Parrots are just those birds that many people want to breed. But before you do this, you need to thoroughly understand their specific varieties. In this article, we will figure out what lovebird parrots are.
This genus belongs to the parrot family of the parrot-like birds. Lovebird parrots reach a length of 0.1-0.17 m. The wingspan is 0.04 m, the tail is extended by 0.06 m. The weight of the bird is from 0.04 to 0.06 kg. The head is relatively large.
Most often the pen has a green color. However, single areas (rump, breast, head and neck) can be painted in other tones. Occurs:
- pink and other colors.
The beak of a lovebird parrot is very thick and powerfully bent, it is distinguished by great strength. Therefore, bird bites can cause serious injury even to adults.
The beak itself is colored either bright red or straw yellow. The tail is not too long, as are the legs. This does not prevent, however, the parrot from moving quickly on the ground and even climbing trees.
Lovebirds live in the forests of the tropics and subtropics, there are also species that inhabit the steppe and mountainous areas. They are characterized by a herd way of life. The flight of these parrots is very fast and stable. At night, birds sit on tree branches, or cling to small knots. There are references that different flocks can fight for already occupied trees.
According to some reports, the birthplace of lovebirds is Southwest and Southeast Africa, Madagascar. Nesting takes place in hollows. There the birds only lay out the litter. But occasionally lovebirds are engaged in the construction of nests. Construction is very efficient.
To build a nest, birds need:
- small branches;
- grass blades;
- bark fragments.
It is curious that different species in this genus can carry the collected building material in different ways. Someone wears it in their beaks, and someone flies, delivering the same twigs under their feathers. The clutch is 4-8 eggs. Hatching time – 21-25 days. The name “lovebirds” is associated with the idea that if one of a pair of birds dies, the second one will soon die.
But this is more of a myth, it just takes some time before a new family appears. The flocks are relatively small, each including several married couples. Very often, lovebird parrots are pulled up to farms that provide them with food. Birds feed on seeds and berries.
The attitude of lovebirds to other types of birds is very aggressive.
The rosy-cheeked lovebird reaches a length of 0.17 m, while its wing grows up to 0.1 m. The tonality of such a parrot is very elegant, contains rich green tones. Behind the back has a slight blue tint. The name of the species is due to the fact that the cheeks, as well as the throat, are pink. The rich red forehead and yellow straw-colored beak look very attractive.
The tail feathers in the middle part are painted green. They are red on the sides and include wide black stripes. The terminal feathers on the tail are painted in a bright blue tone. Young chicks have a brownish-black beak, only its tip is lighter. At the same time, young animals do not have red tones.
In nature, lovebirds are often found in Namibia, Angola and South Africa. Although birds inhabit dry areas, they tend to crave water sources. In some cases, lovebirds settle in the walls of huts or under the roof. The rosy-cheeked species is more popular than others among breeders.
Most often they are kept in pairs. But at the same time, if you keep rosy-cheeked lovebirds one by one, they talk much more often.
The Fischer view is also quite popular. Such lovebirds are cheerful and energetic, while special difficulties in maintenance are excluded. Fisher’s parrot is slightly smaller than the rosy-cheeked one – up to 0.15 m. At the same time, its wings grow up to 0.2 m. The species got its name in honor of the German explorer of Africa. Since breeders are actively working with “Fischers”, these birds have an impressive palette of feathers. Yes, and the natural color of the pen is very elegant. The parrot is dressed up and even looks like a Christmas tree toy. Backs, bellies and short tails are green in color, diluted with bluish notes.
The neck and head are orange with a reddish tinge. The plumage of the chest part is lemon-colored. Expressive black eyes are surrounded by white skin. Strong scarlet beaks have a scarlet surface. The tarsi are relatively short and end in slightly blue toes.
Fisher’s lovebirds inhabit the savannas of northern Tanzania. Near the shores of Lake Victoria, they settled down firmly, even adapted to the change of dry and wet seasons. The abundance of grasses and low shrubs provides extensive material both for food and for building nests. Small parrots are grouped in flocks and only during breeding they settle in pairs.
Family unions in Fisher’s lovebirds are distinguished by enviable strength. Nests are built in trees or in rocky areas. Over the past 80 years, European ornithologists and breeders have managed to gain a fair amount of experience in raising these parrots in captivity.
In an ordinary city apartment, they live quietly. However, like the red-cheeked, they do not tolerate a bird of any other species – so here you already have to make a choice.
The masked lovebirds also deserve attention. They look very beautiful. Most often, the bird does not exceed 0.15 m in length. The tail accounts for 0.04 m. The wings of this species are up to 0.05 m long. The mass of an adult masked lovebird can reach 0.05 kg. The name of the species is given for the characteristic “mask”. Large brown eyes surrounded by dark feathers. The plumage of the mask variety of birds is painted in bright colors, among which green color dominates. In combination with the rest of the yellow feathers, a very attractive look is obtained.
A rich red beak helps to complete the look. Thanks to him, the bird can seem as colorful as the rainbow. When kept in a cage, the masked lovebird can live 10-12 years. Occasionally there are also older copies. In nature, the species inhabits Kenya and Tanzania, forming flocks of several dozen individuals. There, birds settle near water bodies and nest on low trees and bushes.
The main food is local cereals and fruits. The melodies emitted by the masked lovebird reflect their mood very clearly. The disadvantage of this species is the difficulty of training and training. You can teach something only to singles, but you will have to deal with them from the very first days. To some extent, learning is facilitated by a fairly high intelligence and excellent memory.
If a certain bird does not study well, it is not stupid, but simply capricious.
It is also useful to characterize the black-cheeked lovebird. It is similar in appearance to that of Fischer. However, the bird is slightly smaller. The difference is that black-cheeked parrots have an orange-red collar. Feathers on the head are painted in a light gray tone.
In terms of musicality, this bird is the most musical among its kind. But now she is threatened with extinction.
Liliana’s lovebird, also known as strawberry-headed, is extremely rare, since its export from its permanent habitat is prohibited. You can distinguish this species from Fisher’s parrot by the green rump. The color of ripe strawberries is characteristic of the forehead, cheeks and throat. The rest of the head and chest are light green, the beak is painted in red tones. Dimorphism is not traced. Liliana’s lovebird is very easy to breed and can adapt to a wide variety of conditions.
For those who do not need to acquire a well-speaking bird, you can purchase a black-winged lovebird. But the color of this species is not very attractive. In addition, it is possible to export birds to Europe only with strict restrictions. The green bird has black stripes above the wings and on the edge of the tail. The tip of the tail is colored green.
Red-faced, aka orange-headed, the parrot has a color in the tone of green grass. At the same time, not only the cheeks and forehead, but even the neck turn out to be red. The ultramarine rump looks amazing. These birds, with a black inner wing, love warmth. In nature, they inhabit termite mounds, which is very unusual.
The gray-headed lovebird living in Madagascar is characterized by powerful dimorphism. The species is considered the smallest in the entire genus. The plumage is quite pale. Parrots are quite calm, they are even distinguished by some timidity. At the same time, cold and humidity are very bad for birds.
Can a parrot live alone?
This question is related to the popular myth that it is unacceptable to separate a formed pair of parrots. It is said that this will lead to the death of birds from boredom. Even the name of the genus seems to be symptomatic. However, in fact, if you separate such parrots, they will live quite normally. And even with the initial loneliness, the lovebird lives well.
But at the same time, you can not leave the bird without control. Singles should be approached differently than couples. Single parrots require increased attention. During the first week, the individual will adapt to the changed environment.
Not only furniture and room configuration, but even sounds, smells can affect the parrot badly.
You should not think that after adaptation it is enough to feed the bird and talk to it. We need to communicate more actively. You have to play with lonely lovebirds – both in a cage and in free flight. If a parrot constantly lives in a cage, then it will not be able to fully develop. Regular exercise is also important to him.
To eliminate boredom when the owners cannot deal with the lovebird, use special toys:
- small bells;
If the lovebird became an “orphan” by force, after the death or other loss of a partner, he can:
- fall into apathy;
- be sad;
- pluck feathers.
Sometimes the way out is to change the pair. The main thing is that she should not be of the same gender. It happens that the second lovebird does not help. In this case, urgent veterinary assistance is required. He must examine both birds.
When one of a pair of birds dies from any disease (especially infectious), the second must be examined. And in case of death from an accident, the remaining bird should be given maximum care and attention. They try to communicate more with the parrot. Give him unexpected bright gifts and favorite goodies. When the owner is in the room, he must keep the cage open – the parrot may want to go for a walk.
It is useful to equip a new play corner. When the owner leaves the room, he must carefully, without violence, drive the parrot into the cage. The door must be closed. To make things easier, treats are used.
When such measures do not work, you should still try to create a full-fledged couple (this is an ideal way out).
How to tame by hand?
Let’s disappoint right away: full-fledged taming of lovebirds in the sense that they execute commands, like a trained dog or cat, is impossible. But it is quite possible to wean biting – if you find the right approach. Domestication in a more serious form is possible only for single individuals, especially if started from an early age. Breaking the established stereotypes of behavior in birds is very difficult. If a couple of birds live, then they will pay almost all their attention to each other, and they will pay attention to a person according to the residual principle.
Taming lovebirds takes a lot of time and at first it may seem that there are no results at all. First you need to deal with the natural fear of the animal in relation to humans. Only after complete addiction, being at rest, he will fully communicate with the owner. It is unacceptable to force contact in the first few days after the purchase of a new individual!
The fact is that at this time she is already adapting to a dramatically changed environment. Attempts to get close and communicate can be perceived as a serious, moreover, obscure threat. There is practically no chance to cope with such a reaction in the future. During adaptation, you need to limit contact with the bird to only necessary care. At other times, it is impossible to enter the room once again.
Be sure to close the door and exclude the appearance of noise. Some lovebirds are so shocked by the move that they are even afraid to use an unusual feeder. Then a certain amount of food is simply poured onto the bottom of the cage. This will allow, along with nutrition, to begin to establish contact. No one will name the exact dates, how many days or hours the adaptation lasts.
You need to carefully look at the reaction of the bird. The first sign that a parrot trusts its owners is its complete calm when they appear. To speed up the process, the animal is fed modest portions every 3-4 hours.
Conversations with a lovebird should be started in a low voice, with a benevolent intonation. Ideally, you should also communicate with him further.
Gradually, for taming, they begin to be more and more near the cage. It is best immediately after laying food. In this case, sweeping movements and loud sounds are unacceptable. Noticing that the lovebird began to live in peace, ignoring cleaning or feeding, you can try to deepen the contact. Important helpers in this case are toys and small pieces of delicious food.
Toys are spinning around the cage. The parrot’s favorite food is pushed through the bars. You can only put your hand inside if the bird has paid attention to the bait. It is strictly forbidden, with any degree of contact, to encroach on bird territory. This can be perceived as aggression, and an attack will follow in response.
As soon as the slightest displeasure, irritation is noticed, it is better to remove the hands from the cage. A second attempt should be made only after 2-3 days. When the birds still have fresh memories of what happened, a new contact can only provoke the consolidation of a conditioned reflex.
Each time it is advised to offer the parrot new items; the pinnacle of success is when he sits on an empty hand.
How to determine gender and age?
Knowing how to distinguish a female from a male, how to determine the number of years of an individual, is very important when buying lovebirds. Any one sign may be of little information and even deceptive. It is advisable to observe the bird for some time in captivity. The need to distinguish a boy from a girl arises even for those who intend to keep only one bird. Later it will be impossible to retrain her from one nickname to another; at best, it will take a lot of time and effort.
In addition, by placing parrots of the same sex in a cage, you will have to suffer all the time from their quarrels and screams. Usually, “women” have a larger body than “men”. They also have:
- less flat top of the head;
- higher forehead;
- less angular occiput;
- the head as a whole is closer to the shape of the dome and somewhat smaller.
The male beak is paler than the female and has a slightly pronounced central groove. In this case, an additional clue is a closer arrangement of paws. A big problem in assessing the sex and age of a wild lovebird is its aggressiveness. At home, the bird is shown to veterinarians. When buying, they go to reliable places, and ideally they go there with a veterinarian or connoisseur.
In size, the monthly lovebird is not inferior to adults and even old individuals. You need to look at the skin above the beak near the nostrils. In the first three months it is dark, and later brightens. An important clue in determining age is the color of the feather. It is only necessary to take into account the characteristics of a particular type. In general, an old individual can be recognized by:
- relatively small pupil;
- darkening of the paws;
- an increase in the number of scales on them;
- increase and thickening of the beak;
- sometimes by its detachments.
How to teach to speak?
When starting a parrot at home, many expect the bird to speak. It must be taken into account immediately that the lovebird is significantly inferior in talkativeness and clarity of speech not only to cockatoos, but also to budgerigars. It is impossible to get them to pronounce phrases, sentences. What is achievable is that the birds can say their names. It should also be taken into account that the voice of the lovebird has a high frequency, and its timbre is very sharp.
Success is achieved only:
- in a spacious cage;
- with good nutrition;
- subject to regular communication with the owners.
The parrot will speak loudly. This is a natural feature, and nothing can be done about it. It must be taught gradually. Long painstaking work will allow the bird to master up to 10 words. More cannot be achieved. It is important to understand: the development of human speech is a stressful regime for a bird. That is loneliness. Classes should be carried out every day, seven days a week, spending 40-45 minutes three times or four times a day. Train the parrot to speak at the same time. Training begins at 7 or 8 months (both earlier and later it makes no sense).
You need to wait about 12 months for the result. The first words should be with the sounds A and O. It is best if the name of the lovebird also includes such phonemes. When choosing a name, you need to choose only short words that can be clearly pronounced.
Noticing the success of the animal, encourage him with a portion of goodies or stroking.
Features of care and breeding
Lovebirds can be kept at home quite calmly. However, the right choice of an individual plays an important role. A healthy bird is different:
- smooth plumage sparkling in the sun;
- uniformity of the feather throughout the body;
- clear expression of the eyes;
- activity and curiosity.
A transport cage is used to transport birds. If it is not available, you can use a plywood box, in the upper part of which a hole is made. When delivering a parrot home in late autumn, winter or early spring, you need to use a bag. It reduces the chance of hypothermia. The best permanent artificial nests are made of nickel-plated steel along with plastic or plexiglass.
But it is better to refuse copper, zinc, lead, bamboo and wooden cages. The ideal shape is a rectangle with a flat roof. The space in the cage and the ability to push the bottom are very important. Between the rods should be 0.01-0.015 m. Since the birds come from a humid tropical zone, the air should be warmed up to 23-25 degrees with a relative humidity of 50 to 60%.
You can not settle lovebirds near hot batteries and heating equipment. It is necessary to provide normal lighting in the room. The window is hung with thin tulle to prevent direct sunlight from falling.
Drafts are strictly unacceptable.
Mandatory requirements for a good cage are:
- a pair of feeders (separately for dry and wet food);
- automatic drinker;
Dry food should be poured out in the evening with the calculation until the end of the next day. Wet food is poured in the morning, removed in the evening. It is necessary to wash the feeders before each new bookmark. The whole cage is washed every 7 days with hot water without soap. Change the bedding at the same time.
The diet is dominated by grains and seeds. If there is no desire to purchase store food, lovebirds are fed (per day):
- 0.15 kg of millet;
- 0.15 kg of canary seeds;
- 0.2 kg of oatmeal;
- 0.1 kg of sunflower seeds;
- 0.1 kg of pure oats;
- 0.1 kg coarse corn.
Periodically given as treats crackers, nuts. Be sure to apply succulent food.
Do not give parsley! It is necessary to find out in advance which indoor and field plants are dangerous for birds.
During the summer months, daily bathing should be carried out. During the breeding season, when the birds are incubating eggs, and also when the chicks have hatched, but have not yet grown strong, special care should be taken. The slightest mistake can lead to sad consequences. Excessive invasion of personal space will hurt parrots. There is no need to sharpen the beak. Instead of special tools, they simply give young branches of fruit trees.
The optimal time for breeding is summer and early autumn. Healthy chicks will be at air humidity from 50 to 60%. The temperature at the same time is from 18 to 20 degrees. A nest box is placed in the cage. A pair of parrots will produce up to 8 chicks.
Raising lovebirds alone is more difficult than keeping pairs. Lovebirds:
- quite sociable;
- make you uncomfortable with a harsh voice;
- may litter during meals;
- greatly restrict the freedom of the owners.
In the next video you will find even more information about lovebirds.