Agapornis nigrigenis is one of the rarest variants of this species. It is known as the black-cheeked lovebird, although in some Spanish-speaking countries it has also been called the inseparable cheek.
What’s his story?
In the early 20th century, in 1904, it was discovered in Zambia by Dr. Kirkman, who named it agapornis nigrigenis after the black cheeks that characterize this bird. They are often confused with the personatus and are not a very easy bird to find.
Although easy to raise, they are not so easy to find in stores. In addition, in captivity it is said that it is in danger of extinction by the few breeders who are dedicating themselves to its expansion, so that at present it can only be found in the African jungle.
Some rather peculiar characteristics
Although many say it may be mistaken for yellow-collared lovebird, it is actually quite easy to distinguish from the rest of the birds of this species. For example, its size is among the smallest of the species, reaching 13.5 cm, although some specimens have reached 14 cm.
The shade of the forehead and head is rusty brown, while the cheeks are darker, which is the reason for its name. Its neck is orange in colour, while its wings are deep dark green and end in black.
Its body, as a rule, has a greenish tone, brighter in the wings than in the abdomen. Its eyebrow ring is white, while its beak has a faint reddish hue and its legs are grey.
Knowing the age of an black-cheeked lovebird is easy thanks to the shade of its beak, which is orange when young. However, differentiating it from the female is not so easy, as it does not have sexual dimorphism. To know the sex, you have to look at the bones of the pelvis, which will be more separated in the female.
There are some variants that have mutated from this breed, which have yellow tones throughout the body of blue, but the original is green.
Raising him, how do you do it?
Although it is a very difficult variety to find, it is not entirely impossible and there are some specialist shops that sell it. Besides his character is quite friendly, unfortunately he is not as good a companion as the reoseicollis or the fischeri, but he has in his favor that is not as scary as the person. When you are in the cage, you do not care that there are other birds and you do not need the agapornis to be of the same breed. So you don’t have to keep him in a big aviary with other birds.
It is a bird that feeds especially on seeds such as corn, sorghum and millet, so it is good to feed it a combination of these seeds. She also likes to eat vegetable foods, such as salad as long as it is chopped. To complete his diet it is good to give him insect larvae, placed on the ground so that he can hunt them himself.
Your cage should be at least 60x40x80 centimetres in size, as it is a bird that likes to fly very much and needs plenty of room to move around if it is not going to be allowed to leave the cage. The distance between the bars should not exceed one centimetre so that they cannot get their heads between the bars.
It is not a bird that requires a lot of special care, but they are quite clean, so you have to clean the cage very often. Be careful not to place perches near feeders or drinkers because they can fill them with your feces.