Musk Lorikeet

Musk Lorikeet, Glossopsitta concinna, is a largish lorikeet 22cm in length. It has an overall dark green plumage with blue tinge on the crown of the head and olive/bronze on lower back of neck. There are bright red patches on the forehead and from under each eye to the upper/side of the neck. Beak is overall black with a tan/brown tip. The head is a distinctive shape with the red patched brow protruding. Wing feathers are red tipped and tail is yellow/green.
Eyes are light brown to dull orange, feet green/olive to brown.

As of August 2001 we have a mighty squadron of musk lorikeets.
Basiscally there is one male adult musk and then two breeding pairs, one pair have only produced one baby, Spotty, in September 2000 and they are now on two eggs due to hatch in early September 2001.
The other pair we obtained in May 2000 with five of their offspring. Since then they had a further seven babies, the first, Chatter, was born in August 2000. Since then they have been regular breeders producing another, Tiny, in October 2000, two (the twins!) on New year's day 2001 and one more, Noodle, in May 2001.
Two more were born in late July 2001 and are still in the nestbox. One feature of this prolific breeding pair is that with each new offspring there is an increasing amount of yellow breast and back feathers appearing. Starting with Chatter who practically lost her red cheek patches as they turned yellow and who has several large yellow patches through to the twins and Noodle there is an increasing yellow barring on their chests and a distinctive yellow border around the red cheek patches.
It will be interesting to see where this develops and if we will eventually get a lutino musk lorikeet.
Apart from two of the original offspring that were sold we have retained all of the Musks. The first two born in our aviaries, Chatter and Spotty, have become a pair. Although only just about a year old they may start breeding before the end of this year..
The spare adult male has now also selected one of the female babies we obtained in May 2000 and these should also become a breeding pair.

All of our musks are extremely active and never stop chattering and arguing. Apart from the two breeding pairs who have their own aviaries almost all of the rest are in one 6metre long aviary/flight.
This 'communal' musk aviary sometimes has an occasional Scaley or two sharing the aviary, Musks and Scaleys seem to coexist with no problems.

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May 2000
Below are images of a complete family of Musk Lorikeets that we collected recently, these images are from just a few hours after we introduced them to their new home. There is a breeding pair of Musks and five children from two sets of eggs. There are two about eleven months old and three that are five months old.
The babies all appear to have been well handled from very young, they are very human friendly and are in excellent health. Their greatest concern was to get at food as several of the photos show. We have introduced them to some food items they have not had before and their enthusiasm had to be heard to be believed. The excited noise was deafening, the food dishes were wiped clean and a blended fruit/honey/biscuit/water mix was guzzled in double quick time.
These new additions are going to be special characters, we can see that each of the babies has its own personality.

The two eleven month old Musks have not grown full tails, we are not sure why not but a change of diet (from Complan and Apples) to a wider range of fruits and pollen mixes may help this growth and may also make the plumage greener where there are now many yellow flight feathers. Complan is not part of the diet we feed our lorikeets, they get lots of fresh fruit and vegatables - corn on the cob is a favourite - as well as greens ranging from lettuce, silverbeet to dandelion leaves, and of course flowers that are available from the garden. Treats of biscuits, vogel bread with jam or honey and cake are all gobbled with great gusto.

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The parents of the five musk babies shown above.

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On 10 August 2000 our first pair of musk lorikeets were born, from the breeding pair we obtained earlier in May.
The first images are of the pair from 1 week old. One of the pair died just after 3 weeks and the second was removed from the nestbox at just 5 weeks old. The parents had plucked most of its body feathers and were just starting on its head and wing feathers. It was hand raised until fledged.
It was named Chatter because it never stopped chattering.
She developed several yellow plumage patches and early her red cheek patches started to fade away to a yellow colour. After first moulting these returned a bright red although the yellow plumage on her wings and back remained.

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December 2001
During this year we have had two breeding pairs of Musks that have produced quite a few babies.
The pair we obtained in May 2000 produced another single chick in October (after Chatter- see above), a cock named Tiny, then on new years day two chicks (the twins) a hen and cock, in April a single cock Noodle, in June another pair, Zak and Zoe, and again another pair in August 2001, only one of which survived. As of December 2001 they have again hatched two babies that are still in the nestbox.

The second pair produced one cock bird in September 2000, Spotty, then nothing until August 2001 when two were born, a cock and hen. In November a single hen was produced. This pair seem to produce babies that are noticeably smaller in size than the first pair. They also appear to be less developed although so far all have survived. Once they reach 3 months they quickly catch up in size and strength. One interesting feature is that this pair have a very blue plumage on their heads (like a cap) whereas the first pair have almost no blue.

Below are images of most of these babies as they developed throuhgout 2001.

Spotty, born September 2000, the first chick from our second breeding pair. Spotty had almost no yellow colouring but instead inherited from his parents a very blue plumage on his head. Initiallly this was mixed with yellow/red feathers which gave a strange appearance. As he moulted this almost totally disappeared except for one tiny yellow spot which has now almost disappeared.

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Twins born 1 January 2001. These two also developed a substantial amount of ' yellow plumage. Hand raised from about 4 weeks old after the parents were thought to have started plucking them.

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Zak and Zoe, born July 2001. Both developed substantial yellow plumage in the chest, neck and upper back areas. They were hand raised in the company of two same age Scaleys.

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Runty, born October 2001. Noted almost from the day he was born to be extremely small in size we though it unlikely he would survive. However, he proved to be a fighter and always enjoyed over eating so that often his crop was so full he could not stand up - or later fly!

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Last modified: 1 January 2002.