Black Lory
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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  • Scientific Name:  Chalcopsitta atra
  • Common Name/s:  BLACK LORY
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  4... C. a. atra,  C.a. bernsteini,  C. a. insignis,  C.a. spectabilis.
  • Origin / Distribution:  Western New Guinea / Irian Jaya and some surrounding islands.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Edges of forests, coastal savannah and mangroves.
  • Status In Wild:  ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Rare
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  3 - 4 years
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations:  No
  • Availability:  Specialist breeders
  • Temperament:  Noisy birds and not a popular bird in captivity probably due to its mainly black colour.  Can be aggressive especially at breeding time.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour  (Approx.) $Lots
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 310 - 320 mm (or approx. 12 - 13 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ):  Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 230 - 280 gms (or approx. 8 ozs)

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Lorikeets & Lories " web page for general details on the housing of Lorikeets & Lories or read on for specific details for this parrot.
ith their rarity in Australian aviaries it would be best to give each pair a large aviary of their own.  Not to be housed with other birds due to their aggressive nature.
Do well in a parrot style aviary of no less than about 2.4 metres long.
A suspended cage is the preferred housing for these birds.  Overseas breeding is done in suspended cages of 3 metres in length, 1 metre wide and 1 metre high (10 x 3.5 x 3.5 feet).
Can be housed in a parrot style aviary of about 4 metres long, 1 metre wide and 2.1 metres high (12 x 3.5 x 7 feet).  The floor should be concrete and easily cleaned.  The aviary flights need double wiring between the flights to avoid aggression and injury to other birds.  If space allows the pairs should not be housed side by side.  It is preferable to have a different species between pairs.
These are active and sometimes noisy birds that like branches to chew, along with other activity items to keep them active and entertained.  These birds love to play with the "play gym" toys that are offered to the pet birds.  Physical and mental activity should be encouraged and this may be beneficial to a healthy breeding pair.
All fixtures, fittings, floor, feed and water bowls must easy to clean and done so on a regular basis.  Don't forget to clean any areas of the wire mesh, walls, perches etc that are contaminated by the food mixes.  A simple hosing with water may not be adequate, so be prepared to use a brush to remove any dried on food.
These birds love to bathe in the water and as many birds leave some wet or dry mix in the water bowl, the automatic water systems that flush out the water bowl on a regular basis can be the best water system.  These systems do not replace the regular manual cleaning of the water bowls.  Stainless steel utensils are ideal.

Diet / Feeding:   Refer to " Lorikeets & Lories " web page for general details on the feeding of Lorikeets & Lories or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Natural foods in the wild include flowers, nectar, pollen, fruits, insects and insect larvae.

The black capped lory requires a typical Lory diet. Wet and dry lory mix plus fruits and vegetables. Some will consume some livefood such as mealworms.

Nesting:  A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months:
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 400 mm (or approx. 16 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 250 mm. (or approx. 10 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx.250 mm square (or approx. 10 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 75 mm (or approx. 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx 4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box ......
    • Angle of log or nest box ...
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

R. Low recommends an inverted "L" shaped nestbox for Lories and many parrots.
Nest boxes are easy to clean, cheap and easy to replace when they become soiled or damaged.
The nest box is left in the aviary or suspended cage year round as Lories and lorikeets will roost in the nest during the non-breeding season.
Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the top. The exact size of the entrance hole depends on the size of the species. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through. An appropriate size entrance hole will help to give the birds a feeling of security and confidence to effectively start and raise a clutch of young.

The Black Lory will roost in the nest year round.  Young non breeding birds will roost in the nest year round.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars. 

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 2 - 3.  Eggs per nest 2.  Incubation approx. 24 - 25 days.  Fledge approx. 10 weeks.  Independent approx. another 6 - 8 weeks. Young are fed by the parents for about 2 weeks after they leave the nest.

Pairs of the Black Lory can be extremely aggressive at breeding time.
The young can be leg rung at age of 16-18 days.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 47 No. 9 Sept 1993 Page 201-202 (Spain) (Inc photo)
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 12 .Dec-Jan 2002 Page 696-699.

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