Collared Lory

Phigys solitarius

The Collared Lory is a monotypic species of parrot in the Psittaculidae family, and it is the only species in the genus ''Phigys''. It 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 , 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.
Fijian Kula Endemic to the Islands of Fiji, a Kula (Collared Lory in English) snacks on some palm flowers. In the days of pre-contact pacific, their bright feathers were traded extensively as currency and used to embellish the edges of fine, weaved mats. With the trade banned in the early 20th century, Fijians began using colored wool to adorn mats instead, a practice known to this day as 'kula' - A direct reference to the old tradition. Collared,Collared Lory,Fiji,Geotagged,Islands,Kula,Lory,Parrot,Phigys solitarius,Tropical

Appearance

Adult birds are around 20 cm  long and exhibit slight sexual dimorphism. The male has bright scarlet cheeks, throat, breast, and upper abdomen. The crown is dark purple. The nape is lime green and red and some of the feathers on the nape are elongated. The wings, back, and tail are greenish. The lower abdomen is purple. The bill is yellow-orange, the feet pink-orange, and the irises are orange-red. The female is similar but with a paler crown that has a greenish hue posteriorly. Juveniles are duller with vague purple transverse striations on the upper abdomen and breast, and they have a brown beak and pale brown irises.

Distribution

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.

Behavior

The Collared Lory is a fast and straight flyer with quick shallow wingbeats, and can be found in pairs or small groups. The call is a high pitched single or double shriek.

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.

Reproduction

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.

Food

The diet of the Collared Lory consists fruit, seeds, nectar and blossoms. Trees favoured include the Drala , the Coconut Palm and the introduced and invasive African Tulip tree .

Cultural

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.
This species was first bred in the UK by the Marquess of Tavistock for which he was awarded a commemorative medal by the Foreign Bird League.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPsittaciformes
FamilyPsittaculidae
GenusPhigys
SpeciesP. solitarius
Photographed in
Fiji