Rainbow lorikeets

To: <>
Subject: Rainbow lorikeets
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 17:57:53 +1100
Yes, the Little Corella all over again.  My view:  There might be the odd
escape, such as a friendly feeder-feeder that hung around Red Hill, but this
is probably an offshoot of the expansion that makes it one of the most
common birds on the coastal strip these days.  The continuous distribution
pattern is documented in the 1984 and 2003 BA atlases.

Discussion about the Little Corella influx was enlivened by a purported
explanation by a hobbyist who claimed to have released the ancestors of all
of them in Griffith in the 70s.  We might get a similar claim here, but I
think the expansionist pattern of the lorikeets, like the Little Corellas,
is beyond doubt, whatever the origin of a particular individual.

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Cockburn 
Sent: Tuesday, 21 December 2010 5:19 PM
Subject: Rainbow lorikeets

I agree with Peter O, and doubt the introduced hypothesis.  I have seen and
heard  rainbow lorikeets in Aranda with increasing frequency over the last
few years, but also noted them in areas remote from the ACT where I would
not have expected to see them a decade or so ago.  I think they are
expanding their range a bit. I do not think they march to the beat of the
same drum as musk lorikeets, particularly to the south of here. I recall a
similar debate on this group several years ago about the naturalness of the
occurrence of little and long-billed corellas, and much speculation about
captive origin of the odd bird that turned up from time to time.  Since then
the extraordinary exploding population of  little corellas has swept through
Canberra and they are now common all the way to (and up) the coast, and it
is not too far from Canberra where huge numbers of long-billed corellas can
be seen along river courses.  One of the difficulties of interpreting too
much from detailed study of a city like Canberra with a great avifauna is
that the data will always be better near the city than for the surrounding
areas, which can give a false impression of new populations of birds
originating from within the OEarea of interest¹, rather than the area of
interest just being a small piece of a larger tapestry.

Cheers, Andrew Cockburn


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