How exotic birds began to live on the Australian streets

(ORDO NEWS) — In the 1980s, there were no rainbow lorikeets in Canberra, Australia, nor were there many birds in the urban environment in general. However, now they are one of the most visible birds of the city.

Residents of Canberra find it hard to imagine a city without parrots. The street trees are filled with the screeching and whistling of birds. Flocks fly in dense formation.

According to BirdLife Australia’s annual Australian bird count, the rainbow lorikeet is the most abundant species in the country’s eastern states.

Every year since 2014, the bird takes first place in the national ranking. But in Canberra (the capital of Australia, located in the south), this species has appeared recently.

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Neil Hermes, a freelance ornithologist and president of the Canberra Ornithological Group (Cog), monitors bird populations in the nation’s capital. Long-term data collected by Cog shows that the number of lorikeets is skyrocketing.

“There were no rainbow lorikeets in Canberra in the 1980s. Now they are one of the most common birds,” says Hermes.

When a small number of these parrots first appeared in the city, it was believed that they had escaped from the enclosures. But, according to Hermes, it is very likely that the population of lorikeets in Canberra grew out of individuals that flew west from the coast and city parks and gardens came to their liking.

Features of birds in the city

While other species suffer from the impact of cities, rainbow lorikeets belong to a small group that thrives near humans.

Such species include Australian magpies, lark magpies, crested pigeons, noisy miners, and even oriental koels. Arriving from New Guinea and Indonesia, for example, migratory koels arrive in the spring to breed in northern and eastern Australia.

While some city birds are just reclaiming their natural habitats, rainbow lorikeets and eastern koels are expanding their holdings year after year. “Birds are always looking for new places. When we create them, they find them,” says Neil Hermes.

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