Black-cheeked Lovebird

The Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) is a near-endemic species, mainly found in Kafue National Park and along parts of the Zambezi River.

They live in mopane woodlands close to permanent water supplies as they need to drink at least twice a day.

Black-cheeked Lovebirds ©Gediminas



Size:  14 cm 

These colourful solidly built lovebirds are bright green in colour, with an orange patch on their chest. They have a dark brown head, olive nape, bold white eye-ring and red bill.

They have a loud shrill, shrieking call.


In non-breeding season they congregate in flocks of up to 800 birds, feeding and drinking together in the early morning and late afternoon.

They roost and nest in cavities in mopane trees, breeding from mid-January to early May, with females laying six to seven eggs.  It is thought that each pair uses the same nest year after year.

They feed on seeds and will forage for leaves, fruit pulp, nectar, invertebrates, bark, litchens and soil.   They also feed on crops, such as millet and sorghum.


Population Size:  estimated at 10,000

Trend:  decreasing

Black-cheeked Lovebirds are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

In the 1920s and 1930s they were heavily exploited for the caged bird trade – a ban was placed on this trade in the 1930s.

They are considered as pests by famers as they feed on millet and sorghum crops. Their water sources are threatened due to lower rainfall and from more artificial water sources being dug, which have lowered the water tables, reducing the ground water supply and narrowing their habitats.