Agapornis nigrigenis (Black-cheeked lovebird) 

Swartwangparkiet [Afrikaans]; Poro (generic term for lovebirds) [Kwangali]; Zwartwangagapornis [Dutch]; Inséparable ŕ joues noires [French]; Rußköpfchen [German]; Inseparável-de-faces-pretas [Portuguese]

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Agapornis nigrigenis (Black-cheeked lovebird)   

Black-cheeked lovebirds, London Zoo. [photo wolfieman ©]

 

The Black-cheeked lovebird is a rare vagrant in southern Africa, as it has only been reliably recorded once, at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Its distribution is highly localised, with its population restricted to south-western Zambia (because of its small, localized population, it is now considered Vulnerable). It mainly occupies Mopane woodland, but also Acacia woodland and agricultural areas - it is never far from water. It mainly eats grass seeds, especially Echinochloa colona (Jungle rice), with the rest of its diet largely made up of leaves and flowers.

Distribution and habitat

Rare vagrant to southern Africa, as it has only been reliably recorded once, at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on the 9th of January 1997. Its distribution is highly localised, with its population restricted to south-western Zambia, mainly in Mopane woodland, but also Acacia woodland and agricultural areas - it is never far from water.

Food 

It mainly eats grass seeds, especially Echinochloa colona (Jungle rice), with the rest of its diet largely made up of leaves and flowers. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Plants
    • seeds
      • Echinochloa colona (Jungle rice)
      • other grass species found in Mopane woodland
    • leaves and flowers
      • Acacia
      • Albizia
      • Combretum (bushwillow)
      • Capparis tomentosa (Woolly caper-bush)
      • Boscia albitrunca (Rough-leaved shepherds-tree)
      • Syzygium cordatum (Waterberry)
      • Balanites aegyptiaca (Single green-thorn)
      • Colosphermum mopane (Mopane)
      • Kigelia africana (Sausage-tree)
      • Faidherbia albida (Ana-tree)
      • Erythrophleum africanum (Ordeal-tree)
    • leaf stems
      • Acacia nigrescens (Knob-thorn)
      • Sclerocarya birrea (Marula)
    • fruit
      • Ficus sycomorus (Sycomore fig)
      • Diospyros mespiliformis (Jackal-berry)
      • Phyllanthus reticulatus (Potato-bush)
    • bark
      • Combretum imberbe (Leadwood)
      • Albizia versicolor (Large-leaved albizia)
    • resin
      • Acacia arenaria (Sand thorn)
  • Invertebrate larvae
  • Lichen

Threats

Vulnerable, partly due to the cage-bird trade in the 1920s, although it is now under threat by human disturbance in its habitat.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 
 

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