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Little Lorikeet

(Glossopsitta pusilla)
Alternate name(s): "Little Keet", "Jerryang", "Green Parakeet"
Aboriginal name(s): "jerriang"

Size: 15-16 cm
Weight: 30-50 g


Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Little Lorikeet at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information



Sex unknown

Frontal view of a Little Lorikeet
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, October 2015]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a Little Lorikeet (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Gold Scrub Lane, Samsonvale, QLD, May 2020]

Near-lateral view of a Little Lorikeet
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, October 2015]

Lateral view of a Little Lorikeet
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, October 2015]

Little Lorikeet looking down at the photographer
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2011]

The same Little Lorikeet as shown above, now with a mate, playing silly buggers
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2011]

Dorsal view of a Little Lorikeet casuarina
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, October 2015]


Pair of Little Lorikeets exploring a potential nest hollow (photo courtesy of P. Spark)
[Near Barraba, NSW, October 2014]

Pair of Little Lorikeets in a eucalypt tree; probably the male is on the left (the bird "showing" the hollow), the female on the right (the bird sent in to "inspect" the hollow)
[Near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2013]

Pair of Little Lorikeets in a eucalypt tree
[Near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Nov Eggs: 3 - 5 Incubation period: 20 days Fledging age: 35 - 42 days

Lorikeets are sociable creatures which often nest in loose colonies, also in conjunction with other species.


"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: Scraped wood Height above ground: 5 - 20 m

Surprisingly, Little Lorikeets choose nesting hollows with openings from above, not necessarily sideways.

The entrance to the nesting hollow chosen by this pair of Little Lorikeets is so narrow that the birds must squeeze their bodies through the opening; this ensures that bigger, more powerful, competitors cannot use this hollow in a eucalypt tree
[Near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2013]


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 21 x 17 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Flock

Like other species of parrots, Little Lorikeets are very sociable birds.

One peculiarity of their behaviour is that they, contrary to the habits of many other parrot species, usually fly high - above the canopy of forest, not in between trees, i.e. under the cover of the tree crowns.

Since, as is the case for many other parrot species, female Little Lorikeets take on the incubation duties, they rely on the males to feed them. Therefore, males prove their mettle in a bonding ritual, by feeding their partners before they start the incubation process.

Bonding ritual: Male Little Lorikeet feeding its partner in a bonding ritual
[Near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2013]

Food, Diet

Little Lorikeets feed primarily on nectar, but we have seen them take lerps as well.

Little Lorikeet taking nectar from an Angophora eucalypt (photo courtesy of M. Fleming)
[Near Baradine, NSW, January 2021]

Little Lorikeet taking nectar (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Sandy Camp Road Wetlands, Brisbane, QLD, February 2020]

Little Lorikeet taking nectar (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Sandy Camp Road Wetlands, Brisbane, QLD, February 2020]

Little Lorikeet taking nectar (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Sandy Camp Road Wetlands, Brisbane, QLD, February 2020]

This Little Lorikeet appears to be licking sap from the bark of a casuarina
[Timmallallie NP, NSW, October 2015]

Distant view of a Little Lorikeet taking lerps from the underside of an eucalypt leaf
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, August 2019]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

litlori_20190804_5.m4a (NW NSW) Contact call © MD
litlori_20221003.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20190804.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20150905.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20190804_2.m4a (NW NSW) Warning/departure (pair) © MD
litlori_20190101.m4a (NW NSW) Group feeding in eucalypt © MD
litlori_20170903_3.m4a (NW NSW) Various (feeding in eucalypt) © MD
litlori_20190804_4.m4a (NW NSW) Various (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20210409.m4a (NW NSW) Various (mob flying over) © MD

More Little Lorikeet sound recordings are available at .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.