/lawr"i keet', lor"-, lawr'euh keet", lor'-/, n.
any of various small lories.
[1765-75; LORY + (PARA)KEET]

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 any of 53 species of medium-sized vocal and exceptionally colourful parrots of Australia and New Guinea that feed on pollen and nectar. They have brush-tipped tongues that help sweep food into the mouth. They also eat small insects and are important pollinators of many trees, including coconut palms. Lories have shorter tails but are similar and belong to the same subfamily.

  The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is among the most spectacular and variable of the group, with 21 races scattered over the southwestern Pacific. Most races of this 150-gram (5-ounce) species have red bills, blue heads, green wings, and black feet, though the colour and pattern of the chest, neck, and belly vary dramatically. Screeching, chattering flocks feed in the upper canopy and nest in hollow trees, sometimes in the company of flocks of other fruit- and nectar-eating species. At night they gather, sometimes by the thousands, in communal roosts.

      In the dry scrub of southern Australia, breathtakingly colourful purple-crowned lorikeets (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) gather in small nomadic flocks to eat fruit, pollinating the flowering mallee in the process. Along with a deep purple cap, the head has red-and-yellow cheek pads. The chin and chest are sky blue, and the green wings are ornamented with red, blue, and green on the undersides. Colonies of these lorikeets nest in tree holes. Though both members of a pair may roost in the unlined hollow, only the female incubates the two or three eggs.

Sy Montgomery

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lorikeet — Lor i*keet, n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one numerous species of small brush tongued parrots or lories, found mostly in Australia, New Guinea and the adjacent islands, with some forms in the East Indies. They are arboreal in their habits and feed largely… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lorikeet — [lôr′i kēt΄] n. [< LORY + (PARA)KEET] any of several small, brightly colored parakeets native to Australia and the East Indies with a lorylike tongue for feeding on nectar …   English World dictionary

  • lorikeet — n. any of various small brightly coloured parrots of the subfamily Loriinae, including the rainbow lorikeet. Etymology: dimin. of LORY, after parakeet …   Useful english dictionary

  • lorikeet — noun Etymology: lory + keet (as in parakeet) Date: 1770 any of numerous small arboreal chiefly Australasian parrots (family Loriidae) that usually have long slender tongue papillae which form an organ resembling a brush …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lorikeet — noun Any of various small, brightly coloured, parrots native to Australasia. They are usually classified in the subfamily Loriinae …   Wiktionary

  • lorikeet — brightly coloured southeast Asian parrot Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • lorikeet — n. small brightly colored parrot found in Australia and Southeast Asia that feeds on the honey of flowers …   English contemporary dictionary

  • lorikeet — [ lɒrɪki:t] noun a small bird of the lory family, found chiefly in New Guinea. [Charmosyna and other genera: several species.] Origin C18: dimin. of lory, on the pattern of parakeet …   English new terms dictionary

  • lorikeet — lor·i·keet …   English syllables

  • lorikeet — lor•i•keet [[t]ˈlɔr ɪˌkit, ˈlɒr [/t]] n. orn any of various small lories • Etymology: 1765–75; lory+ (para) keet …   From formal English to slang

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