Oct 28 2016

October 2016’s Animal Of The Month – Rainbow Lorikeets

October is almost at its end, so our time with the rainbow lorikeet as our Animal of the Month is also coming to an end. We hope you followed us @ExoticPetVets and enjoyed our tweets about these brilliantly colourful and smart birds. If you missed any, here is a summary. Did you know?:

  • The rainbow lorikeet, or lory, (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of medium-sized parrot.
  • There are about 30 subspecies of rainbow lories, which are native to Australia’s eastern seaboard.
  • Rainbow lories have been introduced to other parts of Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
  • In New Zealand, feral rainbow lories compete with native bird species for resources and their capture is encouraged.
  • Based on their name, it’s no surprise rainbow lories have colourful plumage, which includes blue, green, yellow and red.
  • It’s hard to tell the gender of rainbow lories by sight as there are few obvious differences between males and females.
  • Rainbow lories are monogamous birds and mate for life.
  • In the wild, rainbow lories are arboreal and live in forests, eucalyptus groves and mangroves.
  • Rainbow lories live a nomadic life and follow the eucalyptus tree flowering season along Australia’s coastline.
  • As they are social birds, rainbow lories are usually seen travelling in pairs or flocks.
  • Rainbow lories can feed in flock sizes ranging from fewer than 50 birds to more than 1,000.
  • In the wild, rainbow lories can be aggressive with other birds who are competing for the same food and nest resources.
  • The rainbow lory diet in the wild consists of nectar, pollen, fruits, berries, and blossoms.
  • Because they eat soft food & liquids, rainbow lories have tiny hair-like appendages (papillae) on the end of their tongues.
  • The papillae are brush-like bristles and allow rainbow lories to collect pollen and soak up nectar.
  • The Trichoglossus part of rainbow lories’ scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek. Tricho = hair. Glossa = tongue.
  • In captivity, rainbow lories can eat commercial nectar and pollen substitutes.
  • Rainbow lories eat a lot and have a relatively short digestive tract, which means frequent droppings.
  • Because of the high moisture content of their diet, rainbow lories will produce loose and projectile droppings.
  • Rainbow lories are smart, sassy and loud but are not known for their ability to mimic human speech.
  • In captivity rainbow lories can get bored and need a large cage or play area so they can hop and play with bird safe toys.
  • Rainbow lories are hardy birds and can live 10 – 15 years with proper care in captivity.
  • Good hygiene is vital to the health and longevity of rainbow lories in captivity.
  • Cages and play areas for captive rainbow lories must be kept clean. Uneaten food must be removed daily or it will spoil.

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