Lorikeets as Companion Pets

Lorikeets as Companion Pets

Few things bring us more joy than sharing our lives with an animal companion. That’s the key word here, too – companion. If you bring the right pet into your life, they can fill a hole that you never even knew existed.

While many of us choose cats and dogs to share our homes, some people like to think a little outside the box. A Lorikeet is the perfect animal for such an individual, especially the ever-popular Rainbow Lorikeet. No mere Parrot, these stunningly colourful birds have bags of personality, and turn any house into a home!

A Crash Course in Lorikeets

Native to Australia, Lorikeets are colourful and chatty parrots. There are eight types of Lorikeet, all of whom have green body feathers but a range of colours elsewhere on their bodies.

  • Rainbow Lorikeets are the largest, and most famous. These birds take their name from their bright and multi-coloured feathers. Their heads alone are red, orange, blue and multiple shades of green, while their plumage is deep blue.
  • Coconut Lorikeets look very similar to the Rainbow Lorikeet, except they have a black belly and shorter tails.
  • Red-Collared Lorikeets take their name from the red band around their necks, which sits below a striking blue head.
  • Scaly-Breasted Lorikeets stand out, as they are almost entirely green in colour.
  • Varied Lorikeets are also predominantly entirely green in body, but they have very colourful heads of red, violet and blue.
  • Musk Lorikeets are identified by a prominent red eye mask across their face, which tempers their green bodies.
  • Purple-Crowned Lorikeets are small and have a clearly identified purple patch above their eyes.
  • Little Lorikeets are tiny, and adorable! They are almost entirely green except their face, which is red.

As we have mentioned, the Rainbow Lorikeet is by far the most popular. These birds are so commonplace in Australia that some parts of the country even consider them a pest. You will not feel the same way if you bring one into your life as a companion, though. These birds are as entertaining as they are beautiful.

Lorikeets Make Fantastic Companion Birds

Rainbow Lorikeets are the most popular pet among this family, for good reason. These birds are sweet natured and friendly. It’s best to take in a Lorikeet while it’s very young and hand-feed it so that it grows accustomed to being handled by humans, but even a wild Lorikeet can be trained.

Rainbow Lorikeets make such great companions because they enjoy interacting with their owners. This means that you'll need to be prepared to devote time to your Lorikeet, not least because they live for up to thirty years. They will need plenty of toys, as they are highly intelligent birds.

You should rotate the contents of their cage at least once a week - a cage that will have to be relatively large, as Lorikeets are also very active. You will also need to let your Lorikeet out of their home for three or fours a day, playing with them and not letting them out of your sight. These mischievous birds will wreak havoc, given half a chance! Failing to allow this exercise, or to keep your Lorikeet amused, can lead to an escape attempt. This will probably be successful, as these birds are like feathered Houdini’s.

Above all, Lorikeets love fun. These are not shy birds, and we'll be blunt, they can be exhausting if you are not prepared for how much attention they are looking for! It will be like having a child that doesn’t grow into a grumpy teen. Never leave a Lorikeet alone for long periods of time, as they will grow stressed and anxious. This will cause them to pluck at their own feathers, and potentially become destructive next time you set them loose. They will also not flourish in a home with other animals. Two male Lorikeets will fight aggressively, and they may upset the apple cart of more docile pets such as cats or dogs.

One thing is for certain though; Lorikeets live to make their humans happy. They will do whatever it takes to amuse their owners, and sometimes even manage to do so without trying. They sleep on their backs with their legs in the air, which alongside their colour is sure to be a conversation starter. A conversation that a Lorikeet will cheerfully get involved with. Above all, lorikeets are ‘jealous’ birds and want your sole attention.

Lorikeets are Hugely Talkative

As part of their life and soul of the party nature, Lorikeets are very, very chatty. They will learn a full range of words and will always be looking to repeat and engage with what their owners are talking about. Naturally, this means they will also gladly turn the air as blue as their plumage if it gets a reaction! You may need to watch your language around a Lorikeet.

It's not just language skills that Lorikeets excel in, though - their intelligence means that they can learn all kinds of new tricks. Again, this is something that they will enjoy the chance to do. Not only will it stimulate their brains, but it will be a chance to bond further with their owners. This will come in handy when you decide to potty train your Lorikeet, because believe us, you'll want to!

Lorikeets have weak gizzards and cannot crush nuts and seeds like most parrots. While they can live happily on fresh fruit, grubs and mealworms, most Lorikeets exist on a special liquid diet designed exclusively for them. Keep the fruit and vegetables as training treats. A liquid diet means very loose stools, and Lorikeets tend to spray this outside their cage. They can, however, be taught to use a particular corner. Lorikeets are essentially the puppies of the avian world.

One area that they differ from dogs in, however, is that Lorikeets love to bathe. After all, being this pretty doesn't come easily. These birds will need a shallow bath to roll in, a shower perch, and some misting spray to keep their feathers moist. Caring for a Lorikeet is a lot of work, but anybody can do so if they have the time, energy and dedication.

Anybody Can Own a Lorikeet

If you are interested in bringing a Lorikeet into your home, you will not need a permit to do so. These birds can be purchased from any licenced breeder, but naturally you'll need to ensure you are dealing with a reputable individual or company. Lorikeets are full on at the best of times, so the last thing you need is one with behavioural problems!

This means that Lorikeets may also not be ideal for first-time bird owners. As much fun as they are, these creatures are a lot of work. Somebody with a little more experience may be better placed to calm them down, especially as an excited Lorikeet may be a nippy Lorikeet. Good luck getting one of these birds back into their cage if they decide they are not done with playtime yet…

Should you forge a bond with a Lorikeet, however, you will have a best friend for life. These birds don't want to be your pet, they want to be your child, your playmate and your court jester. If that sounds appealing, then you are in for one of the most rewarding relationships of your life. With their long lifespans and sweet, friendly natures, you are your Lorikeet are sure to become inseparable.

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