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Check Out The Goldie's Lorikeet

Interested in lories? Check out the Goldie's lorikeet, one the smallest pet lorikeet that is nicknamed the "watermelon" bird.

By Dick Schroeder

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Thinking about getting started with lories? Goldie’s lorikeets are probably the best place to start, whether you are looking for a one as an pet bird or want to try your hand at breeding lories.

The Goldie’s lorikeet (Psitteuteles goldiei) is also referred to as the “watermelon bird” because of its dark green streaking on a light green base with a red crown and pinkish face and throat. They are only 7 1/2-inches tall and weigh about 60 grams.

Native to New Guinea, Goldie’s lorikeets live from sea level to upwards of 9,000 feet in the mountains. They are generally scarce, but locally common at times of year when the flowering trees are blooming. They follow the blooms, so they might be completely absent from some areas part of the time, then return when local trees are in flower.

Goldie’s Lorikeets As Pets
Goldie’s are great pets; they are small, fairly quiet and make less mess than their larger counterparts. I’ve not known a Goldie’s that speaks, at least not to where you can understand what it’s mumbling, but that is minor. Hand-fed babies generally do not become nippy as some of the larger species do and are not inclined to be one-person birds.

Breeding Goldie’s Lorikeets
Like most lories, Goldie’s lay two eggs, which they incubate for 23 days before hatching. In a couple of months, the chicks will be on their own if not pulled for hand rearing. They will nest in a parakeet box, but I usually provide a box that would be used for lovebirds, with pine shavings in the bottom. There are nest boxes made for lories with a pull-out tray to facilitate cleaning. The shavings become pretty damp since the chicks have liquid droppings.

In the wild, Goldie’s often nest in the base of dead fronds in the lower crown of a Pandanus tree, and the liquid droppings just run through the foliage, leaving a dry nest. In captivity, it is necessary to change the nest material a few times until the chicks have fledged. This is especially important in cooler climate, as a cold, damp Goldie’s lorikeet chick will not survive for very long.


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