Friday, 13 October 2017

Material Setting & Context

Rainbow lorikeets who frequent a backyard feeding station on a property north of Brisbane are eating meat.  Lorikeets usually eat nectar and pollen which they obtain from native plants and shrubs.

Now that we are also feeding the local carnivorous birds — kookaburras, magpies, butcherbirds, ravens and currawongs — the lorikeets will also try eating the meat, with some liking it more than others.  One lorikeet today fought off a kookaburra to eat the beef thrown to the kookaburra.

For the lorikeets, the material setting identifies the situation as a potential feeding opportunity.

Other birds that will readily eat the beef include not only indian mynahs, but also honeyeaters, such as wattlebirds and noisy miners.  It is likely that the wattlebirds are trying to raise a koel (cuckoo) chick several times their own size.*

* This was confirmed a week later by the joint sighting, in the back jacaranda tree, of a koel chick with its red wattlebird adult host.

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