Black-cheeked lovebird (Everything You Need to Know)

Last Updated on July 27, 2022 by Ali Shahid

The Black-cheeked Lovebirds (Agapornis nigrigenis) are the most endangered species of African parrot. The Black-Cheeked Lovebird is one of the smallest parrots. Unlike most parrots, it does not speak. Still, they make a lot of noise and require lots of care.

In addition to this lovebird species, the masked lovebird, as well as the Fischer and Nyasa, belong to the group commonly known as “eye-ring lovebirds.

Although previously considered a subspecies of the Nyasa and Lilian’s lovebirds, the Black-cheeks have now been considered a distinct species. Read on for more information.

Habitat of Black Cheeked Lovebirds

Southwestern Zambia is home to the black-cheeked lovebird, which breeds along the north-flowing Kafue rivers and south-flowing Zambezi rivers.

The species has also been observed in Botswana, and some authorities believe they are extinct in Northern Zimbabwe, despite sightings of them there.

Besides Mopane woodlands, these lovebirds also inhabit Acacia woodlands and agricultural areas, where surface water is available regularly, as they require daily access to water as a diet. A flock of up to 800 may gather during the dry season.

Despite its fairly wide distribution, this species is threatened by a continuing decline of the small population within its highly localized range likely caused by the disappearance or gradual decrease of water bodies.


As they are smaller than parrots, they are 5.5 in (140 mm) long, making them one of the small species of parrots. Unlike their relatives, the masked and Fischer’s lovebirds, these birds are smaller. They have green plumage.

The forehead or the part of the head is reddish-brown or black. Their brownish-black cheeks and brownish-black throats, as suggested by their names, also make this bird stand out.

Under the throat is an orange patch that fades with time. There is a greyish coloration to this bird’s feet. It is known that these lovebirds have white eye-rings around their eyes. In adults, the beak is red while in young ones, it is orange, and the plumage is dull.


When kept with other birds in a big cage or aviary with other lovable pets, they can be very territorial, especially during the breeding season. The best way to preserve their tameness is to play with them daily.

These birds can do tricks if they are handfed and trained. Considering how docile they are, overcrowding might cause them stress. The high-pitched shrill noises they make can feel like an annoyance despite their pleasing temperament.


It feeds mostly on grass seeds that grow at ground level, but it also eats other plant matter, insect larvae, corn, sorghum, and millet. It is recommended to supplement the diet of captive lovebirds with vitamins and minerals in addition to quality seed mixes.

Veterinarian Recommendation is necessary before giving vitamins. Providing cuttlebones and mineral blocks during the year is also recommended.


Make sure you use a mist spray twice a week to soak your Black-cheeked lovebird. Regularly clean the cage and accessories as well as provide fresh water in the enclosure to ensure general hygiene. Keep all injurious items out of its reach because it becomes extremely adventurous when allowed to escape.


There is a lot of activity going on with these Lovebirds. Minimum cage dimensions should be 18″x18″x24″. You can also use a larger cage. For Black-cheeked Lovebirds to sit and rest, there should be plenty of perches in the cage.

To keep the cage clean, you should clean it daily. It is important to clean all cage components, including the perches, toys, food, and water dishes. The cage should be kept between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit, if possible.


The Black-Cheeked Lovebird is a member of the parrot family, but they don’t normally speak. Even though they can mimic human sounds, they commonly communicate by shrieking loudly.

They will chatter to other birds and even to themselves. They aren’t a good option for apartment dwellers due to their tendency to be rather loud.


This species does not appear to have well-defined reproductive habits, but it is known that the eggs lay about three to six eggs, after which the chicks remain with the parents for about four weeks before they depart.

Health problems

Health problems common to these lovebirds include respiratory issues, poor appetite, abnormal droppings, plucking of feathers, and drooping heads.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the price of black cheeked lovebirds?

The cost of a Black-cheeked Lovebird ranges between $90 and $150.

What do black cheeked lovebirds eat?

In addition to grass seeds and vegetable matter, black cheeked lovebirds are known to consume insect larvae as well.

What is the average lifespan of a black-cheeked lovebird?

Black cheeked lovebirds can live up to 13.75 years as captives.


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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