Chattering Lory sighted in Malaysia

posted in: Exotics, Feeding-plants, Parrots, Vocalisation | 12

“At a national research planning meeting held at a resort-cum-golf course. Got a chance to nip out in the early morning (7-8am) to watch bird life here. Was surprised to come across this escaped parrot. I think it is a Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus). At first saw it in flight and in a far of tree but managed to get closer when it stopped to feed.

“This Lory is endemic to North Maluku, Indonesia (north Moluccan islands). Good article here: LINK.

“Was considered endangered from trapping and sale but now list as vulnerable, see: LINK.

“There are three subspecies: L. g. flavopalliatus (also called the Yellow-backed Lory); L. g. garrulus and L. g. morotaianus. The differences in the subspecies is predominantly in the amount of yellow on the mantle but not easy to differentiated.

“Information from Parrots of the World by Joseph M Forshaw, 2006 (See: LINK.)

L. g. garrulus: both adults in general red, with scapulars having darker tint; yellow patch on mantle absent; green thighs and wings; yellow bend of wing and underwing coverts; pink/rose underwing stripe; red tail with black/green tip. Bill orange. Eye ring grey, eye orange/red. L. g. flavopalliatus: both adults as in garrulus but with yellow patch on mantle; brighter green on wings. L. g. morotaianus: both adults as in flavopalliatus but with yellow patch on mantle washed with green, duller and less extensive; darker green wings.

“So this adult could be an L. g. morotaianus as small patch of yellow on back.

“Feeding (Source: LINK). The Chattering Lory is nectarivorous, feeding on nectar and/or pollen, with reports of feeding on coconut flowers and fruits.

“Saw it feeding extensively on the Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) flowers, either for the nectar or pollen.”

Calls: Chattering Lory-calls-4

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
5th October 2011

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  2. Lee Chiu San

    Dear Amar,
    It is a chattering lory, a species I am very familiar with. Cannot tell which sub species as the back is not visible in the photos. However, something else is – the pin-feathers on the head. I have kept chattering lories as pets for many years, and the feathers on their heads seem to be in a constant state of replacement. Unlike other birds, which moult once or twice per year, and do not exhibit pin feathers unless something causes the mature shafts to be plucked out, with chattering lories, and black-capped lories (Lory lory, which I have far less personal experience) there always seem to be new pin feathers developing on the heads. Any time of the year.

    I put forward the hypothesis that this is because lories are nectar feeders. Unlike vultures and coletos which solve the hygiene problem by having bald heads and necks, lories cope with the frequent nectar stains on their heads by constantly growing new feathers.

    Anyone like to add to these observations?

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