If you’ve been to an aviary or a zoo, chances are you’ve seen, and maybe even fed, a lory. These colorful birds are softbill parrots native to the South Pacific. Easily tamed and curious about their owners as well their homes, lories love to hop up and down, swing off perches and go off exploring. They are also prone to jealousy, especially when their owners are paying attention to someone else instead of them.
In the wild, lories use their specialized brush-like tongues to feed on nectar, pollen, flowers and fruits (and occasional insect). They diet must be similar at home, with a commercially prepared lory diet, nectar, fruits and vegetables. Due to the sugar and water consistence of their food, their droppings are very similar. Prepare for a sticky mess!
Sexual maturity in lories depends on the species, according to Margrethe Warden, an American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) director and longtime lory breeder. “There are approximately 11 genera and 53 species of lory, many of which are represented in U.S. aviculture. Some are very small, some larger, so depending on the species in question, they can reach sexual maturity as early as 9 months or as late as 5 years.”
If left with only one word to describe the multitude of species and subspecies that make up the subfamily Loriinae, it would be “energetic.” A lory will keep you on your toes with its plaful nature and messy droppings but makes a great pet.