Feathered rainbows

Rainbow Lorikeets are beautiful birds with plenty of attitude. At Braeside Park recently I was lucky enough to see them bathed in soft morning light and quieter than usual as they were preening their partners and examining trees for potential nesting hollows. Mutual preening, or allopreening, is a common pair-bonding ritual at the start of the breeding season.


 Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)


There was a Rainbow Lorikeet at each end of a dead branch. They were squawking and chattering at each other and seemed very relaxed about being photographed.


 Rainbow Lorikeet


They ripped at the bark, possibly for fun and possibly looking for insects to eat. Ranibows usually feed on nectar and pollen but also eat seeds, fruit and the occassional insect.


 Rainbow Lorikeet


I love seeing birds preening themselves and was particularly pleased to capture this image with catch-light in the rainbow’s eye as birds often close their eyes while working on their feathers.


 Rainbow Lorikeet


The male and female Rainbow Lorikeet look alike. Some members of the parrot family, like Australian King-Parrots, Gang Gang Cockatoos and Eclectus Parrots, are dimorphic: the sexes can be distinguished by their colouring.


 Rainbow Lorikeet


The allopreening took place nestled amongst the foliage of a eucalypt. I wonder if the bird that’s looking down is the male or the female – the other one looks as though it’s checking out the competition!


Rainbow Lorikeet


They peered into various hollows looking for somewhere to raise this year’s brood. It’s lovely to see such sweet signs of approaching springtime.

Happy birding, Kim




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