Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Rare Black-lored Parrot Seen on Buru Island, Indonesia

Black-lored Parrot
The Black-lored Parrot, endemic to Buru Island in the southern Moluccas of Indonesia, can fairly be described as one of the most difficult birds to see in the wild. So our group was thrilled to find a Black-lored Parrot on the second day of our visit to Buru.

Black-lored Parrot
 We were birding at an altitude of about 1050 metres on the fairly new logging track leading to Danau Rana, which runs off the Wamlana logging road, well-known to birders visiting Buru. A large green parrot flew across the road in front of us and landed perhaps 30 metres away in the sub-canopy. It sat there for several minutes, affording superb views, as can be seen from these images.

Black-lored Parrot
Interestingly, the bird was seen in the heat of a sunny day at about 1pm. This parrot is so rarely seen that until recently, it was thought to be nocturnal. A Black-lored Parrot was seen by Craig Robson's Birdquest tour in 2012 late in the morning, further suggesting that this species is not nocturnal. However, several parrots were seen by James Eaton post-dusk, also in 2012, and a flock was reportedly heard calling after dark last August. These images and those of Craig are believed to be the only ones taken of Black-lored Parrot in the wild.
Black-lored Parrot
The parrot was the icing on the cake of a very successful visit to Buru - see here - and elsewhere on the trip when we visited Seram, seeing Blue-eared Lory among other things, as well as the Tanimbars and Kai Islands.

This is the spot where the parrot was seen on the Danau Rana road.

The road is a little tough going in places. Certainly a high clearance 4x4 is need to get up there.


  1. Congratulations on the exciting sighting!

  2. Your article is very helpful thank you very much for sharing .

  3. Greg - nice sighting. If you have any other records of interest, or a trip report can you please send to Richard Noske (Bris - The Gap...), or Bas van Balen ( and we can document in Kukila - Journal of Indonesian Ornithology. thanks Colin Trainor

  4. Hi Greg, excellent report, though I would like to point out that my records of Black-lored Parrot post-dusk (several birds, with 1 bird seen well, as mentioned in Robson 2013) superseded Craig Robson's sighting.
    There were several Black-lored Parrots found at a nearby site later in 2013 by other birders also - seems the species is not as rare as previously thought.

    Well done on the Blue-eared Lory - still need that one!


    1. Again, thanks James, I was unaware of your observation so will fix that up. Greg