Rainbow Lorikeet still number one in Aussie Bird Count

The reign of the rainbow lorikeet continues with results from BirdLife Australia’s fifth annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count revealing one of Australia’s most colourful birds is still Australia’s most common backyard bird.

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

Often seen in large, rowdy flocks, the rainbow lorikeet is unmistakable with its dazzlingly colourful plumage, making it easy for people to identify in backyards right across the country. 

While the species is ubiquitous today, this hasn’t always been the case. In some parts of Australia, such as around Melbourne, the rainbows were driven out as the urban areas expanded, and even when they were still common in the bush, they were largely absent from our cities.

PREVALENT: The Rainbow Lorikeet has again been crowned Australia's most common bird. Photo: Andrew Silcocks.

PREVALENT: The Rainbow Lorikeet has again been crowned Australia's most common bird. Photo: Andrew Silcocks.

According to BirdLife Australia’s Chief Bird Nerd Sean Dooley, the rise of the rainbow lorikeet highlights 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. If more Australians were to choose native plants for their backyards, we will continue to see rainbow lorikeets and other native species increase in number,” Sean Dooley said. 

“However, the trend for larger homes with less diverse, ‘low maintenance’ gardens will do little to help our remaining native wildlife.”

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 remaining Australia’s most counted birds

For full results visit aussiebirdcount.org.au.

Top 20 birds counted during 2018 #AussieBirdCount

Total birds counted to date: 2,751,113

Total checklists submitted: 84,039

Species                                                                        Total number counted

Rainbow Lorikeet                                                          305,246

Noisy Miner                                                                   149,872

Australian Magpie                                                         121,107

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo                                            100,848

House Sparrow                                                              86,032

Galah                                                                             80,325

Silver Gull                                                                      70,606

Common Myna                                                              58,091

Welcome Swallow                                                         55,996

Red Wattlebird                                                               52,657

Crested Pigeon                                                              51,655

Little Corella                                                                   50,323

Australian White Ibis                                                      49,049

Magpie-lark                                                                    47,151

New Holland Honeyeater                                               44,584

Common Starling                                                           42,676

Australian Raven                                                           39,964

Spotted Dove                                                                 38,409

Australian Wood Duck                                                   38,054

Superb Fairy-wren                                                         37,884