Sunday, May 5, 2013

5/5/13 The Denver Zoo Lorikeet Adventure

Last week, when we arrived at the Lorikeet Adventure, it was hot and the birds had been hand fed nectar for hours, so we assumed that was why there was so little interaction with the birds.

This time, it was cold, and they'd just opened the area to guests (bearing nectar cups, $1 a cup -- just get one because you aren't going to use it all. Take turns.). 

The rules are that you should not feed any of the Lorikeets on the ground, only in the trees. This is because they are so easy to step on. However, Lorikeets LOVE being on the ground. So a lot of time you are just looking down in the center area where these very colorful, very active birds are madly hopping and squawking and preening. 

And what we learned in comparing the two outings is that these birds are spoiled. It matters not whether you are the first in or later in the day. They are picky (and, according to one handler) prefer grapes. Their specialized tongues are made for taking in nectar. They have very tiny stomachs and very fast metabolism, so they'll feed all day, tiny bits, and they've learned it's easy to come by, so they aren't too worried. If you don't hold the cup just right, they'll be happy to leave you alone. Best practice is to go slow, bring the cup up as though you're holding an ice cream cone, and don't make them reach.

This guy is Captain America and has had up to 10 concubines in his fold, although he currently only juggles two full-time girlfriends.

Some are in full regalia, and apparently they all have names (but ya can't name the couple of tigers?!?) although I was hard pressed to keep up, as the handler was calling them out while they clowned overhead.

And some are in the middle of molting. 

Technically NOT on the ground, plus another zoo handler was feeding them this way.

Their red eyes will get you every time.

 We did feed more this time around, but only because we were more patient and there were fewer people crowding around trying to serve them.

Loris are your backyard bird in Australia. Instead of sparrows, you get these rainbow colored sights. They are definitely characters.

On the way out, see if you can spot a family who shared that has more than one kid. We gave our half-full nectar to a boy who was very excited to have it, since his younger siblings were getting the longer turns.


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