|Corymbia ficifolia - "Flowering Gum Tree"|
The original species was red, but pink and orange forms have been "selected" by nursery-operators and then grafted on ot fungus-resistant root-stock, making this West Australian native tree suitable as a garden plant in the eastern States. So much so that this specimen was growing in a car park in Nowra's shopping area (on the South Coast of NSW).
But here is the reason I took the photograph. There was a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) feeding enthusiastically amongst the flowers. The Lorikeet group of parrots are specialist nectar feeders, with a modified tongue, which has a brush-like surface making them perfect nectar feeders.
But then there is the colour blend. These parrots are so brightly coloured one could hardly imagine that they could "blend in" - but if you check the photo above, you will see that they can and do camouflage brilliantly in this bright tree.
|Have you finished taking photos? I'm bored!|
Recently they have arrived in Canberra, and the question is being asked there by Canberra Ornithologists as to whether to not they are natural arrivals of escaped birds, or indeed descendants from some birds apparently deliberately released. Experience shows that once they arrive they will "naturalise" very quickly. Trouble is they are so active, they tend to out-compete the quieter species of parrots, such as the Eastern Rosella and Crimson Rosella.