The Zambian lovebird that made its way into our homes

discoverafrica 14 December 2017
Part of the Zambia Safari Collection
Back to the Our Blog

The adorable black-cheeked lovebird is without a doubt the epitome of the Africa's avian diversity. A distant cousin of the commonly domesticated parrot, the lovebird boasts the same sturdily built physique complete with the characteristic screeching chatter that is synonymous with lovebirds. But that's where the similarities end. Unlike the parrot, this wild lovebird is well-known for its bright-green luster that is often complemented by a gorgeous dark brown head, a pair of milky white eye-rings, an olive nape, and a red bill that matches seamlessly with the bright orange patch on the bird's chest.


 

Before you start thinking about how much it costs to buy one of these birds, find out a little bit more about the Zambian lovebird here:

How it found it's way into our homes

If you're an avid bird watcher or have a particular interest in the parrot family of birds, you may be wondering how this exotic bird originally from interior Zambia has found its way to our homes in Europe or the United States. Between the late 1920s and early 1960s, the lovebird was heavily hunted and exploited for sale thanks to the booming cage-bird trade. The sweet, black-cheeked lovebird is highly averse to drastic climate change, which explains why only a few birds survived the forced removal from Africa to western countries.

The Zambian black-cheeked lovebird belongs in the wild, not in a cage

Endangered

During the beginning of the 20th century, the blossoming cage-trade of wild birds did not pose a significant threat to the then thriving community of black-cheeked lovebirds. However, the gradual destruction of natural water catchment areas in the 1950s and 1960s in rural Zambia greatly diminished the habitable grounds that could support the breeding of this bird. Around the same time the locals began to actively hunt down the bird after it started inflicting serious damage to sorghum and millet crops in farms next to the forests.

Fortunately for the lovebird, the worldwide ban on cage-bird trade in the mid-20th century saved it from further decimation. What's more, a series of deliberate and progressive efforts from wildlife conservationists in Zambia and South Africa has promoted the thriving of the remaining population. Even so, the lovebird is classified as 'Highly Vulnerable' on the global IUCN Red list, showing that the bird still has a long way to go to reach its former numbers.

A safari along the banks of the Zambezi is the best place to see the black-cheeked lovebird

Where can I see the black-cheeked lovebird?

The bird is native to South-west Zambia, more specifically within the catchment areas of Kafue and Zambezi rivers. A birding safari along the banks of the Zambezi is the best way to view these remarkable birds.


Some related info

Two weeks in Zambia - a holiday itinerary

Hailed as the home of the walking safari, Zambia is one of Africa's premier wildlife destinations, boasting impressive numbers of flora and fauna. If you'd like to experience an authentic African safari, then a trip to Zambia should top your travel wishlist. Here's a handy two week itinerary for a Zambia safari.  Spend four days in the Mosi Oa Tunya National Park Best time to…

WATCH: Zambia vs Botswana

Should you go to Zambia or Botswana? The choice depends entirely on the type of holiday you prefer. Both countries are extremely safe and have excellent wildlife and national parks, but each is suited to a slightly different type of traveller.   Which premium destination would you choose? Take a look: Take your pick:  OR If you're having trouble deciding, contact us for a…

Lodge Review | Tongabezi Lodge, Zambia

It might have opened its doors to the public just a few years ago, but Zambia’s Tongabezi Lodge offers both excellent service and the ideal ambiance for communion with nature. The lodge is located on the Zambezi Riverbanks near Victoria Falls and was officially opened in 1990 by the late Will Ruck-Keene and Ben Parker. Since its humble beginnings, Tongabezi has transformed into one of the…

17 reasons why you should visit the South Luangwa National Park

Known as one of the best places to spot leopards and wild dogs in Africa, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is a wildlife-rich African safari destination. The South Luangwa National Park is home to numerous large lion prides, with elephants, buffalo, zebra and puku in abundance here as well. If you’re interested in going on a Zambia safari, here are 17 reasons why you should visit…

5 reasons why you should go on a Zambia safari

If you're looking to get as close as possible to Africa's flora and fauna, then Zambia - the home of walking safaris -  is the ideal destination for you. Boasting the thundering Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World - Zambia is a wildlife-rich destination hosting more water than any other African country due to its wealth of rivers, lakes and waterfalls. If you…

The Zambian lovebird that made its way into our homes

The adorable black-cheeked lovebird is without a doubt the epitome of the Africa's avian diversity. A distant cousin of the commonly domesticated parrot, the lovebird boasts the same sturdily built physique complete with the characteristic screeching chatter that is synonymous with lovebirds. But that's where the similarities end. Unlike the parrot, this wild lovebird is well-known for…

You Might Also Like

 | Best of Zambia Safari

Best of Zambia Safari

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....

 | 10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

10-day wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Experience the best of the migration and wildlife in Kenya, then travel to Zambia to witness Victoria Falls, ending your adventure at Hwange National Park....

 | Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Botswana Luxury Safari and Victoria Falls

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...

 | South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...