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Gray-headed lovebird

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Gray-headed lovebird - Taxobox | name = Gray headed Lovebird status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 image caption = Male image w> Wikipedia

Unzertrennliche - Un | zer | trẹnn | li | che (n) 〈a. ′ Pl., Zool.〉 Angehörige einer Gattung kleiner, sperlingsgroßer Papageien aus Afrika u. Madagaskar mit starker Bindung der einzelnen Pärchen: Agapornis * * * Unzertrennliche, Agapọrnis, Gattung bis 17 cm langer, ... ... Universal-Lexikon

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Appearance, dimensions

The dimensions of the gray-headed lovebird are 13-14 cm, the weight is 25-36 grams. This is one of the smallest representatives of the genus. An alternative name is Madagascar lovebird, Latin - Agapornis canus. The male differs from the female in the gray color of the upper body, while in the female, the whole body is green. The wings of both have a darker color than the rest of the body. The color of the beak is gray. Chicks are similar to adults, with the exception of a small amount of green feathers on the head of males, as well as a yellow beak.

Two subspecies are distinguished: the nominal Agapornis canus canus (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) and Agapornis canus ablectanea (Bangs, 1918).

Home Content

When choosing and buying a cage for a lovebird, it is best to focus on models of simple forms. The size of trellised apartments should be chosen depending on the time the pet is inside - the more time the bird spends inside the cage, the larger it should be.

In addition, it will be necessary to place standard accessories in the cage - toys (there can be a lot of them, the number is limited by the size of the trellised house - they should not prevent the bird from moving inside), a drinking bowl (regular or auto-drinking), 2-3 feeders, a fruit holder, other accessories (swing , ladders, ropes). You will also need to buy perch poles - the main ones are made by wooden poles, rope, mineral and other varieties can become additional.

Gray-headed lovebirds are rarely found outside their natural range, due to export restrictions, as well as the high complexity of breeding this species at home. By nature, they are rather timid and distrustful, therefore this is not the best choice for those who want to get a manual companion parrot.

Here are some articles you should read if you decide to become the owner of a feathered pet:

  • Proper care of a parrot - here are considered the principles, compliance with which will help ensure the longevity and health of your winged pet.
  • What should be the feeding of parrots - the components of a healthy diet are described here. After all, only a diverse and rich diet can satisfy all the needs of the body.
  • How to tame a parrot to your hands is a simple and effective taming technique, based on 5 consecutive steps: identify your favorite treat (preparatory stage), interest in communication, offer a treat in a cage, offer in an open cage, invite your pet to come to you and take food from your own hands .
  • How to wean a parrot to bite - in order to understand how to avoid bites, you need to understand their root cause. The material discusses the causes of bites, as well as recommendations on how to act with bites in order to avoid them in the future.

Lifestyle in nature

The area is the western and eastern parts of Madagascar at the nominal subspecies agapornis canus canus and the south-western part of Madagascar at agapornis canus ablectanea. In the wild, they usually live in large flocks. They can raid agricultural fields. It should also be noted that this species of parrot is threatened with extinction.

Behavior and lifestyle

The forests of the tropics and subtropics are considered the birthplace of these domestic birds, while mountain and steppe subspecies are found. As a rule, while in natural conditions, lovebird parrots form numerous flocks and behave quite actively, while they feel great in the air, having excellent flight characteristics. The main activity is in the daytime, and at night these birds rest on the trees, securely clinging to branches and twigs. Between packs, misunderstandings may arise in the struggle for living space.

Need to know! The learning of colloquial speech of these parrots begins at an early age (one month), as adult individuals practically cannot be trained. In addition, in comparison with budgies, lovebirds memorize individual words much longer, so only a few manage to train pets to pronounce at least some words.

Lovers of domestic buddies should know that talkative lovebirds are a rarity, as they remember words with great difficulty. If there are several birds in the house, then all the training efforts will be in vain, so you should not even study them.

Despite this fact, some birds, subject to persistence and patience of the owner, still manage to learn up to a dozen words. Tamed lovebirds are very active, communicating with all members of the family, and with each other. They are loyal to their masters and are very bored, remaining alone.

Collared Lovebirds (Agapornis swindernianus)

They differ in small sizes within 13 cm with a tail, up to 3 cm long. The main color of the subspecies is green, while the neck is distinguished by black color with the presence of an “orange” necklace on it. The area of ​​the chest is yellow, and the area of ​​the suprahicle is ultramarine or blue. The beak of the bird is dark, almost black.

Lovebirds of Liliana (Agapornis lilianae)

They have almost the same body size or slightly larger. The main color is similar to the pink-cheeked lovebirds, but the head and throat area are distinguished by a brighter color. Basically, the upper body is greener, and the lower is painted in lighter shades. The beak of a bird is red. It is almost impossible to distinguish a female from a male.

Mask Lovebirds (Agapornis personatus)

They grow to a length of 15 cm, and the length of their tail is 4 cm. The parrots of this subspecies have a rather bright and beautiful color of plumage, while the back, tail, belly and wings are green in color, and the head is black, interspersed with brown tones. The main color of the plumage is considered orange-yellow. The color of the beak is red, as well as the complete absence of sexual dimorphism.

Red-faced lovebirds (Agapornis pullarius)

They also have a body length of 15 cm and a tail length of 5 cm. The main color of the plumage is grassy green, while the area of ​​the throat, cheeks, nape and forehead are painted in bright orange. Females from males can be distinguished by the head of an orange color and the general coloring made in yellowish-green tones.

Pink-cheeked lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis)

They are characterized by a slightly longer body length (almost 17 cm) and a wingspan of up to 20 cm. Adult individuals weigh up to 60 grams. This subspecies has a rather attractive body color, which has intense green tones with a bluish tint. The throat and cheeks are pink and the forehead is bright red. The beak is straw yellow. Males differ in somewhat smaller sizes, but their coloring is more vivid and attractive.

Black-cheeked lovebirds (Agapornis nigrigenis)

They are characterized by average body sizes, within 14 cm. In appearance, they are similar to mask lovebirds, with some differences expressed by the color of the plumage on the head (gray), as well as the upper chest, painted in a red-orange hue.

All subspecies of lovebirds differ among themselves not only in appearance, but also in natural habitats.

Natural habitats

The territories of countries such as Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Tanzania, as well as the territory of the island of Sao Tome are the natural habitat of red-faced lovebirds. Here they can be found in small groups within the felling area, as well as at the edges of the forest. Within countries such as Angola, South Africa and Namibia, pink-cheeked lovebirds are found. For gray-headed lovebirds, the natural habitat is forest plantations, palm groves and date plantations of the islands of Madagascar and Seychelles, as well as Zanzibar and Mauritius.

Fisher’s lovebirds prefer to settle in Northern Tanzania, choosing the limits of the savannah, as well as within Lake Victoria. In the mountain rainforests of Eritrea and Ethiopia, black-winged lovebirds prefer to settle.

Black-cheeked lovebirds are found in northern Tanzania, and the territory of West and Central Africa serves as a haven for collar lovebirds. In the acacia savannah of eastern Zambia, a subspecies of the lovebird Liliana lives. They are also not a problem to meet in the north of Mozambique and in the south of Tanzania. Such a subspecies as masked lovebirds represents numerous populations in Kenya and Tanzania.

Keeping a lovebird at home

These pets are not difficult to maintain, so this process is available to all novice bird lovers. The most important thing is to choose the right cage, equip it and organize proper nutrition for the birds, as well as regularly carry out preventive measures.

Buying Tips

Choosing a healthy lovebird for yourself is not so simple, because when a person approaches, even a sick bird is able to come to life, as it were, giving the impression of a very healthy bird. If a person has no experience, then it is better to put this procedure on the shoulders of a specialist. The bird should be active and cheerful, while the plumage should be smooth and brilliant. In addition, you should pay attention to such points:

  • Feathers should fit snugly to the body.
  • The feathers near the cloaca should not be stuck together.
  • In the area of ​​the abdomen, there should be a thin but noticeable layer of subcutaneous fat.
  • Voice voiced without a characteristic hoarseness.
  • The beak is strongly curved, strong and symmetrical.
  • The color of the legs should be uniform.
  • There should not be any growths, spots or peeling on the paws.
  • Claws homogeneous and glossy.
  • Eye color is clean and sparkling.

As a rule, up to six months, the color of individuals is not so intense and bright. After the first molt, after 6 months, the birds acquire an attractive, bright color of plumage. Buying lovebirds in markets or in questionable pet stores is not recommended, as you can purchase weak, sick, or old individuals.

Specialists advise purchasing parrots only from well-known breeders who have extensive experience in breeding exotic domestic birds.

Cell device filling

The bird cage should be spacious enough to allow the birds to spread their wings or even fly from perch to perch. When choosing, you should give preference to a cell with a nickel-plated coating, as well as additional elements from organic glass and plastic. It is undesirable to purchase galvanized or copper cages, with additional elements from lead, bamboo and wood. These metals can be poisonous to birds, and bamboo and wood do not differ in durability, as well as acceptable hygiene.

In addition, it is better to choose rectangular models with a flat lid and a retractable bottom, making it easy to serve the cage. The distance between the rods of the cell should not be more than 1.5 centimeters. To keep one parrot, it is enough to get a cage measuring 80x30x40 cm, and for keeping two parrots its size should be no less than 100x40x50 cm.The cage should be installed in a well-lit place, but without direct sunlight, and without drafts. The height of the cell from the floor is about 165 cm.

An important point! It is advisable that the cage door is always open, which allows the parrot to feel free and comfortable. At any time, the bird can fly into its rest house. The only problem is the presence of a cat in the house, who will not miss the opportunity to catch a bird.

A layer of wood sawdust should be present at the bottom of the cell. Before using them for their intended purpose, the sawdust is washed, sifted and amenable to heat treatment, placed in the oven. In addition to sawdust, it is permissible to use sifted clean river sand that has undergone the same treatment.

In the cage, you need to install a couple of feeders, a car-drinker and a small bathtub for birds to take water procedures, because they love it very much. At a certain height from the bottom, a pair of tree poles should be fixed, which are updated from time to time. As additional elements, you can fix something like rings, ladders, ropes or swings, if possible and if the size of the cell allows.

What to feed

The optimal diet for lovebirds should consist of ready-made feed mixtures of foreign manufacturers, since domestic feed does not meet the basic requirements. It is very important that the parrots are provided with greenery without restrictions. For this, dandelions, carrot tops, clover, etc. are suitable.

In addition, a balanced diet should include fruits, berries, as well as various vegetables. At the same time, it is not recommended to feed these birds with mango, papaya, persimmon and avocado, as they can harm the health of lovebirds. So that birds can grind their beak, parrots can be given young branches of various fruit trees.

Care Features

The rules of care are not difficult, but a number of recommendations still have to be followed. Tips are as follows:

  • The amount of feed should be such that there is enough food for the birds for a day. It is advisable to fill them with feeders in the evening.
  • If the feed is wet, then they are given in the morning, but at night they are removed from the cage.
  • The feeders are washed and wiped with a dry rag every day, and before filling them with a new portion of food.
  • Fresh and clean water is poured only into a clean car drink, which is washed 2 times a week.

Once a week, the parrot house is washed with hot water and soap, after which it is wiped dry and dried. The litter also changes at the time of cleaning in the cage once a week.

Diseases and their prevention

Lovebirds parrots suffer from various types of ailments, including parasitic and infectious. The problems of these birds include:

  • Too large claws and beak.
  • Getting injured as a result of moving around the apartment.
  • Avitaminosis.
  • Swelling of the eyelids.
  • Poisoning of various origins.
  • Overweight and shortness of breath.
  • Problems with oviposition.
  • Continuous molting process.
  • Swelling of the joints, as well as gout.
  • Sore throat.
  • Problems with the digestive tract, including the result of the vital activity of parasites, including cocciriosis.
  • Helminth infection.
  • Anemia.
  • The presence of fluff and peroids.
  • The presence of a bird tick.
  • Viral PBFD.
  • Salmonellosis.
  • Psittacosis.
  • Aspergillosis.
  • Escherichiosis.

The likelihood of a particular problem depending on how much preventative measures are being implemented. Such measures include mandatory quarantine measures for newly acquired individuals, regular and high-quality disinfection of the cell, the use of clean, settled water, the right choice of diet, and regular cleaning of the tray.

Propagation at home

Lovebird parrots, given the fact that the forests of the equatorial zone are considered their homeland, can mate year-round, but summer and early autumn are considered the most optimal period. This is due to a sufficient amount of food supply and a sufficient duration of daylight hours.

Healthy offspring can be obtained only if the room will be maintained at a humidity level of 50-60 percent, as well as a temperature in the range of 18-20 degrees.

An interesting moment! Despite the fact that a nest house will be installed in the cage, the female herself will begin to build a nest from improvised materials, including small twigs.

After mating, about one week later, the female begins to lay eggs. Their number can be no more than eight. The process of offspring development takes about 3 weeks, after which the chicks of lovebird parrots are born. When the stage of feeding the chicks begins, high-protein components, crumbly cereals, sprouted wheat and oats should be present in the diet. In other words, during this period, birds need to provide an enhanced diet.

Lovebird Parrot Cost

As a rule, Fisher’s lovebirds are kept as pets, although masked and red-cheeked lovebirds are no less popular. Their estimated cost does not exceed 2 and a half thousand rubles. According to some observations, red-cheeked lovebirds are cheap among them, but Fisher and masked lovebirds can be slightly more expensive.

Owner reviews

Many believe that lovebird parrots cannot be kept alone, but in fact this is a complete fallacy. They feel great without their soulmate. The only problem is that the bird will have to pay more attention.

As practice shows, these birds are tamed with great difficulty, although males, becoming more adult, become more friendly. If it is not possible to pay much attention to the birds, it is best to immediately acquire a couple of these amazing birds. This is especially true in relation to those who rarely appear at home, as the birds will suffer from loneliness. And so, no special problems in matters of keeping lovebird parrots are observed. The main thing is to fulfill some recommendations regarding the prevention of various diseases.

Finally

Keeping at home any pets has a number of problems. The main one is the lack of time to pay attention to them. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that the same parrot is a living creature, and all living creatures require special attention of a person, since these are our smaller brothers. Otherwise, the birds will suffer from a lack of communication, although they communicate well with each other. Oddly enough, but they still lack communication with a person. They seem to feel that nature created them in order to be close to man.

In turn, their health and well-being depends on how well a person takes care of poultry.

Description

The description of the nominal subspecies of the lovebird Agapornis canus was made in 1788 by the botanist Johann Gmalin, a German, a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

Also known in the world is another species of another species of Agapornis canus ablectaneus, the descriptions of which were made by the American zoologist Outre Bangs. This subspecies differs from the nominal one in the smaller size and bluish tint of feathers.

The gender of the gray-headed lovebird can be determined by color. In males, the head, chest, and neck are gray in color, and the females' plumage is completely yellow-green. Moreover, the color of young individuals is almost no different from the color of adult birds. The tail is short, rounded, combines feathers of black, green and yellow colors. The beak is gray, small. The bird's legs have a bluish tint. The iris of the budgie has a dark brown color. This parrot is the smallest among its fellow lovebirds of other species. The body size of the gray-headed lovebird is only 13 cm, the wingspan is only 15 cm, it weighs no less than 25 grams and no more than 35 grams.

In 1890, a hybrid of gray-headed lovebird and budgerigar was bred.

Wildlife Spread

In fact, the gray-headed lovebird is a rare species. Due to deforestation, their numbers are rapidly declining.

Distributed on the island of Madagascar. Also, gray-headed lovebirds were brought to nearby smaller islands: the Comoros and the Mayotte Islands. Previously lived in the Seychelles, but so far these lovebirds have become extinct there.

Gray-headed lovebirds prefer open terrain. They are kept in flocks from 20 to 45 individuals. For a comfortable life, rare forests, bushes, as well as groves of date and palm trees are perfectly suited. They try to avoid dense forests, although sometimes they settle on the edge of the forest.

The basis of the diet of the gray-headed lovebird is the seeds of herbs and shrubs, the buds of fruit trees, which take a lot of time to find. Can taste exotic fruits as a treat. Birds of this species never eat alone, while they feed in flocks. They rest on palm trees in the hot time of the day, with a decrease in temperature, the birds begin to fly actively and play with each other, making loud and sharp sounds.

The number of populations of this lovebird species is currently not reliably known, but the population trend is stable.

Maintenance and care

At home they are kept quite rarely due to their unusual color and timidity, although this type of parrot successfully reproduces in captivity. To have such a strange bird for a pet is a great joy. After passing some time in captivity, the birds become calm and docile.

Gray-headed lovebirds can be kept in a cage or in an aviary. They love to live in packs, so one lovebird will have to be sad. If most of the time the bird is in the cage, she needs to be given the opportunity to fly around the house, which will not allow her wings to atrophy. When buying a cage for a gray-headed lovebird, it is better to choose a model from a non-toxic material with a flat top that will allow the bird to live spacious in such apartments. In addition to this, in the cage for the lovebird, you need to install accessories - toys that make it easier to stay in captivity for such a fun and cheerful pet as the lovebird. There should not be many toys to give room for games and flight inside the cage, and not interfere with the free movement of both birds. Swings, ladders and cords - all this is necessary for an active lifestyle, so that the lovebird has a cheerful and joyful mood and good health.

For parrots, you also need to buy poles - they are usually wooden, but can be from a rope, each to their own taste.

Diet features

For the full life of a lovebird, a balanced diet should be formed. The content in the feed of a set of vitamins and microelements is due to the active life and age of the bird.

Gray-headed lovebirds are unpretentious in food and the basis of the diet is dry grain feed. But the imported parrots should be converted to grain gradually. At first, it is better to offer canary seed and spikelets of millet in large quantities to the bird. Then it is necessary to gradually increase the amount of grain mixture. In addition to grain, it is necessary to feed the bird with germinated grains, vegetables, fruits, as well as herbs. You can also include flour worms in the diet no more than 2 times in one week.

Gray-headed lovebirds love millet. As you know, millet is very rich in essential trace elements. It consists of:

You can grate carrots or beets and mix with millet. Sunflower seeds also need to be added to the mixture due to the high content of sodium and calcium in them. Corn seeds must be crushed before serving. Oats and nuts will supplement the poultry diet, but often should not be given, because it can lead to digestive upsets.

Rod Lovebirds

The genus Lovebirds - Agapornis - has 9 species of lovebirds: A. roseicollis (rose-chested lovebird), A. personata (masked lovebird), A. nigrigenis (black-chested lovebird), A. pullarius (orange-headed lovebird), A. lilianae (lovebird Liliana, or strawberry-headed), A. fischeri (Fischer's lovebird), A. glanders (gray-headed lovebird), A. taranta (black-winged lovebird), A. swindernianus (green-headed lovebird).

All types of lovebirds have a number of similar signs characteristic of this kind of parrots. For example, all lovebirds have a small body (14-17 cm), the color of their plumage is dominated by green, the tail of these parrots is short and rounded, slightly longer than the length of the wing.

Lovebirds of a number of types are called eyeglass lovebirds, as they have a ring of white skin around the eyes that looks like glasses. Some taxonomists consider them not separate species, but subspecies of the same species, since they all live in Africa and their ranges are quite close. Of all the species of lovebirds, only 1 species - the gray-headed lovebird - lives on the island of Madagascar.

The males and females of these parrots are very attached to each other and everywhere follow a pair.

When nesting, lovebirds settle in groups or colonies, and after the breeding season they also lead a pack life.

The delivery of building material is mainly done by females, constructing in the hollow real nests from thin branches and bark.

Among lovers of our country the most common lovebirds are pink-cheeked, masked and Fisher. Black-winged and gray-headed lovebirds are much less likely to be found. Other types of lovebird parrots are found in single lovers.

Among lovebirds, “talking” birds are rare. Usually their “repertoire” is not rich, just a few words, and their voice sounds very distorted.

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