Tag Archives: Rosy-faced lovebird

The Breakfast Club

Over the years we’ve belonged to a number of interesting clubs that have contributed greatly to our interests and hobbies.  Hiking clubs, birding and sports clubs and the like, but I think that the most rewarding one of all has been our very own breakfast club.  Like the others, this one has its share of members who come and go, but Rob and I, being the core and founder members, are always there to keep it going and wherever our path takes us we are assured of a faithful following, hungry and grateful for our contribution to their lives.  The members of this club are, of course, our beautiful avian friends that we feed every morning.

Long-tailed paradise whydah

Initially it takes a few days for the club to get noticed, but once the word spreads we are inundated with guests.  We often find them waiting even before we have opened our doors in the morning.  They get quite impatient too – if we are late delivering they set up a dawn chorus of chirps to remind us that they’re hungry.  It’s gratifying to see how popular our unofficial restaurant has become.


We get to know the little quirks and eccentricities of some of the regulars and that’s what makes a club like this so interesting.  It really broadens one’s knowledge of temperaments and dominant characters and personalities.  And when we move house we get to meet new and different friends and our next club is soon established and vibrant.


Here in Windhoek we have a wonderful pageant of birdies who visit us every morning.  Apart from the usual house sparrows and canaries, we get to see a number of very colourful birds.  And of course their plumage often changes with the seasons, so we also see them tranforming from their drab winter outfits and developing fine breeding feathers, then strutting their stuff in front of the ladies as they get more beautiful.


Because of the regular supply of seeds and bread, a number of southern masked weavers have built nests in the trees next to our fence.  We’ve been able to watch them rearing their babies and launching them into the world (sometimes with disastrous results!)  If we could offer crawling and flying insects as well we would have a much wider variety of birds to welcome to our space, but unfortunately that is a little more difficult than buying a packet of seeds or a loaf of bread from the local supermarket!

Southern masked weaver

Some of the birds we’ve fed here include :

Bulbuls, blue waxbills, red-headed finches, southern masked weavers, red-billed queleas, rosy-faced lovebirds, southern red bishops, long-tailed paradise whydahs, chestnut weavers, acacia pied barbets, shaft-tailed whydahs, laughing doves, speckled pigeons, pale-winged starlings, great sparrows, canaries, white-browed sparrow weavers.  (I’m sure there are a few that have slipped my mind!)


It’s delightful to start the day off watching these beautiful little creatures getting stuck in to their breakfast.  Kind of sets a peaceful tone for the rest of the day.  An added bonus is that we can photograph them too.





Bird of the week – Week 34 : Rosy-faced lovebird

I think that many people will agree that the Rosy-faced lovebird is one of the most beautiful birds to be found in Namibia. Unfortunately, as with many small birds, their beauty has resulted in them becoming very popular cage birds.  It is a fairly small bird, about 15 cm in length, and is very colourful. It is largely bright green, with a face, throat and breast that is rose-pink. The forehead and eyebrow are bright red and the rump is bright blue; legs and feet are grey; the bill yellowish and the eyes brown. It has a short tail, which adds to its dumpy appearance. Sexes are alike, although the red on the head of the males is brighter than that on the females.
It is classified as a “near-endemic” in the Southern African region, and its range lies almost totally within Namibia, overflowing a little in the north into Southern Angola and a little in the south into the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. They are locally common, preferring dry woodland areas and the woodlands that follow the watercourses in the dry countryside.
Lovebirds are very gregarious and occur in small flocks. Their flight is fast and for a reason that I can’t explain they remind me of a Spitfire! They drink regularly and several of the photos shown here were taken near waterholes.
Their diet consists of seeds and berries, and they can often be seen foraging through trees seeking out berries and even flowers. They are quite noisy birds that are often heard before they are seen as they fly past, screeching a shrill “shreek” that is quite distinctive.
Rosy-faced lovebirds are monogamous and are colonial breeders, building a cup-nest out of leaves and grass. Unlike most other birds, the female lovebird does not carry the material to build the nest in her bill, but tucks it into her rump feathers for the flight. Nests are built in rock crevices or in the chambers of a Sociable weaver’s nest (cheeky!). The female lays four to six dull white eggs and the chicks hatch after an incubation period of about 23 days.
The scientific name for the Rosy-faced lovebird is Agapornis roseicollis; Agapornis from the Greek for a lovebird and roseicollis from the Latin for a rose-coloured neck. Hence a lovebird with a rose-coloured neck. Well, it is the face that is red rather than the neck, but I suppose that is close enough.