Edwards Lorikeet

Edward's Lorikeet

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Edward's lorikeet
Loriidae (parrot)
Genus Species
Trichoglossus (brush-tipped tongue) haematodus (blood red) capistrasus (haltered face pattern)

Fast Facts

The Edward'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.
Approximately 26 cm (10.4 in.); wingspan 140 to 151 mm (5.6 to 6.04 in.)
Approximately 95 to 100 g (3.3 to 3.5 oz.)
Includes fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, unripe grain, and pollen
Approximately 24 to 25 days
Fledging Duration
10 weeks
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 2 years
Life Span
Approximately 28 to 32 years
Timor Islands, Indonesia
Inhabits rainforest or mist forest areas; at the edge of wooded areas near savannas
Global: Unknown
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

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.

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.

Approximately 70% of their day is spent feeding, and lorikeets will travel more than 48 km (30 mi.) a day to find food. Some lorikeets can feed on as many as 650 flowers each day.

They are constantly active and noisy, feeding in large groups and even in the company of other parrots or other honey-eating birds.

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.

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 24 m (80 ft) above the ground.

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, which are endangered or threatened.


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