Rainbow Lorikeets and late night shopping

To: "Nevil Lazarus" <>,
Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets and late night shopping
From: Frank Hemmings <>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 09:39:18 +1100
Tim Low, in his new book "The New Nature" cites a few examples of similar Lorikeet roosts (amongst others), and suggests freedom from predators as a major factor (although he also discusses the urban heat island effect, especially with respect to northern hemisphere cases). In one case cited involved a roost on Fraser Island at Kingfisher Bay resort where "hundreds and hundreds of lorikeets streamed in from the wilderness to sleep in a few isolated trees right by the buildings". Other examples cited are of roosts in urban areas such as Brisbane and Maroochydore. Incidentally I used to see the same phenonmenon when I was working at Macquarie University where the exotic plane trees adjacent to the Biology Building would fill at dusk with Rainbow Lorikeets. Cheers.


At 09:25 PM 11/18/04 +1100, you wrote:
Chatswood is a very busy suburban shopping area on Sydney's North Shore.

This evening I witnessed thousands of Rainbow Lorikeets flying around and
flock after flock coming into the trees with loud screetching, and chirping.
All of this in amongst the coffee drinkers and shoppers who were totally
oblivious of the activity in the skies and the trees.

The same phenomenon occurs at Manly every evening.

My question is why do these birds choose their roosts in such built up
areas, artificially lit and heavily populated?

Nevil Lazarus

Frank Hemmings
John T. Waterhouse Herbarium
School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences
University of New South Wales

Tel +61 2 9385 3274
Fax +61 2 9385 1558

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