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Lovebird

A loving nature... (other names: Agapornis)

Lovebird
origin:Africa/Madagascar
life expectancy:10 to 15 years
scientific name:Agapornis
distribution:Africa
family:Psittacidae
dimensions:13 to 15 cm
compatibility: agressivesinging ability: not very melodiousloudiness: loud
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History [ edit ]

Lovebirds have a very romantic name inspired in the way these birds sit: in pairs and close together. However, they don´t need to be kept in duos. They live happily alone as long as the owner gives them the attention they need.

This bird is quite popular because of its appearance. The Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis), the Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata) and the Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) are, of the nine species of Lovebirds, the most commonly kept as pets.  
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Temperament [ edit ]

Agapornis have the personality of a parrot: they like to play, they bond with humans and they have the ability to mimic the human voice, although they aren´t as good as Budgerigars. Lovebirds like to make noise in the morning and at sundown and this might upset the neighbors. Their not as loud as some other parrots but they vocalize a lot.

They are very active birds that get destructive or aggressive if left long hours alone.

They are feisty and territorial, so beware of when you put two together. This situation is only advisable when the owner can´t give the bird enough attention. 
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General appearance [ edit ]

Lovebirds are small parrots with short tails, measuring between 13 cm (Madagascar Lovebird) and 15 cm, (Peach-Faced Lovebird). Their life lifespan ranges from 10 to 15 years.

The different species can be identified by their color and some by their shape. Young birds have duller plumage.  
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Housing [ edit ]

Lovebirds are originally from the African Continent. As the active bird that they are, Agapornis need enough room to fly. 80 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm are the minimum required for a lovebird. In this situation the Agapornis needs to be released from the cage so that he can fly around freely.

They like to chew, so get a sturdy cage with resistant wood to house this little fellows. They need lots of toys and perches, at least four.

Different species of lovebirds shouldn´t be crossed - since hybrids are usually sterile and undesirable - or even be kept together, which may lead to aggressiveness between the specimens.

A good idea is to have a recipient with water for the lovebirds to bathe. They like to dry in the sun. However if the aviary is outdoors, they need shelters and probably heaters to tolerate freezing temperatures.  
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Diet [ edit ]

The significantly large bill in proportion to the body of the Lovebird is suited for eating seeds and nuts. However the diet of the Agapornis should be composed of pellets, fruits, seeds, and vegetables. Niger, silver millet, peas, peeled oats and canary seed mix make a good base. However don´t neglect the greenfood or the fruit. These should be given in small amounts each day to avoid diarrheas.
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Health [ edit ]

Plucking the feathers is the major concern in Lovebirds´ health. This is originated by lack of attention and boredom.  
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Species [ edit ]

There are a total of 9 different  species of Agapornis:

  • Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) – Probably the most popular specie of lovebirds. They have a pink face, green body and blue ramp. There are two mutation of this breed: a Pastel Blue colored and a Lutino. The fist one has a greenish to blue body plumage and a paler face. The dark factor of this mutation has white face and blue body. The Lutino has a vivid yellow body with a bright pink to red face. The rump instead of being blue, as in the other varieties, it presents itself in white. Other mutations do occur: pieds, cinnamons, violets or more recently, orangey faced ones.
  • Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata) – This bird has a black head resembling a mask, which gives it his name. The white eye-ring is very clearly observed in the Masked Loverbird, showing that this birds belongs to a sub-group lovebirds characterized by their nesting behavior. This bare skin area indicates that the nesting material is carried in the bill rather then tucked between the feathers. The hens are responsible for carrying the materials; hence this could be a good way of sexing the birds. There are some color mutations in this specie, although not as many as in the Peach-faced Lovebird. The yellow in the chest area and the green in the wings, underpants and tail are replaced by white and blue, respectively. This is an unusual mutation since it was first seem in the wild. Other varieties are starting to be bred, like the yellow and white form.
  • Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) – This bird belongs to the eye-ring group. They were originally bred in Tanzania. The Fischer´s Lovebird has a green body and an orange head that merges into yellow in the chest area. The ramp is blue with many different color markings. There are some color mutations, Lutino for example, but they are rarer then in the Masked Lovebird.
  • Madagascar Lovebird (Agapornis canus) – These birds rarely found outside Madagascar don´t belong to the eye-ring group and can easily be sexed visually. The cock is mostly green, light to yellow in the belly and darker tonality in the wings. Also known has Gray-headed lovebird, this Agapornis has white to grey head and chest areas. The female is all green, even in the head and chest. The bill is smaller than in others Lovebirds.
  • Abyssinian Lovebird (Agapornis taranta) – The cocks and hens can be easily identified. The males have red foreheads, while the hens have different shades of green all over the body. Cocks have also black flight wings which has nicknamed this bird as Black-winged Lovebird.
  • Nyasa Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae)
  • Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)
  • Red-faced Lovebird (Agapornis pullariu)s
  • Black-collared Lovebird (Agapornis swinderniana) 
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Handling [ edit ]

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