When was the last time you saw a bird with green plumage, red and yellow feathers, violet head and an orange beak?
Don’t presume we are just throwing in random colours. This is an actual bird called the rainbow lorikeet (a very fitting name) and it is one of the most affectionate birds you will ever come across.
Show your little one a photo of this bird that looks like an artist has painted on it with every colour and see the surprise in their eyes. In case they ask you more about these fascinating creatures, we have listed 11 amazing rainbow lorikeet facts for kids (and for adults too). So read on!
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Rainbow Lorikeets for Kids
Rainbow lorikeets are sweet natured and vibrantly coloured birds that belong to the huge parrot family. Needless to say, they share a lot of characteristics with their distant cousins like cockatoos and macaws. These include being affectionate and incredibly vocal creatures who demand attention.
These birds are generally found in Australia, especially in the lowlands where there are abundant flowering trees.
In case you want to know more about either macaws or cockatoos, you can check out our article on these two majestic birds right here-
Feel free to read those articles and be fascinated by those birds.
Now, with the introduction out of the way, let us dive right into some of the interesting facts about rainbow lorikeets.
1. Rainbow lorikeets are native to Australia
Rainbow lorikeets are native to Australia and can be found in the woodlands of south-eastern Australia. They will usually be found in places that have a lot of flowering trees.
Although originally from Australia, you might be able to see these birds in zoos, national parks and bird sanctuaries. They are often bought as exotic animals.
2. As the name suggests, they are indeed rainbow coloured
That is correct. Their names aren’t just given for the sake of it. These birds are indeed colourful like a rainbow!
Both males and females have green plumage. In addition to that, they have bright red and yellow feathers on their chest, sides of the bellies and neck.
To top it all, they have violet heads with orange beaks! By the way, when the chicks come out the eggs, their beaks are black which slowly turn orange when they mature! Now that is a colourful bird.
3. These birds are vegetarians
Like many other birds, the rainbow lorikeets are mostly vegetarians. They mainly feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and berries from the forest or anywhere that they might find those growing.
These birds also feed on nectar which is a fascinating aspect as usually we are told insects like butterflies and bees feed on nectar.
These birds also feed on crops like corn and can be seen as pests in areas where crops are grown.
4. They have specialised tongues to feed on nectar
We have already mentioned in the previous point that rainbow lorikeets love to feed on nectar from flowers. For this reason, they have specialised tongues that help them feed on nectar easily.
Their tongues have tiny hair-like structures called ‘papillae’ that line the end of the tongue in a ‘U’ shape. This helps them to soak up the nectar and pollen from the flower.
5. Rainbow lorikeets have unique beaks
When it comes to these fascinating small bids, it is not just the tongue that is different. Rainbow lorikeets also have specialised and unique beaks.
Their upper beak is shaped in a way that is much narrower than that of a parrot. This helps them in getting to the seeds of hard fruits and vegetables.
Rainbow lorikeets will scrap the insides of the fruits and vegetables with their bills and their specialised tongue will help them soak up all the juices inside. Isn’t that just fascinating!
6. Rainbow lorikeets spend most of their time feeding
Rainbow lorikeets are busy for the most part of daily feeding and looking for food sources. In fact, these birds spend almost 70 percent of their time feeding.
They are eager to travel as much as 35 miles to feed and it has been estimated that some rainbow lorikeets can feed on 650 flowers in one day!
7. Rainbow lorikeets are not really afraid of humans and you can frequently see them
Usually, when it comes to small birds or animals, they tend to run away from human beings. Think for example squirrels or rabbits or sparrows. They might roam freely but once they hear humans approaching, off they go.
However, that is not the case for the rainbow lorikeets. These are brave birds that willingly descend in gardens and are not easily frightened by human presence. Hence, it is possible for you to see them in your backyard, especially if you have flowers and are living in Australia.
8. Rainbow lorikeets are social birds and can fly around in groups
Rainbow lorikeets are extremely social birds. They can be found in big groups with their own kind and other birds too!
Rainbow lorikeets can be seen flying around like parrots and other birds that feed on nectar and honey. They can be spotted feeding together as well.
9. These birds establish daily flight paths
We have also stated in a previous fact that rainbow lorikeets love to travel long distances to feed. Naturally, the question arises, how do they manage to find their way back to their dwelling places?
Well, these birds establish daily flight paths from their dwelling places to their feeding places. These paths follow the natural contours of the landscape be it mountains, hills, rivers or flatlands. At sundown, after a day of feeding, these birds take the same path back to their nests
10. Rainbow lorikeets are extremely important to our ecosystem
You might be wondering, how exactly are these small birds helping our ecosystem? Well, we have the answer for you.
Rainbow lorikeets play an important role because of their natural eating habits. Firstly, because they come in such close contact with flowers every day, they help in the process of pollination. Additionally, these birds also eat a lot of seeds of which not all are digested. This results in spreading of different seeds across the country and new plants growing.
11. Unfortunately, rainbow lorikeets are slowly declining in number
Rainbow lorikeets though help nature, can often be seen as pests due to the exact same reason as to why they play an important part in the ecosystem.
These birds feed on fruits like apples, pears and vegetables like corn and this causes them to be seen as pests in orchards and agricultural lands. As a result, they are trapped and various predators like dogs and cats are thrown at them.
Lastly, large scale deforestation also plays a significant role in the decline of the population of the rainbow lorikeets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Rainbow lorikeets prefer living in the lowlands of south-eastern Australia where there are many flowering trees. They tend to build their nests high from the ground and in hollows of eucalyptus trees.
Rainbow lorikeets can start flying by the time they are 9 to 12 weeks old.
Yes, lorikeets are highly intelligent and smart and can learn various tricks. Additionally, these birds can also escape cages very easily.
The scientific name of a rainbow lorikeet is Trichoglossus moluccanus.
Rainbow lorikeets are vegetarians who feed on fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and nectar.
No, rainbow lorikeets are vegetarians and do not consume meat.
Rainbow lorikeets can live up to 20 to 30 years.
Yes, the rainbow lorikeet is a species of parrot that is found in the continent of Australia.
Rainbow lorikeets are very social birds and are cuddly and interactive by nature, in fact, they are known for various funny antics.
Yes, not only are the rainbow lorikeets friendly birds, but they are also cuddly by nature.
Aside from deforestation and illegal trapping of these lovely birds, a virus has reposted spread among the birds which can be the cause of their death. This virus however, is yet to be recognised by scientists.
Rainbow lorikeets hiss when they are unhappy or discontent with something.
Not all the time, but rainbow lorikeets do sleep upside down from time to time.
Aren’t the rainbow lorikeets incredibly fascinating birds? Did you and your little one enjoy learning about these sweet-natured birds? You have reached the end of the article ’11 Amazing Rainbow Lorikeet Facts for Kids.’
These birds are always busy and love to be in action for the most part. If you want to get them as pets, make sure you are ready to give them all the attention they need. Have a great day ahead!