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I find Lories to be the most beautiful birds and my most favorite because of their colors and their quirkiness. They are unlike other parrots in several ways. In their natural habitat in Australia, they are almost exclusively tree foragers and rarely come to the ground. They feed primarily on pollen and nectar and have a specialized tongue with little "brushes" that is used to harvest the pollen. They need a low-iron diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and nectar, as they are very prone to hemochromatosis or iron-storage disease. Because their diet is mainly liquid, they also have messy runny droppings. This is the major disadvantage of owning a Lory, so please, don't stand within a foot of their cage, because man, can they launch their poop. I can't tell you how many times I have been attacked by an unsuspecting warm brown liquid whenever I have been standing within bombing range. Every time it happens, I still get startled and I say, "What the hell was that?" as if I don't know what it is. It never fails.

lories parrot

Green-Naped "Rainbow" Lorikeet

            They also require a large shallow dish for bathing as they normally take a bath every day. And their bath does not end until all the water is splattered outside the dish so you can expect to put more cleaning time in their cage. The industry has tried to remedy some of these problems by formulating pellets to create more solid droppings, and inventing an acrylic cage to prevent the droppings from going through the wire. I don't use the pellets because I don't think this is natural for them. I also don't have acrylic cages which I am sure is not easier to clean either. The fact is that Lories are messy birds.

dusky lories

Dusky Lories

            Lories can talk pretty well. Since their diet is very high in sugar, they are very active and will use every inch of their cage to play, jump, swing and bounce around. I love to see them lying on their backs and playing with their foot toys. It is so amusing. They need to have lots of toys and furnishings that can be kept sanitary as everything will be regularly hit with food and droppings. As you can tell, they are very high maintenance birds but they are very cool to keep. Oh! Lories are also very noisy. They sound like they are always squabbling with each other.

black lories

Red Lory and Black Lories

black capped lories

Black-Capped Lory

chattering lory

Chattering Lories

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Suzanne Hosang Author and Healer