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Parvipsitta porphyrocephala

Common Name: Purple-crowned Lorikeet

Range: Semiarid lowlands of sw and se Australia, including Kangaroo I.

Parvipsitta porphyrocephala
  • general plumage green; head and thighs yellowish-green; lores orange-red; forehead and ear-coverts orange; crown purple; throat, fore-cheeks, breast and abdomen pale blue; nape and upper back area bronze-brown washed with green; under wing-coverts red; bend of wing blue; primaries with very narrow yellowish edging to outer webs; underside of wings bronze-brown; underside of tail yellowish-olive, lateral feathers with orange-red base to inner webs; narrow periophthalmic ring blackish; iris brown; feet grey; bill black.
  • Female as male.
  • Immatures with blackish-brown bill; colors generally duller; purple crown often less extensive; completely absent in some birds; iris dark.
  • Length: 15 cm
  • Status: because of nomadic habits common only in localities and at certain times of year.
  • southwest and southeast Australia; Kangaroo Island.
  • Habitat: dry mallee vegetation; but also in all areas with flowering and fruiting bushes and trees; sometimes open savannah with isolated groups of trees, eucalyptus forest and coastal scrubland; very infrequently in parks of towns.
  • active lory, but very susceptible; often dies without discernible cause; very strict hygiene necessary; minimum temperature during acclimatization not less than 24°C; usually not shy; tendency to obesity in small cage; colony system with other small birds possible; enjoys bathing and being sprayed; large aviaries can also be planted as chewing requirement not very great.
  • Breeding behavior: breeding period from August to December; nests in hollow branches and cavities of tall eucalyptus trees near water courses; nests located between 3 m and 40 m from ground; occasionally breeds in loose colonies, where virtually every available hollow is occupied by flock members; occasionally 50 or more pairs breed in small area; then breeding activity very conspicuous; pair cleans hollow before laying; bottom of nest lined with rotten pieces of wood; clutch usually 3 or 4 eggs; only female broods; however male joins female at night in nest; egg measures 20.3 x 16.7 mm.
  • Breeding in aviculture: only seldom achieved outside Australia; in courtship display male stretches, bobs with upper body and hops toward female; clutch usually 3 to 4 eggs; incubation 19 or 20 days, occasionally also 22 days; only female broods, although male often remains in nestbox; fledging period 45 to 60 days; depends on outside temperature; colony breeding also possible, although not so successful as when pairs isolated.
Social Behavior
  • usually observed in small groups of 4 to 12 birds; larger gatherings on flowering trees; occasionally associates there with Musk Lorikeet; nomadic outside breeding season; prefers treetops; there difficult to detect; however also forages in lower parts of trees or bushes; there not very shy and approachable; noisy; roosts in thick foliage of tall trees, often far from feeding areas; when disturbed flock flies off in all directions, then often reassembles in flight and circles screeching loudly before landing on same or nearby tree; flight swift and direct with whirring wing-beats accompanied by loud calls; contact call shrill tzit-tzit-tzit rapidly repeated; sharp, metallic chattering when feeding.
  • spacious birdroom cage or inside flight 2 x 1 x 2 m; 2 sq. meters per pair in colony system; minimum temperature 22°C; diagonal roosting and nesting box 30 x 15 x 17 cm with entrance hole 5 cm in diameter; position slightly sloping.
  • lory porridge of honey, pollen, brewer's yeast, oat flakes, multi-grain flakes, vitamins and mineral supplements; various fruit, especially juicy apple, peach and grape; half-ripe seeds; chickweed; fresh branches with flowers, buds and leaves.
  • Natural diet: pollen, nectar, indigenous and introduced fruits, flowers (especially of wide range of eucalyptus trees), seeds, berries, possibly also insects and their larvae.