Re: What's in a name? - Musk Lorikeet

Subject: Re: What's in a name? - Musk Lorikeet
Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 14:00:31 +1000
'Musk' Lorikeet

A while ago there was a query/discussion here about why the MUSK LORIKEET was so named.
        While reading George CALEY's 'Reflections on the Colony of NSW' (in J.E.B. Currey's book, 1966), I've come across the following passage among 'Caley's notes on the birds of NSW' (Appendix 1):
        'COOLICH [Musk Lorikeet: Glossopsitta concinna]
        '... it may be observed in large flocks sucking the Eucalypti flowers. Like the Blue Mountains Parrot [Rainbow Lorikeet] it is subject to fits, which generally prove fatal. It is but seldom kept alive. Its breath, or some part about its head, emits a very sweet odour...'
        (Underlining and second pair of square brackets are mine.) George Caley arrived in the colony with Governor King in April 1800, and left with Governor Bligh in May 1810. Caley seems to have been a fascinating character who found himself here in fascinating times.
        Elsewhere, recently, I have also read of the same period that the head of this bird was said to give off a musky smell in death.

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