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Psitteuteles versicolor

Common Name: Varied Lorikeet

Range: N Australia (Kimberley Division to Cape York Peninsula)

Psitteuteles versicolor
Description
  • general plumage green; forehead, crown and lores red; ear coverts yellowish-green; cheeks and sides of head blue with yellow streaking; upper breast dull pink streaked with yellow; streaking also occurs on the back and wing-coverts; tail green, side feathers with yellow inner webs; narrow periophthalmic ring whitish-grey; iris pale orange; feet brownish-grey; bill orange-red.
  • Female as male, but with duller and less extensive red to forehead, lores and crown; duller pink to breast; iris brown.
  • Immatures with darker base to bill and darker iris; coloring generally duller; only forehead red; crown green variably marked with red.
  • Length: 18 cm
  • Status: only common in localities.
Location
  • northern Australia from Kimberley region of Western Australia east to coast of northeast Queensland.
  • Habitat: tropical lowlands with flowering trees; particularly all areas with dense tree cover; paperbark and eucalyptus trees along water courses or around water holes.
Aviculture
  • active, not very noisy parrot; susceptible during acclimatization; minimum temperature 20°C; fairly hardy once acclimatized; sensitive to cold, wet conditions as well as draughts and wind; colony system not recommended; low chewing requirement, therefore large aviary can be planted; enjoys bathing.
  • Breeding behavior: Breeds throughout year, but prefers April to August; nests in dead tree stumps or very tall trees, particularly eucalyptus and paperbark trees; nest hole prepared by both partners before breeding; bottom lined with ,mall pieces of decaying wood or eucalyptus leaves; clutch usually 2 to 4 eggs; female sits very tightly; can even be lifted up off the eggs by hand; fledgling period 40 days; young independent three weeks afterwards; egg measures 24.0 x 20.0 mm.
  • Breeding in aviculture: often achieved; normal clutch 2 to 4 eggs, exceptionally 5; incubation 22 days; fledging period 5 to 6 weeks; young independent after 3 weeks; colony system possible for breeding, but better results achieved by isolating pairs.
Social Behavior
  • nomadic in family groups or small flocks; occasionally in large flocks on flowering trees, sometimes associates with Red-collared Lory; however not so noisy as latter; relatively approachable; aggressive during feeding, then chases other fruit feeders away; bathes regularly in water holes; climbs down branches to reach water in rivers; seasonal migrations depend on flowering of trees; flight swift and direct; discernible pairs within flocks in flight as they fly very close together; shrill contact cry during flight; high-pitched chattering when feeding; calls can be heard at some distance.
Accomodation
  • aviary 2.5 x 1 x 2 m; minimum temperature 15°C; diagonal roosting and nesting box 15 x 30 x 15 cm.
Diet
  • lory nectar of honey, pollen, brewer's yeast, oat flakes, multi-grain flakes, vitamins and mineral supplements; softened biscuit or rusk, various soft and sweet fruits; small quantities of sprouted millet spray; half-ripe oats and wheat.
  • Natural diet: pollen, nectar, flowers, fruits, berries, insects and their larvae; main food sources Eucalyptus terminalis; E. polycarpa and Melaleuca leucadendron.