Saturday, 12 March 2011

Hybrid Lorikeets

Never discount your own front or back yard as a place to view and photograph birds. We were greeted early this morning by a family of lorikeets in a tree in our front yard. We get Rainbow Lorikeet here frequently but closer inspection of this little group indicated they were hybrids - most likely Rainbow/Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.

Possible hybrid Lorikeets, Ocean Grove
All four birds had different plumage but were clearly neither Rainbow or Scaly-breasted Lorikeet. I didn't manage to get any good photographs of the adults as all four birds remained under the canopy of the tree making photography difficult with low light, backlighting and branches in the way and the adults came and went all day only returning for short periods to feed the juveniles.

However, the juveniles hung around all day and I managed to get a few reasonable shots (albeit slightly blurry due to slow shutter speed):

Hybrid Lorikeet (juvenile), Ocean Grove

I have seen hybrid Lorikeets before (see report from Ricketts Point from October 2010) but never around home.


  1. Hi Ian, interesting shots and great close ups!

    I thought you would be interested to see some wild hybrid lorikeet photos I took in Ocean Grove a couple of years ago. Some of the birds had red on their heads:





    ~ Clara (

  2. Hi Clara,
    Thanks for sharing your images - there seem to be a few of these hybrids around.
    Cheers, Ian

  3. Hello Ian
    I’m writing a article for a website of a friend about lory and lorikeets
    The article I’m writing is about mutations , modification and hybrid.
    Can I maybe use your picture of the 2 young hybrid scally- swainson lorikeets? ofcourse I put your name with the picture.

    Kind regards
    Iggino Van Bael

    1. Hi Iggino,
      Thanks for your message. Please feel free to use the image for your article. I can provide a better quality image without copyright watermark. Contact me by email at
      Cheers, Ian


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