Charmosyna pulchella G. R. Gray, 1859

  fairy lorikeet                

Subspecies and Distribution:

Charmosyna pulchella pulchella G. R. Gray, 1859 – mountains from Vogelkop Peninsula East to Huon Peninsula and SE New Guinea; recorded also in Fakfak mountains (Bomberai Peninsula, W New Guinea).

Charmosyna pulchella rothschildi (E. J. O. Hartert, 1930) – NC New Guinea in Cyclops Mountains and adjacent ranges.


Not globally threatened. CITES II. Scarce in some areas, common in others, and locally abundant. Levels of trade, almost all out of Indonesia, generally low. Least concern.

Charmosyna pulchella pulchella

fairy lorikeet


Length: 18 cm (7.1 inch)

Weight: 35-40 gr.

Basically red with green wings.

A band of narrow yellow streaks on the upper breast. The yellow streaks are broader than those on the thighs and lower flanks.

the patch on the crown is purple-black, as are the thighs.

There is a variable blackish patch on the underparts.

The underwing coverts are green and red.

The tail start with green at the base, followed by red and tipped with yellow.

Bill, cere and iris are orange.

Feet orange or pink.

Skin around the eye darkgrey, ( all the photos are from birds kept inside so they have a white or light-grey skin).

Sexual dimorphism:

Male: red flanks and sides of the rump.

Female: green-tinged yellow flanks and sides.


Only a few birds left, no breeding reports no more.

A few more pictures from the wild you can see here.

Charmosyna pulchella rothschildi

rothschild's fairy lorikeet


Length: 18 cm ( 7,1 inch)

Weight: 34-36 gr.

Differs from the nominate by the yellow streaks are set in a broad band of green. (note; that immatures from The nominate also have a green breast which can lead to confusion.)

The nape patch reaches to the back of the eye. (In the nominate race some black-margined feathers or black feathers may reach the eye, but not a solid band of black).

The color of the abdomen is variable, being more black then red in many specimens.

Sexual dimorphism:

The female got a greenish-yellow undertail coverts, in the nominate it's yellow.


Only 1 pair left.

Thank you Peter Odekerken and Milena Vankova for letting me use your beautiful pictures of this subspecies.


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