Lovebirds - the genus Agapornis

An overview of the articles about the Agapornis genus

A pair of Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)

Here, in article form, the individual Lovebird species with associated subspecies from the very popular African parrot genus, Agapornis, are described.

The articles are intended as support for aviculturists who actively and seriously work for the preservation of healthy, pure-species wild-coloured Lovebirds in human care. It must be underlined,


  1. that takes its starting point from the recognized scientific species descriptions and not from various descriptions of the species that different bird associations/special Lovebird Clubs, etc., have made for themselves, and
  2. that - apart from a few exceptions - is not a forum for describing mutation birds.


For now, you will be able to read the following:

Please be aware of the following:

Naming the species and subspecies

As always, uses the "Howard & Moore's Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World", Vol. I, from spring 2013 as well as the latest version 4.1 (August 2018), "Errata and Corrigenda to Volume I", as the starting point for all published articles about parrots. However, this taxonomy primarily deals with naming species and subspecies in Latin and besides only assigns names in English at the species level, whereas the subspecies are not assigned separate English subspecies names.

In relation to the present article, the nomenclature in the published articles therefore instead is based on another source than Howard & Moore, namely the publication "2023 Deutsche und Englische Namen der Papageien, Akademie für Vogelhaltung", published in 2023 by Arndt Verlag (Berlin 2023_03-2023-06-05), which contains the most updated species and subspecies names in English (and German) based on the most recently adopted principles for separate naming of e.g. the nominate subspecies of each species. This decision involves certain issues, as Howard & Moore have assigned Agapornis pullarius the English name "Red-headed Lovebird", whereas the species by the Akademie für Vogelhaltung designates the species as "Red-faced Lovebird". Since the Akademie für Vogelhaltung has updated English names both at the species level and at the subspecies level, I have generally chosen to use the English nomenclature from the Akademie für Vogelhaltung.

Many readers will probably not yet be aware that, for example, the nominate subspecies of Agapornis canus canus is no longer called "Grey-headed Lovebird", but "Pallid Grey-headed Lovebird", and that the subspecies Agapornis canus ablectaneus is no longer referred to as "Bang's Grey-headed Lovebird", but instead henceforth referred to as "Dusky Grey-headed Lovebird". If, according to the new naming rules, Pallid Grey-headed Lovebird and Dusky Lovebird are referred to as one, then they are only called "Grey-headed Lovebird".

Jorgen Petersen

Conceived/Updated: 23.12.2009 / 01.02.2024