Regular and aberrant Rainbow Lorikeets.
Image: David Tattam
Source: David Tattam
Question: I saw a strangely coloured Rainbow Lorikeet. Was it a new species or a young bird? Or perhaps it was not a Rainbow Lorikeet…
Answer: This is a rather beautiful but aberrant Rainbow Lorikeet. The blue head is replaced by a reddish wash and many of the green body feathers are replaced with yellow.
Over the years the Ornithology Collection Manager here at Museum Victoria has noticed a number of such variations and they are referred to in several parrot books. The anomaly is explained by a gene which regulates colour, this causes such variations.