Rainbow Lorikeet

Photo by Richard Riley. Copyright 2015
Rainbow Lorikeet

Image by Richard Riley Copyright 2015

Bursts of vibrant colour, these gloriously coloured birds are a delight to watch as they screech and chatter, hanging off branches and eating nectar.  Rainbow Lorikeets (and all lorikeets) have a brush-like tongue especially adapted for extracting the sweet things in life!

Social, nomadic birds, they often fly in large flocks, settling in the twilight hours in a favoured place with fruiting or flowering trees. The sheer size of some flocks, their excited chatter and noise may, be so loud it is almost deafening. Also, scaly-breasted lorikeets may occasionally be seen in their company, equally as noisy and entertaining. (In fact, there are several species of lorikeets.)

In a Dreaming from the Bilbumin people of Western Australia, Meeyla the Rainbow Lorikeet (or perhaps the Crimson-winged Parrot, a similar bird) was once a disabled girl who was teased by the other children.  One day, upset at the taunts, she confides to her father her dream of being a beautiful bird, able to fly free.  Her father consults with the elders, and they consult with the Great Spirit.  As the sun rose, the elders stood in a circle around her and with the power of the Great Spirit; she was transformed into a brightly coloured parrot.[1]

A Rainbow Lorikeet may literally drop into your life – drunk from the alcoholic content in nectar, which has fermented in the sun! If you encounter a bird ‘over the limit,’ are you overdoing the ‘giddy with pleasure’ and ‘high on life’ theme? Or maybe it’s time to ‘hang loose!’ These intoxicated birds are vulnerable to predators, so it may be wise to practise some caution – enjoy, but do not lose your equilibrium and ‘go over the limit’! If a bird has fallen from a tree, your sense of balance is especially sensitive in the issues you are most excited about – savour the pleasure but don’t become too carried away you lose your direction, fall off a branch or invite a hangover!

If a gorgeous Rainbow Lorikeet graces you with her presence, remember her ability to overcome disability and find creative solutions to her dilemma. These birds often hang upside-down to eat, or while climbing – so a different perspective is very possible with any lorikeet. Humour is a gift too!

These birds may emphasise perceived disabilities in your life and things may seem really unfair or limiting. Yet, as for the Rainbow Lorikeet, there are options, and a chance to create something radically new and exciting.

Rainbow Lorikeets at dawn, or anytime, are a powerful affirmation of transformation and the transcendence of negativity, of crossing boundaries, and venturing into the unknown.  These glorious birds are a beautiful symbol any time you encounter them!

I wrote a blog post about my experience with Rainbow Lorikeets the day my son took his life. HERE


[1]               Bennell, E. & Thomas, A.  “Aboriginal Legends from the Bilbulum  Tribe.”

Native Symbols - Rainbow Lorikeet