by Pat and Jim Taylor (2000, Vol. 23 #1)
The first time I saw a Blue-crown was in Holland at the European
Lory Symposium. Jos Hubers put together a large display cage with a
number of species of hanging parrots. The blue-crowns were strikingly
beautiful. As I knew of no hanging parrots in Canada, I never expected
to keep them.
Blue-crowned Hanging parrots (Loriculus galgulus) are a small
parrot found in Southeast Asia; Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore and
Sumatra. They are 12 cm. long and weigh in at 24 grams. A description
taken from Forshaw’s Parrots of the World follows: Male: general
plumage green, slightly paler on underparts; crown deep blue;
triangular patch of golden yellow on mantle; yellow band across lower
back; throat, rump and under tail-coverts scarlet; under wing-coverts
and undersides of wings and tail greenish-blue; bill black; iris dark
brown; legs buff-brown. Female: duller with more yellowish underparts;
lacks red throat and yellow band across lower back; blue on crown and
yellow on mantle only slightly indicated. Immatures: general plumage
dull green, feathers with narrow dusky margins; forehead grey tinged
with blue; blue crown and yellow mantle absent; rump green margined
with dull red; throat green; bill pale horn-coloured; legs
flesh-brown.” The chicks take at least year to develop adult colours.
One day in the spring of 1998 we received a call from a lady living
on one of the Gulf Islands. She had two pairs of blue-crowns and was
looking for someone to baby sit the birds for three months of the
summer while she went to the USA. As an incentive, we could keep any
chicks produced. As we are lory breeders we figured that they would be
minimal trouble so we said yes.
The bird arrived in two 16” cube wire cages along with one
4”x4”x24” nest box. We were told that we would have the birds till
September so we kept the two pairs in the original cages. We
immediately encountered two problems with blue-crowns. First their
droppings begin to smell very quickly and second, the male feeds the
female by leaving a trail of regurgitated food on the perches. This
also tends to smell. As we were keeping the birds in our nursery this
situation became a big problem. As we have a large number of birds, we
were finding it difficult to clean these two cages often enough so we
were looking forward to the return of the owner to retrieve her birds.
As it turned out we kept on getting phone calls informing us of delays
in her return to Canada. The delays continued into February of 1999.
One pair went to nest twice during this time though all of the eggs
were infertile. The owner finally promised to return in June of 1999
to pick up the birds. As we then had a date to work with, we decided
to move both pairs into our aviary.
In one of our buildings we had available a 5’ x 2.5’ x 4’ high
plywood cage sitting on a metal tray with a drain in the centre
plumbed to the sewer system. We put small perches into the cage and
placed two 5” x 5” x 14” tall nestboxes on the front of the cage with
entrance holes through the wall of the cage. The entrances were 4”
from the top of the cage. This cage had an outside flight attached but
we blocked the exit hole because we moved the birds out to the aviary
in March and the temperature was too cold to let the birds go outside.
This cage is also equipped with a sprinkler system, which comes in
handy when cleaning. We moved the birds into the building and turned
up the heat to 20 degrees C.
We were told by a breeder in the USA that blue-crowns require
plants in order to breed. We placed a hanging basket containing a
large fern in the centre of the cage. We also placed four ferns in
hangers on the side walls. Within four weeks of the move both pairs
were on eggs. We were surprised to find that four of five eggs with
the first pair and three of four eggs with the second were fertile.
The seven eggs hatched in 20 days and both pairs looked after the
chicks very well. We were able to band one clutch with AACC size L
When the birds were in the house we had been feeding Aves
Lorinectar, fruits and vegetables. In the larger cages we set up six
dishes: one dish with water, two dishes of nectar, a dish of Lory Life
Powder (a dry lory diet), a dish of canarygrass seed and a dish of
fruits and vegetables. The parents eat a large quantity of the seed
when feeding chicks but mostly ignore it other times.
The chicks fledged at five weeks though it takes many more weeks
for them to become strong fliers. The parents continued to feed for a
number of weeks after fledging. With eleven birds, it was nearly
impossible to keep plants in the cage. The oldest pair went back to
nest and raised three more chicks. We finally ran out of plants to
sacrifice and when the oldest pair went to nest for the third time
with no plants in the cage, all of the eggs were infertile. This tends
to indicate that plants are necessary for breeding success. A breeder
in the USA has told us that only one pair will go to nest in a colony
setup. The younger pair has never gone to nest again which seems to
substantiate what we were told.
During the summer we opened the hole to the outside and the birds
enjoyed some sunlight and fresh air. We allowed the birds to go
outside into the fall but one chick stayed outside on a cool night and
we found it dead in the morning. We now chase all of the birds inside
and lock them in for the night.
The owner has not contacted us since last spring so we assume that
she does not want her birds anymore. We are arranging to bring a few
pairs from Europe next spring to increase the gene pool. There has
been much interest in purchasing pairs but until they develop their
adult colours it will be difficult to pair them. We are investigating
having the birds DNA sexed but trying to gain a large enough blood
sample from a 25g bird is not easy and is potentially life threatening
so we have not done this.
If you are able to provide proper housing, warm temperature and
plenty of edible plants, blue-crowned hanging parrots would make a
beautiful addition to your bird collection.
BREEDING GOLDIE’S LORIES
by Val Perry (2000, Vol. 23 #1)
In 1993 a bird fancier friend of mine purchased three pairs of
Goldie's lories, one for me and two for him. The birds were wild
caught and had quarantine bands on their legs. They were all to be
housed with me until my friend had completed cages for his pairs.
Within four weeks of receiving the birds, two of the hens had died.
Because of the sudden deaths I did not want to replace them right
away. The one remaining pair was eventually set up for breeding in our
birdhouse that contained 800 birds from finches to macaws. The cage
was rather small, 18” long, 10” high with a budgie sized nest box
attached to the side. They took a few months to produce two eggs one
of which was fertile. When the chick was two days old my friend
appeared at my door to claim his pair as he had sold them to someone
else. He did not want the spare male. I quickly set up a cage on a
heating pad and started hand feeding.
Amazingly enough, the chick survived. I had been using a standard
hand feeding formula that I used for any and all of my birds with
great success. Adult birds on eggs were fed ZuPreem monkey chow and
kernel corn that they would eventually feed to their chicks. Whenever
I pulled for hand rearing I would feed the same thing, ZuPreem monkey
chow and Heinz baby corn, making the transition easy for the chicks.
All of my lories were fed ZuPreem monkey chow and kernel corn daily as
well as sugar water with powdered vitamins along with some fruit. The
Goldie's enjoyed a piece of chicken now and then.
I kept the Goldie's chick in the house, as a pet until it was 18
months old at which time I placed her with one of the spare males.
They went to nest almost immediately. I normally leave chicks in the
nest until banding and then pull for hand feeding but I have banded
and returned the chick to the nest with no problems. I never leave
them in the nest longer than five weeks as they become too wild and
difficult to hand feed.
This pair produced twice each year until I lost the male. I kept
back a male from the original pair and now have mother/son and
father/daughter pairs, both of which continue to produce for the pet
BREEDING YELLOW-BIBBED LORIES
by Pat and Jim Taylor - Taylormade Aviaries (2000, Vol. 23 #1)
The first time I saw yellow-bibbed lories, Lorius chlorocercus, was
in Holland at Jos Huber’s aviary. They were stunning birds even for
lories. A description taken from Forshaw’s Parrots of the World
“Adults: general plumage red; forehead, lores, crown and occiput
black; bluish-black markings on each side of neck; yellow band
across upper breast; violet thighs; green wings; bend of wing white
variably marked with blue; under wing-coverts blue; broad rose-red
band across underside of primaries; tail red broadly tipped above
with green and below with dusky-yellow; bill orange-red with a dusky
base to upper mandible; iris orange; legs dark grey.
no black markings on sides of neck; little or no yellow across upper
breast; thighs violet variably marked with green; bill brownish;
The length is 24 cm and the weight is 150g. The birds originate in
the Solomon Islands except for the island of Bougainville.
In early 1997, Jan Roger van Oosten from Seattle offered us a
chance to join the Solomon Islands Parrot Consortium. This would
enable us to obtain Solomon Island lories as part of a
captive-breeding program. We put our names in for three pairs of the
first birds exported as part of the consortium and received the birds
in the spring of 1998. One female was lost in the quarantine leaving
two pairs and a spare male.
We placed each pair into an indoor/outdoor flight. The indoor cage
is a 2’x 2’ x 4’ high plastic lined plywood cage sitting on a plastic
washtub plumbed into the sewer system. A 20” x 20” x 8” wide ‘L’ style
nestbox is mounted on the side and a set of three Crock Loc feed
dishes is accessed from the front of the cage. There is a sprinkler
mounted inside the cage to wash food and droppings from the sides. The
outside wire flight is 6’ x 3’ x 9’ high with perches mounted close to
the top. There is a clear fiberglass roof over the flights and a
sprinkler system installed. The floor is gravel and each flight has an
access door and a tray for feeding fresh fruit.
Almost immediately one pair went to nest resulting in two fertile
eggs. We hoped to parent raise the chicks so the eggs were left with
the parents to hatch and raise. When the first egg hatched after 25
days the parents trampled the chick. The second egg was immediately
removed and placed under our foster mom, a green-nape lory. Our foster
mom “Scarlet” will feed any chick that I give to her and shehas raised
many lory chicks for us. Scarlet fed the chick for five weeks at which
time we took over as she seems to get bored with feeding and the
chicks go hungry. We hand-fed the chick using KT Exact hand feed
formula until it weaned at 10 weeks. The same pair went to nest after
a month and the same thing happened. They managed to kill the first
chick and we pulled the second just before hatching. We took no
chances with the third clutch and artificially incubated and fostered
the single chick that hatched. On sexing we have two females and one
male. The chicks are quite tame but tend to be nippy. We tried to put
all three together but fighting ensued immediately.
We feed our lories twice a day. The morning feeding consists of
Aves Lorinectar from Holland mixed with a small amount of bee pollen
to thin the nectar. We also give fresh fruit, whatever is in season.
In the evening we puree banana, apple, pear, and add to the mixture
Avico Lory Life powder, CEDE egg food and Prime vitamins. After
thinning with warm water we feed to all of our lories and to some of
our other hookbills. We feed all of our birds inside the buildings to
prevent freezing in the winter. These buildings are kept between 10
and 30 degrees C. all year around.
We are hoping to be able to swap chicks with other consortium
members and set up additional pairs. We would also like to have pairs
to place in Canada and expand the consortium in this country. The
consortium is importing other species from the Solomons. These include
Cardinal, Palm, Meek’s and Duchess lories.