Funny colorful lovebird parrots live on the island of Madagascar and in the tropical forests of South Africa. They are very popular with bird lovers due to the fact that they quickly get used to humans. These birds got this name due to the fact that in nature they live in large flocks, but in pairs.
What do lovebird parrots look like?
Ornithologists today have 8 species of these birds:
- gray-headed (Madagascar);
- Fischer’s strawberry head (Nyassky);
- collared (green-headed);
- black-winged (taranta).
All lovebird parrots are very similar in description to each other:
- size is smaller than average (10-17 cm);
- the physique is dense;
- weight 40-60 gr.;
- large head;
- strong and powerful hooked beak;
- very short tail (less than half of a bird’s wing);
- the plumage color is dominated by green, but the legs, chest, neck and head can be yellow, blue, red.
The content of lovebird parrots
Those who breed birds recommend that novice lovers of domestic birds get lovebird parrots. Many are interested in the question: can one lovebird parrot live. There is a legend that these birds can only live with their mate, and if one of them dies, the other also dies of sadness. But this is just a beautiful myth. In fact, you can keep one bird, and if you take care of it correctly, then the parrot will feel healthy and cheerful for a long time.
The temperature of the content of lovebirds
The correct maintenance of lovebirds at home is to create comfortable conditions for the life of these birds. In order for them to develop normally, be cheerful and mobile, parrots must be kept in a warm, dry and bright room. It should not have drafts. Fluctuations in humidity and temperature can have a very negative impact on the health of birds.
In the summer, the room where the lovebirds live should be regularly ventilated. In winter, the room (aviary) must be insulated and, if necessary, turn on artificial heating. The optimum air temperature for keeping the lovebird is 20-22°C. Relative humidity during the normal period should be maintained at 50-70%, and during nesting 70-80%.
Cage for a lovebird
If you wondered what kind of cage is needed for a pair of lovebirds, then know that it should be so spacious that both birds can freely spread their wings in it. The best shape for a parrot house is rectangular. In a round cage, a bird’s spatial orientation may be disturbed. The optimal cage size for two lovebirds is 60x35x60 cm. It is good if it is located against the wall: this way the bird will feel more protected.
It is also very important what material the parrot cage is made of. It is better not to buy a wooden house, as wood is more difficult to clean and can become a source of infection. In addition, the lovebird can easily gnaw on it. The best option would be a cage with a plastic pallet and a metal top. The rods in the cage should be located at a distance of 1-1.2 cm, then the parrot will not get stuck in them. The doors in the bird house should close well.
What should be in a cage for a lovebird?
Beginning bird lovers may be wondering how to arrange a cage for a lovebird. The bird house should have the following accessories:
- wooden perches (it is better if they are with bark) with a diameter of 1.5-2 cm, you need to have several of them, and they should be located at different heights;
- the feeder can be internal or external hinged, although the latter option is not very safe for the bird; the container should be shallow and wide;
- the drinker can be installed both closed (which is more convenient and hygienic) and open, the water in it must be changed daily, and on hot days several times a day;
- bath for bathing – lovebirds love to splash in the water;
- holder for fruits and vegetables;
- bird toys – swings, ladders, bamboo rings.
Nest for lovebirds
Lovebird parrots at home can be bred in special nests or hollows, as they are also called, as well as in nest boxes. The last option is a variety of the well-known birdhouse. A hollow is a piece of a tree trunk with a hollowed out or carved core. The nest for parrots should be spacious, but not too big so that the birds feel comfortable in it.
Depending on the location, a bird nest can be of three types:
Experts say that the most convenient is the combined nest. It is spacious, like a horizontal one, and the female entering the nest will not damage the eggs lying there. And the grown chicks will not fall out of the vertical-horizontal nest. But such nesting will take a little more space than the previous two species.
Caring for lovebird parrots at home
These birds are very unpretentious, do not require special attention, so caring for lovebirds at home is easy. The cage should not be close to batteries and other heating devices. Drafts and bright rays of the sun are harmful to birds. Do not keep your pets in a cage all the time. They must be mobile and active, so let them fly around the room more often, and in the house they can only sleep, eat and bathe. With a sedentary lifestyle, parrots will begin to develop obesity, which will eventually lead to disastrous results.
How to feed a lovebird parrot at home?
Those who first ventured to take a feathered pet into the house are often interested in what lovebird parrots eat. The basis of the entire diet of these birds are grain mixtures. You can cook them yourself, but it is better to purchase ready-made ones that are well balanced and are more suitable for medium-sized parrots. An adult bird cannot eat more than 4 tbsp per day. tablespoons of grain.
Germinated grains of wheat and barley will be a delicious delicacy for birds. Fresh greens are very useful for parrots: young leaves of currant, clover, nettle, dandelion. They also need animal food rich in protein. You can give the birds chopped boiled chicken egg, bread with milk, fresh crumbly cottage cheese. Your feathered pet also needs mineral supplements. It can be finely crushed eggshell, fodder chalk. In a pet store, you can buy a cuttlefish shell for this purpose.
Reproduction of the lovebird parrot
Breeding lovebird parrots at home is quite possible if certain conditions are met for this:
- Choosing a partner – for monogamous lovebirds, this is much more important and more difficult than for other birds. The courting male carefully feeds his chosen one from the beak, gently sorts out her feathers. But if the pair has developed, then mating occurs quickly.
- The optimal breeding season is from February to May and from August to October. A lovebird can bring offspring at any time of the year, but in a hot period, as well as in winter, offspring can be born very weakened and it is much more difficult to nurse such chicks.
- Age of birds – healthy, energetic and active parents will have good offspring. Lovebirds become sexually mature from 1-1.5 years to 3-4 years.
- Equipped nest box – at the bottom of it should be placed a few thin branches of willow, birch, linden. The main part of the branches must be hung from the grate: the female will use them to equip her nest, which, when finished, resembles a mitten. It will take 2-3 weeks for the bird to nest. The female will then lay eggs and incubate them.
- The appearance of chicks – they will hatch blind and naked, their eyes will open after 10 days, and they will be covered with feathers by a month. Another month will pass and the young offspring will be ready to leave the parental nest. When the chicks grow up, they need to be transplanted into a separate cage.
How to determine the sex of a lovebird parrot?
It is difficult for non-professionals to determine the sex of a lovebird, because visually they differ little from each other. But how can you still distinguish a female lovebird parrot from a male? Ornithologists determine sex by the hip bones of a bird: in a female, the distance between them is about 1 cm, and in a male – 0.5 cm. Males are more accommodating and easily given in hand, unlike females, which are more mobile and grumpy.
Sometimes you can see that both lovebirds do not express a desire to build a nest, conflicts constantly arise between them. In this case, there is a possibility that the birds are same-sex. If you put a paper napkin in the cage, then the female will tear it into pieces and collect them for the future nest. But only veterinarians can accurately determine the sex of a lovebird when they take all the tests necessary for this, but these procedures are expensive.
How long do lovebird parrots incubate eggs?
Having laid eggs in the nest, the female parrot of the lovebird breed sits on them, warming them with the warmth of her body. During the day, she rolls them several times so that the heat is distributed more evenly. After a week, it is already possible to establish which of the laid eggs are fertilized: their surface is smooth, matte, with a gray tint. Unfertilized eggs have a yellowish tint and are covered with spots. After about 22-26 days, chicks begin to emerge from the eggs.
How long do lovebird parrots live at home?
Many owners are interested in the question of how long lovebird parrots live. With proper care, these small birds can live up to 10-15 years. Moreover, they do not have to be paired all the time. And a single lovebird, if he is provided with constant communication and suitable conditions, will live with you for at least 10 years. And if the bird dies, then this happens in most cases through the fault of people.
Lovebirds – diseases
Lovebirds can get sick, like all living things. Often this is the result of improper care or poor quality food. Lovebird diseases and their symptoms can be as follows:
- ornithosis – its symptoms are loose stools, shortness of breath, lethargy, convulsions, paralysis, the disease is dangerous not only for birds, but also for humans;
- salmonellosis is accompanied by diarrhea, high fever, lethargy;
- circovirus – a sick bird refuses to feed, becomes lethargic, diarrhea appears. In the chronic form, feather loss and beak deformation are possible.
- coccidiosis – in parrots, weight may decrease, there is a strong thirst, diarrhea, and in the future the disease may result in the death of the bird;
- helminths can occur in a parrot that is kept in unsanitary conditions:
- Downy-eaters are skin parasites that appear in young and weakened birds.
- obesity occurs as a result of overeating and a sedentary lifestyle;
- poisoning in parrots occurs due to poor-quality food or cigarette smoke;
- hypovitaminosis – the bird loses its appetite, it loses its spatial orientation.
How to tame a lovebird?
If you have taken a lovebird into your home, you should know that an adult bird is very difficult to train and will never become tame. Those who are interested in whether lovebird parrots talk should remember that you need to tame your feathered pet and teach him to talk from a very early age, when the chick has not yet flown out of the nest. A young parrot can be taught a few words.