The Dusky Lories (Pseudeos fuscata or Pseudeos fuscatais) are also known as Banded Lories or, simply, “Duskies”.
They occur naturally in New Guinea, where they are most common; as well as being found on the islands of Salawati and Japen in Indonesia, where they inhabit rain forests, deforested areas with some blossoming trees. On occasion, they visit savannas and coconut plantations.
Even though this species is considered endangered within their natural range, mostly due to habitat destruction; there is a high demand for these birds as pets or aviary birds, and they have been doing well in captivity and are, therefore, regionally readily available on the pet market.
Dusky Lories measure about 9.5 inches (24 cm) in length, including the long tail; and average 10.5 oz (300 g) in weight. They have the hooked beaks that are characteristic of parrots.
The Duskies have two color phases: orange and yellow.
A typical orange- phase bird has a mainly dark brown head and face, a bronze crown, and an area of bare, orange skin at the sides of the lower beak.
There is a bright orange collar at the upper chest, and a white or cream-colored rump. The upper chest is black barred bordered by another brilliant orange band, with a mixture of dark brown and fiery orange on the abdomen. The under-wings are orange, the wings are black-tipped with orange, and the tail is dark blue. There is orange skin near the lower mandible (bill).
In the less common yellow-phase bird, most of the orange markings are replaced with bright yellow.
The orange variant is more common and a pair of orange-phase parents can produce yellow offspring.
Males and females look alike and breeders depend on DNA or surgical sexing to determine their gender.
Other Relevant Websites:
Article (in English and German):
- Who is hatching now? Juveniles of the Dusky Lory in Weltvogelpark Walsrode
- Wer schlüpft denn da? Nachwuchs bei den Weißbürzelloris im Weltvogelpark Walsrode
Lories as Pets or in Aviculture:
Maybe the most playful of the lories, excellent pets and great talkers. The only drawback is their terrible, high pitched screeching! They would never work in an apartment. (Description by Dick Schroeder – Owner of Cuttlebone Plus and Expert Breeder / Keeper of Lories).
Provided they don’t fall victims to an accident or neglect, they can live 28 to 32 years. One of the major contributors of ill health and early death in pet birds is the fact that their specific dietary needs are neglected.
Contrary to other parrots that mostly feed on seeds and nuts; lories require a higher percentage of fruit, buds, nectar and pollen in their diet. In fact, in the wild, they can feed on as many as 640 flowers in one day. They also feed on seeds and unripe grain.
They reach reproductive maturity when they are about 2 to 2.5 years old.
Lories are typically quite easily bred, so many lory species are readily available. The average clutch consists of 2 – 3 eggs, which are incubated for 24 – 25 days. The young fledge when they are about 10 weeks old.
- Average Price: Prices around $350 for either color.
Positive aspects of lory ownership …
Lories are popular companion birds due to their intelligence, entertaining personality and stunning beauty. Most stay tame, even in maturity.
They are affectionate, curious, extroverted and clowny and exhibit some unique behaviors. Some like to wrap themselves up in a blanket for sleeping. At times, they can even be seen sleeping on their backs.
They are known for their playfulness. In their eyes, everything is a toy. They love toys that make noise, such as bells. They enjoy hanging on ropes and are quite “mechanical.” They like “toys” that can be taken apart — and they are GOOD at it! Lories are very active and require large cages (preferably flights) and lots of supervised out-of-cage time.
What makes them challenging to own …
They are capable of aggressive behavior if their territory and possessions are not respected. Housing two lories together can result in injury, unless they are a bonded pair.
They are demanding in care requirements (especially diet preparations) and require a lot of attention. Daily baths or showers should be part of their grooming regimen.
Due to their diet which consists for the most part of fruits and nectar, their droppings are very runny and messy. Special adaptations around the cage are recommended. Carpet underneath a cage will be the poorest choice of all. Everything in the vicinity of the cage should be easy to clean. This being said, lories are very trainable and, with a little patience and know-how, can be taught to eliminate in a certain area on cue. This webpage will provide you with instructions.
Their voice ranges from loud, piercing whistles and metallic “pings” to soft, high-pitched warbles and chattering.
Caring for your Lory:
The bulk of their natural diet consist of nectar, flowers, fruits, pollen and seeds.
Part of their captive diet should be a good-quality commercial or home-made nectar. Please note that liquid nectar will need to be replaced several times daily – in fact, in warm weather it needs to be changed every 4 hours. The main causes of premature death in lories are infections caused by spoiled nectar and/or a poorly balanced, one-sided diet that doesn’t meet the special nutritional requirements needed for good health. Excellent commercial formulas are available on this website.
Lories also love honey, pollen and fruits, such as apples, pomegranates, papaya, grapes, cantaloupe, pineapple, figs, kiwi, as well as greenfood and some vegetables, including corn-on-the-cob. Another healthful addition to their diet are flowers, including pansies, nasturtiums, roses, hibiscus, marigolds, and dandelions. All fruits, veggies and flowers should be pesticide free. Organic is always best. (For non-toxic ways to control pests in the house or garden, please visit this webpage.)
During the breeding season, rusk or biscuit softened in milk are eagerly accepted by the parents for feeding the chicks.
Other food items include brewer’s yeast, oat flakes, multi-grain flakes and small quantities of millet spray; oats, canary grass seed; some sunflower (sprouted). If a balanced nutrition can’t be met, vitamin and mineral supplements may need to be provided.
Lories are very active birds and require large cages. The minimum cage size for a single lory should be 36″ H x 48″ L x 24″ W or to accommodate a pair the cage dimensions needs to be, at a minimum, 36″ H x 60″ L x 36″ W. You have to remember that you need room for the many toys that lories so cherish, perches, food / water dishes, maybe a “birdy tent” — as well as providing sufficient space for them to move around, exercise their wings. etc.
Care should be taken in cage design and placement since the birds have a tendency to squirt their waste matter, which is fairly liquid, behind them with some force. It is not recommended to place the cage behind a delicately decorated wall and on unprotected carpet. Easy-care flooring is recommended, as well as a washable wall. An acrylic panel custom-cut and placed over the wall would be a great way to protect it. The acrylic panel can easily be taken outside and hosed down. There are acrylic cages available, but lories love to climb and scramble about, so a standard, high quality powder coated cage is a better choice – as large as the space you have will allow.
In an outdoor aviary they are the easiest birds to maintain, as all of their waste can simply be hosed away, no seed hulls to sweep up or sticky, green and white droppings running down the side of the cage to scrub off. Lory droppings are mostly clear or beige. A word of caution about placing lories in mixed-species aviaries. Some lories can be very aggressive toward other birds, while others will mingle just fine. The worst is probably the Chattering Lory. They seem to take great pleasure in doing in other birds in their territory.
Special Challenges of Lories and Lorikeets: Training and Behavioral Guidance
Other Relevant Web Resources
- Photos of the Different Lory Species for Identification … Listing of Species
- Distribution Maps of Lories and Lorikeets
- Lories and Lorikeets in Aviculture
- Feeding and Housing Your Lories and Lorikeets
- Diseases of Lories / Lorikeets and Health Care Program
Family: Loriidae … Genus: Scientific: Pseudeos …English: White-backed Lory … Dutch: Witstuitlori …German: Weißbürzelloris … French: Lori à dos blancs
Species: Scientific: Pseudeos fuscata … English: Dusky Lory … Dutch: Witruglori, Witstuitlori, Tweekleurenlori … German: Weißbürzellori … French: Lori à dos blanc
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