Monday, August 31, 2009
Invite a rainbow or two in your backyard...
It is not unusual in Sydney to have a rainbow or two to brighten your day at this time of the year. A pair of rainbow lorikeets has been visiting in my backward every morning, since last week. It is a delight to watch them weaving,ducking and hanging upside down like acrobats through the bottlebrush trees and grevilleas srubs in my backyard. I am pleased that I did the right thing by planting native trees and scrubs, like banksias, bottlebrushes and grevilleas, in my garden to attract these bright multicoloured feathered parrots, as these native plants provide their favourite foods of nectar and pollen from their flowers.
I have stopped the practice to provide food such as store-bought nectar, sunflower seeds, and fruits such as apples, grapes and pears in a bird feeder for the birds, ever since I have learned the wrong food - grinding seeds and grain can cause damage to their beak and tongue, so it's important to let them eat food from the wild. Furthermore, feeding lorikeets and other birds, particularly processed foods such as biscuits or bread, as their digestive system does not cope with too much artificially refined sugar. In many places, including campsites and suburban gardens, wild lorikeets are so used to humans that they can be hand-fed. But beware! Dont't provide freebies to the birds. Please do not give rainbow lorikeets other kinds of food, such as biscuits, bread or seeds. They may become dependent upon these sources of food and become less inclined to forage in the wild. Eating seeds can actually cause damage to their tongue and beak. Let them feed on native plants!