Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Trichoglossus Chlorolepidotus, is a medium sized lorikeet (22cm to 25cm in length).
Colour is an overall green, feathers on chest and shoulders edged in yellow giving a scaly appearance, tail green and green/yellow under, blue tinge on head (more prominent in male), underwing red, beak red, eyes red/orange.
Young birds have lighter orange beak and light grey ring in eye that develops into an orange ring as they get older.
About one in every four to six Scalys will be of the Olive variety. Less common are Yellow (lutino) and Cinnamon types and extremely rare are blue Scalys.

The Scaly-breasted Lorikeet is one of the most popular small lorikeets in New Zealand aviculture. ALthough most breeders are quite successful with their Scalys we have had very limited success during 2001 and most of 2001. An established breeding pair we purchased in May 2000 failed to produce fertile eggs and when fertile eggs were laid they were abandoned. One such egg was placed under Rainbow lorikeets and successfully hatched. Unfortunately due to our inexperience in dealing with foster parents this chick died after being aaabandoned at 3 weeks old by the Rainbows (we did not know that fostered eggs/chicks should be removed after 10 to 15 days and hand raised). Before this pair of Scalys could produce any more fertile eggs the lutino female was lost.
We had to wait until June/July 2001 when some of the lutino's offspring from 1999/early 2000 were old enough to pair off with other scalies and lay eggs. In the space of two months we had seven baby scalies, one Olive, four Greens, one Lutino and one Cinnamon. The wait was definitely worthwhile especially for the Lutino and Cinnamon, both of which appear to be quite uncommon in New Zealand aviculture.
In December 2001 another Scaly was hatched and this one from the same parents as the Cinnamon and Lutino. This hatchling also has red eyes so if it develops normally it should be either another Lutino or Cinnamon.

March 2000
We have four scaly lorikeets, one pair Bobby and Tweety, the second pair Olive and Sweetie. None are yet at breeding age, all four appear between six months and a year old.
We have one olive coloured scaly breasted Lorikeet, with the highly original (NOT!) name of Olive. We are sure he is a male as he gets into a display with Bobby (a male Scaly) where they appear to be warning each other. When they meet they squabble and fight often ending up on the avairy floor. Olive has a girlfriend green female Scaly, Sweetie, and they are known as the terrible twins as they gang up on any other bird, especially a scaly to see it off.
(Sweetie died 24 May 2000, now Olive is looking for a new partner)

From the day Olive and Sweetie arrived at the avairy they were very inquisitive and would immediately fly to the nearest human. They will clean fingernails, inspect and lick ears in great detail and just love getting into and crunching up a wine or malt biscuit reducing it to dust in minutes.
Sweetie will learn new sounds quite quickly and will lead Olive in leaning forward from a shoulder to closely inspect lips that are talking or whistling. Blowing raspberries gets then real excited and they will hop up and down or bob so fast they will sometimes loose grip and fall over.
These two birds prove that Scaly breasted Lorikeets are amongst the most friendly, inquisitive and intelligent lorikeets, excellent pets.

Getting any photos of our Olive is just near impossible. He moves so fast that most photos become blurred or all that is recorded is a tail feather exiting out of the frame.
He is such an inquisitive and friendly bird that that the camera has to be completely inspected and any protruding knobs and levers need tugging and twisting to see if they come off.

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Scaly img2 Scaly img4 Scaly img18 Scaly img22 Scaly img6 Scaly img7 Scaly img55 Scaly img21 Olive Scaly img1 Olive Scaly img22 Olive Scaly img3 Olive Scaly img21 Olive Scaly img10

28 May 2000

A major addition to our family of Lorikeets happened today. We set off to find another female scaly to replace Sweetie who was Olive's mate. Olive has become quite withdrawn since we lost Sweetie and it is obvious that he is missing her.
On arrival at the aviaries where we planned to buy a Scaly we discovered that the breeder had decided to sell off all of his birds. A quick decision later, and a visit to several hole-in-the-wall machines to get $, we were driving home with a breeding pair of Scalys, their last five offspring, a male Olive Rainbow and it's mate a Green Scaly. Plus seven nicely constructed L shape nestboxes.
The breeding pair of Scalies are unusual in that the female is yellow (lutino) with some slight red colouring on her neck, the male is a normal green scaly.
Images below are of some of the green offspring of this pair.

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Scaly img63 Scaly img64 Lacey img1 Lacey img2 Lacey img3

August 2000
This month a return visit was made to the person we bought scalies from in May. His remaining birds were purchased. These included an 8year+ male Olive, two young female olives and an 8year+ female Yellow-bib. Unfortunately within a few days of arriving here the two young olive scalies escaped from their aviary The older male was placed in a communal aviary.

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Kea img1 Kea img1 Kea img1

May 2001
This month a new Olive Scaly male was purchased. This male came from a lutino hen and shows some signs of being a yellow-split with yellow feet skin colour and light toenails. Named Kea he was paired with a green Scaly hen (Lacey) who came from our original lutino hen. It is hoped this pair may eventually produce a yellow chick.

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Kea img1 Kea img2 Kea img3 Kea img4 Kea img5

July 2001
Our first baby scalies were hatched this month, two pairs at almost the same time. One pair is an olive and a green and the other two greens. A week after these a third pair, a cinnamon and a green, were hatched.

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Scaly img45 Scaly img44 Scaly img48 Scaly img49 Scaly img47


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Last modified: 4 January 2002.