Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus). Photo: James Booth — NatureShare
The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is unmistakable with its bright red and colourful plumage. Both males and females have a blue/mauve head and belly; green wings, tail and back; and an orange/yellow breast. Juvenile birds have a black beak which gradually brightens to orange as they grow into adults. They are often seen in flocks making lots of noise at dusk.
It is a medium-sized parrot ranging from 25 to 30 centimetres in size with a wingspan of about 17 centimetres.
The Rainbow Lorikeet mostly forages on flowers or trees to harvest nectar and pollen, but also eats fruits, seeds and some insects. The bird’s tongue is like a bristle brush which it uses to get the sweet pollen from plants.
Lightwood trees (Acacia implexa). Photo: Russell Best — NatureShare
There are a range of local indigenous trees and shrubs that can help attract the Rainbow Lorikeet. This bird is often found foraging in flowering gums, however, if this tree is too big for your back garden, try planting Lightwood trees (Acacia implexa).
The Lightwood adapts to moist or dry soil of all types. It tolerates moderate winds and grows in full or part sun.
Lightwood is a graceful, reliable, long-lived wattle with attractive bark. Its narrow form makes a good screen plant. It flowers in summer and sometimes again in autumn.
Height: five to eight metres
Width: two to three metres
Flowers: January and October/November
Your local indigenous nursery will be able to assist you with other indigenous plants that help attract local birds to your garden