Red collared Lorikeet
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. red collared lorikeet
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  • An Australian Lorikeet
  • Scientific Name:  Trichoglossus haematodus rubritorquis
  • Sub Species:  The Red collared lorikeet is classified as a sub-species of the Rainbow Lorikeet.
  • Origin / Distribution:  From the Kimberley area of Western Australia across to the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland.
  • Habitat In Wild:  They are nomadic birds covering diverse habitats.
  • Status In Wild:  Declining due to habitat loss.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Common
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: 18 - 24 months. Up to 30 months for some cock birds.
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  3rd year to about 12 - 15 years of age.
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 - 20 years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic. DNA or surgical sexing may be required.
  • Colour mutations: Yes. Mutation colours as a result of hybridizing with other lorikeet species.
  • Availability: Bird dealers and pet shops
  • Temperament:  They are very active, inquisitive, energetic birds that will explore every part of the aviary.  Suitable bird for those wanting to start keeping lorikeets. They are generally hardy and long lived. Good breeders in the warmer States of Australia. Best kept one pair per aviary as they can be aggressive.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $150
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 300 mm (or approx. 12 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 140 gms (or approx  5 ozs)
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.

As per "Lorikeets & Lories" web page.

Best kept one pair per aviary due to their aggressive nature.  Has been successful as a colony in a large aviary. Young can be the subject of attack in a colony situation and may have to be removed as soon as they fledge.  Not to be housed with the Rainbow Lorikeet or the Scaly breasted Lorikeet due to the possibility of hybridization.

A suspended cage is popular for these birds. An aviary of about 3 metres (10 feet) long is ideal for these birds.  Suspended cage size should be at least 1200mm long, 900mmwide and 1200mm high (4 x 3 x 4 ft).  The suspended cage can also be up to about 3 metres (10 ft) 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.

Non-toxic leafy branches, such as eucalypts, can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, can be used for perches. These natural perches may be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly. The birds may chew any flowers and fruiting bodies on the branches.

They are very active, inquisitive, energetic birds that will explore every part of the aviary and find any weakness in the structure.  They will escape if given the chance.

Lorikeets can be noisy birds, especially when excited, and may annoy neighbours.  Locate the cage or aviary as far away from other residences as possible.

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.

As per "Lorikeets & Lories" web page.

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 Red Collared lorikeet is partial to fruits such as apple, mango, grapes, cherries, banana and pear.  These fruits are crushed in the beak and the juice is consumed and the non fluid portion discarded.  Vegetables such as silverbeet, endive, celery, cucumber, sweet potato can be offered.  Some "weeds" such as dandelion and milk thistle are consumed by many parrots.
The flowers from non-toxic native trees and shrubs such as Grevillia, Callistemon, Hibiscus, Bottlebrush and Eucalypt can be placed in the aviary for the birds to play with and chew up and obtain some nutritional value.

The fruits, vegetables, and flowering plants should be varied from day to day to give the birds a wide as possible variation in daily food intake.  Varying the foods daily also changes the visual appearance of the foods.
Varying the foods daily may also changes the taste of the foods.
Varying the foods daily may also changes the texture of the foods.
Varying the foods daily also changes the smell of the foods.
Varying the foods daily also changes the predictability of the foods.

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: July to December.  May breed year round if conditions are suitable.
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 350 mm (or approx. 14 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 200 mm. (or approx. 8 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 mm square (or approx. 8 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx.  55 - 60 mm (or approx. 2.25 - 2.5 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.
  • 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 = 2, or more if conditions are suitable.  Eggs per nest 2.  Incubation approx. 21 - 24 days.  Fledge approx. 8 - 9 weeks.  Independent approx. another 1 - 2 weeks.

Red collared lorikeets are generally very tolerant of nest inspections and most will allow the nest to be cleaned and clean nest material added when the nest becomes messy. The young can have a closed ring placed on the leg prior to leaving the nest.

Cock birds may need to be older than the hens when they start to breed. Hens can start laying at about 18 months of age but the cock bird may have to be up to 30 months of age to successfully fertilize the hen.  A good age to start the hen breeding is at about 24 months of age.  By 24 months of age the hen should be physically fully mature.  The pair may successfully breed for about 15 years.  If possible, the young birds can be introduced to one another at a young age and the "pair bond" can develop as they mature.  The younger the birds are introduced to one-another, generally the more compatible the birds will be as adults.

Generally good prolific breeders.  Both parent birds feed the young.

Young can be hand raised for the pet or companion bird trade.  Lorikeets are very social birds and if these birds are to be hand raised, both young should be hand raised together.  Several young birds of similar age and size can be raised together and have good social interactions and growth.  Socialisation of the young birds can prevent the development of abnormal / anti-social behaviours.

In a large aviary, young birds just after they leave the nest are often "clumsy" fliers and may crash into the front wire wall.  The placement of hessian on the outer side of the wire wall or leafy branches close to the wire inside the cage should minimize the risk of injury of a young bird. The young bird should see the hessian or leafy branches and not fly into the end of the aviary.
Birds new to an aviary will benefit from branches or hessian material at the open end of the aviary.  They should see the material and not crash into the wire mesh.  This should minimize impact injuries of newly introduced birds.

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 52 No. 7 July 1998 Page 145-148
  • A/A Vol 51 No. 3 Mar 1997 Page 62-64 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 37 No. 9 Sept 1983 Page 205-207
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 1 Jan 1975 Page 8-11
  • A/A Vol 12 No 5 May 1958 Page 64-67.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 10. Aug-Sept 2005 Page 594-596.
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 2001 Page 626-629 (Lutinos by hybridizing with other species of Lorikeets).
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 3. Jun-July 2000 Page 158
  • ABK Vol 11 Issue 3. Jun-July 1998 Page 130-134
  • ABK Vol   2 Issue 8. Apr-May 1989 Page 271-274

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