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Rainbow lorikeet

At the Cincinnati Zoo in Lorikeet Landing.

Rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) are small colorful parrots. They feed primarily on fruit, nectar, and pollen, and have a unique brush-tipped tongue for lapping up nectar. Having two toes facing front and two toes facing back gives lorikeets a very strong grip. Using these feet, lorikeets have been known to hang upside down to feed from a flower.

Lorikeets are strong fliers, traveling between islands in search of flowering and fruiting trees. Lorikeets are highly social birds, hanging out in flocks of dozens. Like most parrots, lorikeets are noisy. They whistle, chatter, warble, and even make a metallic ‘ping’ sound.

Facts

  • Where to see them: Eastern and southeastern Australia
  • Height: 10 to 11 in
  • Weight: 3.5 to 5.5 oz
  • Lifespan: 10 to 20 yrs
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Diet: Primarily nectar and pollen, some seeds, fruits and insects