Black-lored Parrot (Tanygnathus gramineus)

Black-lored Parrot

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Tanygnathus gramineus | [authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [UK] Black-lored Parrot | [FR] Perruche a lores noir | [DE] Burupapagei | [ES] Loro de Buru | [NL] Zwartteugelpapegaai | [copyright picture] Birdlife


Monotypic species


The Tanygnathus genus is a group of a parrots native to the Indonesia Islands. This genus includes the great-billed parrot, the blue-naped parrot, the blue-backed parrot and the black-lored parrot. Members of the genus Tanygnathus, like most parrot genera, fly fairly fast, and the habitat of the genus is dense evergreen montane forest.

Physical charateristics

Both adults forehead and forecrown blue; black stripe from lores to eyes; body mainly green, flight feathers blue. Bill in male red, in female grey/white. Eye yellow.

Listen to the sound of Black-lored Parrot

[audio: Parrot.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Frank Lambert

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 40 cm size max.: 42 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Australasia : South Moluccas. Tanygnathus gramineus is endemic to the island of Buru in South Maluku, Indonesia. There are very few recent records from few localities, although this is doubtless a reflection of the paucity of nocturnal fieldwork at high altitudes. According to early accounts, it was probably not uncommon, and the fact that recent searches have met with little success suggests it may have declined.


This poorly-known species inhabits montane forest, chiefly above 1,000 m, but at least occasionally down to 600 m, or even the lowlands. It is largely (perhaps almost exclusively) nocturnal, an unusual fact that currently lacks documented explanation.


Nothing is known, but one male was caught after falling to the ground in a fight with another male, in November, suggesting some possible breeding rivalry.

Feeding habits

That this parrot should be nocturnal is mystifying: it suggests a food resource that is only or better accessed at night, or some form of competitive exclusion. Since, however, members of the genus Tanygnathus, like most parrot genera, fly fairly fast, and since the habitat of the species is dense evergreen montane forest, it is difficult to conceive how birds can safely negotiate landings amongst dense branches and maximise their foraging efficiency using visual cues. Possibly the species possesses unusually developed powers both of sight and smell; but this fails to answer the question why nocturnality in a flying forest parrot should have evolved only once (certain other parrots, including other Tanygnathus and Eclectus are moderately active in near-darkness, but none is exclusively nocturnal except the Kakapo Strigops habroptilus, which is flightless, and the Night Parrot Geopsittaca occidentalis, which lives in semi-desert). Birds were reported being caught with slingshots in fruiting trees, which suggests their frugivory is at least partly


The small population of this poorly known parrot occupies a small range (at few locations), which is decreasing in size and degrading in quality as a result of habitat loss, at least at the lower fringes of its altitudinal distribution. The population is suspected to be declining, and it therefore meets the thresholds for Vulnerable.
Habitat loss appears to be the main threat. Most forest in the coastal lowlands of Buru has now been cleared, and much of the forest in the northern part of the island has been selectively logged or degraded and fragmented by shifting agriculture, such that only a few small patches of primary lowland forest remain. The island’s montane forests are largely undisturbed, although none currently receives formal protection. There is historical documentation of some minor exploitation of the species, but around 1980 there was no evidence of any trade.
Black-lored Parrot status Vulnerable


Although assumed to be resident, it perhaps makes altitudinal movements seasonally, or even daily.

Distribution map

Black-lored Parrot distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *