Updated: Jul 21, 2019
The colourful but bully bird of the backyard
The Rainbow Lorikeet is unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Both sexes look alike, with a blue (mauve) head and belly, green wings, tail and back, and an orange/yellow breast. They are often seen in loud and fast-moving flocks, or in communal roosts at dusk.
Rainbow Lorikeets are such colourful parrots that it is hard to mistake them for other species. The related Scaly-breasted Lorikeet is similar in size and shape, but can be distinguished by its all-green head and body.
The Rainbow Lorikeet occurs in coastal regions across northern and eastern Australia, with a local population in Perth (Western Australia), initiated from aviary releases.
The Rainbow Lorikeet is found in a wide range of treed habitats including rainforest and woodlands, as well as in well-treed urban areas.
Largely sedentary with some nomadic movements in response to seasonal flowering or fruiting of plants.
The Rainbow Lorikeet mostly forages on the flowers of shrubs or trees to harvest nectar and pollen, but also eats fruits, seeds and some insects.
The eggs of the Rainbow Lorikeet are laid on chewed, decayed wood, usually in a hollow limb of a eucalypt tree. Both sexes prepare the nest cavity and feed the young, but only the female incubates the eggs.
Living with us
The Rainbow Lorikeet appears to have benefited from artificial feeding stations and prolific-fruiting and flowering trees and shrubs.