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The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
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Lovebirds / Agapornis

Posted by WishbonE at 12:24 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lovebirds / Genus Agapornis

Lovebird is the commonly used name for the genus, Agapornis (from the Greek agape, for love, and ornis, for Bird), and can refer to any of the nine species of the genus. They are a very social and affectionate parrot. The name Lovebird stems from these birds' bright, caring personalities. The lovebird is a small stocky parrot between 5.1-6.7 inches (13-17 cm). They have a large bill and a tail that is either round or square. Their average life span is between 10-12 years with some living even longer. The oldest recorded lovebird lived 17 years, and we have had one person state that their lovebird has lived for 25 years.

The different species of lovebird are identifiable by their colors and markings. They vary greatly in their coloring, and each species can be viewed for their unique combinations. Younger birds are duller in color and they have black in their beaks. The young birds coloring intensifies as they reach maturity. Regardless of the species, mature lovebirds are gorgeous parrots!

These petite 'pocket parrots' are very intriguing! Though lovebirds are not going to learn a lot of tricks or necessarily want to have a lot of handling, they are very flamboyant, very social with both their keepers and their mate, and are wonderful birds to observe and enjoy.

Lovebirds are very suited to captivity. Not only do they have a good disposition, these charming, brilliantly colored little pets are very hardy and easy to care for. They can also provide you with a successful breeding experience.
Their voice apparatus allows a wide range of articulations, including the imitation of the human voice. Although they are not known to be great talkers; and most never learn to talk at all. Eight of the nine lovebird species come from Africa, the remaining one from Madagascar.
Lovebirds are very vocal birds, making loud, high-pitched noises. Some make noise all day, especially during the first morning hours.

Lovebirds have the fun personality of parrots while being manageable due to their small size. They are true clowns, playing for hours at a time. They love hanging from their toys, riding on your shoulder and playing with your necklaces.
Lovebirds have the potential to make great pets for those who have the patience and time required of any parrot species. Because of their inclination to bond, they can form great long-term relationships with people. Lovebirds are healthier and more energetic than some other parrot species.
Provided with space, toys, and love, lovebirds can become cherished companions. They love to snuggle and often preen their favorite people. An important tip for lovebird owners is to regulate the amount of time spent with them. If you devote hours per day to your lovebird for several weeks because it's new and exciting and then cannot for some reason you can end up with a very temperamental lovebird on your hands.

Lovebirds require a variety of food, such as pellets, fruits, and vegetables. As a regular food, pellets are recommended, as the millet food generally sold in pet stores has too much fat in it and is not a significant source of nutrition. Pellets specially made for birds provide a well-balanced diet. Fresh greens are also extremely beneficial if not essential.

Lovebirds, like all birds, are very adapt at concealing their illness. This is a self-preservation mechanism, as the sick and the weak are the ones predators will focus on. By the time your lovebird looks ill, you can assume that your pet is seriously sick and is likely to deterioriate quickly unless appropriate treatment is provided.
By observing your lovebird daily you will learn its normal behavior and you will be able to notice anything out of the ordinary. Below is a list of things to look out for as possible indicators of disease / illness; and a vet may need to be consulted.

Lovebirds love making nd courtship begins when the male feeds the female. Then mating will happen which may be lengthy and repeated several times a day for several days. The male climbs onto the females back, often holding on to her flight feathers for a good grip.

Male lovebirds have no external sex organs, but they do have two testes. In the breeding season, the male's testes grow hundreds of times bigger. The female bird's ovaries also grow larger.
The male keeps sperm in their cloaca (the exit hole for most body fluids) and gives it to the female by pressing their cloaca together. This is how the eggs are fertilized.
Next the nest area is selected and nest materials are brought to it. The female can become very protective of this area. Eggs can be laid as early as 3 to 5 days after mating.

Lovebirds are also very active, and love to chew things. When they are let out of their cage, it is wise to watch them carefully and protect any furniture, electrical wiring or anything else that they could possibly chew on. Also they are known to learn how to open their cages and get out on their own and roam about then go back into their cages.
Lovebirds are all of the genus Agapornis and can produce offspring with other lovebirds within the same genus. The cross-species hybrids are often sterile. It is recommended to only place birds of the same species together, or of the same sex, for the sake of the potentially faulted hybrid offspring.

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