Foraging behaviour and feeding ecology of the Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis in Zambia

  • LS Warburton Research Centre for African Parrot Conservation, School of Botany and Zoology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South African
  • MR Perrin Research Centre for African Parrot Conservation, School of Botany and Zoology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa

Abstract

Foraging behaviour and feeding ecology of the Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis nigrigenis were studied in Zambia. The birds fed on at least 39 species, and food items included seeds, leaves, flowers (especially nectar), fruit pulp, invertebrates, bark, lichen and resin. Terrestrial foraging was dominant, whereas arboreal foraging varied seasonally and in relation to availability. Food preferences were varied and there was no dependence on a limiting or particular food resource. Foraging activity peaked in early morning and late afternoon. Foraging flocks normally comprised solely Black-cheeked Lovebirds but 40 different bird species were recorded feeding with the lovebirds at different times. Flocks favoured certain locations to forage but their clumped distribution within a highly localised range did not appear to be correlated with food resources. Implications of feeding ecology for conservation management are discussed.

Ostrich 2005, 76(3&4): 118–129
Published
2005-10-20
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525