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Complete Care System For Lorikeets & Lories


By Dr Rob Marshall & Tailai O'Brien


This section has been compiled especially for our clients and looks at the daily life and behaviour of lorikeets and lories in the wild. From this information you will gain a better understanding of the needs and true potential of your pet lorikeet. A detailed account of our recommended daily and weekly routines for lorikeets is also included in a chart format that you can download for easy reference. These routines give your bird the best possible opportunity to remain happy, healthy and develop its true personality as a companion pet.

Before reading this section you may like to look at the following introductory articles attached to this web page:
Diet & Foraging Behaviour of Parrots in Nature and Daily Routine for Pet Birds - Introduction.




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 & Lories in Nature


  • Special Characteristics of Lorikeets & Lories


  • Foods & Foraging Opportunities for Pet Lorikeets & Lories

  • Daily Routine for Pet Lorikeets & Lories

  • Weekly Health & Nutritional Programme

  • Annual Health Check-up


Lorikeets in Nature


The nomadic movement of Australian Lorikeets (Trichoglossus spp or Rainbow lorry) is governed by the availability of blossom. These noisy and active birds are almost exclusively tree foragers rarely coming to the ground. They are very strong flyers, have razor sharp beaks and tend to be extremely aggressive when feeding.

Australian lorikeets feed principally on pollen and nectar of Eucalypts, Melaleuca, Bottle brush, Grevillea or other native trees and shrubs. They have a specialised tongue that is used to harvest pollen. They also eat fruits, flowers and their buds, berries, seeds of trees, leaf buds and insects and their larvae (photo 39). In captivity, they are fond of cultivated fruits, especially apples, pears, banana and other soft fruits.

Lorikeets are as busy as bees. They are flock birds moving from one stand of flowering trees to the next. They start to forage very early in the morning searching for pollen and nectar. They have small crops compared to the seed eating parrots so must forage for many hours during the day. They also forage late afternoon before returning to a roosting tree at dusk.


Special Characteristics of Lorikeets & Lories


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

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.

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.

There are a large variety of beautiful tropical lorikeets available to choose from as pets. These stunning birds are highly priced and have a demanding nature, making them suitable only for those with experience in the care and training of companion birds.

The Black Capped Lory is a medium sized stocky bird with a short, slightly rounded tail. In the wild they are seen in small groups of up to ten but most frequently live as single pairs. In their native habitat, they have an excellent food supply from dense rainforest. These birds typically form very strong bonds with their owners, a characteristic consistent with their wild habits of bonding only to one or two other birds. The Black Capped Lory is playful and animated and makes an excellent pet for those willing to provide significant and meaningful attention. The Black Capped Lory can be very noisy and requires ongoing obedience training to prevent this from becoming an issue. These stunning birds are highly priced and have a demanding nature, making them suitable only for those with experience in the care and training of companion birds.


Foods & Foraging Opportunities for Pet Lorikeets & Lories


As pets, lorikeets require many flying and foraging opportunities in order to satisfy their energetic personalities and to keep them occupied. They are better able to eat moist soft foods and this type of food is recommended for them. Lorikeets are messy eaters in captivity as a result of the foods we feed them. Commercial dry food is a convenient way to feed lorikeets as it is impossible to provide them with enough of their natural foods (tree blossoms etc.) to support their high nutrient demands. Commercial nectars are also available however, to provide a completely balanced diet for lorikeets it is necessary to incorporate nutritional supplements into the wet mix or daily fruit ration. This is detailed in our Weekly Health & Nutritional Programme for Lorikeets and Lories.

Lorikeets must be given branches each day. In the absence of habitat specific treats or fresh foraging matter, lorikeets and all of the medium to large parrots enjoy picking nuts and buds of Australian native trees and bushes such as bottle brush, tea trees, eucalypt gums, Pittosporum etc.


Daily Routine for Pet Lorikeets & Lories


Click here to view our daily routine for pet lorikeets and lories.


Weekly Health & Nutritional Programme for Pet Lorikeets & Lories


Click here to view the complete weekly health programme for pet lorikeets and lories.

here to order health products for your pet bird.


Annual Health Check-up for Pet Lorikeets & Lories


We believe an annual health check is an integral part of developing your bird's innate potential as a companion pet, because without good health your bird is unable to respond fully to your affection or concentrate during training sessions. Microscopic testing of droppings (and sometimes other tests) are required as part of this health examination since birds are masters of hiding their illness. As part of the examination, Dr Marshall and Talai will also assess your daily routines and the progress of your bird's intellect. This is a most important part of the annual health examination as it allows us to tailor a programme specific to your bird's individual needs.

During your bird's health check Dr Marshall will examine the progress of your bird's annual moult. This gives a good indication of your bird's overall health as the moult may be delayed or interrupted when an underlying health problem or nutritional deficiency is present. Adjustments to your bird's weekly health programme may be recommended based on your bird's individual needs.

February to March is the best time for an annual health check for lorikeets and lories as this marks the end of the annual moult. Other critical times when a health check may be required are from September to October as Spring breeding behaviour may begin at this time.

Dr Rob Marshall and bird trainer, Tailai O'Brien have developed a complete system of care that ensures health and happiness in your pet bird.

Going on holidays? At Carlingford Animal Hospital, we understand the needs of your much loved pet bird and will cater for these during its stay with us.

Dr Marshall and Tailai O'Brien have developed a culture tested bean mix for larger parrots, to provide them with variety and a low Glycaemic Index (GI) food.

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