Out of all the birds that can be domesticated, parrots take center stage. They are fun birds who like to live with human companions and learn from us.
Among the many types of parrots, the lorikeets are regarded as the clowns of the bird world.
Their association with clowns comes from the red beak, colorful plumage, and jolly nature that makes them endearing and a joy to behold.
However, when it comes to keeping a lorikeet, you should not ignore its natural ways and its specific requirements.
Are lorikeets good pets? Several of the smaller species, such as the rainbow lorikeet and the red-collared lorikeet, make wonderful pets for those familiar with avian care. Lorikeets can be trained easily, are entertaining and affectionate, actively seek interaction, and will even imitate behaviors with time.
By the time you finish reading here, you will have a good understanding in regards to lorikeets’ size, personality, native regions, trainability, care, diet, lifespan, and price.
You’ll also know how to help them learn to talk, play, and much more. There is a lot of information in store for you, so stick around till the end if you are interested in a lorikeet.
Lorikeets are divided into two main groups, Australian and tropical.
In general, we use the terms lorikeet and parakeet in the same sense, but they are different.
Even though they have similar classifications and sizes, there are a few discerning differences that are essential to understand them.
Lorikeets are smaller than parakeets, and the lorikeet has a unique tongue shape called brush tongue required to eat nectar, soft tropical fruits, pollen, etc.
Moreover, lorikeets are different from parakeets due to their clownish behavior and colorful plumage.
Lorikeet Size & Appearance
Lorikeets are small birds; they can grow from 6 inches to 15 inches long, depending on the species.
They can be between 0.7 ounces to 10 ounces or 20 to 280 grams in terms of weight. Again, the exact weight depends on their type and age.
Based on their structure, they are medium-sized parrots that can grow quickly. The length of lorikeets is measured from beak to tail feathers.
As far as appearance is concerned, the lorikeets are highly visible due to their colorful body and feathers, and both sexes look similar to each other.
The majority of the lorikeet population has a blue head and belly.
Their wings, tail, and back are typically colored green with an orange or yellowish breast, though this varies depending on species.
Lorikeet Temperament & Personality
Lorikeets are not shy birds. They are pretty intense and are known to be enthusiastic and bubbly.
In other words, lorikeets like to play, and they won’t miss a chance to do so, especially when humans are around.
Their inherent nature to play helps them keep busy all the time and stay lively. This means that keeping them as pets can be a nuisance as they give little time to rest.
Even though lorikeets are entertaining, people looking for a more relaxed bird shouldn’t consider lorikeets.
They love to play and always look forward to coming out of the cage to play with their owners.
Due to their inherent personality, lorikeets turn out to be affectionate birds. They are friendly and socialize easily.
This means they do not have a sensitive temperament. Lorikeets need to acclimatize to the human touch, and once they are comfortable with that, things become easier.
As an intelligent species of parrots, lorikeets will adapt readily and learn new behavior quickly.
These birds are native to the coastal areas spreading from Northern Queensland to the southern part of Australia. Additionally, they are also found along the eastern coastline.
As a result, we can see large colonies of lorikeets situated in Perth, Australia; New Zealand; and Tasmania.
They primarily reside in the rain forest areas, bush lands, and woodlands.
Lorikeet Intelligence & Trainability
Lorikeets are intelligent birds. They may have a small brain, but it packs a punch of intelligence that makes them easy to train.
Because of their intelligence levels, the lorikeets can easily fit in with the human-dominated environment and find their unique place in a family and as a companion to everyone.
A lorikeet’s intelligence level makes it different from other species in the same category.
You must consider this while training them to speak and play with you. A lorikeet’s intelligence can either cause hurdles or make training a delightful experience.
If you follow the right process, training them will be a walk in the park. However, there is no one-stop solution to training them.
You need to identify their critical behavioral characteristics or get in touch with the local breeder, vet, or zoo professional to train them better.
Are Lorikeets Smart?
Yes, they are an intelligent bird species. This is because lorikeets have better intelligence levels than their fellow birds.
Moreover, they can learn new tricks and follow other birds’ behavior quickly, which makes them good escape artists.
Are Lorikeets Easy To Train?
Any bird that can socialize, build companionship, and imitate behavior will always be easy to train.
Their ability to socialize makes them comfortable with new people around them; the companionship allows lorikeets to build an association with the trainer.
When they can imitate the behavior of other birds, lorikeets can learn everything you teach them easily and efficiently.
However, while training, make sure to use their favorite foods as a reward, and give them the food in small bits.
Similar to other parrots, the lorikeets also have a high-pitched voice and can squawk frequently.
They give shrill vocalizations, which can be a nuisance and annoying to some people, but you must ignore their squeaky voice and jolly nature if you want to train them.
A lorikeet’s ability to socialize and interact with others makes it an excellent talker. You can help them learn many words and even phrases.
It’s important to remember that the frequent squawks, high shrills, screams, and other loud sounds are not done to intentionally make you crazy.
In a recent conversation with an avian expert from the Texas Aviary & Exotic Hospital, I was given the following advice to keep in mind:
In the wild, many species of birds congregate in the morning and at dusk for social interaction.
These activities include vocalizing, eating, and grooming. This is normal vocalizing behavior of the bird and it may be unrealistic to expect it to change.
Try using this time to interact with the bird. Social activity is an important part of the bird’s day, and may help build a proper social flock relationship between you and the bird.
The best attitude is to let the bird have its social noise and accept it as part of keeping a bird as a pet.
Caring for a lorikeet will require time and specialized effort.
So, if you have time on your hands and can devote hours each day with them, then a lorikeet may be a feasible option for you.
These birds love to socialize and play, which are two aspects that can be used to your advantage when training and caring for your bird.
Take note of the following:
- Lorikeets need a large aviary or flight cage. They have strong beaks, so avoid buying wooden or flimsy cages.
- Do not place their cage near items you wish to keep pristine. Due to their mostly liquid diet, a lorikeet’s waste can create a mess.
- Lorikeets are fond of sugary nectars, which means that their food cups can invite bacteria. Clean all feeding apparatus often and thoroughly.
Ideal Lorikeet Diet
Lorikeets like to live in the wild and follow the ways and means of a wild environment.
As a result, you will see them eating flower nectar and pollen as their primary diet.
These birds have special brushes inside their mouth to help harvest the wild food.
When they are in captivity as pets, you can feed them homemade or market-bought nectar mixes, fresh fruits, flowers (edible), and green vegetables.
Every bird is born to fly and be free while making humans envy their ability to fly and go anywhere.
Lorikeets are no different; like other birds, they also want to be free.
Since this is not possible in captivity, you need to ensure that they have the largest cage possible inside the house.
The frame should be strong and sturdy enough. Do not get a wooden or plastic casing as they can pierce through it with their beak.
The minimum dimensions are 4 x 2 x 3 feet, though the larger, the better.
Exercising for a lorikeet is important to maintain their physical and mental health.
The best exercise for a bird is to fly. You need to ensure that they have enough area to fly around safely.
Take them out of the cage for 3 to 4 hours daily to allow them to fly and explore.
They are hyperactive birds, which means that you should also give them plenty of toys to keep them busy.
As highly intelligent birds, lorikeets require plenty of engaging, stimulating activities to ward off boredom and destructive behaviors.
One of the easiest things you can do is to regularly rotate their toys and occasionally provide brand new ones.
Good choices for mental stimulation include:
- Interactive toys.
- Objects that can be manipulated or safely destroyed.
- Puzzle toys.
- Bird gyms.
- Foraging toys.
Also, teaching new tricks and interacting with your bird in new ways can both be forms of mental stimulation.
For example, instead of sitting on the couch while you interact with your lorikeet, try bringing him in front of a large mirror or sing a song instead of just speaking.
The price of a lorikeet typically ranges from $500 to $1500. The final price will depend on their quality, color, rarity, age, and the breeder’s location.
But that is the cost of the bird only.
You need to add the cost of buying a cage, food, medication, toys, perches, nail clippers, etc., to get the final price.
Some of these are one-time costs, such as the cage, but many are recurrent, coming every month.
A lorikeet can live between 20 to 30 years if their lifespan is not cut short due to an illness or accident.
In captivity, human errors and belief in myths can also reduce their life.
For instance, there is a misconception that lorikeets can survive without water, which is not true.
Lorikeet Interesting Facts
- Lorikeets have special brush-like tongues.
- Their beak shape is unique, making them different from other types of parrots.
- These are hyperactive birds and spend 70% of their time playing, feeding, and keeping busy.
- It was illegal to keep lorikeets in captivity as pets before 2003.
- Rainbow lorikeets were recently split into six different species.
Types of Lorikeets
While there are as many as 53 species of lorikeets, not every one makes an ideal pet. Here are the lorikeets that are commonly kept as pets.
Which Type of Lorikeet Makes the Best Pet?
The rainbow lorikeets are the best type of lorikeet that you can keep as a pet. They are easy to train, play with, and maintain.
However, you need to spend a lot of time to ensure that proper care is provided for these beautiful birds.
Are Lorikeets Better in Pairs?
As long as you can handle the noise and playfulness of these birds, you can keep two or more than two lorikeets in the same cage.
They generally get along well with each other, and this is good because if they bond together, you won’t have to spend quite as much time on them.
What’s the Difference Between Lories and Lorikeets?
Lories are different from lorikeets in terms of size and tail shape.
Lories tend to be bigger and have shorter square-shaped tails, while lorikeets are usually smaller and have longer, pointed tails.
Can Lorikeets Talk?
Given the fact that lorikeets are hyperactive birds, one would think that they look forward to talking, but that is not always true.
Lorikeets like to keep quiet when it comes to conversing or saying words. The tropical lorikeets like to talk, but training them to talk takes time and patience.
How Do You Teach a Lorikeet To Talk?
One of the best ways to teach your bird to talk is with positive reinforcement. For lorikeets, food is the biggest motivator and reward when training.
You must create a bond with the parrot first to make sure that they trust you, and then use plenty of repetition to encourage your bird to mimic your sounds.
Are Lorikeets Friendly?
Yes, lorikeets are affectionate, friendly birds. They like to build connections, socialize, and play with their companions (humans or other birds).
They have a jovial personality, which is why they are also called clown birds.
Are Rainbow Lorikeets Aggressive?
Lorikeets are not aggressive predominantly. However, they may become aggressive with a change in the environment.
Other reasons for aggression is fighting for space. Lorikeets like to roam, even in their aviaries.
So, if you crowd the cage, the lorikeets may fight each other for more space.
Do Lorikeets Bite?
Yes, lorikeets can bite you, but their biting behavior is motivated by the need to get your attention or by fear. Other reasons for a bite include:
- They want to play.
- Teasing the bird.
- Invading its space.
- Grabbing them uncomfortably.
- Lack of taming and socialization.
How Do You Tell if a Lorikeet Is Male or Female?
There is no simple way to tell between a male and female lorikeet. Both the sexes have identical feathering and color.
However, if you have a pair, sometimes you can identify the male by seeing which of the two birds is slightly larger.
The only definite way to sex lorikeets is to ask a veterinarian to perform a DNA test.
How Can You Tell the Age of a Lorikeet?
There is no definite way to tell the age of a lorikeet. To know for sure, you need to ask the breeder about the date of birth.
Estimating their age is possible during the first year of the bird’s life, but you cannot guess the age of an adult lorikeet.
How Much & How Often To Feed a Lorikeet?
Lorikeets like to eat flower pollen and nectar, as this is their basic diet in the wild. You can start by giving 1/4th of a cup of nectar mixes 2 to 3 times a day.
Along with this, include green vegetables, edible flowers, and fresh fruits and berries in their diet.
The quantity of these foods depends on the individual bird’s appetite. Add them in the same cup as nectar or pollen. Lorikeets eat for up to three hours a day.
What Should You Not Feed Lorikeets?
Do not give seeds and pelleted food to lorikeets. Also, avoid giving them citrus fruits and items like avocado, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and rhubarb.
These things are toxic to most birds, including lorikeets.
Training a Lorikeet
Lorikeets are intelligent birds, which makes training them easier.
As always, use positive reinforcement and tasty treats if you want to train the lorikeet to talk or do other things like fly towards you, turn around in circles, or follow other actions.
You need to train them not to chew everything and not to scream too loudly or too frequently.
How Do You Stop a Lorikeet From Biting?
Lorikeets can land a big blow with their beak and even make you bleed. They have sharp beaks, so you need to make sure that they do not bite.
To stop your lorikeet from biting, blow air on its face. This will distract the bird from biting you.
Another way is to move or drop your hand by a few inches so that the lorikeet loses its balance and gets distracted by trying to regain its balance.
What Do Lorikeets Like To Play With?
Rattling toys are a lorikeet favorite as they love the noise these toys make. Other things like jingles or anything that makes a sound is liked by lorikeets.
While the lorikeets like the sound, it can be annoying for you, especially during the night. So, remove these items from the cage at night if you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Are Lorikeets Destructive?
Yes, they can be destructive, especially with their sharp beak and hyperactive personality. Lorikeets will frequently get into trouble for their behavior and playful nature.
Do Lorikeets Mate for Life?
Not all species of lorikeets mate for life, but some do, such as the brightly colored rainbow lorikeets.
Lorikeets reach sexual maturity between 18 and 24 months of age, eggs are incubated for about 25 days, and the babies fledge 50 to 60 days after hatching.
How Often Do Lorikeets Lay Eggs?
Just as their tendency to be hyperactive in their lifestyle, the lorikeets are also active when it comes to breeding.
A batch of eggs from a lorikeet is called a clutch, and they have two to three clutches in a year.
In every clutch, the female lorikeet will lay two eggs, though clutches of one or three eggs is not uncommon.
Lorikeets are affectionate and friendly birds. They like to play with their owners and companions.
As one of the most intelligent bird species, lorikeets can also learn to talk quickly, provided they are given the right training.
You can also teach them tricks and even a few words, which demonstrates how smart they really are.
However, they need more time and specialized food than other birds, which means that they will require plenty of attention.
Lorikeets can get a bit loud and annoying at times, but as any lorikeet owner will tell you, the overall experience of sharing your life and home with these colorful birds is well worth any inconvenience.