Cardinal Lory

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Cardinal Lory

12 inches
25-35 years
Bird Species
Vocal, Loud, Harsh Natural calls, Mimics
Social, Fun, Friendly, Energetic, Stubborn,Affectionate, Playful
Comparable Breeds
Dusky Lory, Rainbow Lorikeet
Cardinal Lory General Info

An often overlooked and rarely seen parrot in the pet world, Cardinal Lory has a lot of positive traits that have the potential to make it much more popular. With a similar personality to one of its close cousins, the Dusky Lory, it is without a doubt a wonderful pet with both a lovely personality and an incredible beauty. These crimson charmers are often hard to come by, but when you finally do, you are guaranteed a one of a kind feathered friend.

With its unique, exotic and beautiful plumage, the Cardinal Lory is one of the prettiest pet parrots around.

Native Region/Natural Habitat

Oceania is full of colorful and unique birds, and the Cardinal Lory is just another example of this varied fauna. They are one of the most common breeds in the islands east of Papua New Guinea. They are found on Solomon and Bougainville islands, as well as the Bismarck Archipelago. These parrots thrive in regional humid forests, mangroves, coconut plantations, and coastal woodlands, where they feed and nest in tree canopies. Cardinal Lory parrots often travel between many of the tiny coral islands that surround their habitat. As they do this, they cover great distances and establish small populations where they weren’t before.

Overall Description

Most, if not all of the physical aspects are shared with the closely related Dusky Lory. The slender body and the prominent, unique beak are all quite similar. The adults reach an average length of 12 inches (31 centimeters) and can weigh around 7 ounces (215 grams). These slim and energetic birds will require a plenty of free space. Males and females are completely identical, and identifying them might be a challenge.

Speech and Sounds

While the Cardinal Lory might not be the quietest parrot around, it’s not too noisy either. Their only downside is their natural calls that are often piercing and harsh. But they aren’t heard often – mostly when your pet is neglected or bored. Other than that, these parrots will quietly chitter chatter and chirp to themselves, and will not become great talkers or particularly skilled mimics. All these facts combined might not make these pets well suited for an apartment setting.


Cardinal Lory is the proof that exotic combinations and numerous patterns are not always the prettiest. Sometimes the simplest and straightforward looks can be the most breathtaking one. These birds are entirely a deep vermilion. Wings and back are slightly darker, while the chest has lighter streaks, giving them a unique aspect. With the added contrast from the black area around the beak and the black feet, this look is complete. This unique color proves to be a charming look for these exotic Oceanic parrots.

Being entirely red, these parrots possess a unique and graceful elegance that stands apart in the parrot world.

Care and Feeding

In the wild, these parrots thrive on a diet of seeds, flowers, fruits, and insects, but are chiefly a nectar-feeding breed. A commercial or homemade nectar should be the basis of their diet as a pet and enriched with a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cardinal Lory is one of those parrot breeds that really enjoy bathing and moisture, so you should provide regular bathing dishes, and water sprays as a reward or a quick “shower”. This will also ensure a spot on hygiene and minimize the threat of feather-borne disease.

Health and Common Conditions

Lories are hardy parrots, with a great ability to adapt to any conditions. You’ll need to provide a lot of room and a balanced diet in order to keep them healthy. Cardinal Lory is smart, energetic and friendly – this means they will need your company and social interaction in order to feel happy and comfortable. This is a big part of a pet parrot’s well being. So do all you can to keep your pet mentally stimulated and eliminate any possibility of neglect.

Friendly and sociable parrots such as Cardinal Lory will require a lot of your attention and stimulation in order to thrive and feel happy and loved.

Personality & Behavior

Cardinal Lory has a great balance of desirable traits, making them great as pet parrots. They are smart and energetic, bringing a lot of fun into the household with their love for tricks and entertainment. Additionally, these birds can sometimes be really affectionate and open to handling and cuddling. They do have a bit of an “attitude”, as they’re quite forward and never shy. This means that they are often the first to instigate play and will sometimes be stubborn until they get what they want. But this is just a part of their overall entertaining and vibrant personality which is loved by so many Lory owners.

Photo credit: Mark Dumont/Wikimedia Commons; Eric Isselee/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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