Purple crowned Lorikeet
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. purple crowned lorikeet
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  • An Australian Lorikeet
  • Scientific Name: Glossopsitta porphyrocephala
  • Sub Species: None
  • Origin / Distribution: South-western and south eastern Australia. Not found in Tasmania.
  • Habitat In Wild: Predominantly an inland species but will also be found near the coast. Usually inhabits drier, lightly timbered areas.
  • Status In Wild: Secure
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: 8 - 12 months. Hens should be about 12 months of age before they are allowed to breed.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about 6 - 8 months.
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 12months onwards
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 7 - 9 years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations: ?
  • Availability: Bird dealers
  • Temperament: Good bird for those wishing to breeding lorikeets. Best results are achieved with one pair per aviary. Do well in a suspended cage. Generally good breeders. Can be kept in a mixed collection of small parrots or finches. Can be kept as a pet or companion bird.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $300
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 160 mm (or approx 6 - 6.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 40 - 50 gms (or approx 1.2 - 1.5 ozs)

Purple crowned Lorikeet is a member of the GLOSSOPSITTA genus along with the Little Lorikeet and the Musk Lorikeet . 

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements: Refer to " Lorikeets & Lories " web page for general details on the housing of Lorikeets & Lories or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Can be kept in a large aviary with a mixed collection of small parrots or finches.

Best kept one pair per aviary but can be successful in a colony. Purple crowned lorikeets do well in a suspended cage. The minimize suspended cage size for one pair should be about 1200mm long, 600mm wide and 900mm high (4ft x 2ft x 3 ft).

A suspended cage is popular for these birds. An aviary of about 3 metres (10 feet) long is ideal for these birds.  The suspended cage can also be about 2 - 3 metres long.

A wide range of bird toys and "bird gyms" can be seen at good retail bird dealers and pet shops.  Bird toys and "bird gyms" can be placed in an outdoor aviary not just indoor cages.  Most parrots, including Lorikeets, love to play with bird toys and "bird gyms" and it gives them a reason to be active and entertain themselves. Along with the physical activity, it also gives them some mental exercise and mental stimulation i.e. environmental enrichment.

Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Lorikeets & Lories " web page for general details on the feeding of Lorikeets & Lories or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Typical lorikeet diet is required.  Many quality commercial dry mixes are available from bird dealers, pet shops and bird clubs.  The use of wet and dry mix requires daily attention to thorough cleaning and hygiene.  Abide by the "use by date" and store according to the manufacturers directions.  Special attention has to be paid to the water bowl as lories and lorikeets often deposit food into the water bowl.  The wet food mix should be removed from the cage before dark.  The birds should not have access to wet foods left in a cage overnight.  Dry food mix must always be available.

The flowers from non-toxic native trees and shrubs such as Grevillia, Callistemon and eucalypt can be placed in the aviary for the birds to play with and obtain some nutritional value.

Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months: September to December
  • Log / Nest-box: These birds can be messy nesters and regular cleaning of the nest may be necessary.
    • Length / depth 300 mm (or approx. 12 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 175 - 200 mm (or approx. 7 - 8 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx.175 - 190 mm square (or approx 7 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 50 mm (or approx. 2 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx 4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about 1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
    • Angle of log or nest box = usually vertical or near vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Nest boxes are easy to clean, cheap and easy to replace when they become soiled or damaged.
The nest box is left in the aviary or suspended cage year round as Lories and lorikeets will roost in the nest during the non-breeding season.
Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening of between 50 - 80mm diameter and about 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the top. The exact size of the entrance hole depends on the size of the species. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through. An appropriate size entrance hole will help to give the birds a feeling of security and confidence to effectively start and raise a clutch of young.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 1 or 2.  Eggs per nest 2 - 4.  Incubation approx. 20 days.  Fledge approx. 7 - 8 weeks.  Independent approx. another 1 - 2 weeks.

Hens should be about 12 months of age before they are allowed to breed. Allowing the hens to fully mature will extend their breeding life and maximize their abilities to successfully raise each clutch of eggs and young.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 58 No. 10 Oct 2004 Page 223 (Nestboxes for small lorikeets).
  • A/A Vol 50 No. 1 Jan 1996 Page 1-5 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 46 No. 6 Jun 1992 Page 139-143 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 34 No. 1 Jan 1980 Page 4-6
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 3 Mar 1975 Page 36-38
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 2 Feb 1975 Page 21-24
  • A/A Vol 12 No 8 Aug 1958 Page 105-107.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 5 May 1958 Page 64-67.
  • A/A Vol  8 No 12 Dec 1954 Page 143 (First breeding).
  • A/A Vol  6 No 12 Dec 1952 Page 140-141.
  • A/A Vol  3 No 7 Jul 1949 Page 76.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 12 Issue 8. Apr-May 1999 Page 378-379
  • ABK Vol  3 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1990 Page 178-181

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