Having Dinner With My Friends

Here is a recent photo of my little friends having dinner on my balcony.

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These are Rainbow Lorikeets. They are very social birds and don’t mind interacting with humans, so long as you have food. Their main diet is the nectar and pollen of native flowering plants as well as some soft fruit. I feed them a commercial package of pollen and cereal specifically designed for Lorikeets as they cannot handle seeds nor bread.

This picture shows the juveniles who congregate in flocks. When they pair off, they become very territorial, so I have a couple of other dishes where the dominant pairs can eat in private. Note the bird on the left does not have a hooked beak. His father also has the same shaped beak but is one of the dominant pairs, so it obviously doesn’t bother the females. There are a few very young birds that get pecked on by the rest and they are happy to eat out of my hand, so long as I keep the rest of the crowd away. Each bird has their own personality and I am slowly learning to identify one from the other.

Can you pick the sex of these birds just by looking at them? Some experts can. There are some subtle indications, but the best way is to observe their behaviour. The boys fight, the females eat. The boys display and gyrate in front of the girls, the females stand on one foot and push the boys away with the other, and continue to eat. When the girls are about two years old they respond, and they become very lovey-dovey. They mate for life. 🙂 The male then stands guard while the female eats. Do you see a pattern here? dunno

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