Kuhl’s Lorikeet (Vini kuhlii), Aka Rimatara Lorikeet

This is one of my favourite parrot species and I have made two trips to see them in the wild in Atiu, Cook Islands.  The first time was in 2008 and they had only been released less than a year and everyone was caught up in the excitement about having the beautiful little birds back on the island after so many years.  The actual name of the species is Kuhl’s Lorikeet or Kuhl’s Lory but they are much better known as Rimatara Lorikeets.  In their native lands, they are called “Ura in French Polynesia and Kura in the Cook Islands.

UPDATE:  I have also been to see them in their original native land, Rimatara!  I have been blogging about this trip taken in June 2014.

Young Rimatara Lorikeet

New photos taken in Rimatara.

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There are only four places where these highly endangered little parrots can be seen in the wild.  Of course one is their original homeland of Rimatara, French Polynesia and there are a few in Kritimati Island.  Then there is their new home of Atiu, Cook Islands and a few of the Atiu lorikeets flew off to Mitiaro, Cook Islands and have been breeding so there is a small population there.  Out of all these places, the easiest to get to on airline miles is the Cook Islands, then you need to fly on Air Rarotonga to Atiu.  You can also fly from Papeete to Rimatara on Air Tahiti.



Word Parrot Trust & Magazine Article




Cook Islands Bishop Museum


This is where I get to sit back and take it easy because to tell you the background of the Rimatara Lorikeets and their story is much easier to do with a collection of videos.  So sit back, relax and enjoy!

A much less professional production is my own visit to see them in 2008.  It does give an idea of what to expect from your own eco-tourism experience if you go to see these birds in the wild!