To all you lovebirds out there, Happy Valentine’s Day! As a gift for you and your special other, here are some of our favorite bird photos from the National Geographic Photo Ark, including a couple of real lovebirds.
In the photo above is a pair of yellow-streaked lories, Chalcopsitta sintillata, at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. A native of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, this lory is a species of parrot, common in its range and not regarded as Threatened.
Fischer’s lovebird, in the photo on the left, was once the most commonly traded wild bird in the world. Today it is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Near Threatened “because it has experienced a moderately rapid population reduction in its restricted range owing to trapping for export,” IUCN states on its website for the species. “Evidence of a greater population decline, or more detailed information about how hybridization [in the wild] with the [yellow-collared lovebird] Agapornis personatus is affecting this species, could qualify the species for a higher threat category,” IUCN warns.
Fischer’s lovebird is native to Tanzania, where it was once legally trapped for export. That trade has been stopped, but the lovebird has been introduced elsewhere in Africa and to other parts of the world. The pet trade breeds it in captivity.
The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multi-year project to photograph all species in captivity. The lovebird is one of them. To learn more about the Photo Ark, visit natgeophotoark.org,