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20080919Da_EL_002a=_MG_6403-Rainbow-Lorikeet-preening-oil-gland-Brisbane-Australia-EL+PS.jpg
Rainbow Lorikeet preens its oil gland.  //  A Rainbow Lorikeet's feathers change colour when they become wet  because of the differences in colour types- either pigment-related or structure-related colours. In this lorikeet the colour of predominantly green feathers, such as on the wings and back, comes mainly from the micro-structure of the feather barbules that interfere with light wavelengths, changing one colour to another;  when molecules of water in the rain fill in these micro-structures the apparent green colour alters to brown. Pigment-based colours are not affected, unless they have both pigmented and structured attributes. Oil from the oil (=preen) gland is used to restore health to the feathers. When dry this bird will return to its normal gaudy plumage.  // Rainbow Lorikeet - Psittacidae: Trichosurus haematodus. Length to 30cm; wingspan to 45cm; weight to 150g; Occurs in forests, woodlands and rural and urban areas. Feeds mainly on nectar and pollen which it gathers with its brush-tipped tongue,. Found in coastal regions in northern and eastern Australia from the Kimberley Region in northern Western Australia (Red-collared Lorikeet) to eastern South Australia. . Aviary-escapees are established in many towns and cities. There are many subspecies - often with a different name - in lowlands and islands from eastern Indonesia (Maluku = Molucca Islands) through New Guinea east to Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the south-west Pacific, north through Manus and the Admiralty Islands to the Philippine Islands (taxonomy of the group is not yet finalised and this may be a different species).  //Eric Lindgren//