Unusual noises & behaviour from a Rainbow Lorikeet

by Matt

I have a young Rainbow Lorikeet who joined the household about a month ago.

Last week we noticed that she started behaving a little oddly when being taken out of her cage - she tries to curl up in a ball in the palm of your hand while rapidly vibrating her head into our fingers (almost Woody Woodpecker style) and occasionally spreading either one or both wings a little bit. She makes an unusual squawk with each breath (sort of like a seagull) but the squawks become less frequent after a while of gentle patting. If we put her on the ground, she races to curl into the nearest hand/foot/leg while squeaking. She is also squawking while eating wet food, but quiet when eating the dry.

She used to try to lick our fingers/hands through the cage, but now tries to vibrate her head/beak between the bars onto them instead. She is still making her normal vocalisations when she knows she's not going to be picked up and seems to be eating/drinking normally.

She had an avian vet check-up a couple of weeks ago (just after she arrived) who gave her a clean bill of health.

Should we be worried or is this sort of behaviour normal?

Comments for Unusual noises & behaviour from a Rainbow Lorikeet

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Jan 22, 2016
Baby Lorikeet NOISE!!
by: Jan

I have to babies, I am hand rearing because Mum didn't like their hair style, and was feather plucking them.

I just read some comments and thank you for that as I feel a bit better. They are now 7 weeks old and are eating egg and biscuit and a bird baby formula, mixed with apples from a baby jar.

They will nibble apple from my hand. What else can I feed at this age please?

Thank you

Jul 08, 2013
Lori excentrics
by: Anonymous

I have a Rainbow Lorikeet too. He does the same vibrating, we call it motor boating lol. It is a feeding motion. Whether they are hand raised (like mine) or fed by the parents they do this while feeding.

Sep 07, 2011
by: Billy Baxter

I have a rainbow lorikeet and it started doing that about three decades go as well! I think its something to d owith the weather today doncha think/ anyway hope i helped even tho ur comment was posted aages agoooooooooooooooooooooooo

Nov 18, 2010
I think its baby noises
by: Anonymous

My lorikeet did the same thing. As the lori grows up it will grow out of this behaviour. I believe its just a baby lori acting like a baby. When they are young they love to curl up in a dark spot, and cuddle up to you or in your hand. The head vibrating is what a baby does when it wants to be fed, or when it thinks its mum is near! Was it handraised??genome Enjoy the "cuteness" while it lasts!!! I wish mine was baby again!!

Nov 16, 2010
Lory behavior
by: The Avian Vet

I do not know what the veterinarian did, but you should have blood work and cultures done to rule out infection. You should be looking for yeast infections in particular. But this could also be a behavior, sometimes associated with sexual maturity.

Dr B

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