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

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  • An Australian Lorikeet
  • Scientific Name: Psitteuteles versicolor
  • Common Name/s: VARIED LORIKEET
  • Sub Species: None
  • Origin / Distribution: Northern Australia.  From the Kimberley Ranges of Western Australia across to the coast of North-East  Queensland.
  • Habitat In Wild: Tropical lowlands.  Frequent wooded country that has flowering or fruiting trees and shrubs.  In some parts of their range the birds are nomadic following the supply of flowering trees and shrubs.
  • Status In Wild: Secure
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: 12 - 14 months
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. ? years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Colour mutations: Yes
  • Availability: Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament: For experienced lorikeet keepers only. Best kept one pair per aviary.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $250
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 190 mm (or approx. 7.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 60 gms (or approx  2 ozs)

Varied Lorikeet is the sole member of the PSITTEUTELES genus.

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.

Best kept one pair per aviary.

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 about 3 metres long.  A suspended cage allows for easy cleaning of the cage and surrounding area.

They may sleep in the nest box year round.  This will give them some protection in winter and during periods of bad weather.

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.

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.

Partial to fruits such as apple and pear. These fruits are crushed in the beak and the juice is consumed and the non fluid portion discarded.
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: July to October
  • 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. 180 - 200 mm (or approx. 7 - 8 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx.180 - 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 ......
    • 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.  Eggs per nest 4.  Incubation approx. 22 days.  Fledge approx. 6 weeks.  Independent approx. another 1 - 2 weeks.

The young are fed by both parents.

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 35 No. 4 Apr 1981 Page 71-72 (Inc cover photo)
  • A/A Vol 29 No. 1 Jan 1975 Page 8-11
  • A/A Vol 25 No. 1 Jan 1971 Page 7-8.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 8 Aug 1958 Page 105-107.
  • A/A Vol 12 No 5 May 1958 Page 64-67.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol  3 Issue 4. Aug-Sept 1990 Page 178-181
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 1989 Page 248-249

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