest of fruit crops like grapes, apple, stone fruits, citrus and tropical fruits in Queensland, NT, NSW and northern Victoria.

The above is from the fact sheet issued by the Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture. It has been brought to out attention by Ilsa Sharp. The image of the Rainbow Lorikeet in an Eucalyptus tree in Tasmania is by YC.

2 Comments:

At 7:50 am, Blogger YC said...

Comment received from Darwin...

Here in Darwin/Palmerston Rainbow Lorikeets are to be found in flocks of thousands. They are pests of crops such as mangoes.

The flocks roost in trees in the middle of almerston, right above where, every Friday night, a food market is held. A friend told of sitting on the grass with her children then discarding all their food after it was
splattered with bird droppings. I'm told the tourists love them, even if we don't.

I suggested to Palmerston City Council that they shift the food market for public health reasons, and as a matter of urgency. Nothing has been done.

Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
Ph. 89328306
1/7 Songlark Street
Bakewell NT 0832

 
At 8:23 pm, Blogger Hai~Ren said...

Certainly, when a bird is bright and colourful and endearing, people are somewhat more loathe to impose population control.

 

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