Rainbow Lorikeet

(Trichoglossus haematodus)


Rainbow Lorikeet IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The rainbow lorikeet has a total length from tip of the bill to the tip of the tail of about 26 cm. The sexes are similar in plumage but the female is smaller and has a shorter bill. The general plumage is very colourful (see pictures), with green, blue, black, red and yellow, but there is a lot of variation between the different sub-species (20 sub-species). The legs are grey. It has a red bill and iris. Immature birds have a duller plumage than the adults, a black-brown bill and brown iris.


T.h. michelli: Bali Lombok.

T.h. forsteni: Sumbawa.

T.h. djampeanus: Tanajampea.

T.h. stresemanni: Kalaotoa.

T.h. fortis: Sumba.

T.h. weberi: Flores.

T.h. capistratus: Timor.

T.h. flavotectus: Wetar and Romang.

T.h. rosenbergii: Biak I, off N Irian Jaya.

T.h. intermedius: N New Guinea and Manam I, from River Sepik E to Astrolabe Bay.

T.h. haematodus: S Moluccas and W Papuan Is, E to NW New Guinea (Humboldt Bay) and S New Guinea (upper River Fly).

T.h. nigrogularis: E Kai Is, Aru Is (except Spirit I) and S New Guinea (from lower river Fly to Princess Marianne Straits).

T.h. brooki: Spirit I, Aru Is.

T.h. micropteryx: E New Guinea, E from Huon Peninsula in N, including Bagabag I and Hall Sound in S.

T.h. nesophilus: Ninigo and Hermit Groups, W of Manus.

T.h. flavicans: Admiralty Is and New Hanover.

T.h. massena: Karka I, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Is and Vanuatu.

T.h. deplanchii: New Caledonia and Loyalty Is.

T.h. moluccanus: Torres Strait Is, E and SE Australia and Tasmania.

T.h. rubritorquis: N Australia. Lowland to lower montane wooded areas of many types. From sea level up to 2400 m.

Did you know?
that these colourful parrots often frequent coastal houses with bird-feeding platforms, or window and balcony rails adorned with honey-soaked bread, and even may mob people by screeching and biting when trying to get food from them?


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Trichoglossus haematodus
Name (English) Rainbow Lorikeet
Name (French) Loriquet à tête bleue
Name (German) Allfarblori
Name (Spanish) Lori arcoiris
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Louise Docker



Range Australia, South-eastern Asia
Habitat Different types of habitat, from tropical rainforest to savannah and cultivated land
Wild population Unknown, but common in parts of its range (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 2069 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

Rainbow Lorikeet


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 11C of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Kyle Kesselring

Why do zoos keep this animal

Being very active, social, vocal and colourful birds, rainbow lorikeets are an ideal ambassador species for Australian and south-east Asian habitats, some of which are threatened, and the fauna of the region.

Rainboiw lorikeets may be displayed in "walk-thru" exhibits allowing for close encounters between the birds and the public. Feeding should, however, be allowed under supervision only.