Ultramarine Lorikeet (Vini ultramarina)

Ultramarine Lorikeet

Ultramarine Lorikeet

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Vini ultramarina | [authority] Kuhl, 1820 | [UK] Ultramarine Lorikeet | [FR] Lori des Marquises | [DE] Ultramarinlori | [ES] Lori Ultramar | [NL] Hemelsblauwe Lori | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


The five members of the genus Vini are shaped like other true Lories but are small. The average size is 17-19cm, including a 6-7 cm tail. All are brilliant in coloration and are extremely rare. Members of this genus are small, stocky parrots with short rounded tails in which the central feathers are longer than the lateral ones. The erectile feathers of the crown are long and shaft- streaked. These birds are endemic to the islands of the tropical Pacific, ranging from eastern Fiji through Samoa, French Polynesia, and as far east as Henderson Island.

Physical charateristics

Both adults small, mainly blue parrots, two-toned in colour; crown dark blue; upperparts dull blue, underparts white with dark blue mottling; dark blue/purple band across chest; thighs and undertail purple/blue; tail pale blue tipped with white. Bill orange tipped with black. Eye yellow/orange.

Listen to the sound of Ultramarine Lorikeet

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/PSITTACIFORMES/Psittacidae/sounds/Ultramarine Lorikeet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Todd Mark

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 19 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 28 days fledging max.: 32 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Pacific Ocean : Marquesas Islands. Restricted to Marquesas Islands of Nuku Hiva, Ua Pu and Ua Huka; fossil remains show that this species formerly ranged more widely.


Found above 700m (2296 ft), montane forest. Also has been seen in banana, coconut and mango plantations in coastal areas. Noisy and conspicuous in spite of low numbers, may allow close approach. Stays at or near top of forest canopy.


Nests in tree holes, old hanging cocnuts or even an old passerine nest. Clutch size in captivity is 2 eggs, nestling period about months.

Feeding habits

It feeds on a wide variety of flowering trees on nectar and pollen, prefering flowers of the coconut palm, banana and native Hibiscus tileaceus and fruit, especially mango; as well as on flowers, buds and insects


This species is classified as Endangered because it only survives on two or three tiny islands (both reintroductions) and the tiny populations on two of these may become extirpated in the near future (if they have not already done so), as black rats have recently become established. Its overall population trend is difficult to assess, but it is likely to be undergoing a long-term continuing decline. It would be uplisted to Critically Endangered if black rats reached Ua Huka, the most important islands.
Almost all of the population is on one island where the species is stable or even increasing slightly, on other islands it is slowly declining and already almost extinct. The overall trend is suspected to be a slow and ongoing decline. If black rats reach Ua Huka the decline will be rapid and severe. It is likely that black rat Rattus rattus is responsible for its decline, being present on Nuku Hiva since c.1915, on Ua Pou (probably) since 1980, on a motu a few hundred metres from Ua Huka6, and confirmed, for the first time, on Fatu Hiva in February 200011. All islands have been devastated by very high levels of grazing and fire, and much of the original dry forest has been reduced to grassland, and extensive damage has been caused even to upland forests. Were the black rat to colonise Ua Huka patterns observed on other islands would indicate that the species would decline almost to extinction within 20 years.
Ultramarine Lorikeet status Endangered



Distribution map

Ultramarine Lorikeet distribution range map

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