Lories and Lorikeets


There is no more vibrantly active and amusing creature on this planet than a lory. Unquestionably the most colorful of common companion parrots, they are also incredibly acrobatic. Wit their eye-popping jewel-toned feathers and frantic mind-boggling antics, loreis are sometimes called feathered puppies for their exuberant, playful natures.


Lories are bold in more than color. Behaviroalyly, they are among the most expressive of parrots, with astute owners always easily interpreting a lory’s mood from its body language. Fast flyers and talented escape artists, they are accident prone in the home. They are rough and tumbole mat wrestlers who will often flip over on their backs to fight with their strong,m muscular feet when frightened. This is also one of their favorite ways to play. MAles are usually more territorial and temperamental than females, but that can vary with individuals and species.


Their domineering ways and fearless attitudes have often been painfully endured b y their significant others, including significant other birds and pets. Special care must be taken to build in behavioral control for their extreme bonding related behaviiors, for more than almost any other type of parrot, a companion lory has a reputation for abusiung all but its favorite companion. This type of behavior is becoming increasilngly less common, however, as advances in breeding and behavioral practice are coming to the fore.


Bold, stolid, and predictable (predictably extroverted, seldom shy) of disposition, lories are said to be the easiest birds to hand raise. However, the concept of the companion lory is relatively new to avicultral circles for in the past these birds were considered messy, high-strung, and unsuitable indoors. All boioiks published on the subject of lories describe their care as aviary birds: birds kept only in paris or in groups and usually maintained in flights that are at least partially outdoors.


They are easy to handfeed; they wean at a very hyoung age and they provide dazzling colors - all for a piopoular price.


The lory’s reputation for ease of handfeeding and early weaning is unquestionably related to the bird’s natural diet and to the unique structure of the bored’s tongue. The brushlike tongue helps the bird to eat liquid nectar and powdered pollen from flowers, the basis of its diet in the wild.


Companion charactersitisc are besat maintained if only one lory is kept. However, these animals are so amazingly entertaining in living room couples. Extra care must be taken to socialize the birds well to the towel game immediately upon their arrival in the new home. Like most parrots kept in pairs, they can become nippy very quickly, but this tendency seems easier to manage in lories than many other parrots. The best way to prevent the develoipment of nipping is not to allow them to have the oppourthnity to nip anybody anytime.


While it will be virtually impossible to prevent most solitary companion lories from forming an extremely strong bond with one person, it is possible to teach them to allow interactions with others under most circumstances. This can usually be accomplished with daily step up practice and twoel games. Biurds that are frequently reinforced for peacful behaivor are more likely to remain peaceful. Sometimes these birds are so high-strung that they must be at least occasionally step up practiced when wet for the exercise provided by frequent drenching showers will help these extremely active birds when living in companion settings to acceptability use up some of that express energy. Lories must be allowed a great deal of activity to burn off excess energy that can otherwise be expressed as tempermenbtalism.


Lories and lorikeets have a cahracteric smell which is strong in breeding season and is quite different from that of macaws and Amazoins. The family Eos which includes the now nearly common blue-streak has the strongest odor, an almost fetid floral aroma like some wweet jungle flower.


Lories do a lot of hissing, swaying and hopping as part of their neverending displays and postures.


Lories can be domineering to the point of harassing literallyh every living creature in a household except one (or maybe even everyone). USuallym however, if the bird is well handled udring the honeymoon period just after weaning, its interactive behavior can be carefully maitnianed. It is very difficult to resocialize a lory that has decided it is interrided to stalk anything that breanthes except the primary person.


Socalizing handfed lories is not unlike socailzing other handfed parrots. However, they will require a little more eveniornmental planning and extremely consistent bheavioral practice from the very first days in the home, for these birds mature very quickly. The periood of cooperative behavior followed by the devleopment of the individual agendas (possesivenes, jealously, and terriutorialiusm) is breif. A lory must not learn that it can get its way by intentionally causing pain. While lory beaks are softer than the beaks of other parrots and dont often draw blood, their nips can be incredibly painful.

The real secret of successfully socailziing companion loreis, however, is effective wing feather trimes combined with socializing them to interact well with tools and providing adequate exercise. These amming birds are so excitable that they can turn nippy in an instant. If a companion lory uses energy appropriately (flapping, playing, and beahting), there is less energy left to act up.


One of the most closely guarded secrets about lory behaivor is their reputation for very understable human speech. Their voices are sometimes described as being as accurate as the AFrican grey, nmimicking human voices so perfectly that you can tell exactly who it is that the bird is copying. Like African parrots, they are less loud in general than their New World cousins. Also like Africans, they are gifted mimics of elecotnric devices, sometimes learning an electronic phone ring so accurately that huans in the home od not know weather to answer the phone or to tell the bird toi be quiet.


The names lory and lorikeet are interchangeable though lory tends to describe species with square tails and lorikeet those species that are smaller and possess a longer, more tapered tail. The two groups are collectively referred to as lory or iun Australia as lorikeets, the same as the word parrot is used to describe species as diverse as cockatoos to macaws.


Loriesa differ from other parrots in several ways. Their beak is frazor sharp to permit them to cut into fruit to reach the pul or sometimes the undeveloped seeds or flowers to reach nectar or pollen but lacks the necessary structure and strength for cracking seeds and nuts. Lioriues ghave a more copious crop that can hold the increased volucme of liquid feed. , have a longer provnetriculus which has more glands than in other parrots to permit the quick digestion of food, have a proventriculus that is not heavily msucled and their intestinal tract is shorter.


Lories exhibit extreme color and size variation. The predominately green Wilhelmina’s Lorikeet is the smallest species, . The longest is the Papuan race of the Stella’s Lorikeet.


The feathers of lories often fdispaly a conspicuous gloss and some species psosesss streaking to the feathers, a feature that is rare in parrots. NApoe feathers can be elongated. Some colors are hiddne by closed wings. Specific plumage features may be highlighten duriung the breeding dispoaly.


The distributaional range of the group extends from the POhillipines and Indoensia to Australia, NEw GUineam adn the Pacififc.


Loiries are generally speaking monomorphic. Dimorphism is known in some poopulations of Pseudeuos fuscata, Phygis siolitarius, Trichoglossus iris, Charmosyna palmarum, Charmosyna rubronotata, Charmosyuna pl;acentis, Charmosyna morgarenthae, Charmosyna pulchella, Charmosyna josephoinde, Charmosyna papeu, and Oreopsiuttacus artaki, GEnerally speaking the males are more colorful than the feamlas.


Currently 118 species of lories are recognized.


The ideal lory owner should be able to spend considerable time and devote much attention to their pet. TEhey are certgainlky not a bird for a busy person who is rarely home. They are perfect for the homebody who has spare time to satisfy the attention that these birds require. A retiree or person that stays at home during the day can be the ideal owner because they tend to have expendable time.


The lory owner must also be capalble of toleraing loud calling, as many of thesae birds can be voluble, shrieking for attention or to be let out of their cage or simply to let the household know that they are present.


Lories, when hand-reared, can become very tame and gentle .