Yes, it is a bit of a giggle to me that I, living in Canberra, was the first
to publish on the increase of the Rainbow Lorikeet in Melbourne. See
Australian Bird Watcher 14(1): 3-9, (March 1991). I even cited that Gould
League reference too. I think Melbourne birdos must have been asleep for
years. I resided my first 21 years in Melbourne (till 1978) and never saw
Rainbow Lorikeets, now they are common.
From: Nigel Sterpin <>
To: Merrilyn Serong <>
Cc: Birding-Aus <>
Date: Tuesday, 2 February 1999 23:09
Subject: Re: birding-aus Musk lorikeets in Melbourne
>I am also in Burwood. I thought they were actually Rainbows, as I thought
>the Musk Lorikeets had already migrated on...I obviously wasn't being
>About 6 months ago, I initiated a discussion about the increase in
>Lorikeets around Melbourne. If you have a Gould League - Birds Of Urban
>Areas book (published in the 1960's), you will notice that Rainbow
>Lorikeets were an "accidental" sighting back then.
>After all the thoughts put forward, the general consensus was that due to
>the increase and promotion of "planting natives", it was considered that
>the natives that have been planted, have been disproportionately favoured
>to these lorikeet species. Possibly also they are more comfortable with
>"urban" areas than their predators (eg:raptors) and as such are more likely
>to flourish. These are only thoughts though.........
>Uroo, Nigel Sterpin
>> From: Merrilyn Serong <>
>> Subject: birding-aus Musk lorikeets in Melbourne
>> Date: Tuesday, February 02, 1999 22:30
>> Every evening for an hour about sunset, (approx 7.45 pm to 8.45 pm
>> today) thousands of musk lorikeets fly north over my house in suburban
>> Burwood, Vic. They call loudly as they fly over in waves of flock after
>> flock. Each flock is from 30 to 100 birds flying in smaller groups
>> within the flock. The sky is seldom empty of birds during this time.
>> The same phenomenon is happening in South Oakleigh, nearly 7 km south of
>> Other people must have noticed this. If so where are you? I would love
>> to know where the birds are coming from, and where they spend the
>> night. I wonder how wide to the east and west the area of bird movement
>> Presumably the birds fly south in the morning (when I am asleep?).
>> Perhaps not all the birds fly the full distance, whatever that may be.
>> They might stop off along the way, and rejoin the flocks during the
>> evening return to wherever.
>> Only a few years ago (or so it seems) there were no lorikeets in this
>> area, then rainbows started gradually appearing, followed later by musk
>> lorikeets, which now have increased to numbers beyond what I ever could
>> have imagined.
>> I would love to hear from anyone else who has noticed the birds, and
>> even from people in the general area who haven't seen/heard them so I
>> know where the limits of their movement are.
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