FW: [canberrabirds] Lorikeets in Hughes (and Gang-Gangs)

To: <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Lorikeets in Hughes (and Gang-Gangs)
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2014 14:42:17 +1100

The main argument against the escape/release theory is the continuity of the east coast range, together with the tendency of the species to be recorded at isolated places where escape/release was unlikely.  ALA density map below.


My problem with the gang-gang recording is that I hear (rarely see) one or more birds every day.  When seen they are now in groups of 2-5, by contrast with larger groups in early March



From: Nick Payne [
Sent: Saturday, 5 April 2014 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Lorikeets in Hughes (and Gang-Gangs)


The Rainbow Lorrikeets that now infest Perth originated with about 10 birds, released either deliberately or accidentally in the late 1960s. In the last few years, at least 40,000 have been culled, and estimates are that there are probably about as many again remaining in the wild...

On 05/04/14 13:49, Mark Clayton wrote:

Perhaps I should have phrased my original point a bit more clearly. I should have said that the local birds ORIGINATED from aviary escapees. I am quite happy to accept that the birds are now breeding around town. One only has to look at what has happened to Rainbow Lorikeets around Perth to see what will almost certainly eventually happen here, with the detrimental impact on native hole nesting species that are already competing with Common Myna and Common Starling. I know of a lot of other records from the Kaleen/Giralang area that never get placed on any sort of report form. These are records sent or told to me by former colleagues at CSIRO etc. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to physically write down all these records so they will never make it to the Annual Bird report and the like.




From: Paul Fennell
Sent: Saturday, 5 April 2014 1:35 PM
To: 'Martin Butterfield'; 'Mark Clayton'
Cc: 'calyptorhynchus .'; 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Lorikeets in Hughes (and Gang-Gangs)


While the Rainbow Lorikeets first seen in Canberra may well have been intrepid escapees rather than intrepid explorers blazing new trails through the ranges from the coast, it is quite clear to me that there has been a significant presence of the species around Hawker for a number of years, both in summer and in winter.


The other day approximately 50-60 were observed in one group in Marrakai St Hawker, near a house where it was assumed the residents were feeding them.  Prior to that, groups of 8 to 10 have been reported as far back as 2001 in Hawker. At my house in Scullin at least 2, and up to 6 birds were observed daily feeding in the very large banksia tree near our front door.  They were there every day, summer and winter.  Since we have removed the tree, we get Rainbow Lorikeets in the yard much less frequently (still 2 banksias left), but observe small flocks regularly flying by.


I need no further evidence to convince me there is a viable long-term, wild, breeding population in South Belconnen.






Paul Fennell

Editor Annual Bird Report

COG Databases Manager


026254 1804



From: Martin Butterfield [m("","martinflab");">]
Sent: Saturday, 5 April 2014 11:20 AM
To: Mark Clayton
Cc: calyptorhynchus .; Canberra Birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Lorikeets in Hughes (and Gang-Gangs)




What evidence would you need to convince you that the Lorikeets are not aviary escapes?


I have no dispute at all that the original birds might have escaped from aviaries rather than flown up the Hume Highway.  However I have seen them emerging from tree hollows in breeding season and the way the numbers and distribution have changed suggests to me that there is now a self sustaining population in the Canberra region.


An analogy could be drawn with Common Mynahs where it is known the original infestation was a human act but (as far as I am aware) no-one is saying Mynahs are now escapees.





On 5 April 2014 10:36, Mark Clayton <m("","chollop7");" target="_blank">> wrote:

Hi John,


I think point number 2 covers what happens when it is wet. I can’t see where Gang-gangs would go in wet weather as the whole area was pretty wet in that period.


With the Rainbow Lorikeets in my area (Kaleen), yesterday I had two feeding in the rain in the tree in my front yard where I reported 5 birds a week or so ago. I am yet to be convinced that the birds we see locally are anything other than aviary escapees and email conversations with several people tend to agree with me. Despite the rain I stood under the tree and watched them for about 10 minutes – sorry, no Gang-gangs but I am waiting for them to arrive in a neighbour’s yard where they fed in a Hawthorn last year.





From: calyptorhynchus . [mailto:m("","calyptorhynchus");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Saturday, 5 April 2014 9:47 AM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Lorikeets in Hughes (and Gang-Gangs)


A flock of eight Rainbow Lorikeets screeching past in Hughes this morning. 


No Gang-Gangs in Hughes since the 24 March (when the rain started). I had seen or heard them almost daily since the beginning of the year till then. 


When people have entered all their Gang-Gang data at the COG/ALA site it will be interesting to see if all GG records in the ACT ceased in this wet weather. If they did it could either be because:


1. GGs leave Canberra in wet weather

2. Observers don't get out and GGs are less vocal/obvious in wet weather.


Or a combination of 1 and 2.


John Leonard



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