Family Parrots (Psittacidae)


Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)


French: Inséparable à joues noires German: Rußköpfchen Spanish: Inseparable cachetón

Agapornis nigrigenis

W. L. Sclater

, 1906,

Muguzzi River, Zambia


Sometimes treated as a subspecies of A. lilianae, from which separated by a 100-km block of unsuitable miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, and also on occasion lumped in single species with A. fischeri and A. personatus; perhaps best considered to form a species-group with all three. Monotypic.


SW Zambia, patchily from R Kafue S to R Zambezi. Unconfirmed reports from neighbouring Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; (in captivity) male 38 g, female 43 g. Forehead and crown dark reddish brown, hindcrown and nape yellowish green, cheeks and throat blackish brown with white eye-ring... read more


Commonest vocalization a screechy “krreek” or a disyllabic “chi-reek!”. When perched, utters a wide... read more


Medium-altitude deciduous woodland, dominated by mopane (Colophospermum mopane) but only... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds of Amaranthus, Rottboellia exaltata, Rhus quartiniana, Albizia anthelmintica, Combretum... read more


Nov–Dec in Zambia. Nest in large mopane trees. In captivity a dome-shaped nest is built in cavities. In captivity: 3–8 eggs;... read more


Subject to some local movements, possibly seasonal in nature, and said to be annual in the Senanga... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. A BirdLife “restricted-range” species. Decline (or inability to recover) attributed informally to replacement in 1950s of sorghum and millet... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2020). Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 29 January 2020).