Rosy-faced lovebirds, courting pair, Erongo, Namibia (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

14 February 2022

Happy Valentine’s Day!

These rosy-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) live up to their name in many ways. When asleep they perch side by side and turn their faces toward each other. When awake they touch beaks and allo-preen to show their care for each other.

In their native range in arid southwestern Africa they’ve just begun their late summer nesting season — February to April — by building a cup nest in a rock crevice or in a nook in a building or bridge. They also use holes in the massive nests of sociable weavers (Philetarius socius). The female does all the incubation. Her 4-6 eggs hatch in 23 days.

Rosy-faced lovebirds don’t migrate but they’ve been taken around the world in the pet trade. Escaped pets have established a thriving feral population in Phoenix, Arizona.

In Africa the flocks adjust their nesting season to match the period of most abundant food. I wonder when they nest in Phoenix.

(photos from Wikimedia Commons; click on the captions to see the originals)


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