Collared Lories aka Solitary Lory or Ruffed Lory
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The Solitary or Collared Lory is an endangered species that is endemic to the larger islands of the Fiji, and on the Lau Islands outwards to Lakeba and Oneata. Fossil evidence shows that it once occurred in Tonga - an island group southeast of Fiji, but early human settlers caused its extinction. This lory is mostly found in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest areas, but it has adapted to urban landscapes and can be found in Suva - the capital and largest city of Fiji. The Collared Lory is usually found in pairs or small groups.
The Collared Lory tames readily in captivity but early attempts to keep birds alive proved difficult - probably because of their specialized diet.
Measuring 20 cm (8 in), it has bright red underparts and face with a purple crown and greenish upperparts..
The male has bright scarlet cheeks, throat breast and upper abdomen, a dark purple crown and lime green and red nape. His wings, back and tail are greenish. The lower abdomen is purple. The bill is yellow-orange, the feet fleshy pink and the irises are red.
The female is similar but with a paler crown.
The Collared Lory is a fast and straight flyer with quick shallow wingbeats
They usually nest in tree cavities or, at times, in the hole of a rotting coconut that is still attached to a tree.
The clutch size is usually about two eggs that are incubated for 28 - 30 days. The young fledge when they are about 9 weeks old.
Diet / Feeding:
Their main diet consists of fruit, seeds, nectar and blossoms.
They favor the Drala (Erythrina variegata), the Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) and the African Tulip tree.
Calls / Vocalization:
The Collared Lory emits high pitched single or double shrieks.
THE SOLITARY LORY
The Solitary or Collared Lory is an incredible little lory found on the larger Fijian islands; Lau Archipelago south to Lakemba and Oneata. The sexes are alike, with the forehead, lories & crown, as well as the abdomen being a deep purple. It gets its common name "collared" from the elongated bright green feathers on the hind neck and mantle. These feathers can be erected from each side, forming two fans on the side of the head. The red feathers in the mantle are elongated as well. The wings are dark green and the rump is light green. The remainder of the plumage is red. The bill is orange and the legs and feet are pinkish. Length: 71/2 in.
I have in my collection a bird that is certainly a very close relative of this beautiful specie. It is a Kuhls Lory ( Vini kuhlii). Not being a taxonomist I can't swear to it, but they are similar in so many areas That I would suggest that P. solitarius (the only member of it's genus, by the way) is most closely related to the little Vini (which also includes the beautiful Tahitian Blue Lory V.peruviana). In fact, the only place in the U.S.A where you can see both of these species is at the San Diego Zoo. The Solitary Lory has never been common in captivity, with the first importation into Europe occurring in the 1870's. That's 15,00 miles by boat! The next report in England was in 1925, then the famous Duke of Bedford had them in his collection, where he bred them in the 1930's. There is no report of them having been bred in the US, although the San Diego Zoo had them in 1970. They have been bred on several occasions at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney, Australia. The noted Swiss aviculturalist, Dr. Burkard had bred them into the third generation in the late '70's.
They still seem to be quite common in the wild in Fiji, where large flocks of them can be seen feeding in the coconut palms along the seashore. I spoke with longtime aviculturalist Gail Worth about her recent trip to Fiji . She said the lories were everywhere, in the towns as well as in the outlying areas. They fly at a remarkable rate of speed, looking like nothing more than a brief flash of color zipping through the trees. There favorite food in Fiji seems to be the flowers of the coconut palms, where they feed on the pollen and nectar. They also consume other flowers as well as soft fruits.
With the changes in the import laws, and Fiji's refusal of wildlife exports (except to Zoos) it certain, and rightfully so, that this wonderful specie will never be in the pet trade. It is hoped by many fellow "loriculturalists", that a few pairs will trickle into the hands of able, private breeders, where we can try our luck at establishing this feathered gem in aviculture.
Lories as Pets or in Aviculture:
Due to their endangered status, any suitable specimen that cannot be released back into their natural habitat (native range) should preferably be placed into a well-managed breeding program to ensure the continued survival of this species.
If you are considering a Solitary Lory for your aviary or as pet, please consider the following ...
Lories are typically quite easily bred, so many lory species are readily available. Their expected lifespan is 28+ years, provided their specific dietary needs are met. They reach maturity at 8 months or later. Males and females look alike and breeders depend on DNA or endoscopic sexing to determine their gender.
Positive aspects of lory ownership ...
Lories are popular companion birds due to their intelligence, entertaining personality and stunning beauty. Most stay tame, even in maturity.
They are affectionate, curious, extroverted and clowny and exhibit some unique behaviors. Some like to wrap themselves up in a blanket for sleeping. At times, they can even be seen sleeping on their backs.
They are known for their playfulness. In their eyes, everything is a toy. They love toys that make noise, such as bells. They enjoy hanging on ropes and are quite "mechanical." They like "toys" that can be taken apart -- and they are GOOD at it! Lories are very active and require large cages (preferably flights) and lots of supervised out-of-cage time.
What makes them challenging to own ...
They are capable of aggressive behavior if their territory and possessions are not respected. Housing two lories together can result in injury, unless they are a bonded pair.
They are demanding in care requirements (especially diet preparations) and require a lot of attention. Daily baths or showers should be part of their grooming regimen.
Due to their diet which consists for the most part of fruits and nectar, their droppings are very runny and messy. Special adaptations around the cage are recommended. Carpet underneath a cage will be the poorest choice of all. Everything in the vicinity of the cage should be easy to clean. This being said, lories are very trainable and, with a little patience and know-how, can be taught to eliminate in a certain area on cue. This webpage will provide you with instructions.
Their voice ranges from loud, piercing whistles and metallic "pings" to soft, high-pitched warbles and chattering.
Caring for your Lory:
Please also refer to above - their natural diet.
The bulk of their natural diet consist of nectar, flowers, fruits, pollen and seeds.
Part of their captive diet should be a good-quality commercial or home-made nectar. Please note that liquid nectar will need to be replaced several times daily - in fact, in warm weather it needs to be changed every 4 hours. The main causes of premature death in lories are infections caused by spoiled nectar and/or a poorly balanced, one-sided diet that doesn't meet the special nutritional requirements needed for good health. Excellent commercial formulas are available on this website.
Lories also love honey, pollen and fruits, such as apples, pomegranates, papaya, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple, figs, kiwi, as well as greenfood and some vegetables, including corn-on-the-cob. Another healthful addition to their diet are flowers, including pansies, nasturtiums, roses, hibiscus, marigolds, and dandelions. All fruits, veggies and flowers should be pesticide free. Organic is always best. (For non-toxic ways to control pests in the house or garden, please visit this webpage.)
During the breeding season, rusk or biscuit softened in milk are eagerly accepted by the parents for feeding the chicks.
Other food items include brewer's yeast, oat flakes, multi-grain flakes and small quantities of millet spray; oats, canary grass seed; some sunflower (sprouted). If a balanced nutrition can't be met, vitamin and mineral supplements may need to be provided.
These lories are medium-noisy parrots whose shrill calls may annoy nearby neighbors.
Spacious, long flights are preferred, with plenty of natural (non-toxic) vegetation. Breeding pairs need to be kept singly or at least during the breeding season, breeding pairs need to be kept in separate flights. Colony keeping is possible outside the breeding season. They need to be protected from low temperatures and draughts - even after acclimatization. A roosting box should be available at all times (including outside the breeding season).
Lories are very active birds and require large cages. The minimum cage size for a single lory should be 36" H x 48" L x 24" W or to accommodate a pair the cage dimensions needs to be, at a minimum, 36" H x 60" L x 36" W. You have to remember that you need room for the many toys that lories so cherish, perches, food / water dishes, maybe a "birdy tent" -- as well as providing sufficient space for them to move around, exercise their wings. etc.
Care should be taken in cage design and placement since the birds have a tendency to squirt their waste matter, which is fairly liquid, behind them with some force. It is not recommended to place the cage behind a delicately decorated wall and on unprotected carpet. Easy-care flooring is recommended, as well as a washable wall. An acrylic panel custom-cut and placed over the wall would be a great way to protect it. The acrylic panel can easily be taken outside and hosed down. There are acrylic cages available, but lories love to climb and scramble about, so a standard, high quality powder coated cage is a better choice - as large as the space you have will allow.
In an outdoor aviary they are the easiest birds to maintain, as all of their waste can simply be hosed away, no seed hulls to sweep up or sticky, green and white droppings running down the side of the cage to scrub off. Lory droppings are mostly clear or beige. A word of caution about placing lories in mixed-species aviaries. Some lories can be very aggressive toward other birds, while others will mingle just fine. The worst is probably the Chattering Lory. They seem to take great pleasure in doing in other birds in their territory.
Lories are known for their intelligence, and they are more than happy to entertain you with the tricks that have learned. They are capable of aggressive behavior if their territory and possessions are not respected and nippiness can occur if this behavior is not managed.
Consistent training and behavioral guidance is recommended so that you can enjoy a bird free of destructive and annoying habits. Behavioral challenges that lories and lorikeets present include:
- Excessive Chewing: Any parrot will chew. In nature, they use their beak to "customize" their favorite tree, to enlarge the size of their nest in a tree hollow. Doing this keeps their beaks in good condition. The problem is excessive and undesirable chewing. Heavy chewing is not a huge problem with lories per se. Most of them never really develop any major destructive issues in that area. However, it is recommended that the owner provide their lory with plenty of "healthy" chewing opportunities (bird toys, natural wood branches, etc.) and training is necessary to teach a lory what items are "off-limits."
- Biting: Lories, as is the case with most parrots, are likely to discover their beaks as a method of "disciplining us" once they are out of the "baby stage." It really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. If this behavior is unchecked, the lory is likely to be dominating the entire family, chasing and attacking their least favorite humans. Training is vital to stop this destructive behavior.
- Screaming: Their voice ranges from loud, piercing whistles and metallic "pings" to soft, high-pitched warbles and chattering. Many of them turn into excellent talkers; some having whole sentences in their vocabulary. With a little training they can be taught to communicate with words rather than using their shrill calls for the most part. However, their natural call / voice cannot be entirely eliminated; but their occurrence can be reduced. The owner has to understand that even with training, the lory voice can get quite loud, with a high pitched screech.
Training and behavioral guidance will help your pet be the kind of companion you want it to be ...
- AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit this website for valuable tips on parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
- If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
If you are considering one of these magnificent parrots as pets, please visit the following websites for information:
- Procuring your Parrot
- The 3 Key Elements to Keep Your Pet Bird Happy & Healthy
- Housing Your Bird
- Bird Nutrition
- Parrot Products
Family: Loriidae ... Genus: Scientific: Phigys ... English: Ruffed Lory ... Dutch: Gekraagde Lori ... German: Einsiedlerloris ... French: Lori Solitaire ... Species: Scientific: Phigys solitarius ... English: Collared Lory, Solitary Lory, Ruffed Lory ... Dutch: Gekraagde Lori, Kluizenaars Lori ... German: Einsiedlerlori, Kragenlori ... French: Lori Solitaire
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