The Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus, is an Australian lorikeet that is endemic to north-eastern Australia. This lorikeet is common in most timbered areas and can also be found on some offshore islands.
They are generally confined to coastal plains and adjacent tablelands. Occasionally they are found along watercourses west of the Great Dividing Range.
They are abundant and mostly sedentary in north; less numerous and nomadic in the south. They prefer open, lightly-timbered areas and melaleuca thickets.
They are usually seen in small flocks, flying overhead, or foraging for food among the outermost branches of flowering trees. Scaly-breasted lorikeets fly swiftly and in a straight path.
As they pass overhead the sound of their rapid wing-beats can be heard along with their high-pitched call. They frequent most timbered areas and are often seen in gardens and parklands.
They often occur in mixed flocks with Rainbow Lories.
Both species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, but they also eat blossoms, berries, other fruit, seeds, and insects and their larvae; and are also fond of cultivated fruits.
They often cause damage in orchards; they also raid sorghum and maize crops to feed on unripe milky grain – and because of this may be considered pests.
The call of these birds is a rolling, continuous screech in flight. They have a shrill chatter when foraging. While resting, they emit a soft, gentle twitter. These birds grow quite noisy as mating season draws nearer.
The Scaly-breasted Lorikeet averages 9 inches (23 cm) in length, from head to tip of the tail; and weighs between 2.6 – 3.3 oz (75 – 95 g).
Both male and female look alike. The plumage is mostly green with yellow scalloping on the back of neck, mantle and breast down to flanks. They have orange/red underwing coverts and a wide underwing band.
The bill is dark coral and the eye rings are dark grey. The eyes are orange/yellow; and the legs grey-brown.
Immature birds look like adults, but have less yellow scalloping and their tails are shorter. They have pale brown thighs; their bill is medium brown and the eye-ring is grey/white.
Scaly-breasted Lorikeets breed throughout the year, except March through April. In the south, they usually breed between August to January.
These birds nest in a hollow tree, usually high above ground, with a layer of wood dust at the bottom. Hens usually lay two white eggs, occasionally three. Incubation lasts about 25 days.
Males spend time in the nest hollow, but don’t appear to share in the incubation duties. Both parents feed the young, which leave the nest six to eight weeks after hatching.
Lories as Pets or in Aviculture:
Due to their endangered status, any suitable specimen that cannot be released back into their natural habitat (native range) should preferably be placed into a well-managed breeding program to ensure the continued survival of this species.
Other Relevant Web Resources
- Photos of the Different Lory Species for Identification … Listing of Species
- Distribution Maps of Lories and Lorikeets
- Lories and Lorikeets in Aviculture
- Feeding and Housing Your Lories and Lorikeets
- Diseases of Lories / Lorikeets and Health Care Program
- Special Challenges of Lories and Lorikeets: Training and Behavioral Guidance
Family: Loriidae … Genus: Scientific: Trichoglossus … English: Wedge-tailed Lorikeet … Dutch : Wigstaartloris … German: Keilschwanzloris … French : Loriquet
Species: Scientific: Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus … English: Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Gold and Green Lorikeet … Dutch: Schubbenlori … German: Schuppenlori … French: Loriquet écaillé …
CITES II – Endangered Species