"PLAYBIRD" OF THE MONTH

Rainbow Lorikeet (aka "Miss Decibel")

The Rainbow Lorikeets are well-known in East Australia suburbia as colourful, very noisy, gregarious birds. Their shrill squawks around twilight, as they settle into their favourite trees, can over-ride the hum of your car engine, the music from your radio, and even the engine noise of that truck in the next lane to you. These sounds are no match for the decibel output of a flock of Lorikeets.

So long as you have a pair of ear-plugs, they are a joy to watch in suburban gardens, attracted by many flowering shrubs and trees - e.g. grevilleas, banksias, eucalypts, melaleucas, and other nectar producing flora. They nest in hollows of trees, and produce equally noisy young, bringing a smile, as we hear their early squawks sounding like an off-station radio (played very loudly).

When not playing "Sergeant Major" at feeding time to other birds in the area, they can be quite comical - hanging upside down, reaching for an unreachable neighbouring branch, legs splayed, often hanging on only by their beak or one leg.

They can be like "naughty kids" around humans - particularly once they understand what a "restaurant" is (ie a well-stocked source of sugar - which is a very harmful to them, but drives them to want more). Many humans delight in watching this mischief - not knowing that these little clowns lives will be cut short because of their love of sugar!

So, plant up, people - bring natural sugars into your garden, and help save these wonderful creatures with the big voice by supplying them with their natural diet at your place.

To find out more about that, click here.