Aggressive male lorikeet dominating his mate

by Robyn
(New Zealand)

I have an aggressive male lorikeet who seems very possessive and dominant of my female lorikeet. She is older and was an inside pet until I had children. I put her outside in an aviary and got the male for company. They have mated and have had several nests with eggs over the years but only ever had 1 live baby. I believe he killed weeks later by not letting the female feed it and I did not realize that until it was too late.

Anyway, he is not tame, she is and I often take her out for cuddles and he goes crazy with jealousy and they attack each other when I put her back. He seems to hate me as often attacks me. I am concerned that she is having an awful life with him. What do you think I should do?

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Oct 17, 2014
update on aggressive male lorikeet and his long suffering partner
by: Robyn

I am glad I found this site today, thanks for the replies. I recently separated my male and female lorikeets after finding 2 brand new eggs. Then 4 days ago they hatched! She is doing very well as a solo mum and I am providing all sorts of food for her throughout the day. She remains affectionate to me but wont let me look into box to her babies yet (I can hear them though) and I am not going to push her. I am glad she is getting the chance to be a mother again, as she was a very good one last time until the male interfered. After their first baby bird died she acted depressed for months, I felt so bad for her. Anyway, I have the male in a cage by himself now and is doing well too and lets me handle him. After reading these replies, I can see I can never let him back in the aviary again even when the babies are grown up. Hopefully, mummy bird and her offspring will have a good relationship as I would like to keep them together? But in the wild, babies would leave their parents after a time. Does anyone have any further advice? Thanks, Robyn

Nov 03, 2011
Aggressive male lorikeet dominatinghis mate
by: Anonymous

I have had exactly the same problem with my Cockatiels. The one difference is I never put them outside. My female is also cuddley hand tame which the male hates to see her with me. The male killed a 3 day old chick in a fit of rage-jealousy in the nest box nearly killing the second one as well but I managed to get him out & he has never been in the same cage with the female since. What I have done is put there cages side by side & after 3-4 weeks he calmed down & accepted that he could be near to his mate.
At peak mating time he is vicious no questions about it but only at those times, I would never get rid of him as he was only doing what comes natural to him, apart from those times he is a good boy even though not cuddley. Please think carefully before you make any drastic decesions.
Honestly, seperate cages is the answer.

Nov 02, 2011
Aggressive male lorikeet dominating his mate
by: Linda

Breeding birds usually become wild birds which means even tame birds go wild after pair bonding and breeding. The fact your female still allows you to handle her means the male will kill her, and I'm surprised he hasn't already.

Please move both birds back into the house in separate cages. Take the male to an Avian Vet to see if he has any physical problems. Euthanasia may be called for, so speak with avian vet about this. What happens when normal birds become breeders is the males ALWAYS become so aggressive as to be fully dangerous. However, they are normally very kind and considerate of their mates. The aggression comes from becoming the protector of both the hen and the babies, and the males will attack with a vengeance anyone who appears to threaten either the pair bond or the babies. The fact that he not only hurts the hen but also the babies means this male has some very serious problems. He's not acting as a normal protective male would act. It is natural for the male of a bonded pair to "hate" others during breeding times. They go into overdrive and, as I stated above, become dangerous creatures better left in the hands of the very experienced person.

Hopefully, a number of people will read this letter, because breeding is far more complicated and possibly dangerous than most seem to think. It is possible to be attacked so badly by the larger birds that a trip to hospital with severe injuries is possible, so breeding birds is not a simple, easy to handle thing.

For you, it is imperative to get the female out of this situation because her death is imminent. Male is not mentally stable, and she is, in his eyes, betraying him. The result will be her death.

Bring both back into the house in two cages, and busy yourself with finding a new home for him. Be careful to tell new owners everything about how he is when attempting to breed as this is only fair. He may kill his next mate, so please be honest. An examination by an Avian Vet would be a good idea too as he may have physical problems causing some of this misplaced aggression. You don't want him going with people who will abuse him, so ask the Avian Vet to examine him thoroughly and than ask if they may can help you with placement or euthansia. That may sound drastic, and I promise you this male probably has already killed and will do it again, so euthansia is better than an abusive home or dead females and babies.


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