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Red-headed Lovebird

Agapornis pullarius

The Red-headed Lovebird, also known as the Red-faced Lovebird, is a diminutive and vibrant member of the genus Agapornis. This charming avian species is adorned with a predominantly green plumage, accented by a striking red to orange coloration on its head, which is more pronounced and well-defined in males. The male's beak is a vivid red, while the female's is a subtler shade. Measuring a mere 15 cm in length, this bird is a delightful splash of color in its native habitat.

Identification Tips

To identify the Red-headed Lovebird, look for its distinctive red or orange head, which extends from the beak over the forehead to mid-crown, reaching the eyelid margins. The male's red beak is a key characteristic, contrasting with the female's paler red beak. The bird's green body and lighter green underwings are also notable features.


The Red-headed Lovebird is found in the lush tropical rainforests of Africa, where it thrives in the dense canopy.


This species has a patchy distribution across the African continent, inhabiting regions from Guinea and Sierra Leone to Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola, with subspecies extending to west Ethiopia and northwest Tanzania.


A unique aspect of the Red-headed Lovebird's breeding behavior is its choice of nesting site. The female excavates a tunnel, sometimes reaching up to 30 cm in length, within a termite mound. These nests are often found in trees, but can also be located on the ground, and are shared in colonies with other lovebirds.


In captivity, the Red-headed Lovebird presents a challenge to breed due to its specific nesting requirements. It necessitates a burrow for nesting, and the nest chamber must be maintained at approximately 27°C. Despite these challenges, they can be encouraged to nest in cork. This species is known for its skittish nature in aviculture settings.

Conservation Status

The Red-headed Lovebird is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that, at present, there are no immediate threats to its population numbers that would warrant a higher level of concern.

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Red-headed Lovebirds on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Craig Clow
22 Mar 2023 - 10:08am

More Old World Parrots

A photo of a Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)

Fischer's Lovebird

Agapornis fischeri
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