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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PSITTACIFORMES > PSITTACIDAE > COLLARED LORY [Phigys solitarius]


Collared Lory Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Collared Lory (Phigys solitarius) is a species of parrot in the Psittacidae family. It is the only species in the genus Phigys and is endemic to the islands of Fiji. It is the only Fijian rainforest bird to adapt to urban landscapes and can be found in urban Suva. Measuring 20 cm (8 in), it has bright red underparts and face with a purple crown and greenish upperparts. Males and females are similar in plumage, although the latter have a paler crown.

Taxonomy

The Collared Lory was first described by German naturalist Georg Adolf Suckow in 1800, and placed in the genus Phigys by English naturalist George Robert Gray in 1870. It is the only species in the genus. The species is sometimes considered to be in the genus Vini.

The Fijian name is Kula. Alternate common names include Fiji-, Ruffled-, or Solitary Lory. The last is a misnomer as the species isn't solitary.

Description

Adult birds are around 20 cm (8 in) and exhibit slight sexual dimorphism. The male has bright scarlet cheeks, throat breast and upper abdomen, a dark purple crown and lime green and red nape. The wings, back and tail are greenish. The lower abdomen is purple. The bill is yellow-orange, the feet fleshy pink and the iris red. The female is similar but with a paler crown. The call is a high pitched single or double shriek.

Distribution and habitat

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It has adapted to human habitation and can be found in Suva. It occurs on Fiji's larger islands, and on the Lau Islands outwards to Lakeba and Oneata. While the species is today restricted to Fiji, fossil evidence shows that it once occurred in Tonga as well, and was extirpated by early human settlers.

Matei, Taveuni, Fiji Isles


Behaviour

The Collared Lory is a fast and straight flyer with quick shallow wingbeats, and can be found in pairs or small groups.

Feeding

The diet of the Collared Lory consists fruit, seeds, nectar and blossoms. Trees favoured include the Drala (Erythrina variegata), the Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) and the introduced and invasive African Tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata).

Breeding

The nest is a hollow in a tree, or sometimes in a hole in a rotting coconut still attached to the tree. The clutch size is two eggs in captivity, the size in the wild is unknown but presumed to be the same. Incubation is around 30 days, and the nestling stage lasts about 9 weeks.

Aviculture

The Collared Lory was bred and exhibited in London and Taronga Zoos in the early 1940s. The species became tame readily in captivity but early attempts to keep birds alive proved difficult.

Photographs

At San Diego Zoo

At San Diego Zoo

At San Diego Zoo

At San Diego Zoo





                                     



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