Chattering Lory

Chattering Lory

Scientific Classification

Common Name
chattering lory, yellow-backed lory
Genus Species
Lorius (parrot) garrulous

Fast Facts

The chattering lory has a red body and a yellow patch on the mantle. The wings and thigh regions are green and the wing coverts are yellow. The tail is green with a blue tip. The iris of the eye is orange-red and the beak is hooked.
Adults can reach lengths up to 30 cm (12 in.).
Approximately 190 to 225 g (6.7 to 7.9 oz.)
These birds feed on fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, unripe grain, and pollen.
24 to 25 days
Clutch Size
2 to 3 eggs
Fledging Duration
10 weeks
Sexual Maturity
3 to 4 years
Life Span
28 to 32 years
These birds can be found in North Maluku, Indonesia, where it is known from Morotai, Rau, Halmahera, Widi, Ternate, Bacan, and Obi.
These birds occur most commonly in montane forest, and rarely in gardens and coconut plantations. They are a canopy species, occasionally descending to the lower canopy to feed, and typically nesting in holes in very tall trees. It occurs regularly up to 1,000 m, but has been recorded at 1,100 m with the potential to be found at higher elevation.
A population size of 46,000 to 295,000 individuals was estimated in 1003, but subsequent work in 1994 suggested the population may at that time have been considerably higher. They are locally common, but rare near settlements and plantations.
IUCN: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

There are over 50 species of Lories and Lorikeets. Lories tend to be larger and have a short tail, while Lorikeets have a long tail. In Australasia, all species are referred to commonly as “Lorikeets”.

These birds have very specialized tongues for feeding on nectar. Tiny hair-like structures called 'papillae' line the end of the tongue in the shape of an "U." When they extend their tongue to feed, the papillae stand on end, allowing nectar and pollen to be easily soaked up. This trait has earned them the nickname "Brush-Tongued Parrots".

The upper mandible of the bill has a long, pointed tip and is much narrower in structure than other parrots. This serves to easily extract hard-to-reach seeds from cones and other hard vegetation.

The birds will scrape the fruit on the inside of their bill and remove the sweet juices with their specialized tongues.

Approximately 70% of their day is spent foraging, and they will travel more than 30 miles a day to find food. Some individuals may feed on as many as 650 flowers each day.

These birds are active and noisy, feeding in large groups and even in the company of other parrots.

These birds will establish daily flight paths connecting their feeding sites, which tend to follow the natural contours of the landscape, such as hills, valleys, and rivers. At night, they retreat along those same paths back to their communal roosts.

They will travel long distances in order to locate a suitable nesting site. They may nest in tree cavities as high as 24 m (80 feet) off the ground.

During the courtship, the male hops around the female and then dazzles her by revealing his bright yellow converts.

Ecology and Conservation

These birds suffer from habitat destruction due to logging and agricultural development. Forests within its range were largely intact at the outset of the 1990s, but exploitation by logging companies for economically valuable timber has become intensive.

Their primary threat stems from trapping for the cage-bird trade. This is the most popular bird exported from eastern Indonesia.

In some areas, these birds are considered agricultural pests because they are destructive to crops.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots.


Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. New Jersey. T.F.H. Publications Inc. 1978.

Low, R. Lories and Lorikeets. New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 1977.

Parker, S. P. (ed.). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Birds II. Vol. 8. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972.

Perrins, C. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 1985.

BirdLife International 2017. Lorius garrulus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22684581A117219105. Downloaded on 26 November 2019.

Photo Credit: Chattering_Lory_Lorius_garrulus_(7116058843).jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Bernard DUPONT. Year Created: 18 September 2009. Website: License: CC by SA 2.0.