Caring for a Lorikeet

Lorikeets are popular and colourful parrots.

Overview

Lorikeets are native to Australia and the South Pacific Islands. They are small, slender birds that have a lifespan of about 15-20 years. 

Nutrition

The Lorikeet has a long, slender beak that has been designed for retrieving nectar and pollen from flowers. They also enjoy insect secretions, sap, fruit, berries, flowers, leaves, buds and small seeds. Nuts and seeds rarely form part of their natural diet. 

Powdered and liquid nectar mixtures 

Purchased from a pet retail store

Offer fresh on a daily basis

Select a product that contains less than 6000 IU/kg or vitamin A and less than 80mg/kg of dietary iron. Both Vitamin A and iron are essential nutrients, however too much can cause problems in Lorikeets.

Commercial mix

Offer daily

Use heavy ceramic bowls to prevent them from spilling

Fresh vegetables

Clean vegetables free of pesticides can be offered daily

Dark, green leafy vegetables

Avoid avocados as they can be toxic to birds.

Fruit

Offer fruit on a daily basis

Restrict high Vitamin C fruits such as strawberries, papaya and citrus fruits as they can increase the risk of iron storage problems when given in high quantities.

Flowers

Pesticide free flowers such as rose petals, bottlebrush flowers and hibiscus can be given fresh daily. Lorikeets can eat many native plants and flowers.

Housing

Lorikeets do well in large cages as they are highly active birds. the minimum cage size should be 90cm x 150cm. Select a cage that can be easily cleaned. Lorikeets tend to have watery droppings that can cause a miss both inside and outside the cage. Use natural branches (well cleaned) of different sizes as perches and as toys and chews. Avoid the use of sandpaper (on the floor or around the perches) as it can damage feet. Avoid metal ties/toys/wire/paints etc. Be careful with toys containing cotton or string as this may wrap around toes and cut off circulation.

The entire cage, toys, perches and dishes require a thorough cleaning every 2-3 months.

Toys should be sturdy and include:

  • Swings
  • Chew toys
  • Puzzles
  • Foot toys

Hazards out of the cage

If your bird is allowed to fly free in the house at times, please be aware of certain dangers outside the cage, such as:

  • metals and paints
  • pot plant fertiliser
  • fans, electric cords, etc.
  • smoking
  • non stick fry pans (when overheating they give off toxic fumes)
  • hot liquids, deep bowls or toilet bowls (drowning risk)
  • threads such as carpet threads, long hair etc, which can wrap around feet and toes and cause constriction, cuts off circulation and can lead to loss of toes/feet.

Bathing

Lorikeets enjoy baths. It is essential for healthy feathers and skin. Allowing your bird time around the clean laundry sink with running water will allow them to enjoy a play.