Monday, 12 January 2009

Parrot Month at 10,000 Birds

10,000 Birds is loaded with parrotlicious goodness this month. Why? Not only are parrots gorgeous and fascinating birds but many of them are also in serious trouble from habitat modification, over-collection and hunting. Read about them and ponder the fate of this wonderful group of birds.

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Rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), a nectar-eating parrot from northern and eastern Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomons and New Caledonia. Two subspecies occur in Australia. This is the nominate subspecies (T. h. haematodus) from the east. The red-collared form (T. h. rubritorquatus) is found across the Top End.

ETA: Rainbow lorikeets are not endangered in Australia. But they will endanger your car's paintwork if you leave it under a tree where they're feeding. Sticky stuff, lorikeet poo. I speak from experience.

6 comments:

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
Ironically, the Rainbow Lorikeet is experiencing a population explosion, and a geographical expansion, facilitated by we silly humans who like "to grow flower to attract birds".
People (and I include nursery owners and garden designers in this critique) seem to think that the nectar producing plants are the only plants which attract birds.
Consequently, the Eucalypts, and the showy Grevilleas in particular, are planted in most gardens.
Then as we pursude the "sea change" trend, forming new developments along the east coast, we have provided a "ladder" of rich, native gardens all along the coast, which has allowed these Lorikeets to spread into places where they were never found, 50 years ago.
Having got that off my chest, your other point about the illegal trapping and nest robbing of parrots is a serious problem, plus enormous habitat destruction, especially for the arid zone parrots, in Oz.
Sorry to "rant" off a bit. Still, you sparked me off, so that's a sign of "successful blog posting" on your part.
Cheers
Denis

Dave Coulter said...

Thanks for the tip....very cool!

Snail said...

It's an unfortunate juxtaposition, now I rethink it. As you say, they're not exactly threatened in Australia. I stuck in the rainbow lori pic because --- to pinch a line from Mallory --- it was there. I've put in a disclaimer.

They've expanded their range in Melbourne, along with the red wattlebirds and other boisterous nectar-feeders. And they've been introduced into other places, Perth, Singapore, where they are doing very well for themselves.

Snail said...

Dave, it's certainly worth checking out. Lots of food for thought.

corey said...

Thanks for the link and enjoy parrot month!

Anonymous said...

I love parrots but we here up north fear the oily, green, caustic excrement of the Torresian Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) moreso than the innocuous watery goop coming out of a red-collared's cloaca. It reminds me of "Alien" blood (sense Ridley Scott). You don't want it on your bare skin.
Around Darwin these pigeons, large enough to eject 200-300mls of the stuff in one "hit", eat mostly Carpentaria Palm nuts (these palms grow in abundance in the suburbs) and the mess it makes takes a high pressure hose to remove if left to dry. I've seen two birds roosting in a tree for a single night completely cover the top of a large wheely bin and gum it up so that you had to crack the stuff off with a screw driver to open the lid. It's death to any paintwork if left for more than 24 hours. I've even seen it harden in the sun and peel off a car's paintwork as it curls up at the edges.
I still love seeing the birds around (though I park under cover). W