Comparing a Natural Diet to a Traditional Diet
When thinking about natural Lorikeet diets, nectar immediately comes to mind for most people. While this food source does make up a considerable proportion of the lorikeet diet, these birds are omnivores, not nectivores. Rarely considered is the fact that lorikeets have a seasonal preference for insects to supplement protein and amino acids, which are crucial for breeding and raising young.
Key points on natural Lorikeet diets:
- Omnivores, with primary high calorie nectar preference
- Forages pollen, grubs and other invertebrates to supplement protein
- Occasionally eats seeds and fruits
Manmade lorikeet diets have proved disastrous for lorikeets in the past, with varying degrees of calamity. Large scale feeding of high calorie bread and honey diets at tourist attractions have led to huge death trolls in native colonies. While on a less obvious, but none the less tragic scale, poor quality high calories commercial lorikeet diets have caused malnutrition, disease and death in companion pet lorikeets.
Key points on traditional human feeding of lorikeets wild and companion:
- Lorikeets have a natural high calorie, sweet food preference
- With domestication of sugar cane, refined sugar is heap and readily accessible to humans
- Humans assume if an animal responds positively to a food, it is good for them
- Unbalanced, high calorie, low protein diets lead to malnutrition, disease and death in Lorikeets