Budgie parakeets > Talking birds > Lories


This division of the parrot family is different in many respects from the true parrots and are natives of continental India and the islands south of it, as far south as New South Wales.

They have a somewhat smaller and weaker bill than the parrots, and the lower mandible is lengthened snd less convex in its contour, with the tip contracted and narrow.

The tongue is not so thick or fleshy, and at the tip instead of being smooth and soft it is rough. In their native country these birds subsist largely from sucking the juices of tender fruits and plants and extracting the nectar from flowers, and the shape of their bill and tongues is well adapted to this purpose.

Many of these birds are of bright, vivid scarlet color, bril­liant blue, purple, and black, variously mottled. Their bill is of such shape that they are unable to crack stone fruits, nuts and hard grains like the true parrots, and when kept in captivity they should be fed largely with soft foods, soaked grain, soaked sago, bananas, cooked rice, etc.

There is a great difference of opinion as to the ability of Lories. Some writers state that it is very difficult indeed to teach them to talk, and others claim that they are readily trained, but they do not remember sentences nor many words. Fechstein, the noted German bird fan­cier and author, calls them "the most teachable, tamest, most pleasing and affectionate of all birds." It talks constantly, but thickly, like a ventriloquist, and always wants to be noticed and petted as well as tended and cared for.

They are the only variety of parrots which seem to care for animal food. Meal worms are given to them when in captivity, and also various kinds of in­sects. Lories, like all other soft-billed birds, require more attention than those which subsist on dry, hard seeds.