Chattering lory (Lorius garrulus)

Chattering lory
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Chattering lory fact file

Chattering lory description

GenusLorius (1)

The chattering lory (Lorius garrulus) mostly has a brilliant red plumage, with dull green thighs and wings, and a dark green tip to the tail (2) (5). Sometimes there are traces of yellow spotting on the mantle (2) (5), with the amount varying between the three subspecies (4). The bend of the wing and underwing-coverts are also yellow and the bill is orange, darker at the base (2).

Also known as
Yellow-backed lory.
Lori Gárrulo.
Size: 30 cm (2)

Chattering lory biology

The chattering lory typically nests in holes 20 to 25 metres up in very tall trees (2) (5). The breeding season is thought to last from around June to November, possibly longer. In captivity, two eggs are laid per clutch and the nestling period lasts around 76 days (2).

The primary food items of the chattering lory are thought to be nectar and/or pollen, with local reports of feeding on coconut flowers along the coast, although fruits and maize are also included in the diet (6).


Chattering lory range

Endemic to North Maluku, Indonesia, where it is known from Morotai, Rau, Halmahera, Widi, Ternate, Bacan, Obi (5) and possibly Kasiruta and Obilatau. The chattering lory has also been released on Sangihe, north of Sulawesi (6).


Chattering lory habitat

This is chiefly a canopy species most commonly found in primary lowland and montane forest up to 1,050 metres above sea level, although the chattering lory is tolerant of logged forest and has been recorded from mature secondary woodland next to cultivated lands, occasionally visiting coconut plantations and gardens (2) (5).


Chattering lory status

The chattering lory is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3). Three subspecies are recognised: the chattering lory (L. g. garrulus), yellow-backed lory (L. g. flavopalliatus) and Morotai lory (L. g. morotaianus) (2) (4).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Chattering lory threats

The chattering lory has undergone dramatic declines due to habitat loss and human exploitation for the cage-bird trade (5). Reputedly a good talker with strong imitative abilities, this bird is one of the most important in domestic trade in Indonesia and amongst the most exported (2) (5). Trapping pressure is very high, with a minimum of 9,600 individuals estimated to be caught in 1991 (2). Before the 1990s, forests within this bird’s range were largely intact, but intensive logging has since taken its toll on the landscape, with the creation of logging roads greatly facilitating access for trappers, exacerbating this problem (5).


Chattering lory conservation

A healthy chattering lory population occurs in the forests of Lalobata and Ake Tajawe on Halmahera, which are targeted for upgrading to national park status. Its listing on Appendix II of CITES also helps regulate the number of chattering lories traded internationally (5).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For more information on the chattering lory: 



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Small feathers concealing the bases of larger primary feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
In birds, the wings, shoulder feathers and back, when coloured differently from the rest of the body.
Montane forest
Forest occurring in the montane zone, a zone of cool upland slopes below the tree line dominated by large evergreen trees.
Primary forest
Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.


  1. IUCN Red List (April, 2011)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World – Sandgrouse To Cuckoos. Vol. 4. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. CITES (January, 2007)
  4. Harraden’s Habitat (February, 2007)
  5. BirdLife International (February, 2007)
  6. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

Image credit

Chattering lory  
Chattering lory

© William Hull

William Hull


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