4th Day of Christmas with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti

4th Day of Christmas with NatureFiji-MareqetiViti

On the fourth day of Christmas NFMV shared with me:

Four calling kulas
Three flying foxes
Two friendly ground doves
And a fruit dove in a mango tree.

Four Calling Kulas
There are DEFINITELY 4 different kinds of parrots in Fiji today. There is hopefully another too (the Red-Throated Lorikeet)
but it hasn’t been seen for a long time and may well be extinct. We still have Collared Lory (Kula or Drisi), Masked
Shining Parrot (Kaka), Red Shining Parrot (Kaka or Vaga) and Kadavu Shining Parrot (Kaka or Kakula).
• Parrots are beautiful, brightly coloured birds
• They have thick necks and big heads
• Some parrots use their specially adapted strong beak to crack open hard seeds
• Many small parrots (lories and lorikeets) feed on nectar and pollen
• Parrots are VERY noisy
• They nest in holes in trees but their nests are difficult to find
• Two of their toes point forwards and two point backwards. This means they can grip branches really firmly and reach
food from very difficult angles!
• Masked shining parrot is only found in Viti Levu. It once lived in Ovalau, and according to legend, it may also
have lived in Wakaya and Makogai. They are 47cm from beak to tail tip. Their conservation status on the IUCN list, is
• Red Shining Parrot is found in Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Koro, Gau. It often feeds on the ground and especially likes
cassava! They are slightly smaller than masked shining parrot measuring 45cm
• The Kadavu shining parrot is only found in Kadavu and nearby Ono. It is the same size as the red shining parrot.
Its conservation status on the IUCN list, is Vulnerable
• The shining parrots are often called musk parrots in Fiji, because of their smell (which is like a billy goat)
• All of Fiji’s shining parrots are VERY noisy! Theyhave a variety of loud, penetrating squawks and screeches. Their
alarm call is a piercing krark.
• Collared lory is found all over Fiji except for Southern Lau. They are much smaller than the shining parrots,
measuring only 20cm from beak to tail tip. Their call is a mechanical screech
• Parrots are threatened by deforestation and the pet trade

Use our cartoon illustration to help you to learn to recognize each species. You will see that there are 5 in the picture
as one of them brought a friend along!

Four Fiji Parrots. Artist: Anne O'Brien.
Four Fiji Parrots and a friend!. Artist: Anne O’Brien.