Published: February 16, 2015

Bird of the week: Valentine's lovebirds

Real lovebirds, as in the genus Agapornis. This is a bird blog, after all.

There are nine species of small, beautiful parrots called lovebirds that are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa (plus one in Madagascar). They are highly social birds that mostly eat seeds and fruit. They probably got their Valentine's Day-appropriate name from their frequent allo-preening, where a bird helps another bird care for its feathers (see photo below) and from the fact that pairs frequently feed each other. These photos are of Rosy-faced Lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis), a species found in Namibia, northwestern South Africa, and western Botswana. There's a large feral population of this species in the Phoenix area as well.

Want to know what wild lovebirds sound like? Hit play!