The Rainbow lorikeet is a medium-sized colorful parrot found in Australia. Its head is deep blue with a greenish-yellow nuchal collar, and the rest of the upper parts (wings, back, and tail) are green. The chest is orange/yellow in color. The belly is deep blue, and the thighs and rump are green. In flight a yellow wing-bar contrasts clearly with the red underwing coverts. The males and the females in this species are similar in appearance and juveniles have a black beak, which gradually brightens to orange in the adults.
Rainbow lorikeets are found along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia. They live in rainforests, mangroves, woodlands, coastal bushes, and in urban areas.
Rainbow lorikeets are social, active, and noisy birds. They often travel together in pairs and occasionally respond to calls to fly as a flock, then disperse again into pairs. They are territorial and each pair defends its feeding and nesting area aggressively against other Rainbow lorikeets and other bird species. They chase off not only smaller birds, but also larger birds such as the Australian magpie. Rainbow lorikeets feed and roost in treetops and rarely come to the ground. They are very strong flyers and daily travel up to 30 km between feeding and roosting sites.
Rainbow lorikeets are herbivores (frugivores, palynivores, nectarivores) and feed mainly on fruit, pollen, and nectar from flowers. They also eat crops and are frequent visitors at bird feeders placed in gardens, which supply store-bought nectar, sunflower seeds, and fruits such as apples, grapes, and pears.
Rainbow lorikeets are monogamous and remain paired for long periods, if not for life. In southern Australia, breeding usually occurs from late winter to early summer (August to January). In other parts of Australia, breeding has been recorded every month except March, varying from region to region due to changes in food availability and climate. Rainbow lorikeets may nest in various sites including hollows of tall trees such as eucalyptus, palm trunks, or overhanging rock. Pairs sometimes nest in the same tree with other Rainbow lorikeet pairs or even other bird species. The female lays a clutch of between 1 and 3 eggs, which she incubates alone for around 25 days. The chicks hatch altricial (helpless) and are tended by both parents. They fledge at 56-64 days of age but continue to be fed by their parents for another 2-3 weeks. Rainbow lorikeets start to breed when they are 12-15 months old and may produce up to 3 broods per season.
Despite being widespread throughout their native range, Rainbow lorikeets are threatened by habitat loss and capture for the international parrot trade.
According to IUCN, the Rainbow lorikeet is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.