Backyard Buddies
Rainbow Lorikeet

Photo: Unknown

Rainbow Lorikeet

Go Back

Rainbow lorikeets tend to roost in large groups and can be seen just on dusk arriving by the hundreds at their favourite roosting place, usually in tall eucalypts. These colourful birds can be seen almost anywhere along the east coast of Australia.

Their behaviour is quite comical at times, especially at mating time, when the male tries to impress the female with a display of bobbing, bowing and prancing. Although males and females have different behaviours, it’s very hard to tell them apart just by their appearance.

Rainbow lorikeets are the ‘clowns of the bird world’, and with their bright multi-coloured feathers they are aptly named.

The Rainbow lorikeet’s tongue is like a bristle brush. Unlike most other birds, it doesn’t eat seeds, which can be bad for them. Instead it uses its bristle brush tongue to get sweet sticky nectar and pollen from deep down in the bottom of native flowers.

You can help look after Rainbow lorikeets in your yard

The best thing you can do to attract lorikeets is grow native plants in your garden.

Putting a bird bath in your yard is also a good idea, because lorikeets love to splash around and clean the sticky nectar from their feathers.

Don’t give rainbow lorikeets other kinds of food, such as biscuits, bread or seeds. They may quickly become dependent upon these sources of food and become less inclined to forage in the wild. Let them feed on native plants.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies – to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Rainbow lorikeet is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like the Rainbow lorikeet, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Rainbow lorikeets do and do not like.

Rainbow lorikeets love:

Pollen and nectar – their favourite food is pollen and nectar from native flowers, providing protein for healthy feathers. They also feed on fruits and small insects.

Hollow trees – these are perfect for making nests.

Safe gardens – a safe garden is one where cats or dogs can’t chase birds while they’re feeding.

But they don’t like:

The wrong food – they can die from fits induced after eating seeds and grain, so it’s important to let them eat food from the wild.

Other birds – a lorikeet will often chase a magpie or currawong away from food.

Cats, dogs and foxes – these animals can disturb or chase lorikeets while they’re feeding.

Be a buddy to the Rainbow lorikeet

Try to:


Don’t be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

SIGN UP: to receive regular B-mails about animals you’re likely to see in your backyard with tips on how to make your backyard friendly for them.