Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lorikeets in the Silver Princess

I always assumed that the gorgeous small tree Silver Princess Eucalyptus caesia was a nursery-created hybrid for gardens. Not so! I read today that it is found naturally in granite outcrops of southern Western Australia (Australian Native Plants Society E. caesia page). In our winter and spring months the gumnuts swell and burst their caps revealing pretty flowers laden with nectar.

Rainbow lorikeets are not found in the wheatbelt region of WA but they certainly know what to do with a flowering Silver princess eucalypt.

Rainbow lorikeet enjoying Silver princess nectar. Several stages of flowering evident here.
Each winter and spring this tree in our front yard receives attention from passing lorikeets so long as they can tolerate the militant Noisy miners!

From mid June this tree replaces our autumn-flowering Queensland firewheel tree as the tree of choice for nectar lovers in our yard.

I am reminded that this little blog's very first post in 2010 features similar scenes! Now 187 posts later I'm still trotting out the same stuff!

It's quite enchanting watching the birds clamber amongst the branches. The clumps of flowers are sparsely distributed and there is a little game to be had positioning oneself for that close shot. The fun is getting a good angle and proximity to a flowering branch the lorikeets have their eye on. You gently get there first and they come to you! Here are a couple of shots showing use of the bill to navigate through the pendulous foliage.

My what a long tail you have!
As you can see I did not hold back with the number of shots and found it hard to cut down to this "short" list!

You can see video of these birds by visiting the blog of my nephew Moses. At 9 years of age he is becoming an excellent birder and can ID a raptor better than me hands down! On Sunday he posted a short video of the Red-collared Rainbow lorikeet sub-species feeding near Darwin which is at the other end of the continent! He would love you to visit!

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!


  1. Thank you Pete for identifying my spiny-cheeked honeyeater. In the 2003 edition of Pizzey & Knight he is not even listed. After your comment I checked Simpson & day and found him. I am most grateful when someone takes the trouble to correct my shonky IDs.
    Rainbow lorikeets certainly are fun to watch. I love it when they attack my Eucalyptus ficifolia.

  2. Gorgeous photos of these colourful birds.

  3. I love those Silver Princess gums; I remember seeing them in WA many years ago. To have gotten the photos of the Rainbow Lorikeets on them is something special; great photos Pete

  4. G'day PS,
    Nothing wrong with 'trotting out the same stuff' when its as gorgeous as a Rainbow Lorikeet in a flowering gum. I can stand and watch the rainbows and musks for ages here. Often pull the mower over and just sit and watch for five minutes.
    Any chance I could borrow Moses to teach me some raptor IDs?