Red-eared lorikeet, Green leek, King parrot (unrelated species)
The Musk lorikeet is a medium-sized, sturdy-built lorikeet getting up to 22 centimetres long. It is mainly green and it is identified by its red forehead, blue crown and a distinctive yellow band on its wings. Both upper and lower mandibles of the beak are red at the tip and darker near its base.
Musk lorikeets eat mainly pollen and nectar from eucalypts, Bottlebrush and Grevillea using their specialised brush-tipped tongues, but will also eat seeds, fruits and insects and their larvae. Apricots and apples are also a favourite, and the species may raid fruit trees in backyards or orchards.
Musk Lorikeets are found in tall, open, dry forest and woodlands, and are usually found in the canopy. They are also seen in suburban areas, parks and street trees.
Throughout south-eastern Australia, from eastern NSW, throughout Victoria and into South Australia. They also occur in Tasmania.
Musk Lorikeets are a common sight in suburbs and urban areas, and they are nomadic and willing to travel quite a distance to get to that perfect flowering tree.
They have a distinctive shrill and rolling call. Their colouring acts as camouflage, blending in amongst the leaves and bright colored flowers of natives
Like all lorikeets, they have a special brush-tipped tongue which helps them to collect the sweet nectar and pollen that makes up a bulk of their diet. They are largely nomadic birds, so it’s hard to predict when Musk Lorikeets will turn up – but eucalypts beginning to bloom is a good sign theyre on the way.
The impact of the spread of urbanisation on this species has actually been a positive one – the planting of nectar-producing plants in suburban gardens – including their favourite species, Bottlebrush and Grevillea – have led to the species becoming a relatively common sight in backyards, and even being seen in inner city areas, although not as commonly as the larger and more common Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus mollucanus).