Harvey's comment is good. I addressed this issue in my article: Veerman,
P.A. (1991) 'The changing status of the Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus
haematodus in South-east Australia: the role of wild and escaped birds',
Australian Bird Watcher 14: 3-9. Also cited in Adam's article.
This investigated the range increase and was largely based on GBS data
and Melbourne data at the time. Curiously it appears that I was the
first to document (therein) this huge change around Melbourne. Then
again there is a whole other story around SW Australia that I did not
Having said that, years later, The GBS Report does not really support
the suggestion of a regular pattern, as in my earlier publication, at
least as far as Canberra is concerned. The GBS Report describes the
pattern of results over the first 21 years and again discusses the
possibilities. Not surprisingly, the latest Birds of Canberra Gardens
book, even with additional data available, contributes nothing new,
thoughtful or useful.
Some years ago in summer I had a or more pair of Rainbow Lorikeets
flying high over my house at Kambah almost daily. Since then they have
been at best occasional (which is consistent with Harvey's comments on
the other side of Kambah). I still believe the majority of them are wild
birds and yes likely with some supplementation of introduced captives.
As to the idea of DVA testing - dare I raise the aspect that this is
surely a very big and expensive exercise and what would be the prospects
of any conclusion and how important is that issue relative to the needs
of spending of the public dollar and who really cares anyway.
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah ACT 2902
02 - 62314041
-----Original Message-----From: Perkins, Harvey
Sent: Tuesday, 21 December
2010 12:01 PM
To: John Brannan; Tonya Haff Cc:
Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets? [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Hi Tonya and others,
John's assessment of the status of Rainbow Lorikeets corresponds to my
understanding, although I'm not a northside resident. This issue has
been considered several times in the past and Adam Leavesley's short
article a decade ago (see reference below) summed up the evidence for
local breeding at the time as well as providing a brief synopsis of the
history of Rainbow Lorikeets in the ACT up to that time.
I would add that there are also regular if infrequent reports of Rainbow
Lorikeets around Farrer Ridge and Wanniassa, and sometimes Kambah. It's
not clear to me whether these are separate surviving outliers to the
Hawker-based 'population', whether they are itinerants from that
population, or represent occasional aviary escapees. I suspect it is a
combination of all three.
Leavesley, Adam (2003). Rainbow Lorikeets breeding in the ACT assisted
by regular dietary supplementation. Canberra Bird Notes 28(2): 53-55.
CRC Selection Rounds Section _______________________________________
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
From: John Brannan
Sent: Tuesday, 21 December 2010 11:22 AM
To: Tonya Haff
Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets?
On 21/12/10 10:27 AM, Tonya Haff wrote:
> I had a couple rainbow lorikeets in my yard in Aranda this morning,
> and have heard them several times before. I'm just wondering if there
> is a consensus on whether or not rainbows in this area are most likely
> to be escaped cage birds, or are wild birds making their way farther
Short of DNA testing there's no way to be sure, but the most likely
origin of your lorikeets is the gradually expanding population in
Hawker, which appears to have also spawned outbreaks around the ANU and
down in Weston (if I recall correctly). I've heard that the Hawker
population originated from escapees that bred successfully, so in a way,
the answer your question is arguably both.
Incidentally, I recorded two Rainbow Lorikeets on a survey I did in
Aranda back in July.
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