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  The Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis), is a species of lovebird native to arid regions in southwestern Africa. However, there are sizable feral populations in Phoenix, Arizona - which has as a similar climate. They are known to nest in palm trees and saguaro cacti. This is probably the best-known and most popular lovebird species here in the U.S. and maybe worldwide A loud and constant chirper, these birds are very social animals and will often be found in small groups in the wild. They eat throughout the day and take frequent baths. Coloration can vary widely among populations but females are generally darker and greener, males are smaller and brighter. Lovebirds are known for their sleep position in which they sit side-by-side and turn their faces in towards each other. Also, females are well noted to tear raw materials into long strips, "twisty-tie" them onto their backs, and fly distances back to make a nest.

They are a fairly small bird, 6 to 7 inches long. Wild birds are mostly green with a blue rump. The face and throatt 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.

They have a fun personality and are easier to tame than most lovebirds Their intelligence is equivalent to that of larger parrots- although most never learn to talk, but are able to mimic and imitate noises and whistles. They are known to be aggressive with other birds (and even other pets, much larger than themselves!). Lovebirds may pack the personality of the larger parrot, but due to their small size they require less space and are less noisy or messy than the larger species.

Lovebirds, being an active bunch, need some room to move in their cage. A cage approximately 24" W x 14" D x 30" H is a good size, but if you can afford it, the bigger the better. Make sure the bars are spaced no wider than 3/8" apart, otherwise your bird will be able to stick its head through the bars. Add a variety of perches, so your lovebird can exercise its feet to prevent arthritis. The perches should be at least 4" long and 1/2" in. diameter. A variety of different toys placed in the cage may prevent a pet parrot from boredom and loneliness. The parrot's chewing and playing may break some toys and small detachable parts may be dangerous to the parrot.

Peach-face Lovebirds may live over 20 years, provided they are provided with the nutrition and care they need, they 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 seed types.

Peach-faced Lovebirds get their name for their affection towards their owner or other birds. Lovebirds are very playful and love to have all the attention centered around them. If trained correctly, Peach-faced Lovebird will happily perch on your shoulder. All lovebirds are unique; they all have different personalities. Some are calmer than others, while some are extremely stubborn. One thing you will find in every lovebird is that they need companionship. If you cannot provide attention, you will be suggested to purchase another one. But be warned: If you buy two lovebirds, they may not interact with you as much as if they were by themselves. Two lovebirds may not get along, and may have to be separated.

Dangers and toxins

blue-green algae * avocado * Teflon * chocolate * alcohol * dog and cat saliva * household cleaners and detergents

 Mutations: A small parrot, the average adult Peach Faced Lovebird measures 15cm long. Since the Peach-face Lovebird is so popular in aviculture, numerous color mutations have arisen, including: Creminos, Lutinos, Orange-faced, Pieds, Fallows, White-faced, Violets and Cinnamons. The original Peach-face colored lovebird has a green plumage, a peach-colored face, a blue rump, gray feet and a horn-colored bill.

The Peach-faced Lovebirds are one of three lovebird species that are very popular, affectionate, and readily available. The others are the Masked Lovebird and the Fischer's Lovebird varieties. (They are listed below)

   If you obtain a hand-raised Peach-faced Lovebird you will have an incredibly affectionate friend. It is a most playful, intelligent, and amusing little bird. This small parrot is also an excellent beginnerís bird; being relatively hardy, easy to care for, a willing breeder, and reasonably priced.

   The Peach-faced Lovebirds are very social and love companionship. Their natural behavior is to live closely with a companion so are often kept with another lovebird. Though they make a very fine and affectionate pet when hand-raised, they will need a lot of attention if kept singly. Most are kept in pairs to satisfy their considerable need for constant companionship, mutual preening, and socialization.

It really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. There are few things to consider ...

bullet Biting: If not properly socialized, however, they will discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us". They can be very aggressive towards other animals (including birds), if they don't know them or are jealous of the attention they are getting from their favorite human.
bullet Noise: 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.
bullet Chewing: As stated above, lovebirds are also very active, and love to chew things. When they are let out of their cage, it would be wise to watch them carefully, and protect any furniture, electrical wiring or anything else that they could possibly chew on. They are not big chewers - as their prefered medium is "paper."
bullet Paper: They love to tear up paper -- especially when they are in the "mating" spirit -- which is all-year-round for birds kept indoors (not exposed to the seasons). I have learned not to keep important papers laying around - and even use it as a way to keep my lovebird busy.

 

Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri): This species comes from northwestern Tanzania, south of Lake Victoria. The sexes are similar in appearance, basically green, with light green on the underparts. The forehead, cheeks and throat are bright orange, merging into yellowish orange on the breast and nape of neck. The rump is blue and there are blue, orange, and black markings on the tail. The beak is red, the feet and legs gray. The irises are brown. This species is fairly common, breeds readily, and a number of color mutations have been developed.

Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata): Found in Tanzania, but is in the northeast, this species does not overlap the range of the preceding species. The sexes are similar in appearance. The head is a dark sooty brown. The wings are a dark green, the underside is lighter. The breast and the nape of the neck are yellowish and the flight feathers are black. The rump is a grayish blue. The beak is red, the legs and feet gray. This species is fairly often seen in captivity.

One of the basic keys to keeping your lovebird healthy is to provide the right kind and a variety of diet for them. The basic diet of lovebirds in the wild is seeds of various fruits and grasses, the fruit itself, various plants and some insects. Keep a cuttlebone or mineral block available to your lovebirds at all times as a good source of calcium. Keep fresh, pure clean distilled water for them to drink or natural string water. Do not purchase cheap seed, that is what it is...Cheap nutrients. Don't feed if it's moldy or shows signs of being fouled by vermin. Lovebirds husk their seeds before swallowing, but are not good at chewing the seed. Lovebirds do not always accept new foods into their diets readily, sometimes it may take up to 2 weeks or more for them to try a new food. Lovebirds love green foods and most fruits. Lovebirds will eat mealworms, maggots, crickets, various flies and any insect that normally lives on green plants. Ant eggs are a good source of protein. Acceptable Seeds/Grains: Millet, canary grass seed, hulled oats, niger seed, flax seed, sunflower seed, rape seed, milo, safflower, soybeans, rye, canary seed, whole wheat, whole brown rice, fennel, caraway, poppy, sesame. Don't overfeed sunflower seeds, your birds will picks out all the sunflower seeds first, and will eat them to exclusion of the others, this can lead to an imbalance in the diet. Acceptable Green Foods: Lettuce (not iceberg), green peas, spinach, endive, mango leaves, strips of kohlrabi, carrots, carrot tops, fresh corn, tomatoes, radish, red beets, parsley, dandelion, clover, chickweed, sprouts, watercress, broccoli, cucumber, dried peppers, and kale. Wheatgrass is a wonderful food for lovebirds as it is high in chlorophyll and a number of vitamins and minerals. Acceptable Fruits: Apples, pears, bananas, grapes, strawberry, raspberry, rose hips, pitted cherries, oranges, tangerines, kiwi, figs, melon. If you get dried fruits, be certain they are sulfite free. Acceptable Nuts: Shelled and unshelled peanuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, acorns, horse chestnuts. All uneaten fresh foods should be removed from the cages once a day. Uneaten fruits need to be removed after 2 hours. Be certain you thoroughly wash the insecticides/pesticides and parasites from the foods before you give to your lovebirds. Seed Mixes Purchase a mix that is fresh. Seeds should be able to be germinated and sprouted. Avoid buying at a pet store if possible, these mixes are commercially prepared in large batches and may sit around in warehouses or on the shelf for a long time before being purchased. If you ever open a bag of seed and detect a musty or mold odor, Don't feed it! As a general rule, seed mixes intended for smaller or junior hookbills, or a lovebird/conure mix is acceptable. Short term, a cockatiel mix can be used. Vitamin/mineral supplements are not necessary if you are feeding your lovebird a wide variety of foods and provide them with a cuttlebone. Never Feed These Foods to Lovebirds: Foods containing sugar, fast food items, greasy foods, foods high in fat, salty foods, chocolate, coffee or teas, colas, alcohol, or ice cream.

*I have tried to include as much information as possible with my focus on the Peach-faced Lovebird and it's different mutations, because that is what I breed.

 *I care about the quality of my birds and guard my reputation as a breeder, my lovebirds are hand-fed, and I will not let any bird leave my home without being fully weaned.                                                 

This page last updated 11/14/08

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