Black Lory

Black Lory
Scientific Name: Chalcopsitta atra
Origin: Indonesia and New Guinea
Average Lifespan: Up to 25 years
Size: 12 inches
Color: Mainly black
Sounds: Chatterer
Interaction: Highly social

black lory percching on a bar

Photo: Kayonna Cole | YouTube

Physical Characteristics of Black Lory

A Black lory has an average size of 12 inches (30cm) in length from head to tail. The color is very rare for a pet parrot because almost all of its body is covered in black feathers. The only prominent different color is the under tail which is composed of yellow and red feathers. Their rump color is dark blue. You can easily identify if the lory is still young because there are some red feathers throughout the body which will change to black on their shedding when they are near maturity.

There are other sub-species of Black Lory, the most common is the Chalcopsitta atra atra which is the one with the mainly black feathers, the others are the Bernstein’s Black Lories (Chalcopsitta atra bernsteini) with reddish purple markings on the forehead and thigh areas, the Mamberiok Black Lories (Chalcopsitta atra spectabilis) , and the Rajah Lories (Chalcopsitta atra insignis) which have a reddish face, shoulder, thigh feathers as well as their underwings

Personality and Temperament

Black lories can be considered as one of the best pet parrots for human care. These birds likes to hangout a lot with human and they even crave for human attention. They are also inquisitive and likes roaming freely around the house during their out-of-the-cage time.

Pet owners of black lories would attest that they are very gentle pets and playful as well. Their personality is one of the factors that makes them a good house pet. They can be noisy at times especially when they are excited or being played with by their humans. During feeding time they also create loud noise. They have very minimal aggressive tendencies too but these can be guided accordingly especially if the bird has been hand-fed at young age.

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Black Lories are known to be among the gentlest pet birds and the best natured among the species of Lories. Humans will have no problem training them because they are easy to be tamed. The only drawback for humans who are not fond of loud animals is their shrill cries that they create oftentimes as not all pet owners or members can tolerate such loud shrill sounds.

Health and Care

It is common to include premium quality nectar for their diet because this is one of their favorites. Flowers and fruits nectars are preferred but man-made nectar mix consisting of malt extract, honey, and glucose are also recommended. Offer them fresh fruits that contain juices such as orange, pear, apple, and kiwi. Vegetables are also recommended. These birds can be picky sometimes that is why offering them varied food is recommended. You can also offer them baby cereals, wheat germ, corn, some green leaves, and hardboiled egg for extra protein.

Their cage must have adequate space so they can move around freely and do their daily wings span exercise. They can be very messy at times because of their type of food and feeding style so it is recommended that their cage pan must be easy to clean by wiping off. You can offer them some toys and chewables for enrichment purposes. They also like to bathe and play with water so it is important to have a shallow water dip in their cage. Sunlight exposure during the morning is important for their feathers to properly develop especially for the young ones.

History and Background

The subspecies of black lory come from different distributing regions in Indonesia and New Guinea, the mainly black or Chalcopsitta atra atra is from the western part of New Guinea while the Bernstein’s Black Lories (Chalcopsitta atra bernsteini) were from the island of Misool which is also situated in the western regions of New Guinea, Indonesia. The Mamberiok Black Lories (Chalcopsitta atra spectabilis) were from the Mamberiok Peninsula, part of the North-western New Guinea. Rajah Lories (Chalcopsitta atra insignis) on the other hand were from Eastern Vogelkop, also from the west New Guinea.

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Female black lory can start to lay eggs at four years old, this is the time they become sexually mature. They can produce two eggs in a clutch and incubated for 25 days. Young birds start to fledge at 11 weeks of age or nearly 74 days.

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