Re: birding-aus [Fwd: Re: History of Rainbow Lorikeets in Melbourne]

Subject: Re: birding-aus [Fwd: Re: History of Rainbow Lorikeets in Melbourne]
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 17:16:44 +1000
> Subject: Re: History of Rainbow Lorikeets in Melbourne
> The quotation on which I relied says of Rainbow Lorikeets: "at one
> time very mumerous around Melbourne, but only an occasional bird has been
> seen since 1874."
> > This is from the Bird Observer no.350 (Jan.1961) which had a piece on
> "Birds of the Melbourne District 1900 " taken from an old article by
> GA Keartland. <snip.> I simply assumed that his "Rainbow
> Lorikeet" was the species we now call by that name.
> Michael Norris

I don't have Campbell's 'Nests and Eggs' available to me but I would
check it for what he has to say on whether Rainbow Lorikeets were found
in Melbourne c. 1900.
I believe the species' only other common name is 'Blue Mountains
In the days when backyard plum and apple trees were important to a
suburban family's supplies, an influx of Lorikeets was not valued at
all. They were a pest and the remedy was to send a boy outside with an
airgun, and hope he would shoot enough to make a pie.
I suspect that urban sprawl in the 1880s building boom may have
destroyed a lot of gums and banksias and other food trees - but I think
persecution will have had a lot to do with it. I am sure they would have
been sold in the markets of the time as game.
  Incidentally, the date on my earliest slide of Rainbows is 1977. It
was taken at Furness Park, Blackburn, where they were nesting in a large
Eucalypt. They may have been escapes.  The only others I knew of at that
time were around the Zoo in Carlton - definitely escapes there.
Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe - where at present we have about a dozen RLs
every day at my neighbour's feeder....I wonder if they are displacing
Red-rumped Parrots.
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