Birds Vol 1 #2 – The King Parrot or King Lory

Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

King Parrot – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. February, 1897 No. 2




ORY is the name of certain birds, mostly from the Moluccas and New Guinea, which are remarkable for their bright scarlet or crimson coloring, though also applied to some others in which the plumage is chiefly green. Much interest has been excited by the discovery of Dr. A. B. Meyer that the birds of this genus having a red plumage are the females of those wearing green feathers. For a time there was much difference of opinion on this subject, but the assertion is now generally admitted.

They are called “brush-tongued” Parrots. The color of the first plumage of the young is still unsettled. This bird is a favorite among bird fanciers, is readily tamed, and is of an affectionate nature. It can be taught to speak very creditably, and is very fond of attracting the attention of strangers and receiving the caresses of those whom it likes.

There are few things a parrot prefers to nuts and the stones of various fruits. Wood says he once succeeded in obtaining the affections of a Parisian Parrot, solely through the medium of peach stones which he always saved for the bird and for which it regularly began to gabble as soon as it saw him coming. “When taken freshly from the peach,” he says, “the stones are very acceptable to the parrot, who turns them over, chuckling all the while to show his satisfaction, and picking all the soft parts from the deep indentations in the stone.” He used to crack the stone before giving it to the bird, when his delight knew no bounds. They are fond of hot condiments, cayenne pepper or the capsicum pod. If a bird be ailing, a capsicum will often set it right again.

The parrot is one of the hardiest of birds when well cared for and will live to a great age. Some of these birds have been known to attain an age of seventy years, and one seen by Vaillant had reached the patriarchal age of ninety three. At sixty its memory began to fail, at sixty-five the moult became very irregular and the tail changed to yellow. At ninety it was a very decrepit creature, almost blind and quite silent, having forgotten its former abundant stock of words.

A gentleman once had for many years a parrot of seemingly rare intelligence. It was his custom during the summer to hang the parrot’s cage in front of his shop in a country village, where the bird would talk and laugh and cry, and condole with itself. Dogs were his special aversion and on occasions when he had food to spare, he would drop it out of the cage and whistle long and loud for them. When the dogs had assembled to his satisfaction he would suddenly scream in the fiercest accents, “Get out, dogs!” and when they had scattered in alarm his enjoyment of it was demonstrative. This parrot’s vocabulary, however, was not the most refined, his master having equipped him with certain piratical idioms.

According to authority, the parrot owner will find the health of his pet improved and its happiness promoted by giving it, every now and then, a small log or branch on which the mosses and lichens are still growing. Meat, fish, and other similar articles of diet are given with evil effects.

It is impossible for anyone who has only seen these birds in a cage or small inclosure to conceive what must be the gorgeous appearance of a flock, either in full flight, and performing their various evolutions, under a vertical sun, or sporting among the superb foliage of a tropical forest which, without these, and other brilliant tenants, would present only a solitude of luxuriant vegetation.

Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) ©WikiC

Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:16 KJV)

The king parrots are three species of medium-sized parrots in the genus Alisterus; the Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis), the Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus), and the Moluccan King Parrot (Alisterus amboinensis). The three species are found in Eastern Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesian islands including the Maluku islands respectively. Predominantly of red and green plumage, the long tailed parrots are related to the genera Aprosmictus and Polytelis.

Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) Female by Ian

Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) Female by Ian

King parrots are medium-sized parrots, 35–43 cm (14–17 in) in length with long-broad tails. They have relatively small beaks for their size. The beaks of the adults are two colours, blackish and orange-reddish, except for the subspecies buruensis of the Moluccan King Parrot which has a grey-black beak, and female Australian King Parrot which has a grey beak.

Moluccan King Parrot (Alisterus amboinensis) ©WikiC - Brevard_Zoo

Moluccan King Parrot (Alisterus amboinensis) ©WikiC – Brevard_Zoo

Wikipedia show this photo of a King Parrot, but somehow we missed it. The photo was taken in 2009, so it may no longer be there. The first and third photo favor the drawing, but I lean toward the Australian King Parrot. They are all closely related

Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus) ©WikiC

Papuan King Parrot (Alisterus chloropterus) ©WikiC

The three species are forest-dwelling, and are found singly, in pairs, or in groups.[2] Australian King Parrots sometimes gather in groups of up to 30 or more around food sources, while Moluccan King Parrots sometimes form groups up to ten, and the Moluccan King Parrots may gather in groups of fives or sixes.[2] They generally feed on seeds, fruits and berries in trees.

The Psittacidae – Parrots Family is where you will find these Parrots. There are 350 species in 77 genus. Quite a large family. Their “cousins”, the Cockatoos and New Zealand Parrots join them in the Psittaciformes Order.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 February 1897 No 2 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 February 1897 No 2 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial for February 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited


(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The American Robin – The Bird Of The Morning

Previous Article – Mexican Mot Mot

Wordless Birds


Australian King Parrot
Papuan King Parrot
Moluccan King Parrot

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Chicago Business College - Ad for Birds Illustrated

Chicago Business College – Ad for Birds Illustrated



3 thoughts on “Birds Vol 1 #2 – The King Parrot or King Lory

  1. It just dawned on me that I left the previous comment while logged in as Sandra Conner. I had visited your site a few times previously while logged into my other blog: “hanginoutwithgod.” Just so you won’t be confused, perhaps I should tell you that we are one and the same person.


  2. I’m back. Some of these birds are just unbelievably gorgeous! I especially like the Silver-throated Tanager in the previous post and the Australian King Parrot in this one. I am going to be sure and share a link to your site on my Facebook page. I often share pictures of beautiful birds — just because I love beautiful birds — and several of my FB friends are very interested in them. Hopefully, some of them will come over and visit you.


    • Thanks you for your three commemts. Glad you let me know the connection between the two names. I enjoy finding this fantastic birds to be able to share them. Would be nice to see them in person.


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