Purple-crowned Lorikeet

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Habitat: Forest, Woodland

Although they prefer dry eucalypt forests, woodlands and shrublands, Purple-crowned Lorikeets can also be seen in parks and gardens of towns and suburbs. Eucalypts are associated with this species for both habitat and food.

You often first notice a Purple-crowned Lorikeet when you hear its screeching call, either from birds flying swiftly overhead, or from birds foraging high in the canopy of a gum tree. They are often noisy as they feed on the nectar of flowering eucalypts, regularly in the company of other nectar-feeding birds, such as Rainbow, Musk and Little Lorikeets, as well as honeyeaters like Red Wattlebirds. This feeding is not always harmonious, as the larger birds often chase the Purple-crowned Lorikeets away from the flowers. Purple-crowned Lorikeets are considered to be nomadic and show little evidence of migrating. However, some populations appear to stay in much the same area all the time. Most moving around seems to be due to the presence or absence of flowering or fruiting of food trees.

When the eucalypts are in flower, Purple-crowned Lorikeets can be seen clambering noisily about among the foliage in the canopy of the trees, feeding on nectar from the flowers. They feed almost only on pollen and nectar from eucalypts but will sometimes eat fruits and berries. They often feed in the company of other species of nectar-feeding birds, especially other lorikeets and honeyeaters.

Purple-crowned Lorikeets form monogamous couples and are never far apart. Both prepare their nesting hollow and it has been observed in captivity that the male spends a lot of time in the nest box with the female. Purple-crowned Lorikeets breed in hollows in trees, preferring hollows with a narrow entrance. They lay between 2 and 6 white eggs, which are incubated by the female for around 20 days. Both sexes care for the young. Breeding season is from August to December but may start in May and go to January.