The Green-maped Lorikeet, also called the Green Nape Lorikeet, is one of the most common of the 21 subspecies of Trichoglossus haematodus, the Rainbow Lorikeets. In the same family as parrots, their colorful plumage, acrobatic maneuvers, and wide range of vocalizations combine to make them one of the best known of the Rainbow Lorikeets.
These birds have a wide range of habitats; rainforest, open forest, woodlands, mangroves, gardens, parks, orchards, and coconut plantations where they are important pollinators of coconut species. Although most common in lowlands , they are also found in mountainous regions to 4.2 m (2600 ft).
The plumage of the Green-naped Lorikeet is an artist’s palette of rainbow colors. Its back and wings are bright green with primary wing feathers tipped in black and underwings orange-red and yellow. Its uppertail is green and its undertail grayish green with yellow. Its head is a dark bluish-violet with a lighter blue streaking on the forecrown, changing to greenish streaking on the rear crown. Its red breast feathers are edged in blue fading from blue to green in its rear chest areas. This lorikeet’s lores, the area between its eyes and bill, are blue. Mature birds have an orange-red beak and iris while those of immature birds are brown. Sub-adults also have duller plumage.
This medium-sized relative of parrots can reach 26 cm(10 in) in length and a weight of 127 to 133 gm (4.5-5 oz). Males and females are similar in size although females can be shorter with a smaller bill.
Green-naped Lorikeets spend 70 percent of their time feeding primarily on nectar and pollen but also eating fruit, selected greens and seeds, insects and larvae, and unripe grains of corn and sorghum. They extract nectar with their brush-tipped tongue. After crushing the flowers with their bills, they extend the tiny, hair-like papillae (projections) at the end of their tongue to soak up the nectar and gather pollen from blossoms. They drink surface water and that trapped by leaves.
Like other subspecies of Rainbow Lorikeets, Green-naped make a number of different sounds. Fledglings have a high pitched wheeze. Pairs twitter when nesting and preening. The birds screech when flying in search or food or for other birds and chatter when feeding. If disturbed at nesting sites or when feeding on low shrubs, they protest loudly while flapping their wings.
The feet of these birds have two forward and two backward facing toes. These combined with their strong bills enable them to be excellent climbers, hang up-side-down, and in general imitate Olympic gymnasts, especially when feeding.
They do not have oil glands but instead use preen using powder down. Special down feathers with tips that constantly break down form a waxy powder that the birds spread through their plumage during preening.