Re: Rainbow Lorikeets continuing to spread

Subject: Re: Rainbow Lorikeets continuing to spread
From: Allan Burbidge <>
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 07:41:52 +0800 (WST)
As Alex Saar pointed out, Rainbow Lorikeets were established in Perth
through birds escaping from captivity. I am aware of at least three escape
events, at least one of which may have been a deliberate release. Rainbow
Lorikeets now occur regularly as far afield as the margins of the Perth
metropolitan area.
There has been no systematic study, but a number of incidental observations
suggesting that Rainbows compete with Australian Ringnecks ("28 Parrots")
for nesting hollows. Sometimes the ringneck takes over the hollow, but other
times the rainbow does. This is interesting because the ringneck is
noticeably larger - the rainbows seem very aggressive. There is no shortage
of ringnecks around Perth, but if the rainbows do get away from the metro
region, they are likely to compete for hollows with Red-capped Parrots and
Western Rosellas. This is a potentially serious problem in the case of the
rosella, which is small (compared with other rosellas and rainbows) and not
very aggressive. Rainbows are unlikely to compete to a significant extent
with Purple-crowned Lorikeets as the Purple-crowns specialise in small
eucalypt flowers for food and use somewhat smaller hollows than rainbows for
Interestingly, there are a number of reports from SE Australia, early this
century, concerning Rainbows invading fruit orchards. It is probably only a
matter of time before they move into the orchards in the hills near Perth,
and then down the coast via pockets of banksia woodland. If that happens, I
worry about the Western Rosella.
Allan Burbidge      
E-mail     OR   
Snail   PO Box 312, Wanneroo, Western Australia  6065
Tel/fax  + 61 (0)8 9306 1642     

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