Rainbow Lorikeet has turned on me after a year of no problems!!

by Kim

I have a 1.5 year old male rainbow lorikeet (Toby), he was hand reared and we got him when he was 9 weeks. He has always LOVED me and not really liked my boyfriend, I could cuddle him, tickle him, and he always wanted to be on my shoulder.

My boyfriend went away last weekend and all over a sudden Toby started attacking my hand. He would make crazy noises, start ducking his head, then just rip into the skin on my hand. I couldn't get him off and was desperately trying to get him back in his cage. This happened about ten times through the weekend - my hand is absolutely torn up and infected, and I'm really upset that my little Toby has turned on me! It's like he has been possessed.

Can anyone help??? He has also been trying to hump my hands a lot over past few months, not sure if that has anything to do with this?

Comments for Rainbow Lorikeet has turned on me after a year of no problems!!

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Aug 30, 2018
lorikeets won’t move from the small cage
by: Sueonymous

Hi I have a Lori which we have a big cage for him during the day and when I got home from work he would walk out of the big cage and walk up on my shoulder and the we went inside where it would stay on my shoulder until the food was ready and then it went in the small cage for the night but one day about 3 months ago it changed and it’s behaviour was nasty,screeching, and biting me I even have to take the food to it while it suts on it’s swing and that’s where it stays is it lonely does it need a friend. I have no idea what sex Lori is. Lori had a lot of love and kisses now I think it needs a bird whisperer.

Apr 12, 2015
So sad
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry to hear that Toby had a horrific death. May he be happy in heaven. Poor bird

Nov 05, 2013
Message from original poster
by: Original Poster

Thank you for all your comments. Unfortunately, my little Toby got out of his cage and into our neighbors yard, and was eaten by their dog. It happened about 9 months ago and I still cry when I think about him :( He will forever be in my heart. I'm too scared to get another bird, as I couldn't stand losing another one.

Thanks again for all your suggestions and help.


Nov 05, 2013
My Buddy turns on me too
by: Anonymous

Buddy is nearly 9 and sometimes he turns on me. I know if I try and get him out his cage and I'm not in the best of moods, he seems to pick up on this. Consequently taking chucks out of my finger. So I know I have to approach him in a good mood. But sometimes, when life is happy and joyful, he still turns on me. So, I treat him with isolation and usually he's fine when I come back a couple of hours later. A solution was to put on an old leather glove and let him bite and I would end up grabbing him gently of course. I only had to do this twice. Now I just show him the glove and he calms down and jumps to my finger, fast learners they are!

Dec 15, 2012
4 year old lorrie, bad behavior...
by: Anonymous

Our rainbow lorikeet 'Rusty' which we believe is a boy was the same, he was fine one day and then the next he was a terror (I went away for a couple of days and he was left with my partner, within the first week of getting him)

Like your bird he humps ALOT, when the humping started (which lead to vicious attacking) we thought that maybe putting a soft toy in his cage would help and now we are not so sure it was a good idea as he is very protective and territorial over it and goes nuts if we get him out as he just wants to be in his cage with it.

He is now 4 years old and is slowly getting better with the biting and attacking us, we try to make sure that his cage is out of view when we have him out which seems to help, we can never have him out with both of us as he's much tamer with one on one time, and chooses weekly which of us he'd rather be out with!

As for the routine, my partner and I have had many moves over the past 4 years which may have been a factor in the bad behavior, it's only until now where we have had some stability that we have a strict routine with him and he seems to like that a lot more (boy we hear it if we sleep in a little extra or keep him in his night cage a bit longer than normal)

It is lovely now though being able to tell what he is wanting as to which noises he is making and very much feel more in tune with him than ever before, but believe that we still have a long way to go.

Here's to the next 20+ years with our wee man!

Apr 10, 2012
Rainbow Lorikeet has turned on me after a year of no problems!!
by: Linda

As previously mentioned, birds are creatures of habit and hate any changes in their routines or people.

If he continues with this behavior know that one of the first signs of illness is a sudden change in behavior which includes violent outbursts. Birds cover their illnesses, and becoming violent sometimes heralds illness or pain somewhere.

Use Betadine on your hands and other skin wounds. The Betadine is what hospitals use before surgeries, and it is non-toxic for you and your bird. It also creates a shield on skin to prevent bacteria from entering. Of course, if you wash your hands, it will need to be applied again as it is a very low-key antibacterial/antifungal. It is also safe to put on a bird's small cut or scrape as it is non-toxic, and I've never even seen a bird mess with it. I've had to use it on rescue birds who were self-mutilating to keep their wounds clean from bacteria.

As for biting, move gently into the bite which will help the bird release grip. When you jerk back which is a natural reflex, bird holds on harder and tears your skin, and these wounds can be serious. Set your mind to NOT jerk back and to move into the bird. Move into bird gently as in not pushing hard or hitting, just move into the bite instead of jerking away which causes severe wounds.Yes, the bite still hurts a lot, and you won't be torn up by using this method. All bites hurt, so getting control of your pain factor and remaining CALM is a must when working with birds.

If he does not get over his hissy fits, he will need to be examined by an Avian Vet to see if he has any infections or other physical issues that need to be dealt with.

Using the towel will help a great deal when he is all upset. Get close enough to throw it over him and them clasp him gently but firmly behind his head, with thumb and forefinger on either side of his jaws, to keep the beak from biting. Towel is also holding wings in place while you get him from point A to B. In the old days with wild caughts, we had to use gauntlet gloves, the ones up to the elbow because the wild caughts were afraid and plain old Mad as Hatters, so the gloves were for our protection. Most birds are deathly afraid of them and the towel works better. Make sure towel is low pile because birds can get nails caught in the loops.


Apr 10, 2012
Rainbo Lori Turned on me after a yr.
by: Anonymous

Obviously the birds environment changed by the b-f's absence. If the bird is bitting you and being mean, then leave him in the cage and let him adapt to the situation.

If needing to get your bird back into the cage due to bitting, please make sure to take caution with yourself to prevent injury.

I would get a small hand towel, put it on him, and then pick him up. Keeping your hands covered by the towel at all times so that he cannot bite you. Then quickly and gently put him back in his cage. Vets and groomers use towels for picking up birds to prevent injury. So this is clearly a safe method.

Birds mouths do not habor bacteria, as they have dry mouths. Any infection you have is due to you not keeping the wounds properly cleaned.

I would suggest cleaning your wounds with bactine. It kills bacteria, in the wouds and promotes healing. However, if you're using this on your hand wounds, make sure to wash your hands completely before handling your bird again. If you try to. As the batcine will be toxic for the bird. But it should help with a speedy recovery for you!

Whenever there is a change in environment, a bird needs it's adjusting period. Just be respectful of that when it happens. Dont try taking him out. :D


Apr 10, 2012
Lorikeet turning
by: Angela

The same thing happened to my two year old Quaker, Rocky. (not sure of his sex) but he turned into a vicious monster overnight. He tore my hand up from charging and biting, wouldn't eat and was a rotten little monster that I was afraid to go near. No changes in the household were apparent to me (no one left, no new things) and it took about two days for him to start getting back to normal. At first I thought it was hormonal but that doesn't happen overnight. The only thing I can come up with was that he might have ingested something toxic (even though he's supervised when out of the cage) and it took a couple of days for him to come around. Even though your boyfriend isn't your birds' main squeeze, his absence might have disrupted his routine and caused him to freak out. Just go about your daily routine, feeding and talking to your bird like you normally do and if he doesn't get back to normal, take him to the vet. Fortunately for me, Rocky got back to his old self again, but I sure have the scars on my hand to remind me. Good luck.

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