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"THE MOZZIES COZZIES"

Broke Down Under The Rainbow

If you were to look up information on the rainbow lorikeet at your local library, you would learn that the colourful bird lives in north-eastern, eastern, and south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and other islands.

You would also learn that it inhabits various types of woodland including rain and open forests, as well as bushlands. Yet if you were to ask me, I would tell you that these colourful tropical parrots can also be found in town parks and gardens as well as in one’s own backyard.

Take yesterday, for instance, in the rural city of Rockhampton in the state of Queensland, Australia.

As I relaxed in the car, parked by the side of the road where it had conked out and refused to turn over, and while I was waiting for my husband, I was well aware of the birds that were glorying in the morning by calling, singing, or just twittering to themselves. I was able to identify at least five different species. If I had closed my eyes I would have thought I was in a rainforest.

I looked to my left and noticed a pair of lorikeets in a tree. They were flapping their wings in a way that caused the wet branches above to sprinkle down on their heads and backs. They lifted their pied wings to take the greatest advantage of their personal showers.

To my right were a group of lorikeets in a red bottle-brush tree. One was hanging upside down, engrossed in its brekky of sweet nectar, while the remaining birds sat and chattered like a human family around the breakfast table, gabbing about the weather and discussing yesterday's events.

People, hurrying about, moved in every direction, totally oblivious to the natural wonder that was taking place right under their noses. In a moment later, I must admit, I, too, had forgotten about my early encounter with the birds, and went about my merry way in much the same manner as the rest of the neighborhood.

As if existing on another planet, the birds have built a world of their own upon the trees, telephone wires, rooftops, and the clotheslines of our backyards. They go about their business quite happily in spite of our nonchalance while they, by the same token, move about, oblivious to the human lives around them. I just happened to be one of the few fortunate ones who was privileged enough to catch a glimpse inside that world yesterday when I, for one fleeting moment, had been given the unexpected opportunity to stop and watch the birds in our backyards.

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