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A photo of a Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)
Black-cheeked Lovebird

Black-cheeked Lovebird

Agapornis nigrigenis

The Black-cheeked Lovebird, Agapornis nigrigenis, is a diminutive parrot, a mere 14 cm in length. It boasts a vibrant palette of green plumage, complemented by a reddish-brown forehead and forecrown. The cheeks and throat are adorned with a brownish-black hue, while an orange bib graces the area just below the throat, transitioning to a yellowish-green. Encircling the eye are striking white rings, and the feet are a subtle grey. The adult's beak is a striking bright red, whereas the juveniles display a more subdued orange bill.

Identification Tips

To identify this species, look for the loud, piercing shrieks that are characteristic of lovebirds. The juveniles can be distinguished from adults by their more orange-colored beaks.

Habitat

The Black-cheeked Lovebird is a denizen of deciduous woodlands, particularly where there is a perennial presence of surface water, which is essential for their daily hydration needs.

Distribution

Endemic to the southwest of Zambia, this lovebird's presence may extend to neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia, particularly in areas where their habitat conditions are met.

Behaviour

In the arid season, these lovebirds are known to gather in impressive flocks, sometimes numbering upwards of 800 individuals, as they seek out the precious resource of water.

Diet and Feeding

On the ground, these birds forage for their sustenance, primarily dining on annual grass seeds. They also partake in other vegetable matter, insect larvae, and cultivated grains such as corn, sorghum, and millet.

Conservation status

The Black-cheeked Lovebird is classified as Vulnerable, with a declining population due to habitat loss. This decline is attributed to the desiccation of water bodies, agricultural practices, hunting, trapping, fishing, logging, and diseases. The estimated population of mature individuals ranges between 2,500 and 9,999. Conservation efforts are underway, including action plans and the establishment of nature reserves to protect their habitats.

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