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12

Little Lorikeet

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

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

Similar species

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

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

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

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

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

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]

Two Little Lorikeets in a flowering "Apple" tree
[Near Barraba, NSW, December 2008]

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]

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.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = 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]

Eggs

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

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

Behaviour

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, they bond with their mates and test their abilities by having them bring food before starting the incubation process.

Male Little Lorikeet feeding its partner
[Near Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2013]

Food, Diet

To the best of our knowledge Little Lorikeets feed on nectar.

Little Lorikeet feeding on nectar in a eucalypt tree (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, October 2013]

Little Lorikeet feeding on nectar in a eucalypt tree
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, October 2008]

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

Call(s)/Song

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_20140404.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20150905.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20141005.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20141016.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
litlori_20170810.m4a (NW NSW) Warning/departure (Plum-headed Finches in bkgd) © MD
litlori_20151003.mp3 (NW NSW) Flock feeding in eucalypt © MD
litlori_20170903_3.m4a (NW NSW) Various (feeding in eucalypt) © MD
litlori_20151016.mp3 (NW NSW) ? © MD

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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