Loriinae Exotics - Environmental Enrichment

Diet and Nutrition

Lories are among the most specialized of all the parrots in their feeding habits. In the wild, they have adapted to feeding on nectar and pollen from flowers. They have a cluster of bristle or brush-like papillae on the end of their tongues that extend from a protective cover to collect the nectar and pollen during feeding. Additionally, most species of lories also feed on fruits, blossoms, buds, berries and some seeds and insects.

In captivity, there are probably as many lory diets as there are people who keep lories. But while most of these diets are probably adequate, some can be detrimental to the birds. For this reason, we prefer feeding a high quality, proven commercial lory nectar as the base of the diet. Avico Lory Life Nectar and Nekton Lori are the only two nectars we recommend. In addition to nectar, fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the lory diet.

Our lories are fed twice daily. It is our experience that multiple feedings in a day replicate the natural foraging behavior that birds would exhibit in the wild. The morning feeding consists of a fruit and vegetable puree. We feed the produce as a puree for two reasons. First, this eliminates the possibility of discarded chunks of fruit lying underneath the cage, which could attract pests or grow mold. Second, the pureed diet allows us to add certain fruits or vegetables to the diet that the lories may not necessarily like, but are nutritionally superior to the more favored food.

Additional ingredients can be added to the fruit/vegetable puree. Occasionally, we alternately sprinkle human grade wheat germ, Avico Lory Life powder, live mealworms, and Avico Bugs n' Berries (an insectivore diet) to the puree and mix thoroughly. For variety, once or twice a week we replace the fruit/vegetable puree with cooked brown rice, lentils and split peas mixed with chopped fruits and vegetables and softened Mazuri  or ZuPreem parrot pellets.

The afternoon feeding consists of a commercial lory nectar, such as those suggested above. We feed 1/3 to 2/3 cup (100-200ml) of nectar per pair. Additionally, large chunks of favored produce are occasionally placed in the flights for the birds to eat and play with (see the Enrichment Page).