Pets are part of our lives that we can’t do away with. Since humans started roaming the earth, we have always developed some sort of relationship with animals at various points.
Oftentimes, we choose our pets based on specific attributes or use. There was a time when dogs were primarily used as hunting companions, and we have other animals that had specific uses.
Nowadays, pets are chosen based on other attributes and characteristics. Some people prefer gentle and quiet animals as pets, while others like active and fun animals. Beauty is also an attribute that serves as a major determinant for some.
Parrots are pets that are often selected based on their active nature, intelligence, and most especially their ability to mimic speech. This ability to mimic speech makes parrots interesting birds.
One of the most standout families of parrots is the Lories. Also known as Lorikeets, the Lory parrots are one of the most colorful families of parrots. These birds also have a brush-like tongue that makes it easy for them to remove pollen and nectar from flowers.
The Red Lory
Of all the birds in the lory family, the red lory is the bird that is most commonly kept in captivity. Therefore, you should not be surprised when you see more of these birds in people’s homes than any other lorikeets.
Although this bird may require more special attention than any other companion bird, it makes for a great pet. This bird is also known as the Moluccan Lory.
Origin and Native Habitat
The red lorikeets are primarily found in Indonesia and other nearby Islands of Australia, such as New Guinea. This bird is closely related to the Rainbow Lory and they thrive well in captivity almost as well as they do in the wild.
The native origin of this bird is the Maluku island in Indonesia, which is where it got its Moluccan Lory name. Nowadays, the number of red lorikeets that are found in this place is a fraction of what existed before. The indigenous people of this area also make these birds their pets.
Just as its name implies, the Red lorikeet has a predominantly red color. This small size of this bird does not match its big personality in any way and you may find yourself surprised at your Red Lory.
The red color of this bird is interrupted by blue markings on its face and wings. They also carry a noticeably orange beak and their chest, belly, and face are white. Their unique brush-like tongue is also a feature that distinguishes them from other parrots, as they use it to scoop up nectar and pollen from flowers.
The male and female red lory are quite difficult to differentiate from their physical characteristics alone. This is because both sexes for these birds are indistinguishable from a first look. Another distinguishing feature of the red lory from other parrots is their beak, with an upper mandible that is narrower than that of other parrot species.
These birds are small and they may not grow bigger than 10 to 12 inches in size and about 150 grams. However, don’t be fooled by their small size, these birds are as active as any bird out there.
Behavior and Personality
The red lory is a very intelligent and active bird. They are quite fun to be around and they have a little bit of mischief. So don’t be surprised when your pet enters trouble soon after you turn around. These birds are quite outgoing and social and they love to play with their owners. You must always keep a close eye on your red lory, especially when it is out of its cage.
A red lory pet would be very interested in playing with toys, and you should ensure you have an endless supply of them. This is because, as much as these birds love to play, they also get bored very easily. So, if they have the same set of toys to play with, you will notice that your bird will become irritable.
One thing you can be assured of as a Red Lory owner is that you will not be bored with these birds as their intelligence and mischievous nature tends to shine through over time. Red lories don’t mind being the only pet in the house and they can easily get used to humans.
Do they make good pets?
There are different qualities that most people look out for when deciding on having a pet. While some people may like docile animals that do not require much attention, others prefer their pets to be very affectionate and active.
The Red Lory is an excellent example of an affectionate and active bird. Apart from the fact that this bird will add some color to your home, the fun nature of the bird could also brighten the mood in the house.
The Red Lory is a companion bird with a lot of great qualities. Its capability to mimic speech gives you another ability to explore and enjoy. You also don’t have to worry about having your pet for only a few years, as the red lory has quite a long lifespan.
The Red Lory is an active and mischievous bird that brings a lot of joy to the home. They may require a bit of your time but once cared for, they are very enjoyable birds to have.
Care and Feeding
One thing you need to put in mind when caring for the Red Lory is the fact that these birds require a lot of your attention. Perhaps because of their mischievous nature, if you take your eyes off these birds, you can’t predict the next thing they will do.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Red Lories can be quite messy birds. They feed primarily on liquid food and this also influences the kind of waste they pass, so it is no strange occurrence to see your pet shooting great distances with its waste.
When considering the cage for your pet, bear in mind the active nature of the bird. You need to provide a reasonably big cage for your bird. A cage of size 36 by 36 by 24 inches should be good enough as it provides enough space for your pet to freely move around. Apart from spending time in the cage, a Red lory also needs ample playtime outside its cage.
It is advisable to choose a cage that is easy to water down because of the liquid droppings discussed earlier. Inside the cage, ensure that your bird has two or three different perches that are not directly above the food and water sources. Toys are also a must for Red lories, as they enjoy playing with their toys, and remember to switch things up so that your bird does not get bored.
When it comes to feeding your pet, Red lories have a diet that is very specific to nectar and fruits. You can also supplement the diet with mealworms that are easily acquired from pet stores. Deliberate efforts should be taken in feeding your Red lory to keep your bird well nourished. Keep your pet on a strict diet as Red lories are prone to obesity if their nutrition is not consciously watched.
Your bird’s beak and nails must be kept trimmed. So that you don’t do this yourself, as it can be such a hassle, you can keep a rough patch in your pet’s cage. This rough patch will help trim down the nails.
The personality of Red lorikeets makes training for these birds more important than many other parrots. These birds are very intelligent and they can entertain you with tricks they learned. Sometimes, the aggressive nature of the bird also comes to light, especially when its territory is being threatened.
By training your bird, you can help condition its behavior a little more to something you want. The intelligence of the bird makes its training smoother than what you may find with some other birds.
The active nature of a Moluccan lory can also be seen in its chatty nature. The presence of a Red lory in a home is difficult to suppress as they are known to be great talkers, although they are more likely to bring out high-pitched cries than deliberate mimicry sounds. This does not mean Red lories can’t mimic human speech like some of their cousins.
The talkative nature of these birds makes them the best fit for people that don’t mind a loud bird in the house.
Red lorikeets like other species of parrots live long lives, and the quality of life they live depends on the quality of care they receive from you.
Your Red lory pet can live for up to 30 years. This long lifespan is not something common to most pets around today. This long lifespan also means that everyone in the house can build an independent relationship with the bird.
In the wild, you can often find Red lories in mated pairs. These pairs can be very territorial and will often be found killing other birds to defend their territories. This is why it is not advisable to keep breeding pairs of red lorikeets in mixed species-flight.
A red lory reaches its breeding age after 8 months and it lays eggs in clutches of about 2 to 5 eggs. These eggs take about 24 days to hatch. The fledglings will need intensive care for their first 40 to 50 days. The male spends time with his mate during this period and helps in feeding the chicks.
Health and Common Conditions
A red lory is a very active bird and is usually very fun to have around. They are quite hardy birds too and they don’t get ill too often. The active nature of these birds makes it easy to identify when something is wrong with them.
Some of the obvious signs of illness in your pet are breathing through the mouth, closed eyes, and general sluggish behavior. When you see these signs, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
Bacterial infection from spoilt food is usually a concern for these birds because their diet mostly contains perishable food items. Another condition that is common to this bird is hemochromatosis. Also known as iron storage disease, this condition causes iron to accumulate in the body tissues.
Some other conditions that you may find with Red lories are Gout, beak and feather disease, and liver disease.
Apart from their fun and unique personalities, the red lory also beats some of its cousins based on cost. This bird is one of the most affordable parrots you will find out there.
An adult Red lory can go for between 600 and 1000 dollars while a juvenile Red lory can go for between 250 and 300 dollars.
If you are looking for a pet bird that will add beauty to your home as well as lighten up the mood in the home, then you need a bird with glamorous beauty and a bright personality. The Red lory fits this description perfectly. This bird can be a lot of fun and can also be mischievous sometimes.
Red lories are quite easy to acquire. You can find a Red lory in pet shops or avian-specialty stores. You can also get a Red lory directly from bird breeders. A rarer source is bird rescue organizations.
It is quite easy for Red lories to become integral parts of the family