In Australia we have many birds that fly free around our homes. Many of them have very bright colours and one of the prettiest is the Rainbow Lorikeet.
It is given this name because it has so many bright colours, similar to the rainbow. It is possible to buy these birds as pets, but there are thousands that fly free around our cities, especially along the Eastern seaboard from the top of Australia right down to Adelaide in South Australia.
Once they know where to find food, they will visit a garden every day. They eat flowers, berries, and some fruits, along with many types of seed. They also like bread with honey on it.
These lorikeets are parrots so they have a very strong hooked beak. They pick up a seed, and even if it has a very hard shell on it, they can crack open the shell and eat the soft centre of the seed. They usually pair up for life, so if you see one, his mate will be close by.
Many people have special bird feeders in their gardens and sometimes have a bird bath. The birds love to drink from this water and often will get right into the water to clean their feathers.
Bird bath. If you have one of these in your garden many birds will come to drink and clean their feathers.
The Rainbow Lorikeet lives for about eight years. Both the male and female look the same. They are about 20 to 30 centimetres high. They have long tail feathers. Under their wings and on their belly they have bright red yellow and green feathers. They look beautiful as they fly overhead.
Rainbow Lorikeets are very noisy. They chatter and squawk as they eat or fly. They are also very bossy. They like to think they are better than all the other birds. If there are other birds around a bird feeder they will try and frighten them off. Even big birds are scared of them.
In the picture below you can see the bright colours under the tail feathers. These lorikeets are chasing away a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, a much bigger bird.
There are parks in different cities in Australia where you can go and feed the Lorikeets. Sometimes hundreds will come at once and land on your head and arms and eat from your hand. They can be very tame.
At night they roost in trees, and often there will be thousands of them in the same tree. As they settle down for the night they are very noisy, then as it gets dark, it slowly gets quiet until they wake up with the dawn.
Here is a link to a short video of Lorikeets feeding.
To see a book of wonderful photos of Lorikeets, look at http://www.blurb.com/books/3096717 and click on preview to see the pictures.
Lana Kerr www.englishstoriesforfun.com