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Collared Lovebirds

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Pink Cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)

This species is best bred in captivity. The homeland of the pink-cheeked lovebirds is South West Africa, an area from South Angola to the Orange River. They were brought to Europe in 1860, and offspring was first obtained in 1869. Now it is a completely domesticated bird.

The pink-cheeked lovebird has a body about 17 cm long, of which 4–5 cm falls on the tail. It weighs 45–50 g. The main color of the plumage, like almost the majority of lovebirds, is green, but the forehead is bright red, and the cheeks and throat are orange-pink, which is why these birds got their name. In addition, the upper tail coverts of pink-cheeked lovebirds are blue. The beak is yellow.

The chicks are painted completely dark green, and their beak is brown at this time, with a light tip, from which the beak brightens and by the 3rd month it is completely lightened. A red stripe on the forehead appears by the 5th month of life, during the first change of plumage. Fully adult coloring is acquired by birds by the 8th-9th month of life, when puberty occurs.

The pink-cheeked lovebirds are very inactive with their other brothers, quarrels often arise between them. Therefore, it is better to keep them in separate pairs.

The female differs from the male only in size - she is slightly larger than him. Sometimes the red color on the forehead of a female is smaller, and the pink tint on her cheeks is paler.

Pink-cheeked lovebirds breed very well in the cell. But it is better to keep them in separate pairs during breeding, because parrots, trying to protect their territory, can cripple each other and even bite the owner.

Pink-cheeked lovebirds are not very whimsical and most popular with poultry lovers

The nest is usually built by a female. She hides small material for arranging the nest (pieces of bark, bast fibers, etc.) under the feathers of the back and thus transfers it.

Description

Birds of this species were first described by a naturalist and nature lover in 1820 by the German Heinrich Kul. The bright color of the plumage of the bird allows it to stand out among other species. The back, head and wings are green, and on the black neck a strip of orange is clearly visible, which is very similar to a collar. A harmonious combination of plumage colors makes a pleasant impression of a yellow breast and a blue tail. The legs and beak are gray. The iris is yellow.

The size of the lovebird is small - the length of the adult is only 13 cm, weighs about 40-50 grams. The wing length is 5 cm. It is problematic to distinguish birds by gender, except that the female is slightly smaller. Young individuals are faded in comparison with adult individuals.

According to some reports, the collar lovebird lives from 11 to 14 years.

There are three subspecies of a collar lovebird:

Agapornis swindernianus emini, described by the German ornithologist Rudolf Neumann in 1908,
Agapornis swindernianus swindernianus, described by the German naturalist and zoologist Heinrich Kul in 1820,
Agapornis swindernianus zenkeri, described by German ornithologist Anton Reichenov in 1895.
These three subspecies are slightly different from each other in color and size.

Wildlife Spread

Habitats - Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo, Cote dIvoire, Liberia, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea.

Lovebird parrots live in packs of 35 to 40 individuals. They like to make noise and scandal, because of which there is competition for more nutritious and comfortable places in the trees. As a result of the fights, the birds emit loud and piercing exclamations, which can be heard very far from the scene.

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

Maintenance and care

There is no information about keeping a collar lovebird at home in Europe and both Americas.

Firstly, because of the specific diet of fresh figs and plant seeds from their native habitats, collared lovebirds die in captivity within a few days.

Secondly, because of the difficulties in catching this species. These lovebirds are very careful and avoid people. Usually these birds hide in the crowns of tall trees, whose height is more than two tens of meters.

Recently, statements have appeared in foreign ornithological forums that some amateurs adapt necklace lovebirds to captivity, but there is currently no reliable confirmation of this information.

Breeding

A wheaten lovebird arranges nests in tree hollows, while greatly decorating his home. Females stuff soft small twigs, dry blades of grass, small pieces of bark under their feathers on their breasts and carries it all into the nest. Then, from these materials, the female creates a soft litter.

Collared lovebirds reach puberty in the second year of life. In clutch there can be from 4 to 7 eggs. While the female sits on the eggs, the male feeds her and is engaged in the protection of the nest.

Lovebird chicks hatch after 3 weeks. At first they are blind and covered with rare soft fluff. After 50 days, they will leave the nest, but their parents feed them for about a week, until they themselves learn how to get their own food.

Captivity / aviculture

The Black-collared Lovebird is relatively unknown in Europe, Americas and other countries as its dietary requirement for native figs have been blamed for the lack of success in keeping this species in captivity.

Without certain native (fresh) fig seed, fig flesh and rice as a base diet, these lovebirds died within days leading many to believe that this species cannot be adapted to life in captivity. Although there are some unverified reports of successfully maintaining some as pets and even breeding several color mutations - none have been confirmed.

Potential Problems / Training and Behavioral Guidance:

Black-collared lovebirds are not readily available in aviculture and little is known about their pet potential. Should captive birds be available, every effort should be made to place them into a well-managed breeding program to conserve this species for future generations.

Little is known pertaining to their personality and pet potential. Should individual birds not be suitable for a breeding program and you are considering it as a pet, the below information may be of value.

Lovebirds, in general, are pretty easy to manage for most people. They are not as destructive and noisy as their larger cousins. If not properly socialized, however, they will discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us".

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 preferred medium is "paper."
  • 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.

Breeding

Lovebirds can start breeding when they are as young as ten months of age and may continue until they are five to six years. They are very prolific and may produce several egg clutches within a single year. Due to this, they are usually readily available on the pet market.

During breeding season the behavior between partners will change: the male displays a more aggressive behavior, while the female begins preparing the nest. There are specific nesting boxes for lovebird-size birds, but if not available a cockatiel nesting box will do just fine. Samples of available nest boxes.

The female constructs the nests, and she incubates the three to six eggs for about twenty-three days. She raises the hatchlings until they leave the nest when they are about six weeks old. At this point, the father takes over the feeding of the fledglings for another two weeks or so until they are weaned and independent.

Note: Captive breeding of this species is complex and should be handled by the most experienced aviculturist.

Taxonomy

Species: Scientific: Agapornis swindernianus swindernianus aka Agapornis swinderniana swinderniana. English: Black-collared Lovebird, Swindern's Lovebird. Dutch: Zwartkraagagapornis, Groenkopagapornis. German: Grünköpfchen, Von Swinderns Unzertrennlicher. French: Inséparable de Van Swindern

Cameroon Black-collared Lovebirds:

Species: Scientific: Agapornis swindernianus zenkeri aka Agapornis swinderniana zenkeri / Agapornis swinderniana emini. English: Cameroon Black-collared Lovebird. Dutch: Zenkers Zwartkraagagapornis. German: Zenkers Grünkopfchen. French: Inséparable à collet noire de Zenker

Emin Black-collared Lovebirds:

Species: Scientific: Agapornis swindernianus emini aka Agapornis swinderniana emini. English: Emin Black-collared Lovebird. Dutch: Emin Zwartkraagagapornis. German: Emin Grünköpfchen. French: Inséparable de Emin

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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