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Charmosyna margarethae

Common Name: Duchess Lorikeet

Range: Montane forests of Solomon Islands (including Bougainville)

Charmosyna margarethae
  • Description: general plumage red; wings and under tail-coverts green; lower back and upper tail-coverts olive-green; nape and back of head violet-black; broad yellow band edged violet-black above and below across breast and extending around back without edging below as narrow stripe; tail upperside red with broad yellow tips; underside dull red with pale olive-yellow tips; narrow periophthalmic ring grey; iris orange-yellow; feet orange; bill orange.
  • Female as male, but with yellow patches to sides of rump.
  • Immatures with irregular band to breast and without violet-black edging above; red body feathers variably edged violet-black; bill brownish.
  • Length: 20 cm
  • Status: common in localities on Bougainville, mostly rare on Solomon Islands and only very occasionally common in localities.
  • Distribution: on most islands of Solomon group as well as Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
  • Habitat: mainly rain and cloud forest of more mountainous interior of islands to 1,350 m; on Bougainville especially also in lowland areas, coconut plantations, gardens and tall secondary vegetation.
  • virtually unknown; lively and constantly active; susceptible during acclimatization period; no further information available.
  • Breeding behavior: exact breeding period unknown; possibly in July; courtship display observed in January; male raised breast and head feathers, drooped wings and spread tail; then pursued female from branch to branch until later flew off after a minute; egg dimensions unknown.
  • Breeding in aviculture: unknown
Social Behavior
  • usually in flocks of 5 to 10 birds, also larger gatherings in coconut plantations or flowering feeding trees; active; does not stay long in one position; climbs agilely around branches or hangs upside down to get at flowers; prefers tops of tall trees in forest; often associates with Meek's Lorikeet in flowering trees; occasionally also with Cardinal Lory; flight swift and direct; mostly flies just above canopy or through upper branches; readily identified by red-yellow plumage; call consists of succession of squeaky sounds quite different to other lories; regular high-pitched, loud keek-keek-keek-keek calls during flight.
  • provide aviary at least 2 x 1 x 2 m; minimum temperature 25°C.
  • nectar solution of porridge, honey, pollen, vitamin yeast and multivitamin supplements should be tried with newly imported birds; in addition dry feed of oatmeal, dextrose, pollen, calcium powder and calcium-phosphate preparation; various fruit and proprietary lory feed.
  • Natural diet: nectar, flowers, pollen and soft fruits (especially Schefflera species); also vegetable matter.