The Rainbow lorikeet, scientifically known as Trichoglossus moluccanus, is a stunning and vivid species of bird from the Psittaculidae family. This family has 196 species that are categorized into 54 genera. The Trichoglossus lorikeets can be found throughout Australasia. Formerly, there were six or seven subspecies of the Rainbow lorikeet, but it is now recognized that there are only two due to the identification of certain subspecies as separate species.
Have you ever wondered about the type of bird a Rainbow Lorikeet is? Well, this fascinating bird is known for its vibrant and colourful feathers, which make it stand out from the rest. It’s no surprise that it has been given such a suitable name! The Rainbow Lorikeet boasts a multicoloured plumage with shades of blue and mauve on its head, breast, and belly, while its wings, tail, and back are green. Like other parrots with similar plumage, this bird’s feathers are brilliant and eye-catching. Interestingly, lorikeets have longer tail feathers than most birds.
Male and female Rainbow Lorikeets share an almost identical physical appearance. Their body size is comparable to other lorikeets, such as the Indian ringneck parakeet and Alexandrine parakeet, measuring around 9.8 to 11.8 inches with a slender, compact build. Although their wingspan is relatively wide for their small stature, reaching up to 18 inches, Rainbow Lorikeets generally do not exceed a length of 25 to 30 cm.
Do you know how much a Rainbow Lorikeet weighs? These vibrant birds may look light, and that’s because they are! Typically, a Rainbow Lorikeet only weighs between 75 to 150 grammes, which is equivalent to 2.6 to 4.2 oz. Fun fact – the scientific name for these feathered friends is Trichoglossus moluccanus. Keep in mind; there are two subspecies of Rainbow Lorikeets: Trichoglossus moluccanus septentrionalis and Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus.
Other lorikeet species that were initially believed to be subspecies of the Rainbow lorikeet, including the Red-collared lorikeet, scarlet-breasted lorikeet, marigold lorikeet, and Flores lorikeet, are now recognised as separate species. While Rainbow lorikeets can display territorial and violent behaviors, their social and gregarious habits are also evident as they frequently flock in pairs with other arboreal species. These birds have a potential lifespan of up to 30 years, and their current classification as a species of least concern indicates that their numbers remain stable. Although populations of lorikeet species are declining, they are still considered to be of low concern.
What is the typical diet of a Rainbow Lorikeet? In general, these colorful birds enjoy indulging in soft and sweet treats such as fruits, berries, buds, nectar, and flower buds. They particularly have a taste for nectar and pollen, especially from plants such as eucalyptus, banksia, hibiscus, and coconut. When it comes to fruit, they love munching on pears, bananas, citrus, papaya, and mango. Research shows that up to 87% of their diet comes from flowers of 43 different plant species.