Purple-crowned Lorikeet

Did you know?

Purple-crowned Lorikeets form monogamous couples and are never far apart. Both prepare their nesting hollow and it has been observed in captivity that the male spends a lot of time in the nest box with the female.

Contact call a distinct buzzing "tsit-tsit-tsit" or a thin quick "zit" or "zit-zit". When feeding they engage in sharp metallic chattering, and they call loudly and continuously in flight when alarmed.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Breeding season: 
August to December, but may start in May and go to January.
Clutch Size: 
20 days
Conservation Status
Associated Plants
Plants associated with this species
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Purple-crowned Lorikeet is a small lorikeet which is mostly dark green on its upperside and light blue underneath. It has red patches under its wings, a purple  crown, and a yellow-orange forehead and ear patches. 

This bird is also known as Blue-crowned, Porphyry-crowned or Purple-capped Lorikeet, Zit Parrot. Purple-capped Parakeet or Purple-capped Lory.

Similar species: 

The Purple-crowned Lorikeet has quite a distinctive appearance, and also has a distinctive buzzing call. When flying overhead it could be confused with other small to medium lorikeets such as Little Lorikeet, G. pusilla,  and Musk Lorikeet, G. concinna, which both lack the red underwing. The Swift Parrot with similar red underwings however is larger.

Where does it live?

The Purple-crowned Lorikeet is found in southern and south-western Western Australia south of about 30*S and west of about 127*E;  in southern South Australia approximately east of 131*E and south of 31*S; over most of Victoria; and in the far south of New South Wales.


Purple-crowned Lorikeets usually  live in open, dry eucalypt areas of forest, woodland or shrubland. They are found in these areas in temperate and semi-arid zones, usually in the flowering canopies of vegetation. They can be found in urban parks and gardens.

Seasonal movements: 

Purple-crowned Lorikeets are considered to be nomadic and show little evidence of migrating. However some populations appear to stay in much the same area all the time. Most moving around seems to be due to the presence or absence of flowering or fruiting of food trees.

What does it do?

The Purple-crowned Lorikeet feeds almost only on pollen and nectar from eucalypts but will sometimes eat fruits and berries. They generally feed in the tree tops but will go to lower branches of trees and shrubs. They will feed along with other groups of  lorikeets.


Purple-crowned Lorikeets nest in hollow spouts or holes in eucalypts near water. Two or more pairs have been observed nesting in the same tree. They prefer hollows with a small entrance and eggs are laid on a bed of decayed wood. The eggs are incubated bt the female. Both parents care for the chicks.

Living with us

It is known that populations near Adelaide have increased due to the planting of native plants in gardens and this is probably true elsewhere.  On the other hand numbers have declined in areas where woodlands have been cleared.

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