Photo: Benjamint444 [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Coconut Lorikeet – Trichoglossus haematodus (Linnaeus, 1771) – is a very colorful medium-sized parrot widespread in a large geographical range.
They are very popular as pets or in aviculture due to their bright colors. However, before buying a lorikeet please notice that their special diet may cause some mess around the cage and require frequent cleaning!
Like other lorikeets they have a special brush like tongue with small hairs that are used to harvest pollen and nectar from flowers.
Coconut Lorikeet are monogamous and forms a tight bond with their mate – typical a lifelong bond.
Lifespan: 15-25 years
The head is black with blue and light blue streaks. The nape has a yellow band; lower part of nape is green. The back and upper side of wings are bright green; wide yellow band under the wing; orange underwing coverts. The chest is red with black edges on the feathers. The abdomen is dark green. Yellow spotted with green thighs to undertail coverts. Green tail. The beak and eyes are dark orange-red.
Males and females look similar. Juveniles has a dark beak and brown eyes.
Size: about 26 cm
Weight: 100-157 g
The Coconut Lorikeet can be confused with the Rainbow Lorikeet but it is distinguished by the yellow band on the neck, red chest instead of orange and dark green abdomen instead of blue. Previously they were both classified as Trichoglossus haematodus subspecies but have been split (see below) and the Rainbow Lorikeet is now classified as Trichoglossus moluccanus.
Six subspecies are recognized:
Previously the Trichoglossus haematodus species included a large number of subspecies but many of these have been reclassified:
The Coconut Lorikeet is native to Indonesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu but has also been introduced to Hong Kong and Singapore.
The diet consist of fruit and nectar; the lorikeets use their special brush like tongue to drink nectar from flowers.
Coconut Lorikeet are nomadic as they depend on flowering trees and shrubs.
Provide some nectar (either commercial or home made) as the main part of the daily diet; also give plenty of fruit and vegetables and add some spray millet and sprouted seeds.
The nest box should be about 50 x 35 cm
The clutch usually has 2-3 eggs that are incubated by the hen for about 23-25 days. Fledging age is 8-9 weeks.
BirdLife International 2018. Trichoglossus haematodus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22725310A132177469.
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