Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla) breeding and keeping. PART I

June 20th, 2016 | by Bill Boy
Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla) breeding and keeping. PART I

Read also the second part:

Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla) breeding and keeping. PART II


Complacency is the word that best describes the decline in numbers of the Little Lorikeet in captivity (in my area at least) because as soon as we have a species well established we tend to neglect it and move on to a new species or challenge. It has come to my notice that the enquiries for Littles has escalated lately and this is mainly because there are very few available. I have kept and bred these little parrots since the mid 80s and I still keep and breed them. I find them to be an attractive, active and charming little bird and will always find some space for them.

I thought that because of the above situation and the fact that they also seem to be declining in the wild it might be time to revisit the keeping and breeding of this species.

I live on the central coast of New South Wales in the Lake Macquarie area and as a boy used to see these small birds flying high overhead usually from south to north in the clear autumn sky when I was fishing. This was a regular event and at no time did I ever see them in trees in our immediate area. I had encountered them on the western slopes in the Cumnock area when on holidays but it was not until much later that they became visitors to my area and only when the Spotted Gum was in flower (Eucalyptus maculata) probably has a different name now.



Later on and now with a vehicle and with the birds still doing their autumn flights I decided to try to find where they were coming from and going to.

I drove 60 km to the south early one morning and noted that the birds were coming from somewhere further south and so the next day I drove 100km north and the birds were still passing overhead so as has been noted by others these birds travel long distances in search of flowering trees. Within 15 years after this I was not seeing any birds flying overhead but knew that they were still around a little west of my area. I don’t  know the reason for the decline in both activity and numbers but I would think it had to do with habitat destruction and loss of breeding areas. But even though reduced in number they are still around and wide spread and breeding and so hopefully they will continue to do so.

So below is how I keep and breed them, It may not work for others in a different geographical location so adjustments to suit other areas need to be considered.



Little Lorikeet at Wildlife Sanctuary (c) Lubomir Tomiska


The Little Lorikeet was once considered to be a difficult species to keep in captivity but this was quite some years ago and with todays knowledge and proven diets there is no reason why littles should be confined to the cages of only the experienced breeder.

Much has been written about these birds over the last few years by myself and others and so any information about them is readily available. It can even be found on the internet.


Lories LorikeetsNeophema Neopsephotus soft  Macaws


The photos accompanying this article means there is no need for a written description of the birds other than to state that males and females are difficult to sex visually other than the males usually have a larger red face mask. DNA sexing is available now and the only way to be sure you have true pairs.


author: Bill Boyd

Title photo: (c) Lubomir Tomiska


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