Coconut Lory, Rainbow Lory, Blue-bellied Lorikeet, Swainson's Lorikeet, Blue Mountain Lorikeet, Blue Mountain Parrot.
Medium to large strikingly coloured lorikeet with like sexes. The head is bright blue with lighter feather shafts. Yellow green collar on the nape, rest of upper parts including tail green.
Breast and sides of belly bright yellow ornge barred with dark blue. Large patch of deep blue on centre of belly. Thight, lower flanks and undertail coverts green strongly marked with yellow.
Outer wing marked with yellow and outer wing primaries green washed with dull blue. Underwing coverts ornage washed with yellow and narrow yellow band on underside of flight feathers.
Eyes are orange red, the bill coral red and legs green-grey. Females are generally a little smaller than males.
Immature birds are duller than adults with a shorter tail, brown eyes and a brown bill with yellow markings near the tip.
Rainbow Lorikeets are usually seen in pairs or flocks and often occur in mixed flocks such as with Scaly-breasted Lorikeets to which they are similar in size and behaviour.
Rainbow Lorikeets are strongly gregarious and essentially arboreal.
A population in the Top End is distinguised by a conspicuous red band across the nape. This form was formerly recognised as a distinct species (T. rubritroquis or Red-collared Lorikeet)
and is still regarded as such by aviculturalists.
Apparently, the Rainbow Lorikeet has declined in the south of its distribution since the arrival of Europeans and is now uncomon south of about Sydney (NSW).
Throughout coastal lowlands of northern and eastern Australia. An introduced population is well established at Perth (WA).
Elsewhere it is widespread from Indonesia to Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
Wet sclerophyll forest, rainforest, mangroves and other coastal forests, suburbs and urban areas with trees.
Mainly nectar, but this is substituted with also pollen, seeds, fruit and insects.
Specialised diets have been developed for lorikeets in captivity. These are pollen and nectar substitutes and a number of reputable brands are now available.
Essentially, these come in two forms; a wet mix (nectar substitute) and a dry mix (pollen substitute) both of which are essential. Although these diets are designed to provide the
essential requirements for lorikeets, they must be substituted with other foods such as fresh fruits (apples and pears, stone-fruits, most citruses, banana, melon etc.) and seed.
You will find that certain fruits are preferable to others at particular times of year (eg. citrus is preferred in summer).
The usual nesting site is a tree cavity (often at great height) lined with a layer of wood dust.
Despite the fact that the male spends much time in the hollow, especially at night, only the female incubates the eggs. Both parents feed the young however.
In captivity, Rainbow Lorikeets are easily pleased with respect to nesting receptacles. They will accept both hollow logs and nest boxes, however for the sake of practicality it is
best to use nest boxes as these are much more easily cleaned and maintained between broods. Logs should be around 60cm - 80 cm deep with an internal diameter of around 25cm and an
entrance near the top with a diameter of around 8cm or so. Boxes should be approximately 25cm x 25cm x 45cm. The best position is vertical in a fairly sheltered spot.
Preferred nesting material is wood-dust or shavings. Shavings should not be too coarse so as to prevent the eggs becoming buried in it.
Males approach hens stretched to their full height. With the neck arched, they bob the head and hop along the perch, all the while emitting a low whistle.
The pupils constantly dilate and contract during this process. The female's interest will depend on how near to nesting she is.
Rainbows appear to mature at around nine months of age. However most birds do not breed until 18 months or two years old.
Two or three white oval eggs (28mm x 23mm). Incubation period: 26 days. The young usually fledge at around 50-55 days.
Mutations and Hybrids
A golden yellow form has appeared in Australia. Little is known about this form however.
Rainbow Lorikeets are known to have hybridised with Scaly-breasted and Musk Lorikeets. Hybrids have also been recorded between this bird and the
Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus) and the Ornate Lory (Trichoglossus ornatus).