The rainbow bird – Lorikeet pet guide

Birds Human Classroom

Lorikeets or also known as rainbow lorikeet, a bird with beautiful plumage, with a variety of colors that you can not fail to appreciate, they have a fun and unique personality, they are sassy and love to draw attention. Known as very active birds and also noisy, they love to make noise and talk a lot, so be aware of your neighbors. If you are interested in knowing more about this beautiful species, read on.

Origin and Characteristics

Their scientific name is Trichoglossus moluccanus, and they are commonly called Lorikeets, Lory, or Rainbow Lorikeets, they belong to the family group of the Psittacidae parrots and to the subfamily of the Loriinae. This species is native birds of Australia and is found in different areas of the country, but the colonies of rainbow lorikeets were established mainly in Perth, Western Australia and are also known to find colonies of this species in other nearby countries like New Zealand, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, among others.  This species of bird is also found in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, and others. They live in rainforest trees, bush, and the woodlands. Lorikeets can travel up to 40 miles in a day just for food, normally when they fly they are very noisy and travel in a communal roost.

Rainbow lory is known for having great and unique features that draw a lot of attention. They have a life expectancy of approximately 30 years or more. The size of the lorikeet is a medium-sized parrot, they have a slim construction that is similar to the Asian Parakeets. This species measures up to 15 inches in length from the tip of its head to the end of its tail and weighs approximately 2.5 to 5.5 ounces. Its head is small, its beak is short and somewhat oval with a droopy and sharp tip, when they are babies they are black but as they grow to adulthood they change to a red color turning to orange and something distinctive about this bird is its scaly brush tipped tongue that helps them collect nectar and pollen better. Their plumage as well as all their subspecies are of varied and brilliant color, the rainbow lorikeet in their face and belly is of a blue color, part of their head, back and wings are of green color. Her chest is a bright red color with certain reflections of yellow and orange tones on the sides. Its legs have dark, gray-black skin and are of a small size.

Exist different subspecies of lorikeets, which vary by their size and colors in their feathers, and the most known are

  • Red Collared lorikeet (Trichoglossus. rubritorquis)
  • Coconut Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)
  • Scarlet Breasted Lorikeet or Sunset Lorikeet (Trichoglossus forsteni)
  • Swainson’s Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus)
  • The Lake Eyre Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus eyrei)
  • The Northern Moluccan Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus septentrionalis)

Breeding time varies where they are, in Australia it’s from August to January approximately. Wild lorikeet likes to leave their nest in places like holes of the eucalyptus tree, hanging rocks, trunks of palms, or trees with good heights that are free of predators. Lorikeets are monogamous and remain paired for long periods or for life, the size of their nests occupies enough space to lay 2 or 3 eggs, which are incubated for 25 days, and the mother is responsible for incubating them. They tend to share the tree with their own species or sometimes in the company of flocks of other fruit- and nectar-eating species.

Personality and Vocalization

The lorikeet is known for being a very loving and sweet bird with a pleasant personality and loves to make some mischief. They are very intelligent and learn many things, they have good socialization so they are very good as a pet bird. As most parrots can be trained, if you dedicate yourself and intensify their education, your lorikeet can be very well trained and get used to the human touch, once they are like that get yourself! because your bird will give you a lot of love and will look for any way to get your attention.  You can give them food directly from your hand and teach them many tricks. Don’t be careless because their intelligence is something to fear, they are very good at opening the doors of their cages so they are all artists to escape, so you must put a good lock on their cages. It has also been seen that the wild rainbow lorikeets seem to be friendly and tend to have good socialization.

Like all parrot species, the lorikeet is a very good speaker, can learn many words and phrases, are very noisy, and have a high-pitched tone with frequent squawks, so you must take into consideration your neighbors, so it’s not recommended to live in apartments or have neighbors very close, because in itself it tends to make some people a little uncomfortable and more those who are sensitive to high noises.

Another important fact to know is that most lorikeets are very territorial so they don’t usually get along with other species of birds, it’s very important to keep an eye on your pet lorikeet when it meets other types of birds.

Food and Health

Rainbow lorikeets have a diet based mainly on nectar and pollen from flowers. As I mentioned before, their beak and tongue are designed for the search of these types of foods, just the opposite of other parrots. In captivity, pet owners have different options to give them nectar, either commercial or with homemade mixtures, which can be prepared several times a day to be fresh, as well as you can put natural flowers, fresh fruits, green vegetables, or oats. Always leave them a plate with fresh, clean water and change it every day.

One of the common diseases that can happen in the Lorikeets is the psittacine beak and feather disease, which comes from a virus called Circoviru and can cause long-term immune suppression as well as cause feather and beak abnormalities. It doesn’t have a cure and can be very fatal, it affects wild and domestic birds, and the only way to control this virus is prevention, and infected birds should be kept isolated from non-infected birds as the disease is easily transmitted.

Also can have feather plucking, this usually happens more than anything with the birds that are more intelligent, because they can get bored, feel neglected, or have anxiety-causing depression by the negligence of their owners if they don’t have enough mental and physical exercise, with the consequence of feather plucking. They are also prone to have lorikeet paralysis syndrome is a condition that causes paralysis or clenched feet, which doesn’t allow a bird to perch. Due to the diet they have, they may suffer from another condition called Sour crop, it’s a bacterial infection that affects the bird’s crop or food storage pouch in the throat area of the bird’s digestive tract, and this can be avoided by constant cleaning of the cage, food and drink dishes between meals. Once you see that your pet has a strange behavior out of the ordinary go to a veterinary avian to review it and can be discarded any type of disease or can be treated with time

Cage and Caring

The Lorikeets are medium-sized birds so the best cages for them are large, taking into account that if you are going to have more than one lorikeet the bigger they are, the better for them.  These birds are very lively and active, they like to move too much and if their cage is large you give them more space for their movements and games. The minimum size for a cage should be 4 feet long by 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall. 

The bars in the cage shouldn’t have too much space between them because they can get their heads between the bars and get stuck and can suffocate. Also, make sure that the bars are a hard material because it can bite them constantly and damage the bars, but make sure that they are not made of toxic materials. Always remember to keep the cage clean, at least wash the cage completely once a week and make sure that the soap doesn’t have toxic elements that could endanger the life of your pets and let it dry well. 

Although you get the perfect cage for your lorikeet does not mean that they have to stay all day locked up in it, give them three to more hours of free flight inside the house so they can stretch well, take advantage of a good flight and exercise satisfactorily. You also give him to know the place and he gets familiar with your home. Make sure you don’t have any toxic plants for them and that they are in a calm and safe environment. At the same time, you can interact with your lorikeet and enjoy a good time together.

Rainbow lorikeets are very happy and active birds so they like to have toys in their cage to have something to distract them with and enjoy them. Make sure they have a good variety and for them, I recommend that in their cages they have natural wooden sticks, sand for birds, bathtubs, toys that help them to climb like ropes with knots, swings, toys that have free movement. 

If you are a person who has a lot of free time and you are a bird lover, a rainbow lorikeet is your best option, as long as you are sure you can give it the life it deserves and you are committed to the responsibility of many years. The lorikeet will be a great companion, who will enjoy being in moments with you, share much love and also make mischief, and certainly be prepared to have a chatty companion.  If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers
Latest posts by Professor Whiskers (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *