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12

Musk Lorikeet

(Glossopsitta concinna)
Alternate name(s): "Green Keet*", "Green Leek*"
Size: 21-23 cm
Weight: 60-90 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Musk Lorikeet at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

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Race "concinna"

ADULT

MALE

This frontal shot provides a good overview of the facial colour pattern of a male Musk Lorikeet, with strong blue hues on cheeks and crown
[Gunnedah, NSW, October 2008]

Frontal view of a Musk Lorikeet feeding in a Mugga Ironbark eucalypt; the strong blue hues on crown and cheeks and also the pronounced bronze-coloured mantle indicate that this is a male
[Narrabri, NSW, August 2007]

The same male Musk Lorikeet as above, now in a more lateral position ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Narrabri, NSW, August 2007]

Near-lateral portrait of a male Musk Lorikeet ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Lateral portrait of a male Musk Lorikeet ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Close-up lateral view of a male Musk Lorikeet ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Narrabri, NSW, March 2014]

Male Musk Lorikeet hanging off a branch ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

FEMALE

Musk Lorikeet seen hanging off a branch; the absence of blue on its cheeks suggests that this is a female
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

Female Musk Lorikeet feeding on the nectar of a Mugga Ironbark eucalypt (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[Ashburton, Melbourne, VIC, February 2012]

Dorsal view of a snoozing female Musk Lorikeet (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[Ashburton, Melbourne, VIC, February 2012]

Ventral view of a female Musk Lorikeet, with its head turned, exhibiting the characteristic facial pattern
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2009]

Sex unknown

Dorsal view of a Musk Lorikeet responding to a challenge by opening its bill in a threatening gesture ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Narrabri, NSW, March 2014]

Ventral view of a Musk Lorikeet, showing the colour pattern of the underside of the tail feathers
[Narrabri, NSW, March 2014]

This Musk Lorikeet clearly has an issue with its right wing - when spotted it was under attack from both Pied Currawongs and Australian Ravens; this is the bird whose distress calls were recorded on 27 April 2018
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2018]

Flock of 15 Musk Lorikeets in flight
[Narrabri, NSW, February 2009]

Ventral view of a Musk Lorikeet in flight
[Narrabri, NSW, February 2009]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Juvenile Musk Lorikeet feeding on the nectar of a bottlebrush; note the all grey-brown bill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2016]

Race "didimus"

ADULT

MALE

FEMALE

Two Musk Lorikeets, probably a pair; the bird on the right is most likely a male, the one on the left a female - note the absence of blue from its cap (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Hobart, TAS, March 2016]

Sex unknown

Close-up frontal view of a Musk Lorikeet (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Hobart, TAS, March 2016]

Hybrid

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In June 2011 a hybrid lorikeet was reported at Chain Valley Bay South, a bay of Lake Macquarie on the NSW Central Coast. We subsequently spotted a second hybrid, most likely between a Musk Lorikeet and a Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.

Hybrid lorikeet feeding; one can see clearly the orange scaling typical of a Scaly-breasted Lorikeet and the red forehead of a Musk Lorikeet
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

Different perspective
[Chain Valley Bay South, NSW, June 2011]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 2 Incubation period: 22 days Fledging age: 35 - 42 days

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female

The male feeds the female while she is incubating the eggs.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: Wood dust Height above ground: >10(?) m

Pair of Musk Lorikeets inspecting a potential nest hollow (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[July 2013]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 24 x 20 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Flock

Like other species of parrots, Musk Lorikeets are very sociable birds.

Musk Lorikeets like close companionship
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

In some respects birds are like humans: Male Musk Lorikeet enjoying licking the sweetness of nectar with eyes closed
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2016]

And like other species of parrots, they like taking regular baths. The ones shown below have found a bathtub inside a eucalypt trunk.

Getting out of a bathtub when all your feathers are wet is not always easy
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

Here a comparison - Musk Lorikeet coming out of the tub, left, vs. going in, right
[November 2010]

Food, Diet

Musk Lorikeets feed on nectar, as also shown in various photos above.

Musk Lorikeet feeding on the nectar of a lemon-scented gumtree
[Eulah Creek, NSW, June 2011]

Musk Lorikeet, race "didimus", feeding on nectar in an eucalypt tree; note the absence of blue from its cap
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Hobart, TAS, March 2016]

Musk Lorikeet feeding on nectar
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

This lateral view of a Musk Lorikeet clearly shows the feeding technique - the bill is wide open and the bird uses its tongue to lick the nectar at the base of the eucalypt flower ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Narrabri, NSW, March 2014]

Musk Lorikeet taking psyllids/lerps from the underside of an eucalypt leaf ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Near Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Musk Lorikeets feeding on buds and shoots ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Musk Lorikeets feeding on buds and shoots ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Musk Lorikeets feeding on buds and shoots ; note the orange tip of the bill
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Musk Lorikeets approaching a water bowl in our garden at a time of drought
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2013]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

musklor_20180921.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Contact calls (group in flight) © MD
musklor_20140319.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Arrival (pair) © MD
musklor_20161026_3.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Arrival (small group) © MD
musklor_20140319_3.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Warning/ departure (pair) © MD
musklor_20160419_5.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Warning/ departure
(small flock)
© MD
musklor_20140410.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Warning/ departure © MD
musklor_20140325_3.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Alarm/departure (flock) © MD
musklor_20180427.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Distress calls (attacked by Pied Currawong & Australian Raven) © MD
musklor_20140722.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Annoyed (food competition) © MD
musklor_20140416.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Very annoyed © MD
musklor_20140330_2.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Feeding calls (flock) © MD
musklor_20160419_3.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Feeding calls
(small flock)
© MD
musklor_20160419_4.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Feeding quietly
(small flock)
© MD
musklor_20140330_3.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Quarreling (over food) © MD
musklor_20140504.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Quarreling (over food) © MD
musklor_20161026_2.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Begging/feeding call (immature) © MD
musklor_20161026.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Begging/feeding calls (immature) © MD

We have also recorded the wing beat of a Musk Lorikeet.

musklor_20140416_2.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Arrival © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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