A few weeks ago I took my boyfriend Jeff to see my favorite exhibit at the Little Rock Zoo: the Lorikeets!

These birds have a huge walk-through enclosure designed to let visitors interact with them. For one dollar, you can buy a little cup of nectar that the Lorikeets LOVE to lap up with their tongues.

These birds are quite friendly and have no qualms about landing on your head, arms, and shoulders, especially to get closer to the nectar! You just have to hold your arm out and stand very still.

One bird became quite interested in the iPhone I was using to snap photos and decided to fly over and check it out for himself. He landed on the top edge of the iPhone and leaned down into the lens for his close-up:

Note the beak at the top of the photo

Lorikeets have special, brush-like tongues that help them soak up the nectar their diet mostly consists of. They also eat pollen. Check out this Wikipedia image that provides a close-up look at the bird’s tongue:

Lorikeets are beautiful birds and fun to interact with, but I certainly would not recommend keeping one as a pet. My personal viewpoint on exotic animals is they are better left to their natural habitats or the professionals at the zoo who can provide the high quality care they need.

BUT, if you are smitten with these birds, as I am, there’s a cheaper, better alternative to keeping one in your home: Buy a zoo membership! Starting at $60, becoming a member at the Little Rock Zoo gives you unlimited visits to the animals plus free parking for a year.

One more thing. When you visit the Lorikeets, be aware that they digest nectar very quickly and if you choose to stand underneath one perching on a branch, you may find out just how quickly.

And yes, I learned that the hard way!

  • Lorikeet invasion (katiekohlbeck.wordpress.com) This blogger has some great shots of Lorikeets outside her home in their native Australia.

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