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|I took this photo whilst in Wittunga Botanic Gardenes with a friend. It is of a Rainbow Lorikeet in a Persimmon Tree. This tree was full of these birds enjoying the Persimmon fruit!! They were having a great feast!|
This most striking coloured and noisy bird is one of 328 species of parrots found and 1 of 21 subspecies of Lorikeets found over the south west Pacific. Its scientific name is Trichoglossus haematodus
Their intense colours have patches of emerald green, orange, midnight blue, dull blue, ruby red,lemon yellow, purple, violet, greenish grey. Surprisingly enough this colourful bird can be hard sometimes to pick out in its natural habitat They are a small bird generally 11 to 12 inches long, weighing 120 to 140 grams on average, females are generally a bit smaller and adolescents have duller markings They are said to live over 20 years in the wild Their vocalisation is varied from "screeching" in flight to "chatting" during feeding
Habitat and Distribution:
Rainbow lorikeets distribution is mainly over the north-east in Australia. Their habitat ranges from forests of all sorts (heathlands, open forests, rainforest, sclerophyll forest) coastal or inland, to any area including urban areas that have suitable trees.
These birds are normally found in flocks, large flocks at night roosting in trees (thousands) but during the daytime they move and feed in much smaller flocks ranging up to 20 odd birds. Late evening you may see larger flocks as they head towards their roosting site. They are arboreal, which means they like trees, and can be very noisy, active, gregarious (sociable) and are often seen in the company of other birds. They will spend long times feeding in trees but in hot conditions will have an afternoon break from feeding
These birds spend a lot of time feeding and most of their food comes from trees. Flowers, pollen, nectar, blossoms mainly from (Myrtaceae, Proteacea, Eucalyptus, Xanthoroaceae ,Banksia, Melaleuca, Callistemon), berries and fruits, so they can be a pest to suburban and commercial fruit tree growers. Rainbow Lorikeets have tiny hair like appendices on the end of their tongue, to help extract nectar etc. For harder fruits or seeds, they grate the fruit inside their beak or roll the fruit with their tongue against the inside of their beak. Whilst feeding because of the good grip they can get with their claws they can be observed hanging upside down etc to feed. They occasionally feed on insects and larvae They obtain moisture from water trapped in leaves, but can also drink water directly.
Birds of prey like Raptors - peregrine and brown falcons and whistling kite are their main predators as a number of reptiles like the diamond python.
Rainbow lorikeets after 2 years reach sexual maturity and breeding occurs normally in the spring time with these birds paring up for life. The nest is located in a tree hollow, knot hole or cavity high up and is lined with wood dust. 2 white oval eggs are normally laid and takes 25 to 26 days to hatch whilst the female incubates. Both parents help to feed the young which fledge in 50 to 55 days.
A Persimmon is any of a number of species of trees of the genus Diospyros, and the edible fruit borne by them. The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from an Algonquian language of the eastern United States, meaning "a dry fruit". Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, vary in size from 1.5-9 cm (0.5-4 in) diameter, and may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped. The calyx often remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easier to remove as it ripens. They are high in glucose, with a balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses.
The most widely cultivated species is Kaki Persimmon or Kaki (柿 kaki?) (Diospyros kaki), grown for its fruit. Kaki fruit is very sweet to the taste with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 1800s, and numerous cultivars have been selected. It is edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften slightly after harvest. The Japanese cultivar 'Hachiya' is a widely grown cultivar. The fruit has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. Persimmons like 'Hachiya' must be completely ripened before consumed. When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. "Sharon Fruit" is the trade name for D. kaki fruit that has been artificially ripened with chemicals.
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Hope you like it! Thanks for looking and for your comments and critiques. Cheers Tina :-)
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