Scientific name – Agapornis Nigrigenis.
The Black cheeked sometimes is confused with the Masked Lovebird ( Agapornis Personatis). Despite large numbers being imported into Europe in the 1930’s the Black Cheeked Lovebird is held in very low numbers in Australia due to the limited numbers being imported prior to the 1949 Australian Government import ban.
The Black cheeked naturally occurs in a small pocket in Southern Zambia, bordered by the Zambezi River in the South and the Kafue River to the North, unfortunately is noted as being an endangered species.
Description – one of the smaller Lovebird species at 140 mm in length.
Forehead and brow Rusty brown/dark brown, Beak Red fading to deep pink into a white cere. Cheeks, throat & chin are Black, back of the head Olive green. The mantle, wing coverts and rump are a dull green. Chest has a orange/salmon patch the lower abdomen is a yellowish green, with the tail feathers having a green tip with red/orange /yellow /black diagonal design. The eye has a white eye ring with a brown eye.
There are no visual differences between the sexes i.e they are regarded as being a monomorphic species and therefore DNA or surgical sexing is required to determine the sex of the birds.
Color mutations noted in Australia – Nil in a pure form.
Photo credit: Flickr