Mitchell's Lorikeet Facts

09/10/2015 - Mitchell's Lorikeet, the status in the wild

Mitchell's Lorikeet (Trichoglossus forsteni mitchelli) was found originally only in Lombok and Bali. It was long regarded as a subspecies of the Rainbow Lorikeet, but in 2012 this bird was eventually given its own classification. According to CITES, Mitchell's Lorikeet is listed in Appendix II, and as Near Threatened (NT) by IUCN 3.1. Although this bird still can be found at breeding centres in Europe, some bird watchers have suggested that this bird has been extinct in the wild in Bali since 1984. If there are any in the wild, the population is very low with only tens of individuals remaining in Lombok.

Ref. : IUCN Red List

16/10/2015 - Finding a partner

We have just five adult Mitchell’s Lorikeets, with only one female. She has been paired more than once with a male, but it was not until last year that she found the partner she was looking for. The result? - several young chicks successfully born and fledged. Now to find some new females for the other lonely males.

Ref. : What's love got to do with it finches could have the answer

23/10/2015 - Mitchell's Lorikeet nest and eggs

This looks like an uncomfortable nest! It is a hollow log, and just a few discarded feathers lie at the bottom. The female lays between one and three eggs, which take between 21 and 25 days to hatch – often they will hatch on different days.

Ref. : Parenthood
Avian clutch size

30/10/2015 - Fluffy baby Mitchell's Lorikeet

A baby Mitchell’s Lorikeet resembles a round ball of fluff. It is unable to feed itself, or move, with its fat belly almost lying on the floor of the nest. 

Ref. : Baby Birds

06/11/2015 - Birds have teeth

A young bird breaks out of its shell using its egg tooth at the tip of its beak, breaking a hole in the end of the larger end of the sac first where the air is so it has a supply of oxygen when it breaks through the egg shell. Our baby lorikeets remain with their parents so we have never seen this.

Ref. Hand Raised Rainbow Lorikeet

13/11/2015 - The Feathers

Twenty days after being born, the pin feathers will begin to emerge and colour starts to show. Feathers are gradually grown, from the wings and the tail. The Lorikeet chick will be ready to learn how to fly at 1.5 months old.

Ref. : An In-Depth Look At Bird Feathers

20/11/2015 - Bird feet

Birds have four toes. Songbirds, such as our Bali Starling, which usually perch, have one toe pointing backwards, and the other three face forwards – ideal for perching. Our Mitchell’s Lorikeets, have two middle toes forward and two outer toes pointing back. This gives them mobility in grasping and moving their food, climbing and perching. Our Lorikeets are often to be seen hanging upside down, grasping the aviary roof wire.

Ref. : Bird Feet

27/11/2015 - Favourite food for a Lorikeet

Our Mitchell’s Lorikeets are natural sugar lovers, enjoying fruit and nectar. Their tongues are brush-like at the end, enabling them to lick the fruit. They also have a beak suitable for eating fruit. We provide our birds with fruit, fresh sugar cane and a special dry lorikeet mix that has been donated by both Jurong Bird Park and visitors, Peter Russelland Angie Workman. We have actually tried a few vegetables, such as carrots and sweet corn, but these have been rejected.

Ref. : 
What’s in a Shape? Understanding a Bird’s World Through the Beak

04/12/2015 - Colour Vision

Our Mitchell’s Lorikeets are brightly coloured yet have shades of colour that we cannot differentiate between. In addition to seeing their plumage of red, yellow and green, they also have ultraviolet vision, allowing them to see many more shades of each colour than we can see.
For us, a simple thing such as telling which is the male and which is the female is impossible when it comes to species where both sexes look similar to our naked eye. Hidden in the coloration there are aspects and differences that only the birds can see.

Ref.: 
True Colors: How Birds See the World

11/12/2015 - Lorikeets are messy poopers

Their diet, being fruit and liquid, is unlike that of a seed eater. The liquid mess that paints the walls of an enclosure is a mixture of urine and faeces. As the birds are active and need a lot of energy, they eat a lot each day with the result that they also poo a lot. Bird keepers need to keep a look out when feeding.

Ref. : All You Ever Wanted To Know About Bird Poop

18/12/2015 - The High-pitched Lorikeets

Lorikeets are extremely noisy birds and communicate with loud squawks. The sound is quite shrill, high pitched and constant, and they screech altogether if they see someone who might be bringing them food. They are definitely not in the realm of the songbird!
We don’t have many but a large flock at roosting time can be deafeningly very loud, and they make it almost impossible to hear a person speak.

Ref. : The vocal ability of birds has inspired

25/12/2015 - Our Xmas Bird

The Mitchell's Lorikeet was discovered and named by George Robert Gray FRS (8 July 1808 – 6 May 1872), an English zoologist and author, and head of the ornithological section of the British Museum, now the Natural History Museum, in London for forty-one years. He went on expeditions to various parts of the world himself, and sent students to cover other areas. George Gray's most important publication was his Genera of Birds (1844–49). This was illustrated by David William Mitchell (his name given to our Bali lory) and Joseph Wolf, and included 46,000 references.

Ref. : David William Mitchell

08/01/2016 - A beak that is almost a leg

Beaks come in a variety of lengths and shapes. Our Mitchell’s Lorikeets have hooked bills, which allow them to eat and to climb – it's almost a third leg making movement easier. The upper beak is able to be moved quite separately from the bottom beak, unlike that of a softbill.
Our young birds have black beaks, which brighten to orange as they mature.

Ref. : How Your Bird Uses its Beak

15/01/2016 - Beaks grow throughout the life of a bird

A bird beak, composed of keratin, is similar in composition to our own finger and toe nails. 
Whereas we cut our nails, a bird’s beak is constantly worn down by feeding, climbing, and chewing. With a diet which is composed of soft foods, our Mitchell’s Lorikeets need to chew their wooden perches. We replace these regularly so that they can continue to keep their beaks in healthy condition.

Ref. : Bird Beak Anatomy

22/01/2016 - Lifespan of Mitchell's Lorikeet

The lifespan of a Mitchell's Lorikeet is between 15 to 30 years in captivity, with some living over 40 years. The best way to ensure a long life is to feed them an appropriate diet - fresh fruit and nectar where possible. The oldest Mitchell's Lorikeet at Begawan Foundation Breeding and Release Centre is our lone female, 10 years old in March. In the wild they usually live for 7 to 15 years - as with all birds, many more dangers to face there!

Ref. : 
The Lory Link

29/01/2016 - Our Mitchell’s Lorikeet is like a rainbow

Just like a rainbow, the colours of its plumage encompass blue (just a tint on the head), orange, red and green in a variety of tones – lime green, olive and dark green. Once considered to be a Rainbow Lorikeet and a member of the haematodus, the Mitchell’s Lorikeet is now a member of the forsteni family. Both birds have beautiful varied rainbow coats.

Ref. : Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is being split

05/02/2016 - Mitchell's Lorikeet's existence

Mitchell's Lorikeets were endemic to the islands of Bali and Lombok in the Lesser Sundas, Indonesia. In Bali they have been driven to extinction by human trapping for the pet trade but in Lombok they may still be a few left in the Mount Rinjani area.They are not even found in bird markets any longer. During a short trip to this area conducted by Jamie Gilardi and Mehd Halaouate for the World Parrot Trust, not a single bird wassighted or even heard.

Ref. : The Endangered Parrots of Indonesia

12/02/2016 - A similar species

You might think this one of our Mitchell's Lorikeets. In fact it's another related species, Forsten's Lorikeets. Now that the pet trade can find no Mitchell's to sell, they are looking further afield. This lorikeet, so similar in colouring, comes from Sumbawa. Is this species doomed also?

Ref. : Forsten's/Sunset/Red-breasted/Scarlet-breasted Lorikeet

19/02/2016 - The Rainbow Lorikeet family

We have in our Center 2 subspecies from the Rainbow Lorikeet family, Mitchell's and Forsten's Lorikeets, both of the T. forsteni family. To clarify how the split has been made here is more information according to BirdLife International

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus has been split into T. haematodus, T. rosenbergii, T. forsteni, T. capistratus, T. weberi, T. rubritorquisand T. moluccanus following the application of criteria set out by Tobias et al.(2010).

  • T. rosenbergii is endemic to Biak Island in Papua
  • T. forsteni (incorporating mitchelli, forsteni, djampeanus and stresemanni) are species from the islands of Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Tanahjampea and Kalaotoa
  • T. weberi is endemic to the island of Flores
  • T. haematodus (New Guinea and many satellite islands, New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands)
  • T. capistratus (on Timor, and incorporating fortis on Sumba and flavotectus on Wetar and Romang)
  • T. moluccanus (eastern Australia; incorporating septentrionalis)
  • T. rubritorquis (northern Australia west of the Gulf of Carpentaria)

 

26/02/2016 - The difference in sub-species

At Sibang we have both Mitchell’s and Forsten’s Lorikeets.
How do we know we have two different sub-species? The colouring of the birds gives us the necessary clues.
The Mitchell’s has a very dark olive green head, and the chest is red with slight hints of orange edging.
The Forsten’s has a dark blue head, not unlike the olive green, and a dark red breast.
It can be tricky and difficult to tell the 
difference from photos but they can be seen when an actual bird is examined.

20/05/2016 - One family, different fate

In Australia, Rainbow Lorikeets are considered as pests because of crop damage but here in Indonesia some of the subspecies belonging to the same family, such as the Mitchell's Lorikeet (Trichoglossus forsteni mitchelli) in Bali and Lombok, and the Djampea Lorikeet in Tanahjampea island (Trichoglossus forsteni djampeanus) are already extinct.
The Rainbow Lorikeet is found in Australia in high numbers in many states, here in Bali we can find none in the wild. A question comes to mind: why has the lorikeet thrived in Australia, yet suffered major decrease in numbers in Indonesia? Is this due to the money made by trapping for the pet trade, or maybe indifference to wildlife survival? 

Ref. : Rainbow lorikeet

12/08/2016 - Red peppers to brighten up feather colour

Mitchell's Lorikeets, indigenous to Bali and Lombok, enjoying red peppers!
The chemical carotenoids found in these bright red fruits has the effect
of enhancing the brightness and colour of their feathers.

Photo courtesy of Paradise Wildlife Park

11/04/2017 - Another baby

Our one female Mitchell’s Lorikeet, paired with a new husband, has a chick to feed. Let’s hope this first-time father is as attentive as the mother.

09/10/2015 - Mitchell's Lorikeet

 

Mitchell's Lorikeet was found originally only in Lombok and Bali. It was long regarded as a subspecies of the Rainbow Lorikeet, but in 2012, this bird was eventually given its own classification. According to CITES, Mitchell's Lorikeet is listed in Appendix II, and as Near Threatened by IUCN 3.1. Although this bird still can be found at breeding centres in Europe, some bird watchers have suggested that this bird has been extinct in the wild in Bali since 1984. If there are any in the wild, the population is very low with only tens of individuals remaining in Lombok. Want to learn more about our work with Mitchell’s Lorikeet? Head over to the link below:

Lorikeets are extremely noisy birds and communicate with loud squawks. The sound is quite shrill, high pitched and constant, and they screech altogether if they see someone who might be bringing them food. They are definitely not in the realm of the songbird!
We don’t have many Lorikeets but a large flock at roosting time can be deafeningly loud, and they make it almost impossible to hear a person speak.

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