Imagine a rowdy party. Shrill squawks and sudden laughter, bright colours, lots of movement. That is the scene we stepped into on the Wildlife Conservation Journey last week. It wasn’t people having the party, it was the lorikeets!
Why the party? The huge Banksia flowers were full of sweet nectar, and the Rainbow Lorikeets eat nothing but. Banksia flowers are, to them, like chocolate fountains to us – impossible to resist.
Of course, if you eat too much sugar there’s always one consequence – hyperactivity! Lorikeets eat and fly and squeal, eat and fly and squeal at a decibel limit that is almost painful, just because they can. They are full of life and energy. It is infectious. Watching them makes one want to run and jump for joy. Watch them here: http://youtu.be/QbTNWhdAaXc
Rainbows are the biggest and noisiest of our lorikeets. Australia has many others too, smaller, but similarly hyper. Despite their brilliant colours, they can be hard to see in the eucalyptus leaves. For some reason (I think it’s because of the very clean white light of Australia) a full colour palate disguises our treetop birds. Splashes of red, yellow and blue ripple through the leaves and branchlets of gum-trees, concealing the bright little birds feedling within.