The Rainbow Lory



  • Common Name:  Lory - Rainbow (Swainson's Blue Mountain)

  • Other Common Names:  Swainson's Blue Mt.  Lorikeet, Rainbow Lory, Swainson's Lory, Blue Mountain Lory

  • Scientific Name:  Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus 

  • Group:  Lory

  • Origin or Range:  Australia

  • Relative Size:  Larger Than Average  

  • Average Lifespan:  ??? years

  • Compatibility:  Average 

  • Category:  Parrots

The Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory is a beautiful parrot that is quite popular in aviculture.  In Australia they are commonly known as the Rainbow Lory and are often called the prettiest of all the lories.

In order to avoid confusion it should be mentioned that the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory (Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus) has alsoThe Rainbow Lory been called the Rainbow Lory.  The Green Naped Lory (Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus) has also been called the Rainbow Lory.  This article will deal with the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory only.  It should also be noted that there are at least 21 subspecies of the nominate form Trichoglossus haematodus.  Some sources site as many as 22 to 26 different subspecies of lories in the genus of Trichoglossus.  The variance is due to the fact that a couple of them are debatable in different research groups.

The Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory tends to be a one-man bird.  Bonding to one person in the family or choosing one particular part of your home as his own is common occurrence.  For this reason it is very important that you socialize your Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory well.  If hand raised they are gentle loving pets that can even be handled by The Rainbow Lorymost strangers.  They are highly intelligent creatures and for this reason many are able to learn several tricks, sometimes amazingly difficult ones.  Because they are so intelligent the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory does require a stimulating environment with several toys.  Many Lories enjoy small parrot toys such as wooden blocks or bells.  They can be loud, although not as loud as some other parrot species and are generally considered quiet in comparison.  While not good talkers many Swainson's Blue Mountain Lories are good mimics. 

The Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory is quite beautiful.  It is no surprise that they are also called Rainbow Lories when one examines their lovely colors.  The Swainson's is similar to the Green Nape in color.  The main difference between them is that the Swainson's has an entirely blue head. 

The Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory is native to Australia.  Since the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory is also called the Rainbow Lory isThe Rainbow Lory should be noted that there is a lot of confusion around the generic term of 'rainbow', In the United States, the term 'rainbow' most commonly refers to a Green Nape Lory since that was the first Lory to become established in the pet trade and often that is the first and/or only Lory that many people come in contact with.  Many people may be relatively unaware that lories come in 'different colors'.  In other areas, such as Australia the term 'rainbow' may be used in relation to the Blue The Rainbow LoryMountain Lorikeet, and only to the Blue Mountain.  More than any of group of parrots, this genus is really disserved by using 'common names' and terms.  There is still a wide range of temperaments, body language, sizes and tolerances between all of the different Lories called, the "Rainbow Lory".  It is very important to make sure what species you are interested in when referring to the Rainbow Lory.  Many people end up with the wrong Lory, especially when doing mail order purchases, because of the confusion surrounding the common names.

Like all Lories, the Swainson's Blue Mountain Lory requires nectar in its diet.  It is very important to make sure that your Lory is fed properly;The Rainbow Lory otherwise its health will be affected.  Improper feeding and diets can greatly reduce a Rainbow Lory's natural lifespan.  Because of their diet, Lories have messy droppings.  This needs to be considered before purchase. 

Suitable cages for the Rainbow Lory must be wide enough to allow space for them to stretch their wings.  Natural light is also a requirement, if your house does not offer enough natural light purchase a Vita Light, which is designed to provide the natural light, required by all parrot species.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11