Agapornis roseicollis (Rosy-faced lovebird) 

Rooiwangparkiet [Afrikaans]; Perzikkopagapornis [Dutch]; Inséparable rosegorge [French]; Rosenpapagei [German]; Inseparável-de-faces-rosadas [Portuguese]

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Agapornis roseicollis (Rosy-faced lovebird)  Agapornis roseicollis (Rosy-faced lovebird) 

Rosy-faced lovebird. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]

Rosy-faced lovebird. [photo Callie de Wet ©]

The Rosy-faced lovebird is found exclusively in Namibia, but it is a popular cage bird worldwide, so escapees can be found outside its wild range. It lives in various types of woodland, often with rivers nearby. It eats mainly seeds, the rest being largely made of fruits and, rarely, flowers. It lives in noisy gregarious colonies, which use many different types of nesting sites. It lays 4-6 eggs, which are incubated by the female only, for 23 days. The female broods and feeds the chicks, while the male does all the foraging.

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to Namibia, marginally extending into the Northern Cape, south-western Botswana and southern Angola. It is a common house pet, so escapees may crop up anywhere in southern Africa and the rest of the world. In the wild it generally prefers mature woodland along ephemeral rivers, especially stands of Northern lala palms (Hyphaene petersiana) or a mix of Acacia, star-chestnuts (Sterculia) and corkwoods (Commiphora).

Distribution of Rosy-throated lovebird in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Food 

Mainly eats seeds, often foraging on cultivated land. The following plant products have been recorded in its diet:

  • Plants
    • seeds
      • Pennisetum mezianum
      • Achyranthes (burweed)
      • Acacia
      • sunflower
      • millet
      • maize
    • fruits
      • Rhus (Currants)
      • Commiphora (Corkwoods)
      • Ficus sur (Broom-cluster fig)
      • Albizia
    • flowers
      • Albizia
    • leaves

Breeding

  • Gregarious and noisy colonial nester, typically nesting in rock crevices, holes in buildings and communal nests of Philetairus socius (Sociable weaver). The interior is often lined with bark strips and grass leaves.
  • It lays its eggs from February-April, peaking from February-March.
  • It lays 4-6 eggs (3-8 in captivity) at 2 day intervals.
  • Incubation starts 1-2 days after the first laid egg, and is done solely by the female for about 23 days.
  • The newborn chicks are reddish, becoming grey as they grow older. They are brooded by the female, while the male does all the foraging.

Threats

Not threatened.

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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