A man has shared a photo of a bare tree filled with rainbow lorikeets, dubbing the phenomenon the ultimate ‘Aussie Christmas tree’.
The birds’ colourful coats lend them the festivity of Christmas baubles and dozens of commenters were quick to say the same.
‘That’s a real Aussie Christmas tree… lorikeets, a magpie, no snow in sight,’ one man
‘Seasons Tweetings, everyone,’ a woman commented.
‘The best Christmas tree, love the colourful decorations!’ said another.
Rainbow lorikeets are native to Australia and common along the eastern seaboard from northern Queensland to South Australia.
Australians have a long history of being fascinated by the rainbow parrots.
Earlier in the year, a woman shared a remarkable photo of a lorikeet with brightly coloured ‘mutant’ markings on her feathers that she found mingling with other birds in her backyard.
The photo showed the lorikeet with bright yellow patches of feathers on what would usually be an entirely green back, along with red flecks on the normally plain blue head of the bird species.
‘Had this beautiful little one visit me in my yard yesterday afternoon with some fellow rainbow lorikeets. I am led to believe it’s a natural mutation,’ the woman from North Rothbury, west of Newcastle in New South Wales, wrote.
The picture amazed social media users after it was posted to the Australian Native Birds Facebook group on Tuesday and has received almost 500 comments and more than 1,000 shares.
‘Perhaps a pied mutation,’ one person said.
‘How special is this little one, gorgeous!’
Rainbow lorikeets are native parrot species found in Australia along the east coast from North Queensland to South Australia.
They are 25cm to 30cm long including the tail and weigh 75 to 157 grams.
The normal feather colouring is blue on the head and belly, orange and yellow on the chest, and green elsewhere.
One person said lorikeet breeders sometimes came across birds like this – calling it a ‘pied mutation.’
A genetic mutation is a natural phenomenon, which can propagate through a species if the difference provides an advantage for survival or mating.