These gorgeous little lorikeets are akin to the vividly coloured Rainbow Lorikeet. The Scaly Breasted Lorikeet is the only lorikeet with an all green head. They have red beaks and red-orange coloured eyes and their legs are usually a grey-brown. The feathers on the upper wings are a beautiful emerald green with yellow flecks on the neck and breast which gives them a “scaly” appearance. There is a stunning red-orange colour underneath their wings that can be seen when they are in flight and there is a hint of this colour on the top of their wings.
Here’s a Scaly Breasted Lorikeet checking me out while I’m filming him.
These birds are native to Australia and can be found on the east coast. They live in lowland eucalypt forests and can also be found in suburban areas with lots of trees, as well as parklands and gardens. We hardly ever get to see these birds where we live even though we are in a semi-rural area, so when they visit it’s very special.
They will feed from bird feeders but are often excluded from these types of feed sources by the slightly larger and more dominant Rainbow Lorikeets. I frequently see the little lorikeets being bullied by one or more Rainbow Lorikeets at a feeding station, but the Scaly Breasted Lorikeets are feisty little things and will stand up to them for the most part.
I took this video early one morning when a few Scaly Breasted Lorikeets joined the usual crowd of Rainbow Lorikeets for breakfast. You can see their beautiful green colour looks luminous in the early sun rays and as they flap around the other birds you will notice the bright red-orange colouring underneath their wings.
The Scaly Breasted Lorikeet feeds on nectar and pollen from the flowering eucalypt trees as well as from the blossoms of melaleucas, banksias and callistemons. They also eat fruit, berries and insects.
Trivia Bit – this bird has a brush tipped tongue which helps harvest the nectar and pollen from flowers!