Chattering Lory

Chattering Lory

Scientific Name: Lorius Garrulus
Origin:  North Maluku, Indonesia
Average Lifespan:  28 – 32 years
Size:  30 cm. (11.7 inches)
Color:  red with orange beak
Sounds:  Whistler
Interaction:  Highly social

Chattering Lory

Photo:  Mertie .|Flickr

Physical Description of Chattering Lory

The Chattering Lory is a forest-dwelling parrot native to North Maluku, Indonesia.  It measures up to 30 cm or 12 inches long and weighs up to 180-250 grams.  Generally, it has a brilliant red plumage with an all-red head and an orange beak.  The wings are mainly green and the angle of the wing is yellow.  Its thighs are dull green.  Its tail is tipped with dark green.  It has dark grey legs.  Sometimes, it has traces of yellow on its back depending on the sub-species.

The Chattering Lory’s calls are described as loud, nasal, and quivery.  It also makes braying sounds.  Its territorial calls while perched are raucous, two-syllable horn-like notes emitted singly or repeated two or three times.

It has three sub-species namely:  Lorius Garrulus Garrulous, Lorius Garrulus Flavopalliatus, and Lorius Garrulus Morotaianus.  The race Lorius Garrulus Flavopalliatus is known as the yellow-backed lory.

Adult Lorius Garrulus Garrulous are red in general, with scapulars having darker tint, yellow patch on mantle, green thighs and wings, yellow bend of wing and underwing coverts, pink/rose underwing stripe, red tail with black/green tip. Bill is orange. The Lorius Garrulus Flavopalliatus is generally the same with the Lorius Garrulus Garrulous but with yellow patch on mantle and has brighter green wings.  On the other hand, the Lorius Garrulus Morotaianus has generally the same colorization with that of the Lorius Garrulus Flavopalliatus but with yellow patch on mantle washed with green, duller and less extensive, dark green wings.

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Personality and Temperament

The Chattering Lory is not a shy species and is intense in general.  It is a good talker and possesses great imitative abilities.  It could be bubbly and enthusiastic, while encouraging play when its favorite human is around.  Playtime is very important for this species and this need should be indulged as often as possible.

A lory that is left alone too often will develop behavior disorders and may begin to self-mutilate.  Because it is so excitable and intelligent, it is also often nippy and will tend to bite out of excitement or fear, especially when it is being returned to its cage.  It is constantly busy, lively and chatty. It makes varied sounds, thus the name “Chattering Lory” was given.   If taught properly, it can learn to talk, but it tends to express itself with a high-pitched shrill that might catch the attention of nearby neighbors.

Health and Care

The Chattering Lory consumes a mostly liquid diet, which results to its mainly liquid poop.  Since it can be playful and at times naughty, it loves to shoot its poop to great distances.  It is energetic and needs a roomy bird cage as well as plenty of out-of-cage playtime.

It feeds on specific fruit and nectar-based diet, such as flowers, nectars, pollen and insects.  It will sometimes crack some seed, but should not be fed too much because it is not natural to their wild diet.  It can be fed with mealworms which are usually available at local pet shops.

Because its diet of nectar and fruit is highly perishable, the most common sickness that the Chattering Lory is often associated with is bacterial infection due to food spoilage.  To ensure that your bird pet won’t get sick, its liquid food must be changed and replenished often, especially during warm weather when food easily becomes rotten.  It should also be provided with clean fresh water regularly.

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History and Background

The Chattering Lory has undergone dramatic decline due to habitat loss and human exploitation for the cage-bird trade.  Because of its admirable qualities, it is one of the most important species in the domestic trade in Indonesia and among the most exported.  Trapping pressure is very high, with a minimum of 9,600 individuals estimated to be caught in 1991.  Before the 1990s, forests within this species’ range were largely intact, but intense logging has taken its toll on the landscape. With the creation of logging roads greatly facilitating access for trappers, this problem escalated.  Today, illegal trade is greatly curbed and the species has been thriving in number.


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