Lorikeet roosting and city lights

Subject: Lorikeet roosting and city lights
From: "" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 17:43:57 +1000
Over many years I have been fascinated that Rainbow Lorikeets choose to night 
roost in large numbers in a number of eucalypts on one of Brisbanes busiest 
intersections. The intersection is on Mains Road at Sunnybank and is surrounded 
by three shopping centres. Each night on my way home I enjoy seeing the 
hundreds of birds coming in to roost as thousands of cars and people pass just 
below them, but have often wondered why they might have chosen such a busy 

Today I was listening to Rick Netrask ( a local wildlife expert) on ABC radio 
and a caller asked the very same question. I was intrigued to hear his 
response. He firstly said that in Brisbane Lorikeets choose locations right 
next to at least three large shopping complexes (and probably more) in the 
Brisbane area - Chermside, Goodna and Sunnybank. Part of his explanation was 
that the birds actually choose brightly lit areas as they actually assist the 
birds in their navigation to the sites, providing a well lit landmark from afar 
as they return from their daily wanderings.

This seemed plausible to me at some level, and perhaps is another example as to 
how some birds have adapted their habits to suit the result of human 
habitation?  Having said that I figured that for eons prior to city lights 
Lorikeets would have communally roosted and had no such benchmarks to guide 

Its an interesting theory though, and perhaps others have a comment on the 
idea, or any other reason why they appear to favour such well lit and busy 
areas in the city.


David Taylor

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