Rainbow Lorikeets? [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

To: <>
Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets? [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
From: "Perkins, Harvey" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:12:24 +1100
further musing on the occurrence of Rainbow Lorikeets in Canberra...
I would have expected that the natural incidence of Rainbow Lorikeets in the Canberra region would be at about the same level as the natural incidence of Musk Lorikeets. As Canberra is marginal to the main (coastal) distribution of both species, birds occurring here naturally would likely be birds moving about (ie west, as Tonya inferred) due to either local/regional seasonal flowering or population pressure movements. These birds are likely, for the most part, to occur in small numbers and stay for only brief periods of time.
Musk Lorikeets are quite scarce in Canberra, so to my mind, the most likely explanation for the recent establishment of the small local population of Rainbow Lorikeets is that it evolved from a small nucleus of non-naturally occurring birds, either released (eg Tidbinbilla releases) or aviary escaped birds, or both, which with the assistance of artificial feeding managed to survive Canberra winters. From there the population is slowly increasing, and slowly spreading, perhaps with the occasional incorporation of further escaped birds and possibly wild nomadic birds originating from outside the region. 
If this is the case I would anticipate the population would continue to grow, albeit slowly. Increased availability of food from cultivated year-round flowering garden plants and artificial feeding, and the impacts of climate change, would assist this growth.
Harvey Perkins
CRC Selection Rounds Section

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

From: Peter Ormay [
Sent: Tuesday, 21 December 2010 3:09 PM
To: Tonya Haff;
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Rainbow Lorikeets?

Hi Tonya, 
I have been recording Rainbow Lorikeets on my Garden Bird Survey chart in Aranda for several years now. The maximum number I have seen in the area (outside my GBS site is 7). I often hear or see them on the Aranda Ridge between Walu St and the Aranda Bushland reserve at the top of the hill. I think they are naturally occurring wild birds.
There is another pair on The Pinnacle behind the houses from Hawker.
I was over in Yass a few months ago and heard some RBLs there. I didn't have bins with me but saw 5. It is very unlikely these are all escapees 
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