Sexually Dimorphic Group Lovebirds
Red-faced Lovebird - Agapornis pullaria (Linnaeus) 1758
This species has a wide distribution in the wild, occurring especially
in regions of grasslands broken with trees. Large numbers may congregate
to feed on cultivated crops; but smaller flocks, numbering up to about
twenty individuals, are more commonly seen. They feed at ground level on
grass seeds and rarely allow a close approach, flying off at the
slightest hint of danger. Their nesting habits are unusual, in that they
excavate breeding chambers in the mounds of termites, located as high as
12 meters up in trees, and co-exist quite happily alongside insects.
The only mutation reported in the case of the Red-faced Lovebird is a
Lutino form, where green plumage is replaced by yellow, as melanin is
lost; for this reason, the eyes are also red.
Madagascar Lovebird -Agapornis cana (gmelin) 1788
Synonyms : Lavender-headed Lovebird; Gray-headed Lovebird
lovebirds are common in Malagasy, frequenting the edges of woodland, and
venturing out to feed on grass seeds and drying rice around areas of
cultivation. Although generally shy and retiring by nature, exceptions
are known. In recent years, hens have proved much harder to obtain than
cocks, which has hampered breeding attempts.
Madagascar Lovebirds seem prone to breathing difficulties resulting
from air-sac mites, which actually live in the airways. These parasites
can be eliminated by means of dichlorvos preparation, usually in the
form of a strip more commonly used for killing flies, which is hung in
the room where the birds are housed.
No mutation of this species has yet been recorded.
Abyssinian Lovebird - Agapornis taranta (Stanley) 1814
Synonym: Black-winged Lovebird
Abyssinian Lovebirds are birds of the highlands, reflected by their
larger size, and range up to altitudes of about 3000 meters. when
breeding, Abyssinian hens use little nesting material, apart from their
own feathers and, in some cases, may completely denude their breast for
Abyssinian Lovebirds have never been very common in collections and
currently, cocks seem especially scarce. chicks were first reared
successfully in Germany during 1924, followed by other breeding in
Britain and France.
A Cinnamon form has been reported, in which the flight feathers only
are brown. The secondary flight feathers and underwing coverts remain
black, with the body coloration overall slightly lighter than normal.