Distribution: Across Africa and Madagascar
Latin Name: Agapornis
Height: 13 to 18cm
Weight: 40 to 60 grams
Talking Ability: Low
Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
The lovebird parrot is a small colourful parrot native to Africa that has become a popular aviary bird. There are nine species of lovebird and different crossbreeds have been bred in captivity. Perhaps the most popular couple of birds is the peach faced Lovebird and other popular varieties include the Fischer’s Lovebird and the masked lovebird.
They are one of the smallest of the parrot breeds with the lightest varieties standing no more than 18 cm tall and weighing in at a lightweight 60 grams. They have a somewhat squat and stocky build with short tail and a proportionally large beak. They are most often green with different colours depending on the variety be displayed on the upper body and face.
Several varieties display a white by reading. In some varieties the males and females have distinct patterns and colours was in others are indistinguishable.
With so many other birds being better talkers lovebirds are generally not kept by bird enthusiasts for their talking ability. Most will learn only a few if any words. It is a curious and playful characters that make them so popular. They will investigate and play with anything and everything in and outside their cage. They are exceptionally social and should never be kept as a single bird always in pairs or a group.
The form close bonds with both others of their own kind and the human handlers. They can be trained to do simple tricks I come when called to weigh the foot even to give kisses. They do require lots of handling and socialisation when young or they have a tendency to become nippy as adults.
They can be very brave even when such bravery is foolhardy such as trying to bully the family dog so be aware of this tendency and keep them safe. They are incredibly curious and this curiosity can often lead them into trouble so when they are having their out of cage time ensure they are well supervised.
In a warm climate day do best in an outdoor Avery weather have the room to fly and play all the time. If kept in an indoor cage the cage should be as large as possible with multiple purchase for them to hop to and from and lots of toys for them to play with. They should be allowed out to fly around for several hours each day both tall the exercise requirements and mental stimulation.
The lovebird without sufficient stimulation and entertainment is likely to become depressed and as a result they will exhibit behavioural problems. These can be at opposite ends of the behaviour spectrum such as extreme nervousness or higher aggression. They may resort to self-mutilation through feather plucking and will eventually become sick as the stress reduces their immune systems ability to fight disease.
They prefer their own kind and should never be kept alone. You may wish to try keeping them with other birds in aviary but be warned is often results in failure as they tend to be bullies to the other birds with a large or small.
Their beaks are continually growing so they need wooden toys to chew on to keep their beak from overgrown.
In the wild they will naturally bathed himself either in showers or puddles to be sure to either spray them with a water spray bottle a couple of times a week provide them with a water bowl in which they can bake themselves. Ensure they are able to drive themselves in a warm area as living in wet and cold can lead to illness.
Feeding your Lovebird
Your pet shop should be to provide a small African parrot specific feed either mixed seed and/or pellets. Be aware they will tend to pick out their favourite seed varieties first and leave the rest to its best not to continually top up their feet containers as you will soon end up with a full container and seed the day dislike.
They have high calcium needs so always ensure they have a cuttlebone or something similar to chew on. A dry seed and pellet diets is insufficient for their dietary needs and should be bulked out with fresh vegetables and fruit. Green leafy vegetables such as bok choy broccoli and carriage are ideal. Most fruits are fine except for avocados which are toxic to most parrots.
Sprouted legumes such as beans and lentils are wonderful but they provide a rich source of protein fat and fibre as well is nutrients from the sprouting seed.
there are moderately easy birds breed with females often spontaneously producing eggs regardless of whether the nesting box is provided. Assuming you have a bonded pair you need only provide them with a nesting box and some straw to make a nest and everything will likely follow a natural course.
They do tend to be rather noisy during breeding period so be aware of your neighbours if you intend to breed them when choosing the best spot for your aviary.
Lovebirds in Australia
Lovebirds are extremely popular aviary birds within Australia and as a result they are fairly easy to acquire. They make excellent pets either as aviary birds outside to watch for is indoor birds to interact with.