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Chattering Lories (Lorius garrulus)

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Personality Profile by Sally Blanchard

The range of the Chattering Lory is in the forests of the northern Moluccas islands of Indonesia. They are listed as Cites II and considered to be vulnerable/endangered due to trapping for the pet trade and habitat destruction. They are mostly red with green of varying colours on their wings and thighs. They are about 12in long and weigh around 200 grams, perhaps a bit less or a bit more. Chattering Lories are a common Lory in aviculture. Besides the nominate species, there are two subspecies. L. g. flavopalliatus has yellow on its back and is often referred to as the Yellow-backed Lory. Chattering Lories have excellent potential as a companion, but some aviculturists consider them to be too aggressive to be kept with other birds.

My actual experience living with a Chattering Lory is limited but I have met quite a few of them over the years. Back in the mid-1970s I bought two imported Lories, a Chattering and a Red from a small local bird shop. They were being fed a horrible diet (mostly seed, with milk and honey) and I didn’t think they could live much longer on such a sub-standard diet. I had little trouble taming the red Lory, but couldn't seem to make much headway with Charlie, the Chattering Lory. I did get him to step on my hand a few times, but he clearly preferred his cage. I figured out almost immediately why these birds were called "Chattering" Lories. He was quite loquacious, but for the most part, although they have a reputation for high-pitched shrieking, he wasn’t a problem.

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