Edward's Lorikeet

Edwards's Lorikeet

Birds

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: Edwards's lorikeet
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Psittaciformes
FAMILY: Loriidae (parrot)
GENUS SPECIES: Trichoglossus (brush-tipped tongue) haematodus (blood red) capistrasus (haltered face pattern)

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: The Edwards's lorikeet has green head feathers with violet and blue streaks on the forehead, cheeks, and crown. The breast is yellow interspersed with orange. The abdomen is green. There is a broad yellow-green band to the nape. As with other parrots, the beak is hooked.
SIZE: Approximately 26 cm (10.4 in.); wingspan 140-151 mm (5.6-6.04 in.)
WEIGHT: Approximately 95-100 g (3.3-3.5 oz.)
DIET: Includes fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, unripe grain, and pollen
INCUBATION: Approximately 24-25 days
FLEDGING DURATION 10 weeks
SEXUAL MATURITY: Approximately 2 years
LIFE SPAN: Approximately 28-32 years
RANGE: Timor Islands, Indonesia
HABITAT: Inhabits rainforest or mist forest areas; at the edge of wooded areas near savannas
POPULATION: GLOBAL Unknown
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Appendix II
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Lorikeets have very specialized tongues for feeding on nectar. Tiny hair-like structures called 'papillae' line the end of the tongue in the shape of an "U". When a lorikeet extends its tongue during feeding, the papillae stand on end, like bristles on a brush, allowing nectar and pollen to be easily soaked up. Unique to lorikeets, this trait has earned them the nickname "brush-tongued" parrots.
2. Also unique to lorikeets is the shape of their beaks. The upper mandible has a long, pointed tip and much narrower structure than other parrots. This serves to easily extract hard-to-reach seeds from cones and other hard vegetation. The birds will scrape the fruit on the inside of their bill and remove the sweet juices with their specialized tongues.
3. Approximately 70% of their day is spent feeding, and lorikeets will travel more than 30 miles a day to find food. Some lorikeets can feed on as many as 650 flowers each day.
4. They are constantly active and noisy, feeding in large groups and even in the company of other parrots or other honey-eating birds.
5. Lorikeets will establish daily flight paths connecting their feeding sites, which tend to follow the natural contours of the landscape, such as hills, valleys, and rivers. At night, lories retreat along these paths back to their communal roosts, which can contain as many as several thousand birds.
6. They will travel long distances in order to locate a suitable nesting site. This will typically consist of a nest with a layer of wood dust along the bottom, usually in a tree cavity often as high as 80 feet above the ground.
7. Edwards's lorikeets nest high in hollow limbs and trunks.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

There are 53 species of lories. Nearly all of them suffer from habitat destruction, logging, agriculture, and exotic pet trade.

Their diet of fruits such as apples and pears as well as corn often causes them to be responsible for crop damages and are thus seen as pests in some parts of their range where they are no longer protected. In addition, trapping them in the wild instead of captive breeding and the increase of introduced predators such as cats and dogs are responsible for their rapidly declining numbers.

Lories are very important to our ecosystem because of their eating habits. Not all of the seeds they consume are digested; many are passed in the bird's guano over new areas of the forest. Some species eat nectar and are important in the pollination of many species of plants in the tropical forests.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots - endangered or threatened.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. New Jersey. T.F.H. Publications Inc. 1978.

Low, R. Lories and Lorikeets. New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 1977.

Parker, S. P. (ed.). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Birds II. Vol. 8. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972.

Perrins, C. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 1985.

The Complete Lexicon Of Parrots
arndt-verlag.com/loris.html

Lory World Web Page
webcrafting.com/catering/verolinks.htm

The On-line Monograph of the Lories and Lorikeets.
students.washington.edu/~nyneve/rare-lories.html