This summer the The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will welcome colorful exhibit of lorikeets that are native to the south Pacific. Visitors will step into a lush aviary to share a laugh and a squawk with beautiful tropical birds that will sip food right out of your hands !
“Lorikeets” will be open from May 25 through Sept. 2 on the Aquarium’s riverfront courtyard and will feature about a dozen varieties of lorikeets, which are colorful medium-sized parrots native to the south Pacific (SE Asia, eastern Australia, Polynesia). They’re naturally found in rainforests and woodlands, but also in wooded urban areas, where they primarily feed on the nectars of various blossoms and fruits.
Visitors will be invited to purchase a small cup of nectar before you go into the exhibit, that will encourage the lorikeets to land on your hand, or your arm, or even your head to get to your nectar.
Lorikeets are specially adapted to their sweet diet through their specialized tongue. Tiny hair-like appendages called papillae form a U shape on the end of the tongue. When the tongue is extended, these papillae stand up like bristles on a brush, expanding the tongue’s surface area and allowing the birds to easily soak up nectar. Unique to lorikeets, these papillae have earned the birds the nickname “brush-tongued parrots.”
Entry into “Lorikeets” will be free with Aquarium admission. There will be a small fee for the nectar cups.
For visitors with an aversion to close encounters with birds, viewing of the lorikeets will be possible from outside the aviary.