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Ultramarine Lorikeet

Lori ultramarin - Photo Jean-Paul Mutz

Lori ultramarin – Photo Jean-Paul Mutz

7 inches. Male and female identical in appearance. The beak and legs are bright orange for the adults. The head is turquoise on the front, Prussian blue on the cap. The cheeks and throat are blue flecked with white. The wings and back have different shades of turquoise. The chest is Prussian blue, white belly that shades towards dark blue. The tail is turquoise blue and ends in white tones. The juveniles have brown highlights on the head and body, and their plumage gradually brightens.

Order: Psittaciformes

Family: Psittacidae

Category: Endemic Birds


Marquesas Islands. Present in the last century on the islands of Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Tahuata and Hiva Oa, the species is extinct on these four islands. The species was introduced to Ua Huka, which now contains the latest population ‘viable’ with an estimated 1,000 couples. Translocation of thirty individuals was performed on Fatu Hiva in the 90s by the San Diego Zoo. The arrival of the black rat on the island at the same time condemned the operation and the species is now also extinct on this island.


All woodlands, gardens and forests of the valleys up to 1000 m high.

Hissing, long and sharp sound:”piii, piii, piii …”. They are heard frequently in flight or when the bird is on a branch.

To listen the Ultramarine Lorikeet:

Nectar of flowers (Banana, Musa sp;. Pacayer, Inga edulis, Coconut, Cocos nucifera; hau, Hibiscus tiliaceus, fruits of Mango Mangifera indica; Guava Psidium guajava; tava, Pometia pinnata, banana, mape, Inocarpus fagifer …) seeds of tamarind (Tamarindus indica), aito (Casuarina equisetifolia), Coffee tree (Coffea arabica); maii buds (Terminalia catappa) of Coconuts, tava, miro (Thespesia populnea), insects.

Ultramarine Lorikeet @Mike Greenfelder

Ultramarine Lorikeet @Mike Greenfelder

Nests in a tree cavity (Pandanus, Coconut Palm Tree, Breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis; aoa, Ficus sp.). White eggs 22 x 18 mm are laid at least between September and January.

Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.



Scientific Name: Vini ultramarina (Kuhl, 1820)

Polynesian Names:
Pihiti (Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva), pihitikua (Nuku Hiva)

  • Marquesas: Ua Huka


The species is critically endangered. It is now extinct in 5 islands colonized by the black rat. The latter seems to be the main threat to the last viable population of Ua Huka, yet free from this type of rat. The introduction of avian pathology by domestic poultry, a Rock Dove (Columba livia) or any other bird introduced also appears as a significant potential threat to consider.

The species is listed in category A of the list of species protected by the territorial regulations of French Polynesia.
It is classified as “Critically Endangered” (CR) on the IUCN Red List.
It is the only French Polynesia species included in Appendix I of the Washington Convention.