Meek’s Lorikeet


Meek’s Lorikeet 16 cm; 21–32 g. Green, bright below, duller olive on wings and tail; bill and legs orange; crown faintly tinged greyish; ear-coverts and sides of neck show light green streaking on dark; mantle tinged brown; yellowish-white band on the underside of secondaries; tail yellow below.
Meek's Lorikeet
Immature has a shorter tail, a paler bill with brownish markings near the base.

Systematics History

A member of the C. palmarum group (which see). Monotypic.

Subspecies

Monotypic.

Distribution

Elevated parts of Solomon Is S from Bougainville, including Kolombangara, Santa Isabel, and Guadalcanal, and also New Georgia and Malaita (but no recent reports here); recorded once on Makira (San Cristobal) (Dutson 2011).

Habitat

Canopy of foothill and montane moist forest, 300–1500 m, even extending into stunted cloud forest at 1700 m; on Santa Isabel present at 900–1000 m, on Kolombangara only common from 1300 m, and on Guadalcanal not found below 1000 m. Birds on Kolombangara were observed to move

 downslope in day to forage, sometimes to coast.

Movement

Described as rather nomadic on Bougainville; possibly so at higher altitudes on all islands.

Diet and Foraging

Blossoms of SyzygiumMetrosiderosMearnsia, and coconuts were recorded; also soft fruit and berries.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Commonest call a thin high-pitched “tseek”, given singly or in loose series. When feeding a quieter continuous buzzy rattle or a series of screeches.

Breeding

Only nest known, containing small young, was in a large clump of moss on tree trunk 6 m above ground in stunted moss forest at 1550 m on Kolombangara, in Aug.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species. On the summit of Kolombangara, one of the three most abundant bird species.

Although generally in small parties, birds congregate in larger numbers at blossoming trees.


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