Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta)

Black-winged Lovebird

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Agapornis taranta | [authority] Stanley, 1814 | [UK] Black-winged Lovebird | [FR] Inseparable d’Abyssinie | [DE] Tarantapapagei | [ES] Inseparable Abisinio | [NL] Zwartvleugelagapornis | [copyright picture] Ian Fulton


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Agapornis taranta AF Ethiopia


Agapornis, an African genus of parrots allied to Loriculus of Asia, has usually been classified in nine species. Five species in the African lovebird genus Agapornis are the only parrots, other than Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), that construct nests. Four species (A. personata, A. fischeri, A. lilianae, and A. nigrigenis) build domed nests within cavities, and a fifth (A. roseicollis) builds a cup-shaped nest within a cavity. The other members of the genus have nesting behavior that is more typical of other parrots: A. cana and A. taranta nest in cavities that are lined with nesting material, and A. pullaria excavates burrows in arboreal ant or termite nests. Eight species are native to the African continent, while the Grey-headed Lovebird is native to Madagascar. Their name stems from the parrots’ strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods which paired birds spend sitting together. Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat fruit, vegetables, grasses and seed. Black-winged Lovebirds also eat insects and figs, and the Black-collared Lovebirds have a special dietary requirement for native figs.

Physical charateristics

It has a general green plumage, though a shade lighter on the head, rump, just above the tail, and the underside. They are sexually dimorphic lovebirds, meaning the male and female are clearly different in outward appearance. Males have bright red feathers on the forehead and narrowly circling the eye, they also have brown to black outer flight feathers, even as babies. The females head has no red and the wing feathers are green while babies, developing brownish black wing feathers like the males, as they mature.

Listen to the sound of Black-winged Lovebird

[audio: Lovebird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Rory Nefdt

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 23 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 45 days fledging max.: 50 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Africa : Ethiopia. Highlands of Ethiopia and S Eritrea.


Found from 1600-3800m (5248-12,464 ft) in highlands associated with montane forest, lower altitudes in grassy savanna and acacia, combretum and hypericum woodland; also seen in cultivated and some urban areas.


The Black-winged Lovebird nests in a tree cavity. The eggs are white and there are usually 3 or 6 eggs in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for 23-27 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 45-50 days after hatching. This species possibly breeds every month during the breeding season.

Feeding habits

Feeds on tree fruits, including figs and berries.

Video Black-winged Lovebird


copyright: Ron Hoff


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Trapped for local bird trade. Regarded as minor crop pest and may be target of chemical spraying used against birds.
Black-winged Lovebird status Least Concern



Distribution map

Black-winged Lovebird distribution range map

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