Black-cheeked Lovebird 14 cm; (in captivity) male 38 g, female 43 g. Forehead and crown dark reddish-brown, hind crown and nape yellowish-green, cheeks and throat blackish-brown with white eye-ring and red bill; upper breast orange pink; rest green, tail with some inconspicuous pale orange and blackish barring (sometimes concealed). Immature has black marks on the base of the upper mandible.
Sometimes treated as a subspecies of A. lilianae, from which separated by a 100-km block of unsuitable miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, and also on occasion lumped in single species with A. fischeri and A. personatus; perhaps best considered to form a species-group with all three. Monotypic.
SW Zambia, patchily from R Kafue S to R Zambezi. Unconfirmed reports from neighboring Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
Medium-altitude deciduous woodland, dominated by mopane (Colophospermum mopane) but only where adjacent to woodland dominated by Baikiaea plurijuga, Black-cheeked Lovebirds using mopane in the dry season, and Baikiaea in the rains. Usually within a reasonable distance of reliable water source, at which Black-cheeked Lovebirds drink daily.
Subject to some local movements, possibly seasonal in nature, and said to be annual in the Senanga district of Zambia.
Diet and Foraging
Seeds of Amaranthus, Rottboellia exaltata, Rhus quartiniana, Albizia anthelmintica, Combretum massambicense, and Syzygium guineense, and grass seeds Hyparrhenia and Eragrostis; also young leaves of Pterocarpus antunesiana.
Sounds and Vocal Behavior
The commonest vocalization is a screechy “krreek” or a disyllabic “chi-reek!”. When perched, utters a wide variety of chirruping and screechy notes. Large flocks maintain continuous twittering.
No clear differences with A. fischeri, A.personatus, and A. lilianae.
Agapornis nigrigenis (black cheeked lovebirds)
SOURCE: Alejandro Mola García-Galán
Nov–Dec in Zambia. Nest in large mopane trees. In captivity, a dome-shaped nest is built in cavities. In captivity: 3–8 eggs; incubation c. 24 days; nestling period c. 41 days.
Lovely video with Black-cheeked Lovebirds family in nest
SOURCE: Lazaros Zacharia
VULNERABLE. CITES II. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species. Decline (or inability to recover) attributed informally to replacement in the 1950s of sorghum and millet by maize (Black-cheeked Lovebirds used to be crop pests), although also to massive exploitation in 1920s, with a report of 16,000 being captured in four weeks in 1929 for the cagebird market.
The current estimated total is around 10,000 in two subpopulations, 6200 in S and 3800 in N. Present in Kafue National Park.