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Uncovering the Secrets of the Beautiful Black-winged Lory

The Black-winged Lory, also known as Eos cyanogenia, is a striking bird that is native to Indonesia. This bird is a favorite among bird-watchers for its eye-catching plumage and playful demeanor.

In this article, we will explore everything there is to know about this fascinating bird species, covering topics related to identification, plumages, and more. Identification:

The Black-winged Lory is a colorful bird with a predominantly red plumage, with shades ranging from bright orange to deep red.

Its wings are black, contrasting sharply with the rest of its body. It also has a blue patch on its wings when it is in flight that is visible from a distance.

This bird species has a short tail and a stout beak that is perfect for feeding on nectar. Field Identification:

The Black-winged Lory can be easily identified in the field because of its striking plumage and vocalizations.

When in the wild, it is often found in small flocks, making a lot of noise as they fly from one tree to another. Similar Species:

There are other species of Lories that may resemble the Black-winged Lory, such as the Blue-streaked Lory and the Red Lory.

The Blue-streaked Lory has a blue patch on its wing while the Red Lory has an orangish-red plumage with shades of yellow and green. However, these species can be easily distinguished by their overall coloration and markings.


The Black-winged Lory goes through various molts as it grows into adult plumage. The different plumages stages are as follows:

Juvenile: The juvenile Black-winged Lory is predominantly green with a red forehead and nape.

Sub-adult: The sub-adult has more red feathers and blackening near the eyes. Adult: The adults feathers change to a beautiful red-orange color, with black wings and tail feathers.


The Black-winged Lory usually has three molts in its lifetime: the juvenile molt, the sub-adult molt, and the adult molt. The juvenile molt takes place when the bird is around 10 to 12 weeks old, while the sub-adult and adult molts occur annually.


In conclusion, the Black-winged Lory is a bird species that stands out from the rest because of its colorful plumage and playful personality. This bird is an absolute delight for bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Identifying this bird is not difficult, thanks to its unique features and striking differences when compared with other species. Learning about its plumages is just part of the fun when it comes to observing this species.

In any case, one cant help but be enchanted by this fantastic bird species. The scientific study of the Black-winged Lory, or Eos cyanogenia, has led to the establishment of its taxonomic system.

Its history in terms of systematics covers its geographic variations, its subspecies, related species, and the changes to its distribution over time.

Systematics History:

The classification of the Black-winged Lory has undergone several changes throughout its taxonomic history.

In the past, this species was included in the genus Psittacus or Aprosmictus. The current classification system places this bird in the genus Eos under the family Psittacidae.

Geographic Variation:

The Black-winged Lory occupies a range of islands in the Indo-Australian region and exhibits geographic variation within the species. This variation mainly involves differences in plumage coloration, with subtle variations in size in some areas.

The variation appears to primarily correspond with the individual islands, which suggests that the bird has undergone some level of island speciation. Subspecies:

The Black-winged Lory species is made up of three subspecies, each having unique morphological and ecological characteristics.

These subspecies were named based on variations in their plumage coloration and body size, and they are prevalent in specific geographic regions. E.

c. cyanogenia: This is the nominate subspecies found exclusively on the island of Buru, the largest island of the Maluku Island group in eastern Indonesia.

E. c.

petrosa: This subspecies is located on the much smaller Seram Island in eastern Indonesia. The birds are noticeably smaller in size, have a brighter red coloration on the body, and possess a larger blue patch on the wings.

E. c.

chrysostigma: The subspecies is found on a number of small Indonesian islands such as Ambon, Saparua and several others in the nearby Banda Sea. The subspecies has a black beak compared to the other subspecies which have a red beak.

Related Species:

The Black-winged Lory is part of the genus Eos, which also includes three other species: the Blue-streaked Lory (Eos reticulata), the Red Lory (Eos bornea), and the Violet-necked Lory (Eos squamata). These species are known for their brilliant plumage and their abilities to be trained to mimic sounds and speech.

Historical Changes to Distribution:

The distribution of the Black-winged Lory has undergone extensive changes over time. The bird was once distributed in a broader range across the Maluku Islands, including the western parts of the range.

The birds likely disappeared from the western section of their range during the Neolithic period as a result of expanding human settlement and habitat destruction. The Black-winged Lory, as with many bird species, has lost much of its historical distribution and range due to habitat loss and deforestation.

In recent years, the species has become increasingly rare in the wild, and it is currently classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status. Poaching and illegal trading have also contributed to the declining number of individuals in the wild.

Climate change is also potentially a major threat to the E. cyanogenia’s survival in the wild.

Increases in global warming and temperature change may negatively impact their breeding and nesting habits, decrease their food sources, and cause changes in behavior routines. Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Black-winged Lory is a unique bird species with a long history of classification and geographic variation.

The bird’s subspecies, as well as its related species, play an important role in understanding the evolutionary patterns and systematics of the bird family. The species has faced changes in its distribution over time, which has had a dramatic impact on its populations in the wild.

Understanding the historical changes and geographic variation of the Black-winged Lory is essential to its long-term conservation and protection. The Black-winged Lory, or Eos cyanogenia, is a medium-sized parrot species found in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia.

This bird species occupies various habitats throughout its range while also exhibiting migration patterns, even though not all birds undertake these movements. Habitat:

The Black-winged Lory thrives in a variety of habitats, including forests, mangroves, lowlands, and montane forests.

These birds are also known to inhabit secondary forests that have undergone some level of disturbance. The different areas within the bird’s range show subtle differences in habitat preference, but the Black-winged Lory is often found in dense vegetation cover consisting of softwood trees, as this provides a suitable habitat for nesting and feeding.

In their natural habitats, these birds primarily feed on nectar, pollen, and fruits. They are known to visit flowering trees in their preferred habitats, such as Eucalyptus, Macaranga, and Melaleuca among others, for their food.

Movements and Migration:

The Black-winged Lory typically remains sedentary, with much of the population staying in a relatively small area year-round. However, these birds may change habitats and move about during different times of the year due to a variety of factors.

During seasonal changes, some individuals may migrate to other parts of their range, with data suggesting that birds may move to coastal areas during the non-breeding season. There are records of some of the birds moving outside their normal range, with breeding pairs or family groups heading toward other islands, but these long-distance movements are uncommon.

The movements and migration of this species are not as well studied compared to other bird species. This could be as a result of the limited population size of Black-winged Lory or the challenge posed by the geography of its range, which includes numerous small and isolated islands.

Threats to Habitat and Migration:

The biggest threat to the Black-winged Lory is habitat loss and fragmentation. As forests are cut down or otherwise degraded, the bird’s preferred habitat dwindles, leading to a decline in the population size, and sometimes even extinction.

Human activities, such as logging, mining, and other forms of habitat destruction, may also reduce their habitats and alter their migratory patterns. The pet trade is also a significant threat to this species, as birds are often taken from their natural habitats and sold illegally.

These factors greatly affect the survival of Black-winged Lory both within, and outside of their historical range. Conservation Efforts:

To protect the Black-winged Lory, various conservation interventions have been initiated in their habitats, such as habitat restoration, seedling planting and monitoring breeding populations.

Conservation areas have also been set up to help preserve their natural habitats and breeding habits, which eventually could lead to improved migration patterns. Laws have also been put in place to protect their populations and prevent illegal poaching and trade.

Further study needs to be carried out to better understand the movements and migration patterns of the Black-winged Lory. It would help wildlife authorities when developing management plans or guidelines to preserve and better manage the bird’s populations.


In conclusion, the Black-winged Lory is a unique parrot species found across its range of small and mostly isolated islands in Indonesia. The bird’s preference for dense vegetation plays a significant role in its habitat and feeding habits, and movement and migration in response to seasonal changes may indicate subtle patterns in their behavior.

The negative impact of habitat loss and fragmentation, the pet trade, and other human activities reinforces the importance of conservation measures to preserve the species. Investment in further study is needed to better understand the movements and migration patterns of the Black-winged Lory.

This will help in the development of policies and conservation strategies that preserve its habitat and secure its future. The Black-winged Lory, or Eos cyanogenia, is a unique bird species found in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia.

The species has many notable features, including its diet and foraging habits. Additionally, the bird is known for its vocalization and diverse range of sounds.

Diet and Foraging:


The Black-winged Lory is considered a nectarivore, meaning it primarily feeds on nectar from flowers and trees. The birds tongue is specially adapted to extract nectar from the flowers.

The lorys large and strong bill helps in breaking the skin on the fruit to access the pulp and juice inside. The bird also feeds on seeds and pollen of flowers, green leaves, and fruits as part of their diet.


There are several plant species that the Black-winged Lory prefers to feed on and on which it depends heavily. These include eucalypts, Callistemon, Macaranga, Melaleuca, and Durio species among others.

They are also known to eat fruits such as figs when available, but the core of their diet remains nectar. Metabolism and Temperature Regulation:

Due to their high energy needs, Black-winged Lories have efficient metabolisms, allowing them to process food quickly.

The bird has developed efficient ways of regulating its internal temperature, which usually gets high because of the high calorie intake. Lories have a large surface area-to-volume ratio due to their small size, which helps regulate heat loss through its feather coat.

Sounds and Vocal Behaviour:

The Black-winged Lory is known for its loud and piercing vocalizations, and diverse range of sounds. The bird is often vocal and highly social.


Black-winged Lories are considered some of the most vocal parrots in the Maluku Islands. The bird typically makes a range of sounds such as shrill whistles, squawks, screeches, and melodic chirps.

The species produces a range of calls during different activities such as feeding, mating or nesting, or interactions with other birds. Calls such as the chatter and twitter are social calls meant for an entire group while soft chattering is more intimate between a pair and helps to establish territory.

Black-winged Lories are also known for their mimicry abilities and can learn to mimic specific sounds from their environment, such as the sounds of other bird species, environmental sounds such as alarms, as well as human speech. The bird uses its vocalization as a basic form of communication, and sounds are used to exhibit aggression, locate food, defend breeding sites, establish communal sleeping sites, and call out to other members of their group.


The Black-winged Lory is a unique bird species known for its beautiful plumage, diet, and vocalizations. The lory’s diet is unique, with a dependence on nectar, seeds, and fruits, whereas its vocalization is highly social.

The efficient metabolism and temperature regulation characteristics of Black-winged Lories help them adapt better to their tropical habitat. Understanding the foraging habits and vocalization of Black-winged Lory is important for developing conservation strategies and understanding the lory’s behavior in its natural habitat.

Further study would provide more insight into the vocal and foraging behavior and create better preservation plans for populations of the Black-winged Lory. The Black-winged Lory, or Eos cyanogenia, is a distinctive and beautiful bird species known for its unique behaviors.

This species of parrot exhibits unique locomotion, self-maintenance, agonistic, sexual behavior and has an interesting breeding pattern. Here, we will explore these behaviors and the relevant implications of their behavior patterns on the bird’s populations.



Black-winged Lories move through their habitat mainly by flying, but they can also climb trees and hop from one branch to another. During flight, their wings make a whistling sound, making it easier to identify them even from a distance.

Self Maintenance:

To maintain healthy plumage, Black-winged Lories preen their feathers regularly, dust their plumage, and take frequent baths. The bird bathes in shallow pools of water, usually in small streams that flow through their habitats.

This self-maintenance helps keep their feathers in top condition, improve their sexual behavior quality, as well as protect against parasite infestation. Agonistic Behavior:

Like many parrot species, the Black-winged Lory exhibits agonistic behaviors such as displaying aggressive vocal behavior, aggressive wing flapping, and forcefully lunging at perceived threats.

These behaviors usually manifest when their territories or chosen nest sites are intruded upon. These behaviors are most common during the breeding season and are essential to protect their young.

Sexual Behavior:

During breeding season, males vocalize and display a number of behaviors, including wing flapping, tail wagging, and extended neck movements to attract females. Both males and females will frequently visit potential nest sites, and both take part in the building of the nest.

The courtship is often marked with frequent and playful flights together. Breeding:

Black-winged Lories breed seasonally, typically between October and February.

During breeding season, the birds display a range of behaviors to attract mates and establish territories. Interestingly, the bird may nest communally whereby multiple birds nest together in the same trees, sometimes even sharing a feeding site.

The birds typically construct a rough and shallow cup-shaped nest in natural tree hollows, using sticks, leaves, and twigs, cemented with either saliva or poorly digested plant material. They lay a clutch of two eggs, which the female incubates over a period of 23-25 days.

Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the young chicks until they are independent enough to fend for themselves.

Demography and Populations:

The Black-winged Lory has a relatively small population, and the numbers are still decreasing due to habitat loss and other human activities, such as illegal trade.

Despite being protected in some areas, the bird now has a red-listed endangered status. Development of human settlements, overgrazing and felling of trees, climate change, and other factors have diminished the bird’s population in the wild, thereby making it increasingly vulnerable and threatened.

Conservation efforts to preserve natural habitats, public education programs, and establishment of breeding programs have been implemented to help the Black-winged Lory population recover. These conservation efforts are vital to ensure the long-term survival of this species.


In conclusion, the Black-winged Lory is a unique bird species with blended behavioral patterns ranging from self-maintenance to sexual and agonistic behavior. Their seasonal sexual and breeding behavior and nesting patterns are fascinating to study, and communal breeding has proved an efficient way of ensuring the species’ survival.

Anthropogenic disturbance to their habitats and illegal trade pose significant risks to the bird’s continued existence, and concerted conservation efforts are necessary for the species’ conservation. Preservation of their habitat and the development of breeding programs will go a long way in protecting this delightful bird species from going extinct like other species that have gone this way.

In conclusion, the Black-winged Lory, or Eos cyanogenia, is a fascinating bird species with unique and impressive attributes, ranging from its striking plumage to its nectar

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