23 He aha tērā? What is that?

This very colourful bird has been spotted in the village recently, but shouldn’t be here at all. It has a red bill, blue head, yellow neck, green body and red breast. It’s not an eastern rosella though. He aha tērā? What is that?

Very colourful bird on a fence.
Photo by Fred Hirst. Used with permission.

Scroll down to see the answer.

Answer: it’s a rainbow lorikeet:

Identification: Length: 28 cm; Weight: 120 g

Similar species: Eastern rosella

Brightly coloured medium-sized parrot with red bill and blue head. … Illegal releases of aviary birds in Auckland during the 1990s resulted in a breeding feral population that has since been eradicated. The rainbow lorikeet is considered a horticultural and conservation pest species, and is an Unwanted Organism in New Zealand. If you think you have seen a rainbow lorikeet, phone the Ministry for Primary Industries Pests and Diseases Hotline 0800 80 99 66.

2 thoughts on “23 He aha tērā? What is that?”

  1. Hi team, I’m not sure if this is related but they look very similar to this bird.

    We live in Drake St backing onto the river and everyday for years now; there is a bunch of these lorikeet looking birds that arrive in the trees across the river in the track, opposite home, more so in the morning time 8am-10am-ish they turn up and they cruise thru the trees doing what they do regularly making much noise on arrival. They look like they’ve been a part of Waikawa Beach in all the years we have been resident here. I’ve seen about 10-20 or so in the main group. Cheers, reggie ; >)

    1. Good to know, Reggie. I suspect you’re seeing the eastern rosella — there are some over in Strathnaver. The eastern rosella has a very definite red head and breast whereas the one above has a blue head. Next time they turn up see if the head looks red or blue. 😀

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