Rainbow Lorikeets (Flying Mice)

I was browsing through my photos of Bowraville on the mid-north coast of Australia and thought for something different I’d post the various pics I took of these lovely little members of the parrot family.

We first came across rainbow lorikeets when we lived up Mt French in Boonah, south-east Queensland, in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast and close to the border with New South Wales. One morning a flock of brightly-coloured birds flew in and started feeding on our bottlebrush and grevillea flowers. We had no idea what these birds were but the noise they made was raucous and deafening. Once they’d had a good feed, they all flew off and we never saw them again up Mt French, a bit too high for them. But when we moved down into the centre of Boonah, these birds were literally like flying mice. Flocks of them would swoop around, yelling their heads off, but also looking absolutely beautiful with their multi-coloured feathers.

I wasn’t into taking photos too much in Boonah, these were the pre-digital days, but when we lived in Bowraville, I used to love watching the rainbow lorikeets feeding on the various plants in our garden. Next door was a really tall tree which we called the trumpet tree as it had long, white, trumpet-shaped flowers which would hang down, then fall gracefully to the floor. At night the tree would be alive with the lorikeets fluttering all over the place and squawking their heads off.  We had to be careful walking out onto the front verandah as the lorikeets would whizz through the length of the verandah at top speed and we didn’t want to collect one in our face.  We also had three which hit our side window, you’d see them coming but couldn’t do anything to stop them as they were too fast. Luckily, all three sat on the floor a bit dazed, shook their heads, recovered and took off again. You would think with the bright colours that the birds would stand out but, as you can see from a couple, they blend very well with their backgrounds.

The last bit is a very short video I took at dusk which is when the Flying Mice used to come in to feed on the Trumpet Tree flowers.


Rainbow Lorikeet Rainbow lorikeet on grevillea Rainbow Lorikeet on grevillea 1 Rainbow Lorikeet in backyard tree

Rainbow Lorikeet - dusk Rainbow Lorikeet in Trumpet Tree Rainbow Lorikeet on Trumpet Tree Rainbow Lorikeet top of Trumpet Tree





10 thoughts on “Rainbow Lorikeets (Flying Mice)

      1. Yes it is very sad. Here in Spain we have many beautiful birds and eagles. It is not allowed to kill the eagles, but it happens anyway, because they take chickens and rabbits and people are starving. Also very sad. So many birds end as food here too.


  1. Years ago I visited an arboretum/conservatory in the US that had Rainbow Lorikeets living freely inside. You could buy little cups of nectar for a ridiculously small fee (all of which went to upkeep of the place) and feed them by simply standing there and holding a cup out. Standing there in that beautiful, tropical-humid place with my arms lined with gorgeous rainbow birds is one of the most memorable moments of peace and interconnection of my life. One of the meditations I do regularly calls for remembering such a moment and drawing on memories of the feelings it brought; I return to that one quite often.


    1. That sounds like a truly lovely experience, and so good that you can return to it in meditation. In Queensland there are various wildlife parks and open areas where there are feeding times for the lorikeets and they turn up regularly which is a wonderful experience for people to get up close to these beautiful birds.


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