Black-winged lovebird

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Black-winged lovebird
Agapornis taranta (female and male).jpg
Female (left) and male (right)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Superfamily: Psittacoidea
Family: Psittaculidae
Subfamily: Agapornithinae
Genus: Agapornis
Species: A. taranta
Binomial name
Agapornis taranta
(Stanley, 1814)

The black-winged lovebird (Agapornis taranta) also known as Abyssinian lovebird is a mainly green bird of the parrot family. At about 16.5 cm (6.5 inches) long, it is the largest of the lovebird genus, a group of small parrots. The adult male is easily identified by its red forehead, and the adult female by its all green head.[2] They are native to Eritrea and Ethiopia,[1] and they are uncommon as pets.[3]

Description[edit]

Male in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

The black-winged lovebird, with a length of about 16[3]–16.5[2] cm (6.25–6.5 inches), is the largest of all the lovebirds. It is sexually dimorphic, as are the red-headed lovebird and grey-headed lovebird of the lovebird genus. The dimorphism becomes apparent in juvenile birds after their first molt at about eight or nine months of age. Both the male and female black-winged lovebird are mostly green, and only the adult male black-winged lovebird has a red forehead and a ring of red feathers around its eyes.[2]

The tail is black tipped and feathers below the tail show a yellowish colour. The rump and feathers above the tail are light green. In the male feathers under the wing are typically black, and in the female the feathers under the wing are typically greenish or brownish black. Both sexes have a red beak and gray feet.

Habitat[edit]

The natural habitat for a black-winged lovebird is typically from southern Eritrea to southwestern Ethiopia and they normally live in either high plains or mountainous regions.

Behavior[edit]

Male at San Diego Zoo, USA
Female in Ethiopia

Food and feeding[edit]

Sunflower seeds, corn, apples and mission figs are typical of an Abyssinian lovebird diet.

Breeding[edit]

The black-winged lovebird nests in a tree cavity. The eggs are white and there are usually three or four eggs in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for 23 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 45 days after hatching.[3]

Status[edit]

Widespread and a common species throughout its habitat range, the black-winged lovebird is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

Aviculture[edit]

In aviculture the black-winged lovebird has not become well established as a breeding bird, although it can tolerate cold weather. Breeding in aviculture is on a small scale, so it is an uncommon pet.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2012). "Agapornis taranta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Le Breton, Kenny. Lovebirds...getting started. USA: T.F.H. Publications. pp. 88–89. ISBN 0-86622-411-4. 
  3. ^ a b c d Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 219. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.