They are known as inseparable birds or love birds, they belong to a native species of Africa and their beauty has dazzled many; we are referring to agapornis, a very sociable type of bird that is present in many homes in our country. If you want to know in detail the care you must have in their upbringing, here we tell you everything you need to know about lovebirds.
Where they come from and types of agapornis
Agapornis is a bird that belongs to the family of parrots, originally from different parts of the African continent. Its name derives from the Greek words agape, meaning affection and ornis, which means bird, hence its name bird of love. Their sociable and inseparable nature makes them, as a couple, show much love together, cuddling and feathering each other.
In total there are 9 species, among which, the best known is the agapornis roseicollis, which is characterized by the body feathers in green and reddish face. It usually measures between 15 and 17cm and does not present an ocular ring. Another very common species is agapornis personata, which is a little smaller and has as its main feature a dark face and a white eye ring.
Agapornis lilianae is one of the smallest, reaching barely 13cm in height; It has an orange face and shows white eye rings. On the other hand, agapornis fischeri measures around 14cm and its main difference is the red color of its beak. In general, all species of lovebirds show a short tail and a very colorful plumage.
Characteristics of lovebirds
The main characteristic of lovebirds is their ability to socialize with both humans and other birds and their own species. In addition, they usually express their mood easily, being relatively easy to identify when they are calm, upset, happy or sad.
Their life expectancy is around 12 years, although, depending on their diet and the care they have received, they can reach 14 or 15 years of age.
One of the most common questions is how to know if the bird is female or male ?. One way to find out is by its size; Male lovebirds are usually smaller than females, mainly due to the effort involved in laying eggs. In addition, the bones of the pelvis of the female are more separated than those of the male, showing a more rounded appearance.
Also, it is possible to identify differences in the head of the female, which is more rounded than that of the male; likewise, the beak of the female is more prominent. As for the character, the females are more territorial and are much more aggressive with other birds than the males.
¿How should the cage of lovebirds be?
It is very important to know the characteristics that the cage should have where the agapornis will live. The size should be large enough so that the bird has the freedom to fly and move with ease. The ideal dimensions will depend on the number of birds, however, it is necessary to know that, for a couple, a cage measures 100x50x50cm will be sufficient.
A key point is to avoid round cages and give preference to rectangular cages. This is because the lovebirds need to have a point of reference to feel a greater tranquility and confidence. In addition, we must take care that the distance between the bars is not greater than 1.5cm, in order to prevent your head from getting stuck between them.
It is recommended to use a lower rack in the cages, in order to prevent the lovebirds eating food that has fallen and is in contact with their feces. A newspaper or special ground for birds will help facilitate cleaning.
The cleaning of their cages is fundamental for their tranquility, since these animals are very clean. The frequency of cleaning should be weekly, disinfecting the cage in its entirety with the help of a cloth moistened in a limited amount of sodium hypochlorite, being necessary to rinse with water and leave it dry at the end.
Care of lovebirds
Agapornis are birds that need a temperature between 18 ° C and 25 ° C, so it is ideal that the cage is located inside the house. However, this will depend on the area in which it is raised, avoiding runners and air currents. The cornered walls are usually the ideal places to place the cages, since they avoid gusts of wind and give a sense of security to the birds.
As for their diet, they must have a balanced diet, composed mainly of feed, seeds of canary seed, carcass, yellow millet, white millet and flaxseed. Other compounds that include buckwheat, peeled and black oats can complement your diet. Also, strawberries, apples, pears, lettuce leaves and green beans may be included in chopped portions, although less frequently.
Among the most common diseases that occur, we find respiratory acariasis, catarrh, asthma symptoms, or some that attack your digestive system, such as enteritis, colibacillosis or dysentery. The lack of vitamins produces the anomalous moult, in which the feathers begin to fall or look disorganized.
Other less common pathologies are psittacosis or salmonellosis. In all cases, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian’s office specialized in exotic animals to determine the actions that should be followed for their care.
Agapornis are very smart and ideal birds to breed and train, especially from an early age. In addition, they are very affectionate and fun, so they are excellent to have as pets. With proper care, it is an excellent decision to have them at home.