Common name: Rainbow Lorikeet

Scientific name: Trichoglossus haematodus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Psittaciformes

Family: Psittacidae

Genus: Trichoglossus

Species: T. haematodus

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A rainbow lorikeet is a very small, colorful bird found in Australia. They are considered a pest by farmers, and considered food by snakes.  The rainbow lorikeet can grow to be 11-12 inches long and weigh around 120 grams. They are very colorful from emerald green, orange midnight blue, dull blue, ruby red, lemon yellow, purple, violet to greenish grey. They can live up to 20 years.

 

They mainly feed on flowers, pollen, nectar, blossoms mainly from Eucalyptus, berries and fruits. They have a tiny hair like appendices on the end of their tongue to help extract nectar. For harder fruits or seeds, they grate the fruit inside their beak or roll the fruit with their tongue against the inside of their beak. Fruit growers consider them pests.

Rainbow lorikeets pair for life, and breed normally in spring. They lay their eggs in tree hollows to protect from birds of prey and reptiles such as the diamond python.

 

When the rainbow lorikeet is introduced into areas, it can take over and cause native birds to not get enough food or space.  They are very common and widespread, so they are in no danger of going extinct.  In fact in many places, the rainbow lorikeet is purposefully being eradicated.  The rainbow lorikeet is a very exotic bird, and well adapted to any habitat.

 

Author: Erik R.

Published: 3/2010

 

Sources:

http://photogallery.canberrabirds.org.au/images/Lorikeet_Rainbow2_Perkins.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Lorikeet

http://australian-animals.net/rainbow.htm