The Lovable Lories
Today’s choice of companion birds include many options beyond the wonderful budgies or parakeets and canaries that our grandparents kept in cages in their living rooms. The colorful macaws and conures are quite popular and can be found in many homes. One very delightful bird that is not as common as a pet bird is the Lory or Lorikeet. Many have yet to enjoy the lovable lories.
The Lories encompass both the long-tailed Lorikeet varieties and the shorter tailed Lories, and both are equally beautiful, entertaining, lovable lories! Most often seen in brilliant reds or a rainbow color with red or orange, blue, and green, these colorful birds have personalities to match their brilliant feathers.
Some companion birds are known for being docile snugglers; such is not the case with most Lories. They are very playful and will utilize every inch of the large cages or aviaries that they so much need. No circus performer could outperform the lory who is privileged to have multiple swings, chains, and toys to keep his mind occupied. Some are great snugglers, but only on their own terms and in their own time. They possess a clownish personality that seems to have no boundaries and can be far more entertaining than any tv program.
One of ours was famous for his “wanna take a bath?” comments. The first time he asked this, we were all quite unaware of his pranks. My son went close to his cage to ask him what he was saying and Reginald repeated his question, then quickly picked up his bath water and threw it at a very shocked boy! Lesson learned? Reginald had a large working vocabulary and could put together some amazing thoughts and actions with his words.
Lories can be quite choosy about their companions. Each seems to have his or her own preference for humans and those not chosen will know they are not welcome; Lories are very outspoken about their choices. Reginald was well known for his name change, as well. He came to us with the name “Lory, “ but the first day he loudly announced, “My name is Reginald!” and from that day, so it was.
The lovable lories can be a bit nippy, especially if they have not been carefully handraised. They are quite intelligent and some develop incredible vocabularies, in addition to mimicking various sounds they hear.
Like many parrot type birds, Lories can be loud and may not be suitable for apartments or homes with close neighbors. Of course, they have plenty of quieter times, but the screeching that they are capable of is rarely controlled completely. Fortunately, most are only loudly vocal for short spurts and many learn to redirect the noise to more entertaining pursuits.
Another problem that Lories have is that they are brush tongued fruit eaters. Some commercial diets are now available to feed them properly, along with some fresh fruit and a sampling of vegetables, but with the unique diet comes a very different cleanliness issue. Seed eaters will toss their seeds and hulls about and create a mess that must be swept frequently. Lories waste is usually mostly liquid and will often be found a distance from the cage. It stains and is quite messy, making them a less than ideal bird to be kept in a small cage surrounded by white carpet. Lories that can be kept in very safe outside aviaries might be the easiest to keep, but they can be kept inside if precautions for their mess are met. The normal seed catchers will not solve the problem; it’s best to keep them away from areas where stains are a problem; many are kept in aviary cages surrounded by covered tiles that can be easily wiped clean.
For those families willing to overcome the diet and messiness issues, the Lory may be the perfect family pet. If you choose to include one of the lovable lories into your family, be prepared for many years of enriched life and pure entertainment!
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