A City Filled with Lorikeets

It wouldn’t be bad birding, if I didn’t comment on how many lorikeets we’ve seen.

Now, the number of lorikeets we’ve seen is simply astounding. The other night we were going for a walk in Yarra Bend, and we must have seen at least 50.

And they all were rainbow.

Now, I have nothing against the rainbow lorikeet.

In fact, it’s thanks to this beautiful bird that we became interested in birds at all. Jason spotted them first in Fitzroy Gardens and we were like, “Is that a parrot? I think that’s a parrot.”

And then later, I started thinking, “Okay so we saw a parrot. But what kind of parrot was it?”

Then I found the answer on birds and backyards. Next I had to look up every single other parrot-like bird we saw (sulphur-crested cockatoo, red rumped parrot, gallah), and then that turned into having to look up every bird we saw, and then Jason came on board, and then you know it became serious.

However, in the spirit of bad birding, we haven’t found any lorikeets besides the rainbow lorikeet. And not for lack of trying. There’s supposed to be the little lorikeet, the musk lorikeet, and the purple crowned lorikeet living among us in Melbourne. Yet, we haven’t seen head, tail, or feather of them.

Meanwhile, some dude’s busy mocking us by posting a sighting of musk lorikeet at Melbourne uni! Following in his footsteps we checked out the System Garden at the university and found… rock dove.

So other lorikeets, where are you hiding?


  • Rohan Long says:

    Am I the dude mocking you?? Stumbled across your blog via eBird profiles – enjoying seeing the perspective of someone discovering Australian birds for the first time.

    Have you found some Musk Lorikeets yet? My records from the uni were pretty unusual, they were probably just passing by. You should have a pretty good chance of seeing Muskies at Royal Park + Rainbows and very occasionally Littles. Listen for their noisy flocks feeding in the mature gums. Also, if you visit the park in winter you’ve got a decent shot at seeing Swift Parrots in the gums along the tram-line – check eBird to see if they’ve been recently recorded.

    There are many good reasons to visit Serendip Sanctuary in Lara (Magpie Geese, for one) and it’s definitely a very reliable spot for Purple-crowned Lorikeet. I was just there yesterday and there were tonnes of them around – very noisy, conspicuous and easy to observe. Purple-crowns are typically only found in greater Melbourne’s west with only occasional forays east of central Melbourne.

    • jpolak says:

      Thanks very much for the comment. You were the guy we were talking about! We’re huge fans of you on eBird, and often check your sightings for tips on where to find things haha!

      We saw the Musk Lorikeet eventually. We found the same tip you talked about in the book Where to See Birds in Victoria. Since then we’ve seen many, and in fact an upcoming post is based on that. Still haven’t seen Little Lorikeet but we’re hopeful about that. We’ve also been to Serendip for the first time a few weeks ago. Although we didn’t seen Purple-crowned at the time, we did see the Magpie Goose, Cape Barren Goose, and Crested Shrike-tit.

      • Rohan Long says:

        Ha, it’s gratifying to know someone is getting value out of my eBird output.

        I’ve been surprised at how often I encounter Little Lorikeets in my new neighborhood of Greensborough, but their appearances are very sporadic and unpredictable (although I think more common in the summer months).

        If you ever want to ask about any bird-related stuff, feel free to get in touch at rohan.long [at] unimelb.edu.au

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