Saturday, July 9, 2011

Massena’s Lorikeet

The Rainbow Lorikeet, through 21 different races is found throughout Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomons and parts of Australia. Massena’s Lorikeet or Trichoglossus haematodus massena listed as a sub-species of the Rainbow Lorikeet,  also known as the Coconut Lory and in Bislama – Nasiviru. Massena is found only in the Bismarck Archipelago (near New Guinea), the Solomons and throughout Vanuatu except Futuna and Lopevi.


Growing to around 250mm including a 100mm tail, these striking coloured lories are mainly bright green with a red breast, bluish-mauve head and red-orange beak. Plumage is overall green, green wings, tail, neck, back and underbelly.

Chest is orange/red with thin green to black horizontal barring and sometimes some yellow areas in the chest plumage. Head is blue with lighter blue streak feathers moving backwards to a chocolate brown with lighter brown streaks. Eyes are orange, brown in juveniles.

They frequent flowering trees but their movements are usually erratic as they travel, even between islands, in search of food.Living primarily in wooded habitat in lowland areas, they are sometimes found in steep terrain where favourite trees or shrubs are flowering. They prefer habitat other than true forest or mangroves however and are found in trees bordering watercourses surrounding paddocks, in suburban gardens and in nearly every coconut plantation.

The nectar and pollen from these coconut palm flowers form their staple diet and in return the lories are important pollinators of these trees. Other sources of food include the Indian Coral tree, the African Tulip tree and the Sago palm. They also enjoy the soft fruit of the Panama Cherry tree and ripening fruit from domestic orchards. Maize and sorghum crops are also targeted. 

When alarmed while feeding, these generally noisy and active lories will remain motionless in the trees and turn their backs on the intruder in camouflage while eyeing them over their shoulder. They generally travel in pairs or small flocks and are identified by their bright colours, and shrill chatter. The flight of these parrots is swift with rapid wing beats. They are agile when flying short distances through the forest canopy while for longer flights they fly high. The Massena’s Lorikeet is listed in the Cites Appendix II as endangered and may need measures taken in Vanuatu, for their future protection.(Resources: Vanuatu Post, Wikipedia)

LiveJournal Tags: ,

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...