Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rainbow lorikeets

My first introduction to the gregarious rainbow lorikeet was at the bird park's lory loft. Then there was the group of four birds trying to establish nest holes at Malcom Park in 2011 to the pair that  flew around my neighborhood.
Last week I heard the calls of many parrots in the trees along Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 but didn't stop to check out what species. I assumed that they were either long-tailed, red-breasted or rose-ringed parakeets since they are common in the area. It wasn't till Wednesday did I realize that they were rainbow lories (green-naped lorikeets) when I caught sight of a pair flying over me.
Pulling out the bins from the car and painstakingly peering through them at the birds feeding  on the flowering trees yielded javan mynas, orioles and finally the noisy rainbow lories (plenty of them).

As it turned out there was a rather large flock of them up in the trees. They are difficult to spot as parrots are designed to blend in and disappear into the foliage. I kept picking them up and losing them. Their love for hiding in the shade and their dark plumage made them difficult to expose correctly again the back-lit cloud covered sky. Patience finally paid off as I followed one individual till it began to feed.
Though they are an introduced species, I hope they don't end up in poachers' traps and offered on sale in the booming bird trade business here.

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