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Rainbow Lorikeet

From Opus

Photo © by mehdhalaouateNoosa Heads, Australia, May 2005
Photo © by mehdhalaouate
Noosa Heads, Australia, May 2005
Trichoglossus haematodus

Includes: Biak Lorikeet; Coconut Lorikeet


[edit] Identification

Subspecies moluccanusPhoto © by glazzersMelbourne, Victoria, Australia, June 2018
Subspecies moluccanus
Photo © by glazzers
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, June 2018

The Rainbow Lorikeet is up to about 14 inches (35 cm) long. They weigh about 5 ounces (133 grams).
These parrots have brightly-colored red, green, blue, yellow, and orange feathers; the curved bill is red.
The males and females are hard to distinguish.

[edit] Distribution

Found from the Moluccas (Indonesia) to New Guinea and adjacent islands to eastern and south-eastern Australia.

[edit] Taxonomy

Several species have been split from these taxon recently: Red-collared Lorikeet, Leaf Lorikeet, Marigold Lorikeet and Sunset Lorikeet.
Gill and Donsker also split rosenbergii from Biak as Biak Lorikeet and the remaining subspecies into two species: Rainbow Lorikeet (Australia) and Coconut Lorikeet (Moluccas, New Guinea). However, other authorities have not yet adopted these splits.

[edit] Subspecies

About 11 subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • T. h. rosenbergii: Biak Island (off northern New Guinea)
  • T. h. intermedius: Northern New Guinea (Sepik River to Astrolabe Bay) and Manam Island
  • T. h. haematodus: Southern Moluccas, western Papuan islands and western New Guinea
  • T. h. nigrogularis: Eastern Kai Islands, Aru Islands and southern New Guinea
  • T. h. brooki: Known from two cage birds from Trangan Island (Aru Islands)
  • T. h. micropteryx: New Guinea east of Huon Peninsula; Kimuta and adjacent islands
  • T. h. nesophilus: Admiralty Islands (Ninigo and Hermit groups)
  • T. h. flavicans: New Hanover and Admiralty Islands
  • T. h. massena: Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu
  • T. h. deplanchii: New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands
  • T. h.s moluccanus: Eastern and south-eastern Australia (Cape York to Eyre Peninsula, South Australia)

[edit] Habitat

The prefered habitat is coastal forests as well as urban gardens.

[edit] Behaviour

Noisy flocks of up to several hundred may congregate in flowering trees to feed and roost, at times in the company of Scaly-breasted Lorikeets.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding in the wild is from August to January. There are 2 to 3 white eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid in one nesting period). The eggs are laid in a tree cavity high above the ground. The female incubates the eggs for 25-26 days, and the male feeds her. Both parents will feed the chicks.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from

[edit] External Links


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