An Update from the Colourful World of Rainbow Landings!

July 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

 As many of our visitors will know Rainbow Landings is Edinburgh zoos exciting interactive walk-through Parrot aviary and is home to a flock of 57 beautiful parrots called Rainbow lorikeets as well as Blue Faced Honey Eaters and a family of small marsupials called Long Nosed Potoroos.   Lorikeets are a nectar eating parrot, with long hairy tongues, and lots of colourful feathers to help them camouflage themselves with the colourful flowers in Australia.  Rainbow landings is where you can really get up close to see these birds as you can buy a little pots of nectar and these inquisitive birds will perch on your hand to have a drink. 

Our Blue Faced Honey Eaters drink nectar too, but they are too shy to come down and drink from our pots.

  We have some exciting news to tell everyone, we now have some baby parrots too!   

  Popeye and Eyepod were born in March this year and are settling in well to life in such a large flock. They are often spotted begging at mum and dad for food, or flying on to an unsuspecting visitors head to have a good rummage in their hair!  

 Our baby lorikeets Popeye and Eyepod started their life in a little nest on the ground, inside an oval white egg the size of a 10p piece. After around 30 days the eggs hatched and the tiny chicks huddled together in a fluffy ball of soft feathers.  After 2 weeks they opened their eyes for the first time and started cheeping loudly for mum and dad to feed them as much as every 15mins! After about 4 weeks they started to get blue feathers on their heads and became a lot more adventurous (running around, playing on the ground).     

New chicks are covered in soft, fluffy feathers!

  After 3 months our babies have fledged into the main enclosure with all the other birds. Now they have all their colourful adult feathers, it is a bit more difficult to spot them. They still have very yellow beaks, and they’re eyes don’t have any orange on them yet.       

  On your next visit ask a member of staff  to point one of them out for you!        

  Our Adult lorikeets pair for life and they can live for as long as 30 years. You can spot pairs huddled tightly together on branches or preening each other with their beaks.        

Preening is a way of pair bonding!

  Although to our visitors they may all look the same, our staff that work very closely with them can tell them apart by the different coloured band on their ankles, and some of their cheeky personalities.  

  Jeff. Jeff was born in Rainbow landings in 2008 but had to be hand reared by our keepers, as his mum and dad stopped looking after him. This meant that he had to be hand fed every day, and became very attached to people. He is a very clever lorikeet and loves to try to mimic other sounds. You can spot him sometimes sitting on our keepers shoulders, whistling at visitors to pay attention to him, or trying to copy our Blue Faced Honey Eaters calls (and generally trying to get up to no good).      

Jeff had to be hand reared

 Captain beaky. She was one of the first parrots to call Rainbow landings her new home. She is a very playful lorikeet with lovely yellow zig- zag markings on her chest, and a thick silver band on her left foot. She loves anything shiny, and her favorite food is grapes. Because Captain Beaky was hand reared when she came to the zoo, she likes to come and sit on visitors shoulders from time to time, and preen your hair for you.      

*** Both Jeff and Captain beaky can talk because they were both hand reared at a young age, just like a pet parrot.        

So when you are next visiting us at Rainbow Landings, have an extra look at the lorikeet your feeding, because everyone is unique in their own little way.  

Adopters Awareness Day!  

  This Saturday (17th July) is Adopters Awareness Day at the zoo!  So make sure you come along as we will be telling you all about some of our animal superstars and how you can help them by becoming one of our animal adopters! We will be highlighting some of our animal superstars including Captain Beaky! All of our animals have their own story and we are taking this opportunity to tell you all about them! Other animal superstars here at the zoo include:    

  • Sir Nils Olav the king penguin: an Honorary member of the Norwegian Guard and in 2008 received a knighthood from the King of Norway
  • Tina the jaguar: kept illegally in a circus in Belgium until she was rescued and given to us to care for and has since met her Prince Charming in Mowgli, our black jaguar
  • Samir the Indian rhino: only 18 months old, he’ll leaves us when he is six to breed but until then visitors get to watch him grow. Literally!

 So come along this Saturday and find out about the benefits of adopting one of our animals, there will even be the chance to win an animal experience for two people to join one of our keepers for the day.  Bronze level adoption starts at just £40!  If you can’t make it this weekend then check out our website at to find out more about animal adoption.


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