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 General Information About the Lori and Lorikeet

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Pete
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PostSubject: General Information About the Lori and Lorikeet   Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:22 am



The Lories and Lorikeets are also known as honeyeaters. The many species of this parrot group (subfamily Loriinae) can be found throughout the islands of the South Pacific and Australia. In Australia they are all called lories, but there are differences between lories and lorikeets, especially if you compare tails.

In general, lories are bigger with tails that are short, rounded, or square. Most lories are red with patches of yellow, purple, and green.

Lorikeets tend to be smaller with longer, pointed tails. Most lorikeets are green with patches of red and yellow. There are, of course, exceptions, and these birds can be found in all the colors of the rainbow.

Lories and lorikeets usually stay with one partner and may breed at any time of year. Though in southern Australia the breeding season is between August and January. Nest sites are high above the ground in the hollows of trees, which the birds layer with a covering of decayed wood. The female and male will often roost together, but only the female will sit on her two small white eggs. However, the male will help feed the chicks, which hatch with eyes closed and no feathers. The chicks will slowly grow plumage and be able to fly after seven to eight weeks.

There are a number of lorikeets varieties that appeal as pet birds. These varieties can be divided into two main groups - the Small Australian Lorikeets, and the larger tropical lorikeets. The lorikeet is a playful and energetic bird and in its natural environment eats nectar and fruits rather than seeds. It requires a specialised diet of a nectar mix, fruit and vegetables.

Lorikeets are very untidy eaters and spoil the cage and its surrounds with their large, wet droppings. These messy eating habits require a diligent owner who is willing to clean the cage every day to prevent bacterial and yeast (thrush) infections.

The smaller lorikeet varieties (varied and musk) make better pets because of their soft bite, but well-trained rainbow or red-collared lorikeets are good talkers and a lot of fun.

Lorikeets are extremely playful and love to listen to music and dance. They form strong bonds with their owner and make excellent pets for those willing to provide the specialised care required by the lorikeet. This includes providing wet mix or nectar as a food source and ensuring the cage is kept clean despite a very messy bird.

As with any parrot species, it is best to obtain a hand reared male bird from aviary bred parents.

Small Australian Lorikeets

The Small Australian Lorikeets are playful and have a delightful personality. These endearing birds do not share the talking abilities of the larger tropical lorikeets but remain remarkable pets for those seeking a colourful and charming small pet bird. The quiet nature of the Small Australian Lorikeets varieties, make them particularly suitable for people who live in units or places where noise must be kept to a minimum. Male hand reared lorikeets, particularly the Varied Lorikeet (Psitteiteles versicolor), make the best pets.

Aviary Notes

Small Australian lorikeets are successfully bred in both large communal aviaries and in suspended single pair cages. These birds can also be housed in a planted aviary in a mixed finch/dove collection.

Larger Tropical Lorikeets

The larger lorikeets are highly intelligent and make excellent pets for those seeking a playful and energetic bird. All species are strikingly beautiful with their varied colours and stunning glossy plumage. As with any lorikeet species, they have special dietary requirements, and must be provided with nectar and wet/dry mix.

The larger lorikeets make excellent talkers but can become extremely noisy and require a committed owner who is willing to provide continuing obedience training. With a very curious nature, the larger lorikeets have a tremendous mimicking ability and will often be heard imitating household appliances such as the telephone or microwave.

Aviary Notes

The boisterous nature of the larger lorikeet species demands an aviary no less then four to six metres long and one to two metres high. The best breeding results are achieved when the correct housing and nutritional care are provided. Lorikeets particularly like eucalypt branches in the aviary.

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