Black-winged Lovebird (Everything You Need to Know)

Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Ali Shahid

Black-winged lovebirds (Agapornis taranta) belong to the Psittaculidae family and are a member of the Agapornis genus. It is commonly found in Ethiopia and Eritrea and hence is also called the Abyssinian lovebird. Unlike other parrots and Lovebirds, it’s not common to keep them as pets.

The lovebird genus shares sexual dimorphism with the red-headed lovebird and gray-headed lovebird. At around eight or nine months of age, juvenile birds begin to display dimorphism.

With this guide, you will find everything you need to know about the black-winged lovebird’s personality and how to care for them when they are in captivity. Find out more now!

Black-winged Lovebird Habitat

The Black-winged Lovebird, or Lovebird of Abyssinia, is an endemic species of Africa confined to the mountainous regions of southern Eritrea and southwestern Ethiopia up to 18,000 meters (6,000 ft) in altitude.

Birds in this region are sometimes known as Taranta since they occur in the Pass of Taranta in Ethiopia, where they are naturally found. These birds usually live in small groups of 4 to 20 individuals.


The black-winged lovebird has an average length of approximately 6 to 6 1/2 inches (15.5-16.5 cm). Although they grow smaller, their tails may become longer, making them the largest lovebird. This bird is twice as large as a normal hummingbird!

An Abyssinian lovebird, also known as the Agapornis taranta, is one of the most beautiful creatures on earth. It is interesting to note that the adults of this species of lovebird are sexually dimorphic, being green on the females and red on the males.

Black-winged lovebirds are green with green feathers on both sexes. They are known as black-winged lovebirds due to the brownish-black end of their wings. When exposed to sunlight, the male’s plumage takes on a metallic sheen.

Just above the tail, the green is slightly lighter. There is a narrow ring of red feathers surrounding his eyes, and a bright red forehead extending into his eye area. Its feathers are yellowish-brown on the cheeks.

Underwing coverings and flight feathers are sooty black, and the wing feathers are rich green. A blacktip and a yellow marking at the bottom of the tail make up most of the tail’s markings. His legs and feet are gray, and his beak is coral red.

Females are green all over, but their backs are darker. They don’t have the dark markings that males have. She has coral red feathers on her beak and gray feet and legs.

Unlike adults, immature birds have black underwings. As they mature, the females get brownish-black feathers instead of green ones. At the base of the beak, there is a hint of black. Approximately eight to nine months after their first molt, they attain adult plumage.


It is not acceptable for Black-Winged Lovebirds to live alone and do not do well if there are no other Lovebirds around. Preening each other is something most of these birds do throughout the day.

Their size makes them prone to aggression with other Lovebird species, so they require plenty of space within their habitat in order to live a happy, healthy, and conflict-free life. Moreover, this species of bird is very active and enjoys flying from branch to branch throughout its range.

They spend a lot of time sifting through fallen leaves and picking at weeds, thanks to their curious nature. Their natural stimulation is replaced by toys in captivity by replacing what is available in nature.


Abyssinian Lovebirds begin breeding in April and continue through September in their natural habitat. Chicks have been found as late as November, although nests with eggs have been found as early as March. The way they display their mating is quite fascinating.

Males will jump over and around females as well as shake and scratch their heads to keep them interested. She will tell him she wants food once she is satisfied. Using his crop as a spoon, he regurgitates food into her open beak.

It is the female who chooses the nesting area. For example, a hole in a rock or a dead branch of a tree might serve as a nesting site. These lovebirds typically roost in the same location for many years outside the breeding season.

Abyssinians are aggressive during the breeding season and fiercely defend their nesting sites against other pairs and intruders, even to the point of killing them if necessary. Nest building isn’t their strong suit, and they rarely use nesting substrate.

There have been nests found with bits of grass, bark, and leaves, as well as hen’s chest feathers. There are usually two or four white eggs in a clutch (rarely five).

Once the first or second eggs are laid, the hen may start incubating. The young leave the nest about 45 days after hatching. The incubation period lasts 23 – 25 days.


Although they can physically communicate, Lovebirds do not typically talk. You will rarely see a Black-Winged Lovebird speak actual words, since most mimic sounds such as whistling or a horn honking.

Mostly, Lovebirds do make noise and sing throughout the day, especially when they interact with one another. So, you may hear them tweeting, humming, and chirping frequently, especially during daylight hours.


Birds of this species eat a wide variety of foods. Apples and sunflower seeds are among the fruits they eat from trees, as well as figs and sunflower seeds. Lovebirds from Abyssinia feed on insects such as honeybees and termites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to keep Black-Winged Lovebirds in captivity?

Despite their rarity in captivity, this species has successfully bred in captivity and mutated into a few different colors in captivity. They are one of the rarest species of lovebirds and are not commonly kept as pets due to their price tag.

What is the lifespan of a black-winged lovebird?

An Agapornis taranta lovebird can survive in the wild for 20 years. It has been reported that these birds can live nearly 30 years in captivity.

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