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[FM]wapaklez
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PostSubject: Lovebirds..   Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:25 am

A lovebird (genus Agapornis, Greek for "lovebird") is a very social and affectionate parrot. The name "lovebird" stems from these birds' affectionate natures.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.


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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