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The Black-capped Lory

Parrots magazine edition 162

– one of the world’s most richly-coloured birds

Dave Arbon from Cambridgeshire began keeping lories 12 years ago, when he swapped ten cinnamon pied Kakarikis for a pair of Swainson’s Rainbow Lorikeets.  Since that day, he has never looked back, and now only keeps lories, breeding 15-20 youngsters each year.  “These birds are highly intelligent, forever active and all are very inquisitive, with strong individual characters,” explained Dave.  “But, my Black-capped Lories (lorius lory lory) are my favourites, they must be one of the most beautiful birds in the world.”

This medium-sized, sturdy-looking bird, with a short and slightly rounded tail, is one of the largest lories at 31cm (12.5in) long.  Its colours are truly vibrant, its upper breast and head are bright red, capped with glossy black, its underparts, each side of the breast and mantle, are a vivid purplish-blue, and below the mantle is a narrow band of red.  The lower abdomen, thighs and undertail are a blue-turquoise, the upperside of the wings are bronze-green, and the undersides bright red with a yellow stripe.  Its tail is red, widely-tipped at the end, with black and blue, its beak orange, its cere dark grey, and its irises a deep orange.

“I sourced my first pair of Black-capped Lories through chatting with other lory breeders, and was tipped-off about a proven pair that might be coming up for sale - six months later, I was delighted to acquire them.  They were stunningly beautiful, and as far as I was concerned, lories just kept getting better and better!  I became so enchanted by these birds, that two more pairs quickly followed, plus an all-important single male, that has gone on to play a vital role in my breeding programme,” Dave enthused.

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