Strawberry-headed or Nyas lovebird (Agapornis lilianae)... The main color of the plumage is dark green, the forehead is carmine red, the sides of the head and throat are also red with a slight yellowish tinge. The neck is strawberry in color, the nape and sides of the neck are olive green. Around the eye there is a wide, pure white naked "ring". The wax is light meat-colored. The beak is red, the upper beak is pink at the base. Legs are meaty or light gray. The female is slightly different from the male. In most cases, only their red color is slightly paler. This is the smallest of the "spectacled" lovebirds, and this is how it differs from the similarly colored lovebird Fisher. In addition, the green uppertail, which Fischer has is ultramarine, is a reliable distinguishing feature. Distributed in northeastern Zambia, from the upper reaches of the Shire River to the Zambezi River. Inhabits open spaces with small thickets of acacia and mimosa, keeps in small flocks, flight is swift and passes with a shrill cry. These parrots nest in colonies.
Orange-headed lovebird (Agapornis pullaria) also grassy green. The forehead, front of the cheeks and throat are orange, in the female with a yellowish tinge. The loin is blue. Flight feathers are black-brown with a green outer edge, the last secondary flight feathers are green, the underwing coverts are black, the wing fold is also black, the wing edge is blue, the rest of the feathers at the base on the inner side of the fan are yellow, in the middle they bear a red spot and a wide black band in front yellow-green top. The eye is dark brown, the beak is fleshy, the mandible is red, the mandible is pink. Legs are gray. The female as a whole is somewhat paler in color, her green color is yellow, the red color on the head is yellowish and takes up less space. The length of the orange-headed lovebird is 13-15 cm, the tail is 5 cm. Distributed in West and Central Africa: from Sierra Leone to the east and to the south of Sudan and Uganda, south to Angola. It inhabits savannahs, avoiding solid woodlands. Flocks gather for the night on low trees or bushes with a lot of din and bustle. Once chosen, a place to spend the night is constantly visited.
Green-headed lovebird (Agapornis swinderniana)... The color of the plumage is green, yellowish on the chest, a black and orange necklace on the neck, therefore they are sometimes also called necklace lovebirds, the lower back, loin and upper tail are ultramarine blue. Flight feathers and coverts are black with green outer edges. The upper mandible is black, the mandible is horny. Legs are gray. The floors are painted the same. Young birds lack a black band on the back of the head and a lighter beak. Distributed in Liberia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo and Zaire. The green-headed lovebird lives in tropical forests. In Liberia, they are more commonly found in groves of wild date trees, from which they primarily feed. They keep in small flocks, wandering through the forest in search of food, uttering a loud cry in flight, similar to the sound of a rusty door hinge not oiled with oil. The stomachs of these lovebirds are predominantly found in wild figs and rice seeds. After saturation with food, the birds fly to the reservoir and return to the forest to rest. Their flight is very fast, they move nimbly along the ground, sperm with their legs.
Black-winged lovebird, or taranta (Agapornis taranta)... The plumage is also mostly green. The forehead, narrow ring around the eyes and beak are bright red, the edge of the wing is black. The primary flight feathers are dark brown. The tail, like all lovebirds, is short and rounded. It is yellowish with a wide black preapical stripe, the end of the tail is green. The eyes are brown. The legs are brown. The female has a green head. Young birds are similar in plumage color to the female, have a brown beak. The length of the bird is 16 cm, the tail is 4 cm. Distributed in the northern, central and eastern parts of Ethiopia, where it inhabits mountain forests at an altitude of 1300-3200 m above sea level, for which it is also called a mountain lovebird. Due to their habitat in a relatively harsh mountain climate, these parrots tolerate low air temperatures better than other species of this genus. The black-winged lovebird rarely descends on the plains and keeps away from human habitation. They usually fly high, in small flocks, emitting a sharp whistle in flight, and climb tree branches with great dexterity. This species was first brought to Europe only in 1906. In a cage, these very pleasant, unpretentious birds are calmer. They are not as noisy as pink-cheeked lovebirds, they can be kept in the same cage with songbirds, in particular, I kept them together with rice, zebra and Japanese finches and did not notice that they were offended by black-winged lovebirds. They are rarely kept in cages, since their supply is limited, and they do not always reproduce, since the selection of pairs presents certain difficulties. If the pair is chosen successfully, then the female proceeds to the construction of the nest, the material for which are strips of bast, fresh bark, and stalks of dry grasses. There are 4-5 eggs in a clutch, which incubate within 24-25 days, young birds fly out of the nest at the age of 47-51 days. Young animals become sexually mature at the age of one year.
Gray-headed, or Madagascar lovebird (Agapornis cana)... The plumage is grassy green. The head, neck and upper chest are gray with a pearl tint, the lower chest, belly and undertail are yellowish green. The tail is wide with a light band in front of a green apex. The wax and beak are light gray. Legs are gray, sometimes with a bluish tint. The female has a completely green plumage. This lovebird is widespread on the island of Madagascar, it keeps in flocks, in which individual couples are constantly nearby. For the night, the birds gather on the forest edges, they sit tightly pressed against each other on date palms, fly to rice fields to feed, thereby causing significant harm to them. During breeding, each pair nests away from other gray-headed lovebirds.
Rosy-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) most often other lovebirds are bred in cages. The body length is 16-17 centimeters, of which 4.5-5.5 centimeters falls on the tail. Its plumage is grassy green: the forehead is bright red, the cheeks and throat are orange, the upper tail coverts are bright blue. The male does not differ from the female in color. The female is slightly larger than the male. The beak of adult birds is straw-yellow in color. Young birds that have just emerged from the nest do not have bright red and orange plumage in color, and their beak is brownish-black with a light tip. They get the color of adult birds at the 7-9th month of life. Distributed in South-West Africa, from southern Angola to the Orange River.
Many color variations of the rosy-cheeked lovebird have been bred: blue, variegated, fawn, yellow, olive green, white, gray.
Pink-cheeked lovebirds were first brought to Europe in 1860, and in 1869 a litter was obtained at the Berlin Zoo. Nowadays, it is the same domesticated bird as the budgerigar.
Pink-cheeked lovebirds actively defend their territory. During the breeding season, they may even bite the host. It is better to breed them in pairs in separate cages.
Black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)... The main color of the plumage is dark green. The top of the head is dark orange, the sides of the head and throat are black-brown, the area of the goiter is light red, sometimes with an orange tint, the back of the head, nape and sides of the neck are olive green. Around the eye there are "glasses", the eyes are brown. The wax is light meat in color, the beak is red, the upper beak is horny at the base. Legs are meat-colored, sometimes gray. The length of the parrot is 15-16 cm, the tail is 5 cm. Distributed in Zambia along the northern tributary of the Zambezi River and up to Victoria Falls. The black-cheeked lovebird was described in 1906 and brought to Europe in the same year. It is believed that this lovebird is easier than all other "spectacled" lovebirds to breed in captivity. Feeding, conditions of detention and breeding are the same as for other lovebirds. In a spacious garden or aviary, several pairs can be kept together.
Masked lovebird (Agapornis personata)... It has a very bright plumage color. Its head is black with a brown tint, which is more pronounced in the female, the wings, back, belly and short rounded tail are dark green, the rest of the plumage is bright yellow, often with an orange tint. Around the eyes there is a wide white ring, the so-called "glasses", which is a patch of bare white skin. The beak is red. The male differs from the female slightly in size. The length of the parrot is 15-16 cm, the tail is 4 cm. Distributed in Tanzania, Zambia and Northwestern Mozambique. Inhabits dry grassy steppes with separate acacia groves. Parrots keep in small flocks, their flight is fast and wave-like. They nest in hollows of acacias, where the female makes a dense spherical nest from pieces of branches. She wears nesting material in her beak, and not in plumage, as other lovebirds do. In the still unfinished nest, the female lays 4-5 eggs and incubates them for about 21 days. Parents take good care of their chicks, but those, even well-fed ones, behave very noisy and constantly announce their presence with screams. At the age of 35-40 days, they first fly out of the nest, but for about two more weeks they return to the nest for the night and are taken care of by their parents. After this period, they become independent and fly in a flock with other lovebirds.
The masked lovebird was first described by Reichenov in 1887 and introduced to Europe in 1927.
Fisher's lovebird (Agapornis fisheri)... The main color of the plumage is dark green, the forehead is bright red, the rest of the head and neck are orange-red, the upper tail coverts (upper tail) are ultramarine blue. The inner side of the fan of the flight feathers is black, the upper side is green. Around the eyes there is a wide pure white "ring", the eye itself is brown. Ivory wax with brilliant red beak. Legs are gray. Females differ from males in size. The length of the parrot is 15-16 cm, the tail is 4 cm. Distributed in the north-west of Tanzania (Lake Victoria), inhabits dry savannas with small groves of acacia trees. Birds keep in small flocks, flying from place to place in search of food and water. They nest in hollows, the nest is made from pieces of branches that are carried in the beak. There are 4-5 eggs in a clutch, which the female incubates for 20-21 days.
Lovebirds are small parrots the size of a bullfinch. The name of the birds is associated with a beautiful legend about the extraordinary loyalty of partners to each other. Indeed, lovebirds choose a mate for themselves only once and remain together for the rest of their lives. They often sit together and hug each other cutely. These are very beautiful, inquisitive birds that easily gained popularity among pet lovers.
Lovebirds are the most unpretentious of all types of parrots, but this does not mean that you can be careless about caring for them. Inexperienced maintenance can lead to illness and even death of the bird, so it is important, before buying a lovebird, to familiarize yourself with its habits and behavior, as well as the requirements for caring for it.
In this book, the reader is offered general information about lovebirds, the conditions of their keeping and feeding, and also describes the main stages of breeding of these birds in captivity. Disease prevention tips can help keep your budgie in good shape.
The lovebird's cheerful and carefree disposition will definitely make him a universal favorite. However, poor conditions can ruin the bird's character, making it gloomy, distrustful and irritable, sometimes even aggressive. To rectify the situation, you need to be patient and study all the available literature on this issue, as well as show maximum love and care for lovebirds. They easily adapt to new conditions and are firmly attached to their loving owners.
It remains only to wish good luck in keeping lovebird parrots and a lot of joy from communicating with them.
1. General idea
Lovebirds (agapornis) are parrots the size of a sparrow or bullfinch. They belong to the family of smooth-tongued. The name agapornis is derived from two Greek words - agapein ("to love") and ornis ("bird"). They received such an unusual name due to the special attachment of individuals of the same pair to each other.
In nature, lovebirds live in small flocks. Nests are built in the hollows of trees, and some species burrow minks like coastal swallows. Lovebirds really make their nests - from bark and bast. The female is engaged in the construction of the nest. She wears the material for construction (pieces of bark, strips of bast, twigs) in the feathers of her back or neck. The exception is females of masked lovebirds, which carry everything in their beak.
The homeland of lovebirds is Southeast and Southwest Africa, as well as the island of Madagascar. These parrots were brought to Russia in the 1970s from the GDR and very quickly gained popularity among birdwatchers. However, the adult lovebird is very difficult to tame, difficult to train, and never completely tame. If you take a lovebird while still young, before flying out of the nest, then it can become very attached to its owner, more than a budgerigar. Lovebirds can be kept alone, but for untamed birds, this is not very good. These parrots are unpretentious and tolerate captivity well, but they reproduce very poorly. They are fed with a grain mixture, as well as vegetables and herbs.
Features of the structure of the body
1 - beak, 2 - wax, 3 - nostrils, 4 - forehead, 5 - crown, 6 - nape, 7 - nape, 8 - small wing coverts, 9 - back, 10 - medium wing coverts, 11 - large wing coverts, 12 - secondary flight feathers, 13 - upper tail, 14 - primary flight feathers, 15 - upper tail coverts, 16 - tail (tail feathers), 17 - lower tail coverts, 18 - drumstick, 19 - metatarsus (tarsus), 20 - fingers , 21 - abdomen, 22 - chest, 23 - goiter, 24 - throat, 25 - ear region, 26 - frenulum
Lovebirds are characterized by very dense plumage, mostly grassy green in color. The head, neck and chest can be painted in different colors: pink, orange, red, blue, black, yellow, gray, etc.
Many types of lovebirds get their name from their head color. For example, orange-headed, gray-headed, etc.
The very head of lovebirds is quite large, the body is small, stocky. The beak is strong, thick, with a strongly curved upper part. Parrots can easily injure each other with such a massive beak, especially when mating or incubating chicks.
The beak color is yellow or red, depending on the species.
The body length of lovebirds is 140–170 mm, weight is 43–55 g. The wings are 90–100 mm long. Birds fly quickly, but not far, while screaming loudly.
Lovebirds have short tails - only 40–55 mm. The legs are short, but the birds run on the ground very quickly and deftly climb the branches of trees, helping themselves with their beak.
There are 6 types of lovebirds:
- pink-cheeked lovebird (agapornis roseicollis),
- black-winged lovebird (agapornis taranta),
- orange-headed lovebird (agapornis pullaria),
- masked lovebird (agapornis personata),
- gray-headed, or Madagascar, lovebird (agapornis cana),
- green-headed lovebird (agapornis swinderniana).
Artificially bred many subspecies of parrots - lovebirds, differing in color: blue, variegated, yellow, gray, etc.
In our country, the most popular lovebirds are pink-cheeked, masked and Fisher (a type of mask). Often found among lovers of black-winged and gray-headed lovebirds. The rest of the types are not very common.
Rosy-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)
This species is best bred in captivity.The birthplace of pink-cheeked lovebirds is Southwest Africa, an area from southern Angola to the Orange River. They were introduced to Europe in 1860, and the offspring were first obtained in 1869. Now it is a completely domesticated bird.
The rosy-cheeked lovebird has a body about 17 cm long, of which 4–5 cm falls on the tail. It weighs 45-50 g. The main color of the plumage, like almost most lovebirds, is green, but the forehead is bright red, and the cheeks and throat are orange-pink, which is why these birds got their name. In addition, the upper tail coverts of pink-cheeked lovebirds are blue. The beak is yellow.
The chicks are colored completely dark green, and at this time their beak is brown, with a light tip, starting from which the beak brightens and completely brightens by the 3rd month. A red stripe on the forehead appears by the 5th month of life, during the first change of plumage. Fully adult color is acquired by birds by the 8-9th month of life, when puberty occurs.
Rosy-cheeked lovebirds are very quarrelsome with their other brothers, quarrels often arise between them. Therefore, it is better to keep them in separate pairs.
The female differs from the male only in size - she is slightly larger than him. Sometimes the red color on the forehead of the smaller female, and the pink tint on the cheeks is paler.
Rosy-cheeked lovebirds reproduce very well in the cage. But it is better to keep them in separate pairs during breeding, because parrots, trying to protect their territory, can injure each other and even bite the owner.
The nest is usually built by the female. She hides small material for the device of the nest (pieces of bark, bast fibers, etc.) under the feathers of the back and thus transfers it.