Green Parakeet, Red-faced Lorikeet
Length about 15 cm (6″), weight about 40-45 grams.
Little or no difference between the sexes, although the male may sometimes have richer colouring. Surgical sexing is desirable before attempting breeding.
The Little Lorikeet is an inhabitant of the coastal heath, open woodland and dry forests of Eastern Australia from Cairns to South Australia. It is however only common from eastern Victoria to southern Queensland. Outside of this area it is very rare. It is a gregarious species, except when breeding, and quite large flocks may congregate around good food sources such as flowering eucalypts. The Little Lorikeet is strictly an aboreal species, preferring the upper canopy, and, like other lorikeets, feeds on nector, pollen and fruits. Breeding in the wild is from May to January in the north of their range, but does not commence to August or September in the south.
The Little Lorikeet used to be considered a difficult species to breed, but with an increasing knowledge of their requirements, particularly diet, they now are no longer considered so. They are not an aggressive species, and can successfully be housed in a planted aviary with finches and Neophemas, but better breeding results will be obtained if they are housed separately. A moderately sized suspended aviary, around 1.2m by 0.6m by 0.6m is suitable for breeding, although a somewhat larger size would be better. A nest box around 15 cm by 15 cm and 25 cm deep will usually be accepted, with sawdust or wood shavings as the preferred nesting material.
Three to five eggs are laid, incubation takes about 21 days, and fledging takes place after around 6 weeks. Young birds reach breeding maturity at 12 months.
The Little Lorikeet does not appear to be kept as a pet in Australia although it would no doubt share the same pet qualities as the other Lorikeets.
The Little Lorikeet sells for around $200 a pair in Queensland. It would appear to be extremely rare in Europe and the USA, if present at all, and its price overseas is unknown.