Varied Lorikeets


none commonly used.


length about 19 cm (7.5″), weight about 55 grams.


Visual sexing is very difficult, with the female tending to be slightly duller in colour.


The Varied Lorikeet is distributed across northern Australia from the Kimberleys to Cape York. Common in the west and central part of its range, but becoming very rare in the east. It is strongly gregarious, mainly in eucalypt and melaleuca woodlands in tropical lowlands. Like other lorikeets, the diet is predominately nector, pollen and fruit. Breeding in the wild is from April to August.


The Varied Lorikeet is one of the rarer lorikeets kept in Australian aviaries, and is commonly regarded as the most difficult to breed. They are best housed as single pairs as they can become quarrelsome during the breeding season, which in aviaries is from July to October, somewhat later than in the wild. A typical lorikeet diet is needed, as described in the introduction to Lorikeets.A small nest box is adequate, 20 cm by 20 cm by 30 cm deep, with a 7 cm opening. An absorbent nesting material needs to be used, such as sawdust, to absorb the runny droppings. Four eggs are commonly laid, with incubation by the female taking around 22 days. Both parents share feeding of the chicks, which fledge after 40 days, and the babies becoming independent a further 2 weeks later. Birds are sexually mature at 12 months


No mutations are known to exist of this species.


I have never heard of the Varied being kept as a pet, but have no doubt that it shares the delightful personality of the other lorikeet species. Because of its relatively low numbers in aviculture, all young produced find a ready market with other aviculturalists in Australia.


The Varied Lorikeet sells for about $325au in Queensland, and is almost unknown outside of Australia.