Weber's Lorikeet

Weber's Lorikeet

There are twenty-two recognized subspecies of Trichoglossus haematodus, more subspecies than in any other parrot species. Ranging in color and size from the small green and yellow Weber's Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus weberi), to the larger, more robust, and brightly colored Swainson's Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus molluccanus), the Trichoglossus haematodus subspecies are commonly referred to as "Rainbow Lorikeets".

The Weber's Lorikeet is found in the rainforests, moist deciduous forests, and lowland scrub on the island of Flores and Lesser Sundas Islands in Indonesia. As a species, Trichoglossus haematodus is fairly common throughout most of its range. Weber's Lorikeets are still fairly common, but its populations are declining. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

The Weber's Lorikeet is 9 inches in length (23cm) and weighs about 85 grams. The head, belly and the majority of the bird is green with some yellowish markings throughout. The nuchal band and breast are greenish yellow. The beak is orange-red and the feet are gray. This is the only T. haematodus that is entirely green and yellow.

In the wild, the Trichoglossus haematodus group feeds on a wide variety of foods. They are known to eat the pollen and nectar from over a dozen trees, including Eucalyptus, Grevillea, Schefflera and bottlebrush: the fruits of Ficus, papaya and mangoes; seeds of Cassia and Casuarina and insect pupae.

The Weber's Lorikeet has always been fairly rare in aviculture. This is probably due to its dull coloration in comparison to the other "Rainbow" Lorikeets. With the end of exportation, the availability of this unique little lorikeet has even further decreased and unless the remaining birds in this country are worked with, we will lose this subspecies in the United States.

The Weber's Lorikeet is actually one of our favorite lorikeets along with the Perfect Lorikeet (Trichoglossus euteles) (which is often confused with the Weber's Lorikeet due to its similar coloring) and we are committed to set up as many unrelated pairs of both of these "dull" lorikeet species as possible to help increase their numbers.

References:
Collar, N.J. (1997).  Family Psittacidae (Parrots).  Pp. 280-477 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1997). 
Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona

Low, R. (1998). 
Hancock House Encyclopedia of the Lories. Hancock House: Blaine, WA