Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

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Breeding biology and nest site characteristics of the Rosy-faced Lovebird Agapornis roseicollis in Namibia

Henry Ndithia, Michael R Perrin, Matthias Waltert


The breeding biology of the Rosy-faced Lovebird Agapornis roseicollis was investigated in its natural habitat at three Namibian localities: Claratal, Hohewarte and Haris. The lovebird nests in colonies often shared by Sociable Weavers Philetairus socius. Birds nested in trees at a mean height of 3.8m, on telephone poles at 6.6m, windmills at 11.2m, and artificial nest boxes at 3.3m. Acacia erioloba and A. karroo were most often used for nest location. Nest tree habitats had low density vegetation with short (4m) trees, mostly A. erioloba, spaced at distances of about 10m. No specific nest entrance orientation was chosen. Birds obtained nest materials from the bark of small branches, branchlets from the tips of branches, twigs, sticks, leaves and thorns of trees, predominantly A. karroo, A. erioloba, Ziziphus mucronata and Boscia albitrunca. Nine colonies, comprising 20 nests, were monitored every four days to establish incubation and fledging periods. Rearing and fledging of chicks was found to be successful in eight nests. Measurements of 18 young from four nests were used to monitor growth rate. Nesting success was calculated at 0.1, following the revised Mayfield method. Mean clutch size at laying, hatching, and fledging was 4.42 ± 1.7, 2.26 ± 2.1 and 1.65 ± 2.1 (n = 20), respectively. There was no significant difference in mean mass, nor bill and tarsus length of young that hatched first or subsequently, but a Duncan test revealed a significant difference in mean mass of young that hatched first or fifth.

Ostrich 2007, 78(1): 13–20

AJOL African Journals Online