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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

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

Race "concinna"

ADULT

MALE

Close-up frontal view of a male Musk Lorikeet feeding on buds and shoots
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

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]

Close-up near-frontal portrait of a male Musk Lorikeet
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Close-up near-lateral portrait of a male Musk Lorikeet with pollen all over its forehead (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Narrabri, NSW, October 2020]

Close-up lateral portrait of a male Musk Lorikeet
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Close-up lateral view of a male Musk Lorikeet hanging off a branch
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

FEMALE

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

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

Near-lateral view of a female Musk Lorikeet approaching a bird bath (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, SA, April 2022]

Close-up lateral view of a female(?) Musk Lorikeet
[Narrabri, NSW, March 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a male Musk Lorikeet (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, SA, April 2022]

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

Ventral view of a 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]

Sex unknown

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

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

Partly obscured lateral view of a Musk Lorikeet with a drooping 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]

Distant near-dorsal/ventral view of a Musk Lorikeet in flight
[Narrabri, NSW, February 2009]

PBFD - Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

The bird shown below may just be old; if not, it is possibly suffering from this debilitating disease, which leads to loss of feathers and beak deformations.

Near-frontal/ventral view of a sick and/or old Musk Lorikeet
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2023]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

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

Frontal view of a begging dependent juvenile Musk Lorikeet; note the horn-coloured cere, pinkish feet and all-dark bill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2021]

Near-dorsal view of a begging dependent juvenile Musk Lorikeet
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2021]

Close-up view of an adult Musk Lorikeet, left, feeding a dependent juvenile
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2021]

Race "didimus"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Musk Lorikeet; note the blue on cheek and crown (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Goulds Lagoon, Hobart, TAS, April 2021]

Dorsal view of a male Musk Lorikeet feeding on nectar (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Goulds Lagoon, Hobart, TAS, April 2021]

FEMALE

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

PAIR

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]

Hybrid

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

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", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = 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", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = 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. There is a separate page describing Musk Lorikeets socializing and mating at the end of the day.

Musk Lorikeets, like these two juveniles, like close companionship; this behaviour is part of a bonding ritual
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

Near-frontal view of a male Must Lorikeet in its land of plenty; in some respects birds are like humans - in this case enjoying licking the sweetness of nectar with its eyes closed
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2016]

And like other species of parrots, they like taking regular baths.

Lateral view of a male Musk Lorikeet in a bird bath (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, SA, April 2022]

The Musk Lorikeets shown below found a bathtub inside a eucalypt trunk.

Dorsal view of a Musk Lorikeet - getting out of a (natural) bathtub when all your feathers are soaking wet is not always easy; note how the bird is using its tail as a prop
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

Comparison between two Musk Lorikeets - one coming out of the tub, all wet, vs. the other heading in, still dry
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

Lateral view of a Musk Lorikeet that has just had a bath in an ornamental pond
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2023]

Here its mates that are still awaiting their turn
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2023]

Food, Diet

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

Frontal view of a Musk Lorikeet feeding on the nectar
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2021]

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]

Lateral view of a Musk Lorikeet feeding on nectar
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, November 2010]

Close-up lateral view of a female(?) Musk Lorikeet showing 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
[Narrabri, NSW, March 2014]

Close-up view of a Musk Lorikeet taking psyllids/lerps from the underside of a eucalypt leaf
[Near Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

Close-up view of two Musk Lorikeets feeding on buds and shoots
[Coolah, NSW, September 2018]

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_20200919.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Contact calls (group in flight) © MD
musklor_20220722_2.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Arrival & feeding (small flock) © MD
musklor_20161026_3.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Arrival (small group) © MD
musklor_20230918.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Resting (small flock) © MD
musklor_20180427.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Distress calls (attacked by Pied Currawong & Australian Raven) © MD
musklor_20220722.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Squabbling (food competition) © MD
musklor_20220722_3.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Various (+ Swift Parrot) © MD
musklor_20161026_2.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Begging/feeding call (immature) © MD
musklor_20161026.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Begging/feeding calls (immature) © MD
musklor_20211213.m4a concinna
(NW NSW)
Begging calls (juvenile) © MD
musklor_20221110.mp3 concinna
(NW NSW)
Begging call (juvenile) © MD

More Musk Lorikeet sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.