Cardinal Lory

Cardinal Lory 30–31 cm; 173–215 g. Bright red, darker on back and wings; bill reddish-orange, dark at base; bare orbital skin dark; underparts lightly edged yellowish, giving vaguely scalloped appearance; legs grey.

Cardinal Lory parrot

Immature paler on back and wings, bill dull orange.

Systematics History





Islands E of New Ireland S through Solomons to Makira (San Cristobal).


Mangroves, lowland forest, secondary growth, coconut groves, wherever trees are flowering, lowlands to 1200 m (830 m on Bougainville). Makira is mostly a forest specialist (Davies et al. 2015).


Birds readily move between islands to feed and roost.

Diet and Foraging

Blossoms of Cocos nucifera in gardens and of Elaeocarpus and Syzygium in primary forest, seemingly preferring food trees with red flowers; also small berries.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Commonest call a rather high-pitched and rising “tsleet!” or a more buzzy “tzeet!”.

When perched, the repertoire is more extensive including several shrill or grating notes. Groups in-flight utter continuous noisy shrieks.


Copulation in Aug, and display in Sept. Only nest reported, Aug, was in hollow, meter-long, near-vertical branch stump near the base of 10 m high ridgetop tree, in primary forest at 1150 m, on Kolombangara.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species. Abundant on Kolombangara, Ghizo, New Georgia, Guadalcanal, Isabel, Bougainville; commonest in coconut plantations and other lowland disturbed sites, less so in lowland and hill forest.

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