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Lifetime behaviour changes in one lory

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

By Rosemary Low

Behaviour in a human can change significantly, according to the circumstances. The same is true of parrots. I would like to relate an interesting case with one of my own birds.

He is a Rajah Lory (Chalcopsitta atra insignis). He hatched on June 8th 1993, almost 30 years ago, at Palmitos Park, Gran Canaria. I ringed him just over two weeks later. At that time I was the curator of this fine collection which included a lot of lories.

Members of the genus Chalcopsitta were always my favourites. Indeed, the first lories I ever kept, in my own aviaries, were Blacks
(C. atra atra) in 1971. Whereas most people are attracted by the bright plumage of the nectar-feeding parrots, it was their personalities that fascinated me. And the Black is the least colourful of all.

The Chalcopsitta species, Black, Duivenbode’s and Yellow-streaked, are highly intelligent, sentient and affectionate. They need a lot of stimulation, always looking for new things to do and see. Black Lories have never been common in aviculture and have seldom been appreciated. I wrote in Encyclopedia of the Lories: “My fear is that the Black Lory will die out in aviculture” (Low, 1998).

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