The Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) is endemic to the dry country of South-west Africa, and is commonly seen in large flocks of 10 up to 30. This species was first reported in the late 1700s - at which time it was confused with the Red-faced Lovebird.
This is probably the best-known and most popular lovebird species here in the U.S. and maybe worldwide. Sizable feral populations occur in Phoenix, Arizona - which has as a similar climate to their natural range in Africa. They are known to nest in palm trees and saguaro cacti.
They are very popular in aviculture as they are easy to keep and are very prolific breeders and excellent parents. Multiple striking color mutations have occured in captivity and these birds are frequently named by them - such as lutinos (yellow), pieds, violets, white-faces, orange-faces, dutch blues and mauves, etc. The color variations of the many mutations could be well over a 100,000. No other parrot - other than the budgie - comes in wider array of colors. The many mutations that come out of breeding peach-faces is the main attraction for most, if not all, breeders. The experts will "mix and match" pairs to produce either the perfect specimen or maybe a new mutation. For hobby breeders, every clutch raises the possibility of a new mutation. New colors / mutations are in demand and fetch much higher prices.
They have a fun personality and are easier to tame than most lovebirds (please refer to the "Lovebird as Pet" website for information). 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!). They 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.
Peachfaces may live over 20 years, provided they are provided with the nutrition and care they need.
A small parrot, the average adult Peachface measures 15cm long. Since this bird is so popular in aviculture, numerous color mutations have arisen, including: Creminos, Lutinos, Orange-faced, Pieds, Fallows, Whitefaced, Violets and Cinnamons.
The original Peachface has a green plumage, a peach-colored face, a blue rump, grey feet and a horn-colored bill.
Both males and females look alike. There are some visual signs that an experienced breeder may use to identify the sex of a lovebird -- but they are most certainly not 100% accurate.
There are dozens of beautiful / striking color mutations that have occurred in captivity. Please check out these photos.
Potential Problems / Training and Behavioral Guidance:
These small birds 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: They 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, they 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 pet busy.
Training and behavioral guidance is recommended ...
AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
the Parrot Training Course to teach your parrot to:
Perform Tricks and
Tame ANY SIZE bird you could possibly own
and/or try the "Teach Your Parrot to Talk" Training Course. (Note: lovebirds rarely learn to talk, but there is a chance they may learn to mimic human speech if taught to at a young age.)
If you are considering a lovebird as a pet, the following web resources might be of interest:
Housing and Caring :They love to climb and play and need to be provided with a cage that allows them to move around freely and toys to entertain themselves with. Please refer to the following websites for information:
They 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 nests are almost entirely made by the females and the three to six eggs are incubated for about twenty-three days. The hatchlings will be cared for by the female until they leave the nest at about six weeks of age. The father then takes over the feeding of the young birds for another two weeks or so until they are weaned.
They should be fed a quality seed mix, in addition to providing them with vegetables and fruits. It is recommended to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals. Bird-specific vitamins are available at the vets or better pet stores.
Description: Angola Peach-faces are slightly smaller and more intensely colored than the nominate species.
Distribution: They occur naturally in the Benguella district in southern Angola in Africa. A few birds may be kept in European collections (although this point is debated) and it appears to be likely that there are none in the United States.
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