They are considered nomadic, their presence being governed by flowering shrubs, particularly in southern parts of the range. Daily movement to offshore islands occurs. They are arboreal and gregarious. The feet are strong, with sharp claws which enable them to climb among clusters of blossoms to seek food. Their tongue is specially adapted for the extraction of nectar from flowers. They move in flocks, often of large size, and are a colorful sight when feeding. Flight is rapid, and they are noisy, constantly screeching and chattering. Some damage is done by these birds to cultivated fruit, and they also attack maize and sorghum crops.