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Charmosyna papou wahnesi

Common Name: Wahues Lorikeet

Range: Mountains of Huon Peninsula (ne New Guinea)

Charmosyna papou wahnesi
  • this subspecies has red and melanistic (black) form, although latter appears to be extremely rare; red form as papou, but black to top of head extends to area behind eye and merges with black band to back of neck of nominate type; blue frontal edging much more extensive; yellow band across breast; lower parts black and without yellow patch; abdomen and lower flanks variably marked with green; middle elongated tail-feathers with yellow tips length of tail-feathers between 169 and 242 mm (6.5 - 9.5 ins).
  • Female as male, but lower back and lower flanks yellow.
  • Length: 42 cm, wing length 120 - 142 mm
  • Status: fairly common throughout and numerous in localities.
    Note: some recent literature alleges there is no melanistic form of wahnesi; this is not correct.
  • mountains of Huon Peninsular and Adelbert Mountains, Papua New Guinea.
  • Habitat: montane forest between 1,400 und 3,500 m; occasionally descends to lower altitudes as far as 1,200 m; below 2,000 m almost exclusively red form of stellae and goliathina; above that numbers of black form increase with altitude.
  • lively parrot, not so loud or shrill as many other lories; very active; hops sideways with both feet or runs along branches; not shy; imposing manner towards keeper; much enjoys bathing; playful; wrestles and rolls around; solitary birds play with pieces of wood and other objects, often while lying on back; susceptible during acclimatization; even later risk of fungal infection; therefore strict hygiene necessary.
  • Breeding behavior: breeding season probably from September; nestlings observed in October and November; possibly nests in roots of epiphytes; no further information available; egg measures 24.5 x 22.3 mm.
  • Breeding in aviculture: often achieved and not difficult with correct diet; breeding often begins in May; clutch consists of 2 eggs; parents alternate incubation, which lasts for 28 days; fledging period 56 to 64 days; young feed themselves after 2 to 4 weeks; should be removed before next breeding as they can damage eggs; several breedings per year possible; nestbox 15 x 15 x 30 cm; isolate pair for breeding as they can be aggressive towards other lories.
Social Behavior
  • in pairs or small groups outside breeding season; occasionally also mixed flocks with other lory species when foraging in crowns of flowering trees and bushes; active; hops along branches or climbs agilely; difficult to detect in trees, but during flight conspicuous and easily identified because of long tail; flight straight, but not swift and with audible wing movements; flies mostly low and in between branches of trees; soft, gentle call repeated during flight; when hopping along branches a quiettschip-tschip and when at rest or mutually grooming long drawn-out nasal tee-een.
  • ideally aviary at least 2 x 1 x 2 m; also tall birdroom cage 1 x 0.6 x 1.5 m; heep at room temperature; outside flight only on warm summer days.
  • lory feed of oat porridge, honey, pollen, brewer's yeast, vitamins and mineral supplements; various fruit (especially soft pear, peach, apple and grape); vegetables (cucumber, zucchini or courget) and greenfood; berries (rowan, pyracanthus, rose-hip); fresh branches with buds and flowers; plants crushed and sap spread on plumage; high vitamin A requirement.
  • Natural diet: pollen, nectar, flowers, fruits, berries, seeds as well as insects and their larvae probably consumed by chance.