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The love-hate relationship with Rainbow Lorikeets

Parrots magazine January 2012

by Robert Alison

Taxonomically, there are more than one dozen subspecies of Rainbow Lorikeets. But, only the nominate race (Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus), and the Red-collared Lorikeet (T. h. rubritorquis) occur in Australia. Until recently, they were believed to be a subspecies, but the Red-collared Lorikeet has now been given separate species status. However, when most of the pertinent research was conducted, they were lumped as morphs of Rainbow Lorikeet, and for the purposes of the ensuing discussion, that will be the case.

Public sentiments with regard to Rainbow Lorikeets in Australia are dramatically discrepant, depending on local perspectives. But owing to their perky disposition, striking plumage and compelling behaviour, these birds are quite popular in Australian aviculture. They are generally adored and loved by most tourists and many Australians also delight in observing flocks of the colourful birds congregating at public or private nectar-feeders.

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