Red-flanked Lorikeet 15–17 cm; 25–48 g. Generally green, yellowish on forecrown ;
facial patch red, ear-coverts blue, sides of breast, flanks and underwing-coverts red, with a yellow band across the underside of flight-feathers; rump patch dark blue; tail green above, broadly tipped yellow and with subterminal red area in the center, yellow below; bill red, legs orange-red.
Female lacks red and blue and has ear-coverts bluish black-streaked yellow and a green forehead. Immature like a female, but the male has some red. Race intensior
slightly larger, darker blue on rump; ornate has more extensive red on the throat, and is slightly darker green, with larger blue rump; subplacens without blue rump; pallid or
like previous race but paler and perhaps brighter.
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Proposed race occidentalis (from Ambelau I, off SE Buru) included in nominate. Five subspecies were recognized.
Hypocharmosyna placentis intensior Scientific name definitions
Hypocharmosyna placentis placentis Scientific name definitions
Hypocharmosyna placentis ornata Scientific name definitions
Hypocharmosyna placentis subplacens Scientific name definitions
Hypocharmosyna placentis pallidior Scientific name definitions
Forest, especially mangroves; also savanna woodland, tall secondary growth, coastal Casuarina groves, coconut and sago plantations, riverside palm and eucalypts, and open cultivated areas. Generally reported from lowlands, below 250 m in Halmahera and Kai Is, with some records up to 1400 m; however, recently found up to 800 m on Halmahera, with highest densities above 700 m.
Observations on Halmahera suggest birds apparently travel long distances in search of flowers.
Diet and Foraging
Apparently mainly or exclusively flowers and their nectar and pollen, including Erythrina indica, Schefflera, Syzygium, Melicope, Poikilospermum, Dimorphanthera, and Cocos nucifera. One observation of birds apparently ingesting lichen and moss off trunks, branches, and epiphytes.
Sounds and Vocal Behavior
Calls include a sharp “kssit”, a high-pitched “tss”, more subdued raspy notes, and combinations thereof, also being given in flight. When feeding, shrill chatters.
Jun–Nov, possibly much more extended, with birds seen at nest cavities in Feb and Apr. Nest in holes excavated by birds usually in arboreal termitarium or, sometimes, staghorn fern or moss clump. Eggs 2 (once), and 2 fledglings were observed.
Not globally threatened. CITES II. Generally common, and sometimes abundant e.g. in the Bismarck Archipelago. Not a popular target of traders, mainly because most of the birds taken die before reaching the traders! The density of 30 birds/km² estimated in one area of SE New Guinea, and likewise on Halmahera.