Weights and Measures: Lovebirds are about 13-17 cm in size, 40-60 grams in weight and
characterized by a small, stocky build and a short, blunt tail. This
makes them some of the smallest parrots in the world. The beak is rather
large for their overall size.
Bird of Many Colors: Many lovebirds are green, although color
mutations can feature many different colors. Some lovebird species,
like Fischer's, black cheeked, and the yellow collared lovebird, have a
white ring around the eye.
Genders and Feathers: Only some of the lovebird species are sexually dimorphic (meaning that females and males look very different). This includes the black-winged lovebird, the gray headed lovebird, and the black collared lovebird.
Just the Facts: Eight of the different Lovebird species come from the mainland of Africa. The ninth species, Agapornis canus, originates from Madagascar. In the wild the different species are separated geographically. Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat mainly fruit, vegetables, some grasses and seed. Black-winged lovebirds also enjoy figs.
Bird Bonds: Lovebirds form very close bonds with their mates, usually lasting for life. This is reflected by the lovebird's name in other languages: in German, "die Unzertrennlichen," and in French "les inséparables"- "inseparables." For this reason, many people feel strongly that lovebirds in captivity should be kept only in pairs. Others believe that lovebirds, like other parrots, are social animals who can bond with human companions when given a great deal of care and attention. Life span
is 10 to 15 years.
Lovebirds as pets: As with any
other pet, it is essential that one make sure the birds that one is about to buy were bred in captivity, and
not wild caught. Besides conservational and ethical reasons, wild caught animals are more likely to get sick and to die.
Lovebirds, especially when kept individually or brought up hand-fed, make very good pets. Lovebirds
can be very interactive with humans, and when comfortable around humans,
will willingly perch
on human’s fingers and shoulders. Lovebirds rarely talk, but there is a chance they may learn
to mimic human speech if taught to
at a young age.
A Fun House: Lovebirds are very active and require an appropriately sized cage. They require lots of toys and things to chew on and play with. Lovebirds are extremely social birds, and there is debate on whether they should be kept individually. However, the consensus seems to be that they need social interaction, be it with conspecifics or human companion, for their emotional as well as physical well-being. Without this interaction, daily exercise, a roomy cage, and many toys to play with, they may resort to feather-plucking or other behavioral problems. They love to take baths almost every day and may sun themselves after bathing in order to dry.
You Eat Like A Bird : Lovebirds require a variety of food, such as pellets, fruits, seeds, and vegetables. As a regular food, pellets are recommended, as the millet food generally sold in pet stores has too much fat in it and is not very balanced. Pellets specially made for birds provide a well-balanced diet. Fresh greens, such as spinach, are also extremely beneficial if not essential. (See Leaf vegetables).
Potential problems: Lovebirds are very vocal birds, making loud, high-pitched noises that can be a nuisance. They make noise all day, but especially at certain times
Curious Birds: As stated above, lovebirds are also very active, and love to chew things. When they are let out of their cage, it would be wise to watch them carefully, and protect any furniture, electrical wiring or anything else that they could possibly chew on.
There are a total of 9 different species:
* Grey-headed Lovebird, Agapornis canus
* Red-faced Lovebird, Agapornis pullarius
* Black-winged Lovebird, Agapornis taranta
* Black-collared Lovebird, Agapornis swinderniana
* Peach-faced Lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis
* Fischer's Lovebird, Agapornis fischeri
* Yellow-collared Lovebird, Agapornis personatus
* Lilian's Lovebird, Agapornis lilianae
* Black-cheeked Lovebird, Agapornis nigrigeni
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