Rainbow Lorikeets

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 16:03:37 -0800 (PST)
G'day Terry and Everyone,

In amongst the Rainbow Lauriers I have that come close
to my home I have 2 Scaley Breasted Lorikeets.

The Rainbow Lorikeet seem to be displaying a decoying
type technique, when they are off flying in their
large group, the S/B's seem to be always in the centre
of the group with the R/L's doing their normal flight
and screeching in flight thing, but when they come to
rest in a tree they appear to be placing themselves
all the way around the 2 S/B's, they appear to be
feeding happily with each other with no fights? rare I
would have thought for R/L's with only R/L's for
company to behave this way?

Terry Pacey <> wrote:

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

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.

So not just a two party fight then :^D

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

On four occasions the fight ended up on the ground,
twice on the grassed footpath and twice onto the
bitumen roadway.

Were they spitting at each other prior to the fight
commencing :-]

At these times, the birds ended rolling on the ground
in twos and threes locked together in what looked like
mortal combat.

It's called a "scrum" :-] have you got a whistle
it's a handy way to break them up :^D no need to wear
a referee's outfit unless you wish.

This would continue for about 20 seconds until one or
more birds succeeded in unlocking themselves from the
others and took off to the trees 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.

Did one group of the R/L's have more green and gold
then the others :^D ??????

Judie Peet is certainly correct when she signs her
e-mails "The only thing certain in birdwatching is
nothing's certain.".

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

I had a very unusual weekend down here with some
sulphur crested Cockatoo's which I'm glad you sent
email in Terry, as what I witnessed with the SC
Cocatoo's was weird to say the least. I write it up
later and send it in.

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