COLOUR SPLASH: Rainbow lorikeet.
COLOUR SPLASH: Rainbow lorikeet. Trinity Stockdale

Rise of the rainbow lorikeet as Aussie backyards go native

THE recent 2018 Australian Backyard Bird Count has revealed an amazing rise in the number of rainbow lorikeets nationally.

Birdlife Capricornia secretary Allan Briggs said the count in the Livingstone region revealed 2320 rainbow lorikeets counted.

Double barrel finch were next on the list at 826 followed by torresian crow 523, red-tailed black cockatoo 381, chestnut-breasted mannikin 375, blue-faced honeyeater 336, noisy friarbird 302, black noddy 283 and peaceful dove 271.

Australian volunteers counted more than 2.7million birds during the fifth Aussie Backyard Bird Count held during National Bird Week.

The rainbow lorikeet remains the most counted with a total count more than double the second most common bird, the noisy miner.

For the fifth consecutive year Australians headed into their backyards and local green spaces, this year counting more than 2.7million birds, including over 305,000 rainbow lorikeets.

BirdLife Australia's Chief Bird Nerd Sean Dooley said the rise of the rainbow lorikeet highlighted the changes in Aussie backyards over the past half century, with traditional European-style cottage gardens making way for lush native backyards which provide the perfect place for these nectar-loving birds to forage on the flowers of eucalypts, bottle-brushes and grevilleas to harvest nectar and pollen.

"When Australians see a rainbow lorikeet, they are seeing a living, breathing example of how much our backyards have changed over the past few decades, and how the choices we make as to how we use the land - even in an urban setting - always has an impact on nature,” he said.

More than 76,000 nature-loving Australians took time out from their busy schedules to count more than 2.7 million birds, recording 610 species, with the rainbow lorikeet, noisy miner and Australian Magpie most common.