Do lorikeets recover from the death of a mate?

by Sunny Gallagher
(Sydney, Australia)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Last Friday while driving on a freeway, our car's windscreen hit a low-flying lorikeet (green body, abour 25 cm). Its mate was flying ahead and was not hit. My husband and I were devastated.

Would the surviving mate grief until death? (I read that they mate for life, but what does that mean?) Or would it find another mate? Please let us know.

Looking forward to your reply,
Thank you very much,

Comments for Do lorikeets recover from the death of a mate?

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 10, 2010
Lorikeets mate for life?
by: The Avian Vet

Yes, they are monogamous, and the mate will grieve, but s/he will eventually find a new mate.

Dr B

Feb 09, 2010
Do lorikeets recover from the death of a mate?
by: Linda

The surviving bird will find another mate as in the wild there is always a chance that one of the pair may die in some unforeseen way.

In captivity, it is a much more serious matter. Sometimes the surviving mate will stop eating, and so a new mate will have to be found very quickly.

I had this happen with a Cockatiel pair. The hen died in the middle of one night egg-bound, and her mate went crazy and was screaming at the top of his lungs. We got up and found her dead in bottom of cage. Nick went off feed next day and sat in the bottom of his cage in a corner. He was going to grieve himself to death. We had to go out and buy another Cockatiel hen and bring her home to him. Normally, it is not good to put new birds into cage with an established bird until they get to know one another. In this case, we put her in, and Nick came and checked her out, and then went directly to his feed cup and started stuffing himself. They both lived to raise a number of nests of healthy babies.

So, the wild is somewhat different as the birds expect that they may be separated by death. In captivity, always keep an eye on your birds if this happens. Birds cannot go without food and water for very long, and situation may require getting out and finding a replacement mate.

Thanks for writing, and your compassion is appreciated.

Click here to add your own comments