Rainbow Lorikeets

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets
From: "Terry Pacey" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 07:31:19 +1000
I think I have mentioned before the paucity of species in my immediate area
(30 species, only, in seven months).  The main species are probably the
Rainbow Lorikeets.

This morning, I witnessed some bizarre behaviour even for Rainbows.  A VERY
noisy confrontation had me scurrying out the front to find what they were
attacking.  It was simply themselves.  A group of up to ten Rainbow
Lorikeets were fighting with each other, biting and scratching and flying at
each other at full speed.  This continued in a number of Callistemons on
both sides of the street.  I paid particular attention and it was not one or
two birds being attacked by the others, rather it was a street (pun
intended) brawl with all involved.  At one stage they were chasing each
other around the trunk of one tree like a noisy group of treecreepers.  At
this stage a Noisy Miner just had to join in.  It was too rough even for it
and it soon departed to reflect.

On four occasions the fight ended up on the ground, twice on the grassed
footpath and twice onto the bitumen roadway.  At these times, the birds
ended rolling on the ground in twos and threes locked together in what
looked like mortal combat.  This would continue for about 20 seconds until
one or more birds succeeded in unlocking themselves from the others and took
off to the tress again.  This was the signal for all to cease their
wrestling and take off.  After about 8 minutes, all hostilities ceased and
they flew off together.

If I didn't know better (?), I would say they were having a game (although
rough) similar to a group of children.  Judie Peet is certainly correct when
she signs her e-mails "The only thing certain in birdwatching is that
nothing's certain.".

Terry Pacey
27°57'02"S  153°24'12"E
Gold Coast
SE Qld

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