Classification Order Passeriformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Agapornis roseicollis Other Common Names Peach-faced Lovebird
Species Description It is a fairly small bird, 17–18 cm long with
an average wing length of 106 mm and tail length of 44–52 mm. Wild
birds are mostly green with a blue rump. The face and throat are
pinkish, darkest on the forehead and above the eye. The bill is
greenish-yellow, the iris is brown and the legs and feet are grey.
Juvenile birds have a paler face and throat and a brownish cere. It
has various harsh, shrieking calls.
The diet mainly
consists of seeds and berries. When food is plentiful, it may gather
in flocks containing hundreds of birds. It can sometimes be a pest
in agricultural areas feeding on crops such as millet.
Finding a pair of these birds for breeding is not easy because their
sex is not easily determined. The sex can be determined by the
pelvis bones which in males measure 1-3 mm while measuring 6-8 mm in
females. The nest is built in a rock crevice or within a compartment
of the large communal nests built by Sociable Weavers. Man-made
structures such as the roofs of houses may also be used. 4-6 eggs
are laid between February and April. They are dull white and measure
23.5 mm by 17.3 mm. They are incubated for about 23 days. The young
birds fledge after 43 days.
Habitat It lives up to 1,600 metres above sea-level in
broad-leaved woodland, semi-desert, and mountainous areas. It is
dependent on the presence of water sources and gathers around pools
Distribution It inhabits dry, open country in southwest
Africa. Its range extends from southwest Angola across most of
Namibia to the lower Orange River valley in northwest South Africa.
Escapes from captivity are frequent in many parts of the world and
feral birds dwell in Arizona and London.
Captivity Peach-faced Lovebirds require a variety of
foods, including vegetables, seeds, and fruits; nevertheless, some
human foods are unsuitable or poisonous for them, including dairy
products, chocolate, cheese, avocado, rhubarb, and strawberries
(which contain trace amounts of carcinogenic pesticides). Perishable
food that has been placed in the birds' housing for more than 24
hours is also likely to be unsuitable. Grapes, carrots, beans,
squash, corn, millet, quinoa, and winterwheat are excellent foods.
They can also eat various manufactured food pellets and pastas.
Suitable seed and pellet mixes include a large array of different
Summary The name Lovebird stems from these parrots'
strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods of time in
which paired birds will spend sat beside one another.
Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat mainly fruit,
vegetables, some grasses and seed. Abyssinian Lovebirds also eat
insects and figs, and the Black-collared Lovebirds have a special
dietary requirement for native figs making them almost impossible to
keep in captivity.
Lovebirds (in general) are not known
for their talking ability, although there are some lovebirds that do
learn words - the females are usually the ones that do this. As is
the case when many smaller parrots, the "voice" of lovebirds is
high-pitched and raspy and it may be difficult to understand their
speech. 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 of day. They are also extremely active,
and love to chew things. It is wise to observe the birds carefully
when let out of their cage, and to protect any furniture, or
anything they have access to.
Lovebirds are notorious for
attempting to build nests, especially during mating season - for
this reason, loose material such as shredded paper and fabric do not
make suitable toys at certain times of year, as the lovebirds could
see it as nest-making material and attempt to mate. Breeding is not
something that should be attempted by someone without lots of
experience. "Huts" or hiding places and small enclosures are also
not good for the same reason. Female lovebirds are prone to
egg-binding, an often fatal condition in which an egg cannot be laid
as it gets caught in the reproductive tract. It is thought that egg
binding often occurs due to a lack of liquid calcium in the diet,
which causes a softer shell. To prevent this females, particularly
those kept in pairs, should be given calcium supplementation in
their water from a young age. Additionally, egg binding appears more
likely amongst younger birds; to avoid egg binding females in
captivity should be prevented from engaging in mating behaviours
until at least one year of age.
Lovebirds are also known
to be nippy and bossy. Although this can be seen as amusing and
endearing by many owners, some do not like it; a lovebird, while a
nice pet, is not for everyone. They bite very hard and love to test
their limits - if the owner does not set them early on, he or she
will have a bird that bites to get their way.
species of the genus are amongst the most popular parrots kept as
pets, and several color mutations have been selectively breed in
aviculture. Their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years.
Lovebirds vary in size from about 13 to 17 centimeters in
length and from about 40 to 60 grams in weight. They are among the
smallest parrots in the world, and they are characterized by a
stocky build, a short blunt tail, and a relatively large beak for
their overall size. Wild-type lovebirds are mostly green with a
variety of colors on their upper body depending on the species. The
Fischer's Lovebird, Black-cheeked Lovebird, and the Masked Lovebirds
have a white ring around their eyes. The Abyssinian Lovebird, the
Madagascar Lovebird, and the Red-faced Lovebird are sexually
dimorphic. Many color mutations have been produced by selective
breeding in the species that are popular in aviculture.