. red collared lorikeet
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- An Australian Lorikeet
- Scientific Name: Trichoglossus haematodus rubritorquis
- Common Name/s: RED
- 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:
- 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
- Sexing: Monomorphic
/ Dimorphic. DNA or surgical sexing may be
- Colour mutations: Yes.
Mutation colours as a result of hybridizing with other lorikeet
- Availability: Bird dealers and pet
- 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:
- Length: Approx. 300 mm (or approx. 12 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 140 gms (or approx 5 ozs)
Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist
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
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
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
Varying the foods daily also changes the smell of the foods.
Varying the foods daily also changes the predictability of the
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:
/ depth 350 mm (or approx. 14 inches)
- Log internal
diameter approx. 200 mm. (or approx. 8
- Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200
mm square (or approx. 8 inches square)
- Diameter of
hole approx. 55 - 60 mm (or approx. 2.25 - 2.5 inches)
- Inspection hole (square or round)
(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
- 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
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
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.
References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.
- 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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