Rainbow Lorikeet

Trichoglossus haematodus


other name
Blue Mountain Parrot


Vibrantly coloured bird. Electric blue on head and underparts, with red or red-orange chest. Feathers and back bright green with a paler yellow-green collar around back of neck. Tail mainly green with some yellow markings. Bill is bright red.

Juvenile: Duller colours and a blackish bill.

Voice: Rolling musical screech. Harsh scratchy screech in alarm. Raucous chattering and softer mellow chattering when congretating. Quiet twittering while resting.

There are two races of this species in mainland Australia. Race moluccanus, commonly known as the Rainbow Lorikeet, can be found along the east coastal strip from Cape York to South Australia. They can also be found in a very small area around Perth on the coast of Western Australia. There are clinical variations in northern birds from southern birds; those being found in the north-east of Queensland sometimes being known as a third mainland race - septenrionalis. The second race is called rubritorquis and is commonly known as the Red-Collared Lorikeet; it has red markings on the back of the neck instead of the yellow-green of the Rainbow Lorikeet. The Red-Collared Lorikeet is found at the top end of the Northern Territory to the Kimberly region in Western Australia. There is a third race, caeruleiceps, which is found only on the small Australian island of Sabai which is located in the north of the Torres Strait. The lorikeets habitat is diverse and includes rainforest, eucalypt forest, woodland, treed riverside areas, farmland, heathland, mangroves and suburban gardens. It is classified as common in the north but common to rare in the south-east; vagrant to Tasmania. The Rainbow Lorikeet breeds from July to January in the south-east and from March to January in the north. The Red-Collared Lorikeet breeds from March to January. The nest is made inside hollows of trees, often near water and quite high off the ground. 2-3 eggs are laid and are incubated by the female for around 25 days. Young leave the nest at approximately 7-9 weeks.

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