Chalcopsitta atra Scopoli, 1786

Black lory           

Subspecies and Distribution:

Chalcopsitta atra atra (Scopoli, 1786) – Western Black Lory – NW New Guinea in W Papuan Islands (Batanta, Salawati) and W Vogelkop Peninsula.

Chalcopsitta atra bernsteini Rosenberg, 1861 – Misool Island. 

Chalcopsitta atra insignis Oustalet, 1878 – Eastern Black Lory – NW New Guinea in E Vogelkop, Onin and Bomberai Peninsulas, and Rumberpon Island (W Geelvink Bay).


Not globally threatened. CITES II.

According to IUCN red list: Least concern.

The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Chalcopsitta atra atra

Black lory


  • Length: 31 cm (12,2 inch).
  • Weight: 230-280 gr.    Males heavier.

Black with a vinous purple gloss which is only visible in sunlight.

Rump is tinged with blue.

Underside of the tail is red and yellow.

Neck feathers are distinctively shaped, narrow and pointed.

Iris brown or sometimes reddish-brown, and sometimes with yellow inner circle.

The beak and feet are black.

Facial skin darkgrey. (Unless the birds are kept inside, then it stays white.)

Sexual dimorphism:

Male is a little larger, with bigger head and beak.

But best sexing with DNA or endoscopic.




1 mutation (dilute?) was occured which make the black feathers red and flight feathers yellow, but died before breeding.


7 - 8 mm

Chalcopsitta atra bernsteini

Bernstein black lory


Differs from the nominate by the dark-red on the thighs, and in some birds, reddish purple markings on the forehead.

Lores are dark-red.

Underwing coverts are tinged with vinous.

Bluer rump.

Iris orange-red

Description vary al lot on different books and websites, also the birds in captivity which are called Bernstein vary a lot from the birds in the pictures from Mehd Halaouate, these are taken in Misool so 100% sure Bernstein lory. So I only use these pictures, as I am not sure the birds in captivity are pure.


Extremely rare.


7 - 8 mm

Mehd Halaouate search for the Bernstein lory, you can read about his trip here.

Chalcopsitta atra insignis

rajah lory or red-quilled lory

The most beautiful of the atra species.


  • Length: 30 cm (12 inch)
  • Weight: around 220 gram.

Vinous-glossed black.

Red forehead, lores, underwing coverts and thighs.

Some red feathers in the breast aswell.

Underside of the tail red near the base, the rest yellow.


very rare.


7 - 8 mm


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