There are various populations of Red Lories that have been broken into separate subspecies or “races” based on size differences. However, there is evidence that these subspecies may not be valid due to some variability in size within these populations. There are four recognized subspecies of Red Lories. All of the subspecies can be found throughout the mangroves, coconut plantations, lowland and secondary forests of Indonesia. The nominate subspecies Eos bornea bornea is found on the islands of Ambon, Haruku and Saparua of the Moluccas; E. b. rothschildi on Seram; E. b. bernsteini on the Kai Islands; and E. b. cyanonothus on Buru. As a group, they are common throughout their range, often occurring in flocks of up to 30 individuals. However, due to heavy international trade and logging throughout its region, numbers of this species may be declining. Like most species of lories, the Red Lory is listed on CITES Appendix II and is a “restricted-range” species.
As its name suggests, the Red Lory is mostly red with small amounts of black on the primary and secondary feathers and blue on the area around the vent, under tail and greater wing coverts. The beak is bright orange. The feet, skin around the eye and cere are grey. The Red Lory measures 10- 11 inches (25-28 cm) and weighs between 160 -170 grams. In the wild, Red Lories feed on the flowering Eugenia and Erythrina trees.
The Red Lory, next to the Green-naped Lorikeet, is the most common and most recognizable species of lory in the United States. This species is a great species to start with when interested in breeding lories, as they are hardy and will breed freely. Additionally, since they are more omnivorous, they can be fed a wide variety of food items, making feeding less difficult. Hand reared birds can make good pets. They are high energy birds (like most lories) and love to play, making them quite entertaining for their owners. They don’t have the loud voice of some of the other larger lory species, which makes them more suitable for living in an apartment.
Collar, N.J. (1997). Family Psittacidae (Parrots). Pp. 280-477 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1997). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona
Low, R. (1998). Hancock House Encyclopedia of the Lories. Hancock House: Blaine, WA