Rainbow Lories :: Lorie Info

Lorie Info

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Click to play The Difference Between Rainbow Lorie & Lorikeet


* Note must be taken that while we do provide a basic general description of what a Rainbow Lori / Lorikeet is, it is not to be confused with a Green-Napped Lorikeet or any other types of Lori / Lorikeet species. When properly used, the term "Rainbow Lori / Lorikeet" is the general name for the entire subspecies.

Physical Description&At Maturity:

While the Rainbow Lorie and Rainbow Lorikeet may have similarities in plumage and behavior, there is a significant different between the two.

The Rainbow Lorie is found to be the larger of the species; ranging anywhere between 9 and 12 ½ inches and 110-260 grams. Other than size, the unmistakable physical characteristic can be found in the tail feathers. A Rainbow Lorie carries a shorter, broader and fanned-like tail.

The Rainbow Lorikeet is considered to be a smaller parrot in comparison ranging anywhere between 6 and 10 inches and 40-130 grams. The Rainbow Lorikeet also carries a distinctive tail. The feathers are found to be more elongated and pointed at the tip.

Many Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeets are mostly covered in light green shades and have a distinctive coloring about the head. The crown and face feathers often appear in a bluish shade. There is often times a band of yellow or green at the back of the neck; sometimes leading to the shoulders or back. The upper breast will appear in a typical reddish or speckled color, with the abdomen and under parts being of a darker blue plumage. Below the tail feathers and wings, there is a contrasting color of yellows or reds. The top of the wings, tail, back and thighs will mostly carry light green feathers.

During Immaturity:

Before reaching full maturity, the Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet will normally have a duller shade of plumage all about. Excluding most of the light green plumage, where there appears a distinctive feather scheme later in life, through immaturity it will appear in the opposite. For example, if there is barring on the breast, or a bright shade covering the crown, the feathers will be less contrasting and more unified.

General Mannerisms:

The Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeets are considered to be one of the most favored exotic parrots in captivity. Not only is their plumage found to be remarkable in its beauty, they have marvelously interactive personalities. Most of these birds are highly energetic, affectionate, trusting, and above all playful. It is exceedingly rare to find a Lorie / Lorikeet handler who speaks ill of their parrots. After forming the close bonds, many times a new owner of a single Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet can be found searching for a companion pet.

While these birds may have some of the most entertaining and inquisitive personalities, they have the tendency to be aggressive not only through mating season, but also towards other species of avian. Not many of these birds should be housed closely with various species. It is not unheard of the larger Rainbow Lories causing harm to some of the other birds in their aviaries.

Taking into account that each bird of each subspecies does carry their own slight personality differences, there is one thing that does remain constant throughout the Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet family. These feathery creatures are not for the faint of heart and less involved of bird owners. This exotic bird species is one of the most demanding and high maintenance of all the birds available on the open market today.

The Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet's personalities call for a strong bonding with their owners and mates. If not kept as an aviary bird, domestically speaking, their owner must spend a great deal of time interacting with this pet. If left alone for long periods of time, these parrots' already loud and shrill voices will become progressively more constant and irritating. This is simply their way of letting their owners know they are lonely. However, it is a requirement when owning a Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet; which ultimately pays off in the closeness one might find with their parrot.

Partly due to their need for a meticulous nectar diet, these birds require constant cleaning. Simply put: what goes in liquid comes out liquid. The Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeets are known for their highly unpleasant elimination process. Unless properly equipped, an entire cage can become a breeding ground for many of the bacterial diseases easily found over time in the mess that these parrots naturally produce. If an owner decides to mate a matched set of Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeets, the necessity of keeping a cage and nesting area clean is a constant chore. While some of these parrots can be potty-trained, they will have a tendency to defecate when and where they please.

Pricing and Availability:

Most Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet species can be found commonly in and around New Guinea, Eastern Indonesia, and its surrounding islands. As deforestation, local trapping, and illegal exportation continues to be a constant problem, there are some species of Lorie / Lorikeet that find their way on the endangered species list. Thus some importation of various domesticated species have declined or ceased all together. On the open market, Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeets of various subspecies range in prices from $175 - $800.

Click to play Grooming


In all our research and personal experience, we have yet to hear of a Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet species that do not enjoy a daily grooming regimen. More than just the normal avian preening practices, these birds all tend to be greatly fond of frequent bathing times. It is highly recommended to place some sort of bowl with a bit of shallow water somewhere in the cage. Not only does this provide the Lorie / Lorikeet with more ways to stay clean, but often times, it is yet another form of entertainment for these birds.

Some owners even opt to place their bird on a sink counter or in a shower, with a light to slightly moderate flow of water that it can get access to. After becoming acclimated to this man-made waterfall, the Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet will promptly take advantage of this treat.

So, don't be surprised if you see your Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet often times diving in and out of the water till they are soaked! Of course, make sure that especially on a cold day, you place your feathery friend in some warm place or in a blanket / towel to dry.

Click to play Food Sources


Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet's Eating Adaptations In the Wild:

In the wild, Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet species generally have a nectar or pollen diet. While these birds can be found eating more solid foods, they naturally have especially adapted tongues to obtain their sweet foods of choice.

Normally, the Lorie / Lorikeet tongue does not look out of the ordinary as far as a parrot's tongue is concerned. However, when eating or tasting if something is suitable for eating, the subtle details of their tongues will become more evident. At the very tip of a Lorie / Lorikeet tongue are projections called papillae. As mentioned earlier, they are normally hardly noticeable until the bird is ready to eat. At this point, the tiny projections will become enlarged, and the tongue is then quickly vibrated in a habit as if to gain the small pollen particles from a flower's nectar.

These papillae will develop at an early stage and vary in degree according to the specific bird's necessity for a nectar diet. In a tame bird, one can see the papillae by placing a bit of honey on the fingertip and allowing the bird to feed. These tiny projections often are compared in appearance to ‘brush-like' fingertips or a little ‘sea-anemone' with tiny tentacles.

In Nature:

While in its natural habitats, the Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet are found to have various food sources. Just about any flower-bearing plant will be frequented by various birds of the different subspecies. Some trees that are found to be most visited by the feeding Lories / Lorikeets are eucalyptus, coconut, and sandalwood trees; not only for nectar, but also to munch on their leaves. Various softer and sweet fruits such as pears, apples, and mangoes also find their ways into a wild Lorie / Lorikeet's digestive system.

Click to play Feeding In Captivity

Feeding In Captivity :

It is important to take note that while a pellet diet is commonly offered for Lorie / Lorikeets, it is NOT RECOMMENDED. The conception that feeding this species of bird hard pellets will help with the elimination mess is not worth risking the health of a cherished pet.

ALL Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet subspecies have an innate need for a constant diet containing some form of nectar. This avian differs from other exotic birds in that their bodies have evolved to only consume the easiest of digestible foods (i.e. nectar, pollen, fruit, bugs, etc.). Thus their delicate stomachs have a very difficult time processing a solely hard or dry diet.

Many nectar formulas are now easily available in a liquid or powdery form. If bought from a reputable company using an avian nutritionist, these man-made dietary supplements are found to contain the proper amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and mineral elements necessary for maintaining the optimum health of a Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet. When selecting your brand of nectar food, a man named Simon Joshua appropriately described the essential factors. A tried and tested product which is of the same composition for every batch, contains all the essential nutritional requirements for a wide range of species in the right proportions, caters for breeding and non-breeding birds, is economical to use, easy to feed and, above all, one that Lories and Lorikeets like.

While Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet subspecies need the nectar diet to thrive best, simple treats are also a good idea. Regularly, a piece of soft fruit, vegetable, or leaf can be placed inside the cage for the bird to casually munch on. More often, most Lorie / Lorikeet treats are actually home recipes that have been found by the owners to be the most favored by their bird. Often times, various fruits and vegetables (with a hint of sugar or honey) will be blended or mashed together in a paste that is then provided to their bird as a delicious snack.

As a reference, this website offers an area that through personal experience, we have found various recipes to be particularly tasty to our Rainbow Lories and Lorikeets. You are more than welcomed to look through our ideas. And please, don't hesitate to submit your own!!!

Providing clean, fresh water is also equally important. Many people tend to be misinformed in that due to the Rainbow Lorie / Lorikeet's regular nectar diet, water is not an important commodity for their daily consumption. This idea can also have grave consequences on the bird. Lorie / Lorikeets are very susceptible to bacterial infections in part due to the nectar. So, they are in constant need of clean water to help keep their internal systems properly flushed

Click to play Lorie Types Black Lorie



Physical Description...At Maturity:

Adults of this subspecies tend to range on the larger side at 12 inches, and 230-280 grams (with the males being noticeably larger).

The Black Lorie is also aptly named as that is primarily covered in a black, almost glossy purple plumage. As with many other Rainbow Lorie subspecies, there is a color variation occurring solely in the tail feathers. A bluish-black tinge covers the top of the tail, while underneath is consistently red and yellow. The beak and feet are black, and the iris is a brown color.

During Immaturity:

In this stage, the young Black Lries also carry the distinctive black plumage throughout. However, speckled with their black plumage, one can find many red feathers that later fall out through maturity.

General Mannerisms:

Many owners of Black Lories have commented that it is one of the more delightful, gentle and affectionate Rainbow Lories available on the market. They may not be great talkers or mimics, but their outgoing and extremely friendly personalities make them a desirable companion.

With all their delightful attributes, it has been noted that this subspecies is not one to be housed with other birds. Naturally, they will become more aggressive during nesting or being housed with an un-bonded pair; these birds also are not fond of other avian species.

Pricing and Availability:

Due to their resemblance of a hooked beak crow, the Black Lorie is many times over-looked in comparison to the more colorful of the Rainbow Lorie species. Because of this is it uncommon in domestic breeding. Therefore it is not unheard of open market prices ranging from $600 - $900.

Click to play Black Capped Lorie


Physical Description...At Maturity:

This subspecies is considered to be one of the more stocky and medium sized parrots belonging to the Rainbow Lorie subspecies. At about a year and a half, they are found to be around 8-12 inches, ranging between 230 — 250 grams in size (there is no set standard between the male and female sizes).

Aptly named for its black cap of feathers resting on its primarily red head, the red plumage continues down through the upper breast; ending on the upper tail feathers in a more crimson shade changing to a greenish gray color. Adjoining at the lower breast and through to the back of the mantle, and continuing on to the under parts, a darker shade of blue can be seen. Below the tail feathers, abdomen, and thighs, this blue becomes drastically brighter and more vibrant almost resembling a violet shade. The top of the wings are primarily green with s slight bronze shaded patch. Below the wings a strikingly broad patch of yellow can be found throughout the flight feathers. The beak and iris are both orange.

During Immaturity:

  The primary difference between a full adult Black-Capped Lorie and an immature one is the red and blue plumage covering the upper and lower breast. Up until full maturity, fledgling birds have the darker blue extending through the upper breast; sometimes meeting the throat area. The beak and iris are also a brownish — gray color.  

General Mannerisms:

In a domesticated sense, this subspecies typically creates very close relationships with their owners. The strength of these bonds formed is a natural occurrence as that these birds tend to live in tight-knit single pairs while in their natural habitats.

While the Black-Capped Lorie tends to be very playful and animated, it is essential that their owners take extra care to give them special attention. Their attentiveness towards their owners can often be reflective in how talkative this species tends to be. Thus, this Lorie can often times be considered one of the noisiest of the species. It is recommended that these birds do receive some form of regular obedience training to prevent this from becoming an issue.  

Price Ranges and Availability:

Because the Black-Capped Lorie is such a compatible mate for any human caretaker, along with the fact that this species does associate well with other types of avian, this bird can sometimes be in high demand. It is not surprising to find such a bird on the open market anywhere from $450 - $600.

Click to play Yellow Bibbed Lorie


Physical Description&At Maturity:

The Yellow-Bibbed Lorie is another average-sized Rainbow Lorie at 11 inches and 125 — 160 grams.

At full growth, the Yellow-Bibbed Lorie is a bit of a stocky bird with a tale-tell crescent shaped yellow collar topped with black dash starting just below the neck pointing upwards and ending behind the ears. The entire top of this Lorie's head is covered with a cap of black plumage. The rest of the head and back to the top of the tail is solidly red in color with a few tips of green. The tops of the wings are various shades of green feathers with the bend of the wings appearing in a silvery color. Below the wings, at the top is a small area of reddish-pink, with the larger flight feathers being blue. The rest of the breast, underbelly, and below the tail has solidly red feathers, being tipped with yellow at the base of the tail. The beak and irises match in an orange shade.

During Immaturity:

Along with the overall plumage of the Yellow-Bibbed Lorie being in a duller state during immaturity, the distinctive yellow collar will be less pronounced. The larger band of blue feathers below the wings also carries a more black shade. The beak and iris also match in brown at this stage of growth.

General Mannerisms:

In the rainforest, the Yellow-Bibbed Lorie is a bit difficult to observe as that it prefers to frequent the higher canopy levels. Even in a captive environment, little has been recorded about this Rainbow Lorie subspecies. They do tend to be a social and affectionate bird with mates and humans they choose to trust. However this bird is found to be the most active and daring of the Lorie species. Not only if left unsupervised will they find themselves in some trouble, but they are also unpredictable and are known to be a bit nippier than others. In comparison to its cousins, the Yellow-Bibbed Lorie can also enjoy harder foods such as vegetables and seeds.

Pricing and Availability:

Common to a small habitat range, the Yellow-Bibbed Lorie has the potential of becoming yet another Rainbow Lorie threatened species. Only recently has exportation from the Eastern Solomon Islands been legally permitted. On importation to various countries further from its natural habitats, Governments then required this Rainbow Lorie subspecies to be immediately entered into breeding programs upon arrival. Now, this parrot has begun to slowly creep into the open market for private ownership. In aviculture, it is a rare breed to find, making it cost around $500 to $700.

Click to play Yellow Streaked Lorie


  Physical Description&At Maturity:

Being one of the largest of Rainbow Lorie subspecies, the Yellow-Streaked Lorie is 11 ½ inches long, weighing 190 — 240 grams.

When fully mature, the Yellow-Streaked Lorie was aptly named for its distinctive gold-yellow streaking of feathers beginning at the neck and flowing down the breast, abdomen, and underbelly. The forehead and top of the mandible have scarlet colored plumage, with the rest of the head a solid and striking black. This black coloring then continues down to cover the entire breast. Other than this bird's flowing streaking patterned feathers, the abdomen, underbelly, and upper thighs are mid-green in color. The top of the wings, mid back and the top of the tail also carry a mid-green plumage. The bend of the wings, lower thighs and leading under the tail feathers is a scarlet color, with tips of olive yellow at the tail. Below the wing's flight feathers is a band of yellow plumage. The beak is a solid black shade with the irises being brown.

During Immaturity:

While the Yellow-Streaked Lorie has an all over duller plumage (particularly among the red shades) during immaturity, this breed differs from all other Rainbow Lorie subspecies in that it takes almost five years to reach its complete color scheme. There also will occasionally appear a few sparse brown and yellow feathers about the upper mandible.

General Mannerisms:

The Yellow-Streaked Lorie is one of the highly recommended birds of the Rainbow Lorie subspecies. It's compatibility with a human owner is quite astonishing. This Lorie not only carries the best of Lorie character traits, but is one of the most naturally trusting of avian. However as affectionate, energetic, and playful as this bird may be, it is quite susceptible to an aggressive nature. Found more so in the male Yellow-Streaked Lorie, it is certainly not recommended to house this Lorie with other species of bird.

Pricing and Availability:

Ranging throughout Southern New Guinea and the Aru Islands, the Yellow-Streaked Lorie requires a larger habitat to support its more diverse food sources. Not very often held in captivity around its natural habitats, this Rainbow Lorie subspecies is very commonly found in domestic aviculture. If this bird were to be purchased on the open market today, it could be sold for around $450.

Click to play Red Lorie


Physical Description&At Maturity:

When the Red Lorie reaches full maturity, it is one of the larger Rainbow Lorie subspecies. This Rainbow Lorie can grow to 11 inches, weighing between 170 — 240 grams.

Aptly named for it's primarily red plumage, the Red Lorie's only color variations occur on the backs and tips of wings, and underneath the tail feathers. This bird has small areas of cobalt blue plumage on the backs of the wings with a matching color below the tail feathers. The tips of the wings and tail feathers are fringed in a rusty-black red. The beak is a yellowish-orange, and the irises are orange.

During Immaturity:

For immature Red Lories, they seem to have less of the cobalt blue on the wings, and more so under the tail and underbelly. This parrot also has a few of these sparse blue feathers about the ears. The tips of the wings and tail appear to have considerably less rusty-black red colors. Both the beak and iris have a brown shade.

General Mannerisms:

The Red Lorie is one of the most avid and accomplished talkers in the entire Rainbow Lorie subspecies. Often speaking in complete sentences, they are so fond of mimicking human speech, that they can sometimes get carried away with their loud voices. This Lorie also holds true to the most classic of Rainbow Lorie character traits. They tend to be a curious, playful, affectionate, and extroverted pet to own. Being inclined to the problem of feather plucking, they also require a great deal of affection and entertainment. The Red Lorie also appreciates frequent bathing times as that it is one of the more aquatic birds.

However, caution must be observed when housing this Lorie. If not having an accepted mate, this avian is best kept as a solitary companion. The Red Lorie does not even associate well with avian of the same subspecies. While nesting, a mated pair will readily defend their territory with a great deal of ferocity.

Pricing and Availability:

While the Red Lorie has become comfortably established in captivity, its wild inhabitants are beginning to be closely watched in wild avian societies. Over-trapping in Indonesia has begun to have a declining affect on this Rainbow Lorie subspecies' wild population. In a domesticated sense, this bird is commonly known and plainly identified. Compared to most, this Lorie is also easily tamed and is one of the hardier birds found that can withstand a cooler climate. On the open market, the Red Lorie can be purchased for around $300 - $400.

Click to play Dusky Lorie


Physical Description&At Maturity

The Dusky Lorie is one of the medium-sized birds belonging to the Rainbow Lorie subspecies. It is about 10 inches long, ranging between 150 -160 grams.

It is also the most varied of all the Lories. Even at adulthood, they can be difficult to describe due to the two color phases this bird can be found in. The significant difference is that there is what is considered an orange phase and a yellow phase.

More commonly seen, the Dusky Lorie can be found in its orange phase. Most notable about this color scheme is the large band of fiery to muted orange across the lower throat and breast. The same variation in orange feathers can be found on the abdomen and sides. On the head, at the back of the crown, there is a patch ranging in colors from yellow to orangeish or copper feathers. The rest of the bird's plumage has various color schemes. Anything ranging from crème colors, to dark brown or blue, and sometimes black. Therefore this phase of Dusky has been commonly nicknamed as the Halloween Bird.

In its yellow phase, the Dusky Lorie is also greatly diverse in plumage. The main difference being that all the orange feathers previously described are then replaced by yellow and gold colors.

During Immaturity:

Through its fledgling state, the Dusky Lorie's common orange and rarer yellow phases are sometimes only slightly apparent. In both its orange and yellow phases, there sometimes appear a few feathers of the opposite colors respectively. Across the predominated band which typically separates the two color schemes, the opposite colors will on occasion buff and outline the separate bands.  

General Mannerisms:

By numerous accounts, the Dusky Lorie is said to carry the most extreme of Rainbow Lorie traits. When this Lorie can be the most playful and social of all its cousins, it can also be found in times of great stubbornness and aggression towards other species. Its naturally energetic and interesting personalities make it quite the pet for only the most involved of owners. However, it is one of the birds many people either greatly enjoy or vastly dislike. While this Lorie has quite the gift for mimic and speech, it is usually inclined to vocalizing itself with high pitched screeching.

This Rainbow Lorie is also one that is regarded as needing slightly less dietary maintenance than the other subspecies. While again, the regular Nectar provided is a required necessity, this bird does also enjoy a slightly omnivorous appetite. Many owners have noted how their Dusky Lorie will happily accept a bean and vegetable mixed diet.

Pricing and Availability:

In both phases, the Dusky Lorie is considered to be a common parrot species in the wild. This may be in part due to its natural widespread habitat throughout New Guinea. This bird is also common to the domestic population and is easily accessible throughout private breeders and commercial pet stores alike. The price on the open market for either color phase averages about $350.

Click to play Cardinal Lorie


Physical Description...At Maturity:

A full grown Cardinal Lorie is considered to be one of the larger Rainbow Lorie subspecies. This bird will grow to 12 inches, weighing in at 200-250 grams.

It is colored in predominately various dark red shades. The feathers across the top of the wings and back are found to have a brownish-red tint. The plumage beneath these feathers however appears in bronze-orange and is tipped in yellow. All the tail feathers have a rusty-red tint. The beak is mostly orange, with the upper and lower mandibles turning to a black color that leads back to surround the eyes. The irises are orange.

During Immaturity:

Through its fledgling stage, the Cardinal Lorie is basically duller in its shades of red plumage. There is a slight showing of yellow feathers about the ears that later fall out through growth. The beak is completely black leading back to a white color that surrounds the eyes.

General Mannerisms:

Owners of the Cardinal Lorie state that this bird is one of the ‘cuddliest' in their procession. They tend to be a rather gentle and well natured with their owners. Once this Lorie has developed a bond, it becomes one of the most trusting and easiest to handle.

Interestingly, caution must be taken when housing this bird with a mate. A watchful eye is needed because it has been noted that it can become highly aggressive during nesting. Even towards each other.

Pricing and Availability:

Due to illegal exportation, the Cardinal Lorie was slowly becoming extinct in the wild. Now, tight constraints have been implemented in the exportation of this subspecies. Luckily the efforts of various conservation methods have presently paid off. This Rainbow Lorie can now be found much more commonly in its natural habitat. However because of its recent endangerment status, its domesticated population is still fairly rare. While its numbers are increasing constantly, the price for this Lorie on the open market averages the $500 - $600 range.

Click to play Chatterling Lorie


*Note must be taken in referring to this specific Rainbow Lorie subspecies&Even though this Lorie's naming conventions are often times confused or intermingled, it is important to know that the Yellow-Backed Lorie is actually one of two subspecies belonging to the Chattering Lorie family.

Physical Description...At Maturity:

Averaging between 11 — 12 inches, the adult Chattering Yellow-Backed Lorie weighs around 180-250 grams. This bird is then considered to be slightly smaller than the larger parrots belonging to the Rainbow Lorie subspecies family.

Being mostly scarlet in color, yellow feathers will occasionally grace parts of the upper wing along with a contrasting patch of yellow across the back. This scarlet color then continues down throughout the upper side of the tail, being tipped with greenish feathers. Having a tinge of golden-yellow, many of the underside tail feathers are a paler red shade in comparison. Finally the upper side of the wings and thighs has a green plumage. Underneath the wings however, a broad pinkish band can be found. The beak and iris both match in an orangeish color.

During Immaturity:

At this stage of growth, there is not a great difference in plumage between an immature and mature Chattering Yellow-Backed Lorie. Some of the feathers leading back from the beak to the ears many show in a reddish-black shade. Their beaks are found to be brown and irises gray. Ultimately, the general scarlet colored plumage is less vibrant and appears in a more subdued shade.  

General Mannerisms:

The Chattering Yellow-Backed Lorie is considered one of the more accomplished talkers in the Rainbow Lorie subspecies. They have a wonderfully active and inquisitive personality. As a pet, they seem to be an extremely sociable bird with their owners and even unfamiliar handlers.

While these birds do interact marvelously well with humans, they are exceedingly aggressive towards other birds. It is suggested that if not kept as a solitary bird, only house this Lorie with an accepted mate.  

Pricing and Availability:

The Chattering Yellow-Backed Lorie is known to be one of the most popularly exported birds out of Eastern Indonesia. Their especially friendly and curious personalities make them particularly susceptible to local trapping. Also due to the deforestation of their natural habitats, this bird is considered to be a declining species in the wild.

In part to their pending endangerment and compatible personalities as pets, the domestic desire for this Lorie has increased, pricing them at around $450 on the open market

Click to play Lorikeet Types Blue Crowned



Physical Description...At Maturity:

Upon reaching adulthood, the Blue-Crowned Lorikeet can be considered one of the smaller Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. It is no larger than 7 ½ inches, weighing approximately 39-49 grams.

Being primarily light green in color, this bird lives up to its namesake with a noticeably blazing blue plumage covering the crown of its head. The lower abdomen matches in a blue vibrancy, while the shaft if streaked in a softer sky blue. In crimson red, there is also a ‘bib-shaped area' forming at the beak and extending down to the upper breast; with a matching patch repeated over the upper abdomen. It is surrounded with a small border of reddish-purple feathers that are also repeated around the thighs and legs. With the eyes being a brownish-orange color, the feet and bill are solely orange.

During Immaturity:

While in their growth stage, the Blue-Crowned Lorikeet's plumage does not go through a very dramatic change. Many of its vibrant colors may be slightly dulled through immaturity, the main difference can be found in the lower red patch of plumage that ultimately covers the abdomen. This area is not only less pronounced in size of red feathers, but it is also intermingled with several of the light green feathers found throughout. The bill and iris are also dark brown in color, and the legs are dark gray or pink.  

General Mannerisms:

The stunning beauty of the Blue-Crowned Lorikeet is also matched by a wonderfully entertaining personality. This subspecies is not only highly intelligent, but it is also one of the more quiet of the Rainbow Lorikeets. This bird instinctively prefers smaller groups or pairs of the same species; not only in its wild habitat, but also in various domesticated situations.

In comparison to other Lorikeets, this bird also has one of the more versatile feeding habits. While a nectar diet is still a primary must, it does also enjoy various solid foods, particularly coconut leaves. However, caution must be advised in that this particular bird has a gluttonous appetite and will absent-mindedly become obese if given the opportunity.  

Pricing and Availability:

Unfortunately the Blue-Crowned Lorikeets particularly native to the Polynesian Islands first became on the verge of extinction due to the earliest arrivals of humans and their accompanied ship rats. Currently, these birds are facing extinction due to local deforestation and competitive exclusion. These factors have influenced the domesticated population in that these birds are considered to be rare. It is not uncommon for one of these Rainbow Lorikeets to be sold on the open market for around $500.

Click to play Swainson"s Blue Mountain Lorikeet


  * Note must be taken that often times the similarities in plumage create confusion between depicting a Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet and a Green-Napped Lorikeet.

Physical Description&At Maturity:

When the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet reaches adulthood, it is found to grow to 10 inches and weigh 130 -140 grams.

The plumage of this Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies is found to be remarkably similar to that of a Green-Napped Lorikeet. The primary difference between a Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet and a Green-Napped Lorikeet is the solidly blue head. Instead of the red and black dashing about the breast, this Lorikeet has a mixture of light red and yellow shades that lead down to the upper abdomen. There is a yellowish-green band across that back of the head that changes to a dark green plumage on the back, wings, and tail feathers. The lower abdomen is a dark blue shade matching the head, with yellow and green plumage covering the thighs. The beak and irises are both orangeish-red.

During Immaturity:

Other than a duller colored plumage, the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet does not go through any dramatic or notable changes throughout this immature stage.

General Mannerisms:

Compared to other birds of the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies, the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet is considerably a one-person bird. This parrot prefers a more solitary lifestyle, typically choosing a favorite person or place to reside in while loose in a home. Because of this, it is a particular must that the owner of this pet spend a great deal of time socializing with their Lorikeet. This parrot is also one of the more intelligent birds available. Regularly it can be taught various tricks and requires a highly stimulating environment for their in-cage activities. While the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet can learn the most difficult of tricks and may mimic various activities and sounds, they are not considerably gifted talkers.

Pricing and Availability:

In their natural habitats, the wild Swainson's Blue Mountain Lorikeet is not found to be in the slightest bit hesitant around humans. They can in fact be frequently seen in many Eastern Australian backyards. However, they are considered to be an endangered species. They may no longer be a heavily exported avian, but this Lorikeet is already comfortably establish in captivity. They are one of the most common Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies available on the open market for around $350 to $450.

Click to play Green Napped Lorikeet


* Note must be taken in reference to this particular Lorikeet. Due to its high commonality, often times this bird is simply called the Rainbow Lorikeet. While it is a subspecies of the Rainbow Lorikeet family, it should not be called this to avoid any confusion with discussing other Lorikeets of the same species.  

Physical Description&At Maturity:

Once the Green-Napped Lorikeet reaches full growth, it is another medium sized bird belonging to the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies at 10 inches and 130 — 140 grams.

The majority of this bird is a vibrant shade of light green. A mixture of black and blue plumage can be found on the forehead about the face and running down to the front of the throat. The base of the neck surrounding the blue plumage to the back of the crown changes to mostly black feathers. The back of the neck, occasionally speckled with red feathers, has a yellowish-green collar stopping just above the shoulders. At the base of the neck, the breast and leading partially under the wings is found to be mostly of a bold red color, intermixed with dashes of dark blue plumage. Much of the under parts, top of the wings and tail carry the vibrant shade of light green. The undersides of the tail and thighs have a yellow to olive-yellow speckling. The bill is orange-red and irises red.

During Immaturity:

Prior to reaching adulthood, the Green-Napped Lorikeet's plumage does not go through any dramatic or notable changes.  

General Mannerisms:

While the Green-Napped Lorikeet is most commonly associated with being the general Rainbow Lorikeet species, it does not always reflect the best of personality traits. This bird still makes a good pet for any owner as that it is naturally disposed to many social behavior activities. This Lorikeet is also not quite as noisy as others, and quickly learns basic human vocabulary. Yet care must be taken in learning this birds mannerisms as that they tend to become slightly nippy upon reaching their sexual maturity.  

Pricing and Availability:

In its natural habitat, the Green-Napped Lorikeet prefers large flocks and commonly frequents widespread areas. There are areas in the wild where this bird's population is slowly on the decline; however there are currently no conservation measures installed for its protection. This may be due to the Lorikeet's effortless breeding methods in captivity. Either way, this species is already comfortably situated in private ownership and has an average open market price between $250-300.

Click to play Red Collared Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity:

Of all the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies, the Red-Collared Lorikeet competes in size to many of its bigger Rainbow Lorie cousins. Being slightly larger than average, it is 12 inches long and weighs 125 — 130 grams.

An adult Red-Collared Lorikeet will have a primarily blue head with slight black feathered streaking. There is a band of bright orange plumage gracing the back of the neck that follows down to completely engulf the breast. The abdomen and under parts are of a dark green shade with bright yellowish-green colors on the thighs. Underneath the wings and below the tail are heavily marked in bright yellow feathers. The top of the wings and back varies from a light green to dark green plumage.

During Immaturity:

There is no dramatic or notable change in plumage when the Red-Collared Lorikeet goes through immaturity.

General Mannerisms:

In the wild, the Red-Collared Lorikeet can be found more often in large flocks and prefer some form of company in a captive environment. This Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies is very intelligent and enjoys living a more boisterous and noisy lifestyle. While this parrot does have a hardy appetite compared to most of its cousins, it can be very temperature sensitive.

Pricing and Availability:

Even though the Red-Collared Lorikeet is fairly common throughout the wild as that they are a nomadic species; they seem to be less common in the States. However because of their wide ranges in habitat, they can alternately be found in high domesticated populations around countries closer to their native homes (i.e. Australia). This is not because of any official export or importation regulations. The desire for this bird in private collections is just not that significant in the States. On the open market, this Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies can be sold for $450.

Click to play Iris Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity:

The Iris Lorikeet is another of the smaller Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. A fully mature bird, even with the males being slightly larger, will only be about 7 inches long and weigh 65-75 grams.

The Iris Lorikeet is mostly covered in light green to dark green plumage all over. Its most notable color arrangement covers the top of the head. The forehead has varied scarlet color feathers that touch the purple ones covering the top of the crown and leading down the sides around the eyes and ears. A more yellowish-green band covers the back of the crown. Starting below the lower mandible, continuing down the breast, under the wings, under parts, and beneath the tail, the feathers are a more light green shade. The back, top of the wings and tail have a darker shade of green. The beak is orange, and the irises brown in color.

During Immaturity:

While maturing, the Iris Lorikeet has a more varied plumage about the head. With all the colors generally there in various degrees, they appear to be of a more muted shade. If the beak is not already orange in color, it will be a brown that matches the irises.

General Mannerisms:

Perhaps in part to their smaller stature, the Iris Lorikeet is known as one of the quieter of Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. This bird has been found to be impeccably gentle with their owners, being one of the easiest to tame. They make wonderful caged birds as that they do thrive well indoors. This Lorikeet is also the most accomplished at holding food and other items in their delicate feet. Interestingly though, even with the males being the larger of the species, the females are found to carry the more aggressive personality of the two.

Pricing and Availability:

In aviculture, the Iris Lorikeet is an uncommon and more difficult species to procure. It may be in part to its complicated domestic breeding habits. Also, this Lorikeet has become vulnerable in the wild, and is believed to be a threatened avian. Deforestation of specific food sources, such as the local Indonesian sandalwood and plantation trees have drastically affected the Iris Lorikeet's habitats. Therefore, on the open market, prices for this Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies in private collections range from $400 - $500.

Click to play Ornate Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity:

Upon reaching maturity, the Ornate Lorikeet is a medium sized Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies at 10 inches and 110 grams.

The most distinguishing feature about the Ornate Lorikeet is the bold red feathers about the beak, cheeks, throat and back of crown. There is a slight yellow collar about the sides of the head to back of the crown. These yellow feathers extend down to the shoulders and then under the wings. The top of the crown is then covered in vibrant blue feathers that also surround the eyes and ears. Just below the throat, dark red plumage dashed with bluish-black feathers extends to cover the entire upper breast. The rest of the abdomen has various green shades speckled with small yellow feathers. The underbelly is a yellowish-green that continues below the tail feathers. The rest of the bird is various shades of lighter green. The beak and irises are found to be both orange.

During Immaturity:

As the Ornate Lorikeet grows to full adulthood, the dashed red and bluish-black feathers about the upper breast are considerably less prominent. The rest of the abdomen will appear oppositely to that of a mature bird. Instead there will be more yellow feathers, with a few speckling of green. This color scheme will eventually reverse itself through growth. The beak will be black in color, with the irises brown.

General Mannerisms:

Finding acceptable material on the behavioral traits of the Ornate Lorikeet has proven a difficult task. They are simply not a largely privately owned or desired bird. We do know that this bird prefers to be housed with another or in small groups. They can also be a bit nippy compared to the rest of the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies.

Pricing and Availability:

At one time, the Ornate Lorikeet was the most readily available exotic bird in private and public ownership outside of its native habitat. This parrot is perhaps the first of the exotic birds commonly captured and exported for private collections. Reports aptly describing this bird in captivity have been found leading back at least eight centuries. However when various other exotic birds and Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies began flooding the domesticated markets, this bird was largely ignored. While the Ornate Lorikeet is found to be a prolific breeder, it specific breeding habits and the public's lack of interest have made this species a fairly uncommon pet. On the open market, this Lorikeet can be commonly found at sale price for $300.

Click to play Forsten's Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity

When the Forsten's Lorikeet reaches full maturity, it is found to be one of the smaller to medium sized parrots in the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. At just 9 inches, it weighs a good 95 grams.

This bird has more or less a bluish-black and purple head. The forehead has more dark blue plumage, changing towards a more predominately purple color about the cheeks to surround the rest of the head. At the back of the head, there is a striking yellow band of feathers. Adjoining at the base of the neck, the breast has a solid dull to vibrant red and purple color that thins out to darker green plumage about the upper abdomen. The thighs, under parts, and below the tail have greenish-yellow feathers. The rest of the bird is predominately various darker green shades. The beak is an orangeish-yellow, and the feet are gray.

During Immaturity:

Through immaturity, the Forsten's Lorikeet does not go through any dramatic or notable change.

  General Mannerisms:

Similarly, The Forsten's Lorikeet is as playful and energetic as most of the other Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. However in comparison, they are found to be quite less noisy; yet still retaining their gift for mimicking human speech. Also unlike its cousins, this Lorikeet is a bit more shy than the rest of the nominate species.

  Pricing and Availability:

  Not long ago, the Forsten's Lorikeet was in danger of natural extinction and legal importation was ceased. Largely because of this effort, this bird has now vastly increased their numbers in the wild. Unfortunately this conservation endeavor has had a drastic effect on the private ownership of this bird. Very soon after the stricter laws were implemented, the domestic population quickly declined. Now in captivity, these Lorikeets are facing extinction due to interbreeding and various contaminations of the species. Even though this bird was once readily available on the market, their uncommon and pending domestically extinct status has increased and easily made the Forsten's Lorikeet priced at $700.

Click to play Goldie's Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity:

Even upon reaching adulthood, the Goldie's Lorikeet is considered to be one of the smaller subspecies of Rainbow Lorikeets. It does not grow any larger than 7 inches, weighing between 55-65 grams.

The Goldie's Lorikeet has been commonly nicknamed little watermelon bird. It can be easily distinguished due to their green and yellow vertical streaking from the front of their necks through to the under parts. Scarlet feathers grace their foreheads and crown. The feathers about the eyes are of a bluish-purple color leading out to a mixture of purples and pinks. This Lorikeet's backside, wings, and tail carry various shades of light and dark green feathers. Its irises are dark brown while the beak is black.

During Immaturity:

Before reaching full maturity, the Goldie's Lorikeet generally has slightly muted feathers with considerably less distinctive streaking throughout the front of the bird. With the crown of red being of a more intense shade, the rest of the head feathers are a more unified plum color.

  General Mannerisms:

The Goldie's Lorikeet has a personality very unlike most of the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. It is one of the most quiet and non-aggressive birds, having a very timid and cautious temperament. It may not be the most avid talker, but on occasion will mimic various human noises. Also in comparison to its cousins, the Goldie's Lorikeet is considerably cleaner and even enjoys the company of various other species; making it an excellent aviary addition.  

Pricing and Availability:

  In its natural habitat, the Goldie's Lorikeet is not significantly a nomadic bird. They frequent fairly small areas throughout the mountains of New Guinea, maintaining their populations at a very healthy rate. Currently these Rainbow Lorikeets are fairly well established in captivity as that they make excellent aviary specimens. This bird is then considered one of the least costly of the Lorikeet family, being sold on the open market around $175 — 250.

Click to play Red Flanked Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity:

Even at full growth, the Red-Flanked Lorikeet is possibly the smallest of the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. It is no larger than 6 inches, weighing 30 — 40 grams.

This Lorikeet is so vastly sexually dimorphic in appearance, that when compared, the males seem almost to be a separate species to their female counterparts.

Upon reaching maturity, the male Red-Flanked Lorikeet can be easily distinguished by his namesake. Brightly colored scarlet-red plumage is easily noticeable about the beak, cheeks, and throat. There are similar feathers flanking down the sides of the body just extending below the wings. The plumage about the ears and down the sides of the face is primarily dark blue in shade with streaks of a lighter and more vibrant blue throughout. The top of the crown is a bright green leading back to a darker green that covers the top of the body, wings, and tail. The breast and leading down bellow the belly is shaded in a light green plumage; turning into yellow feathers below the tail. Below the wings, small yellow feathers can be found at the top and across the bottom larger flight feathers. Other than dark green, the top of the tail also carries a few red feathers that are tipped in yellow. The beak and legs match in a reddish-pink color, with the irises being orange.

Appearing less elaborate in color, the female Red-Flanked Lorikeet shares a few of the same plumage markings as her male counterpart. About the cheeks and sides of the face, the plumage is a yellowish-green, being streaked with bright yellow colors. This yellow feathered streaking will sometimes stick out from the surrounding feathers about the cheeks. The feathers at the top of the crown, leading to the back, tops of the wings, and tail are all the same darker green shade. Beginning at the beak, and leading down the breast, below the wings and underbelly shows in all the same light green shade. The only red found in the female Red-Flanked Lorikeet's plumage is at the tip of the tail; while below are various yellow feathers. The beak and legs also match in a reddish-pink color, with the irises being orange.

During Immaturity:

Due to the prominent red feathers appearing on the male Red-Flanked Lorikeet, this subspecies of Rainbow Lorikeets can be sexed as early as a month and a half. However, in some of these parrots, the females will show some of the red feathers about the cheeks till as late as five months after hatching. But for all intensive purposes, during their immature phase, these birds will show the appropriate colored feathers according to their sex. Otherwise, the beak and irises will both be brown in color.

General Mannerisms:

For being such a small bird belonging to the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies, the Red-Flanked Lorikeet is a rather feisty avian. For this parrot, big personalities really do come in tiny packages. Many owners state that while this Lorikeet does carry many of the common behaviors found in their cousins, it tends to be on the more aggressive and nervous side. They also are considered to be one of the more vocal and shrill birds, especially during mating season. With some patience, owners of the Red-Flanked Lorikeet do say that this bird can be tamed and become quite interesting to observe. For example, in comparison to most of the other parrots belonging to the Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies, this particular bird is found to be the most prideful and interactive of parents. While rearing their young, both male and females take a great deal of care and attention to their babies; often becoming excitable when their hatchlings accomplish a new feat.

Pricing and Availability:

The Red-Flanked Lorikeet has a largely inhabited area throughout Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. They do not incur any threats to their wild population; therefore there are no official limitations or conservation measures in place for this bird. Mostly because of a low mortality rate, this Lorikeet has been a fairly uncommon addition to private ownership. Now as a result of many successful breeding practices and more appropriate care provided by owners, the Red-Flanked Lorikeet's domestic population is on the rise. With the males of the species more readily available, both they and the females can be found on the open market for around $300.

Click to play Rosenberg Lorikeet


Physical Description&Maturity:

At 11 inches and 120 grams, the Rosenberg Lorikeet is one of the larger Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies.

The Rosenberg Lorikeet has an immediately distinguishable plumage marking about the back of the collar. Compared to other Lorikeets, this bird has an enormous band of yellowish-green feathers that cover just below the back of the head down to the shoulders. The majority of the head is predominantly a brilliant blue and black color with a glossy purple edging around the back of the head, behind the eyes, and connecting below the throat. The breast is of a deep blue color dashed with dark red shades which fade out to be a solid deep blue covering the entire abdomen and under parts. The thighs have a yellow and light green speckling that leads down below the tail feathers. There will be a collar of light red or orangeish feathers that outline the back of the enormous yellowish-green band at the back of the head. These reddish feathers will continue down to the shoulders and under the wings to have a slight flanking along the sides of the bird. The rest of the backside, wings, and top of tail have various shades of light green plumage.

During Immaturity:

At its immature stage, the Rosenberg Lorikeet does not go through any dramatic or notable changes in its plumage.

General Mannerisms:

For many of the Rainbow Lorikeet family, the Rosenberg Lorikeet is the most even-tempered. Once tamed, they often remain impeccably so even after choosing a mate and going through the nesting period. Similarily in the wild, these birds are considered to be a very calm and trusting avian. This parrot is even found to associate well in closer quarters with other birds and species. They would make an excellent pet to either the aviary or single Rainbow Lorikeet owner.

Pricing and Availability:

The Rosenberg Lorikeet has a fairly small range around the Biak Islands in which it inhabits. Unfortunately, a great deal of deforestation for the growing human influence has adversely affected this Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies' population. Now in its natural form, this bird is becoming more and more of an extinction risk. Since the beginning of the Rosenberg Lorikeet's direct importation, it has always been difficult to procure the female of this species. This may have caused by its rarity in the domestic population. However, as that this particular Lorikeet species is constantly being integrated into various breeding programs, it is slowly becoming a more common avian for private ownership. Now, on the open market, one might purchase the Rosenberg Lorikeet for around $400.

Click to play Scaly Breasted Lorikeet


Physical Description&At Maturity:

The Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet is considered to be a fairly medium sized Rainbow Lorikeet. It is 9 — 10 inches long and weighs just 70 - 90 grams.

While it does carry a very simple and distinctive plumage arrangement, this Lorikeet is thought to be less colorful compared to the other Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. A mature Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet has a mid-green breast containing a general scattering of bright yellow feathers that later change to an olive-yellow with an orange-red edging below the tail. The top of the crown has a greenish-turquoise tint of feathers. Except for the orange-red colors appearing on the main flight feathers, the rest of this parrot is predominantly mid-green in plumage. The beak and irises match in an orange color.

During Immaturity:

An immature Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet has basically less vibrant plumage. Also the yellow speckling across the green breast is considerably less apparent. At this time, the beak and irises are brownish in color until about 3 months when the orange shade begins to appear. Lastly, the tail feathers are found to be significantly shorter in length.

General Mannerisms:

The Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet carries the typical mannerisms that make most Rainbow Lorikeets desirable. They are playful and inquisitive, even being a bit of a boisterous parrot. They do have the tendency to become more noisy and aggressive around feeding and mating. But their all around sweet dispositions towards their owners make this Lorikeet a suitable pet. If kept as an aviary addition, it is recommended that one be provided with more than ample room for flight as that this bird naturally prefers larger open spaces.

Pricing and Availability:

While in their natural habitats, the Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet can often times be found in mixed flocks with other Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. They carry both a nomadic and lingering disposition in that half of the species will wander from tree to tree, while others prefer to make a permanent home in some areas. Even though these birds are easily bred and adapt marvelously well to captivity, it is often a much less preferred bird compared to the other Rainbow Lorikeet subspecies. Because of the more plain of plumage arrangements, this bird can be considered a boring substitute in contrast to the various other far more colorful parrots. Therefore due to the lack of interest in owning a Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet, not only are they a difficult find, the asking price is only around $250.



~ The Lory Owner's Survival Guide by Margrethe Warden (2004)

~ Hancock House Encyclopedia of the Lories by Rosemary Low (1998)

~Handbook of Lories & Lorikeets

~ And various Websites