Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Avicultural Advancement Council of Canada
CANADIAN NATIONAL CAGE BIRD SHOW & EXPO
Budgerigar and Foreign Bird Society Bird Club
The Budgerigar & Foreign Bird Society of Canada
OCTOBER 17 - 19, 2014
Richmond Green Sports Centre
1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill Ontario
Bird Registration: Friday October 17, 2014 ~ 6:00 pm - 8:00pm
Saturday October 18, 2014~ 7:00 am - 9:30am
Admission: Adults- $8.00
Seniors & Children- $5.00
Family Pass (2 adults & 2 kids)- $20.00
Judging starts at 10:00am
|CANADIAN NATIONAL CAGE BIRD SHOW & EXPO|
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Blue and Gold/Yellow Macaws are probably the most popular large Macaws kept as pets.
Blue and Gold's are said to be more sociable, calm, and friendly on average than some of the other Macaws.
They are known to have one of the best personalities in general out of all the large Macaws. They make wonderful companions and are intelligent, eager to learn, affectionate, and one of the better talkers of the Macaws as well.
However, like all large Macaws, if not properly raised and handled well, Blue and Gold's can become aggressive birds. For this reason, they are best for experienced bird owners. You need to establish stiff boundaries with Blue and Gold's right when you bring them home. Otherwise, they will learn to scream, bite, or manipulate you in order to suit their needs.
Blue and Gold's are known for being very intelligent and social (when raised correctly). They are definitely trainable--they aren't the best mimics, but you can teach them to talk and learn tricks fairly easily.
Many bird owners are intimidated by the Blue and Gold's strong will and large beak. Their beaks are very strong--one bite can lead you to the emergency room. These birds are not good for first-time bird owners.
To read more about Macaws as pets, please visit our Macaw page.
If you are an experienced bird owner and are prepared to handle bites from a large beak, sometimes replacing toys every week, spending a lot of time with your bird, training your bird to keep his mind active, and spending a lot of time setting clear boundaries, then this might be the right bird for you.
The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna, Linnaeus 1758) is a member of the genus Ara (Lacepede 1799), one of six genera of Central and South American macaws. Protonym: Psittacus ararauna. The species name is derived from Tupi Ara onamatopoeia macao: macaw; Tupi arara: parrot +una: dark or black, hence "dark parrot/macaw".
These birds can reach 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 in) long and weigh 900 to 1500 grams (1.9 to 3.3 lbs), making it one of the larger members of its family. They are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark blue chin, golden under parts, and a green forehead. Beaks are black. The naked face is white, turning pink in excited birds, and lined with small black feathers.
There is little variation in plumage across the range. Some birds have a more orangey or "butterscotch" underside color, particularly on the breast. This was often seen in Trinidad birds and others of the Caribbean area. The Blue-and-yellow Macaw uses its powerful beak for breaking nutshells, and also for climbing up and hanging from trees.
Macaws in the wild can be very aggressive, but as babies they can be very playful.
Macaws primarily eat nuts, seeds and fruits. Occasionally they consume clay at riverbeds, in order to filter out toxins obtained from any unripe nuts they have consumed.
The Blue-and-yellow Macaw generally mates for life. They nest almost exclusively in dead palms and most nests are in Mauritia flexuosa palms. The female typically lays two or three eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days. One chick is dominant and gets most of the food; the others perish in the nest. Chicks fledge from the nest about 97 days after hatching. The male bird's color signals readiness for breeding. The brighter and bolder the colors the better the chance of getting a mate is.
This species occurs in Venezuela and south to Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The range extends slightly into Central America, where it is restricted to Panama. The species' range formerly included Trinidad, but it became extinct there by 1970 as a result of human activities. Between 1999 and 2003, wild caught Blue-and-gold Macaws were translocated from Guyana to Trinidad, in an attempt to reestablish the species in a protected area around Nariva swamp.
The Blue-and-yellow Macaw is on the verge of being extirpated in Paraguay, but it still remains widespread and fairly common in a large part of mainland South America. The species is therefore listed as Least Concern by BirdLife International. It is listed on CITES Appendix II, trade restricted.
Blue-and-yellow Macaws are popular as pets partly because of their striking appearance and ability as a talking bird; however, their large size makes accommodation problematic, and they require much more effort and knowledge from owners than more traditional pets such as dogs or cats. They are intelligent and social, so for someone who can provide for their needs, they make good and loving companion parrots. Blue-and-yellow Macaws bond very closely to their owners.
Even the most well-tended Blue-and-yellow Macaw will "scream" and make other loud noises. Loud vocalizations, especially "flock calls", and destructive chewing are natural parts of their behavior and should be expected in captivity. Due to their large size, they require plentiful space in which to fly. According to World Parrot Trust, an enclosure for a Blue-and-yellow Macaw should not be smaller than 15 metres (50 feet) long.
These birds are very intelligent and can be taught tricks after gaining enough trust from the owners.
They require a varied diet; a seed only diet will lead to health problems such as vitamin deficiency. An example of a good diet would be a quality pelleted mix, in conjunction with a mix featuring seed, nuts, and dried fruits, with fresh vegetables (greens and roots) and fruits fed regularly; furthermore, it is quite common (and appreciated by the parrot) to partake with their human owners of safe foods like pasta, bread, etc.
It is important to avoid foods with high fat content (generally) while striving to provide a wide variety of foods. There are some foods which are toxic to birds and parrots as a group. Cherries and most other Rosaceae pits and seeds, avocados, chocolate, and caffeine are among the foods toxic to parrots. Chocolate and caffeine are not metabolized by birds the same way they are in humans. Rosaceae seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, and avocados contain persin which are both toxic compounds to birds. Safe foods include oranges, apples, grapes, peanuts, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a large, red, yellow and blue South American parrot, a member of a large group of Neotropical parrots called macaws. It is native to humid evergreen forests of tropical South America. Range extends from extreme south-eastern Mexico to Amazonian Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil in lowlands up to 500 m (1,640 ft) (at least formerly) up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). It has suffered from local extinction through habitat destruction and capture for the parrot trade, but locally it remains fairly common. Formerly it ranged north to southern Tamaulipas. It can still be found on the island of Coiba. It is the national bird of Honduras.
The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao Linnaeus 1758) is a member of the genus Ara (Lacepede, 1799), one of 6 genera of Central and South American macaws. Carolus Linnaeus described and named the Scarlet Macaw in his Systemae Naturae in 1758. Protonym: Psittacus macao.
Two subspecies present differing widths in their yellow wing band:
- A. macao macao South American Scarlet Macaw, the nominate subspecies
- A. macao cyanoptera (Wiedenfeld 1995) North Central American Scarlet Macaw
The Central American scarlet macaw is larger and has blue on its wings instead of green.
It is about 81 centimetres (32 in) long, of which more than half is the pointed, graduated tail typical of all macaws, though the Scarlet Macaw has a larger percentage of tail than the other large Macaws. The average weight is about 1 kilogram (2.2 lb). The plumage is mostly scarlet, but the rump and tail-covert feathers are light blue, the greater upper wing coverts are yellow, the upper sides of the flight feathers of the wings are dark blue as are the ends of the tail feathers, and the undersides of the wing and tail flight feathers are dark red with metallic gold iridescence. Some individuals may have green in the wings.
There is bare white skin around the eye and from there to the bill. Tiny white feathers are contained on the face patch. The upper mandible is mostly pale horn in color and the lower is black. Juveniles have dark eyes; adults have light yellow eyes.
It is frequently confused with the slightly larger Green-winged Macaw, which has more distinct red lines in the face and no yellow in the wing.
Scarlet Macaws make very loud, high and sometimes low-pitched, throaty squawks, squeaks and screams designed to carry many miles to call for their groups.
The Scarlet Macaw can live up to 75 years in captivity, although a more typical lifespan is 40 to 50 years.
In May 2013 it was announced that a team of scientists, led by Dr. Christopher M. Seabury and Dr. Ian Tizard of Texas A&M University had sequenced the complete genome of the Scarlet Macaw.
A typical sighting is of a single bird or a pair flying above the forest canopy, though in some areas flocks can be seen. They may gather at clay licks.
Scarlet Macaws eat mostly fruits, nuts and seeds, including large, hard seeds.
Scarlet Macaws mate for life. The hen lays two or three white eggs in a tree cavity. The female incubates the eggs for about five weeks, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 90 days after hatching. and leave their parents about a year later. Juveniles reach sexual maturity at five years of age.
The South American range is extensive and covers the Amazon basin; extending to Peru east of the Andes, to Bolivia, and Paraguay.
In Central American the range extends from extreme eastern and southern Mexico and Panama through Guatemala and Belize, the island of Coiba and infrequently on the mainland of Panama, and two isolated regions on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica; the Carara National Park and Peninsula de Osa.
Scarlet Macaws inhabit humid lowland subtropical rain forests, open woodlands, river edges, and savannas.
The habitat of Scarlet Macaws is considered to have the greatest latitudinal range for any bird in the genus Ara, as the estimated maximum territorial range covers 6,700,000 km². Nevertheless, the Scarlet Macaw’s habitat is fragmented, and the bird is mostly confined to tiny populations scattered throughout its original range in Middle America. However, as they still occur in large numbers over most of their original range in South America, the species is classified by IUCN as "Least Concern".
It is listed on CITES Appendix 1 due to predation for the pet and cage bird trade. Both subspecies are listed by USFWS as endangered.
|The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)|
|The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)|
|The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)|
|Ara macao feeding on Attalea fruits|
|A pair of Scarlet Macaws at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida.|
|The Scarlet Macaw in flight|
|The Scarlet Macaw in flight|
The Scarlet Macaw Parrot is one of the largest of the Macaw species and is a very popular pet. Scarlet Macaws are said to be more sensitive and high strung than some of the other Macaw species.
If not properly raised and handled well, they can become aggressive birds. For this reason, they are best for experienced bird owners. You need to establish stiff boundaries with Scarlets right when you bring this bird home. Otherwise, they will learn to scream, bite, or manipulate you in order to suit their needs.
The Scarlet Macaw parrot is known for being very intelligent and loving (when raised correctly). Scarlet Macaws are definitely trainable--you can teach them to talk and learn tricks fairly easily.
Many bird owners are intimidated by the Scarlet Macaw's strong will and large beak. Their beaks are very strong--one bite can lead you to the emergency room. These birds are not good for first-time bird owners. You need to be very experienced with birds in order to keep one of these, somewhat difficult, creatures. If you are an experienced bird owner and are prepared to handle bites from a large beak, sometimes replacing toys every week, spending a lot of time with your bird, training your bird to keep his mind active, and spending a lot of time setting clear boundaries, then this might be the right bird for you.
AVERAGE COST: $2100 - $2900
|HAHN'S, SEVERS, GOLDEN-COLLARED, BLUE & GOLD MACAWS, BLUE THROATED MACAWS, HYACINTH MACAWS, SCARLET MACAWS|
Monday, April 7, 2014
The Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta) also known as Abyssinian Lovebird is a mainly green bird of the parrot family. At about 16.5 cm (6.5 inches) long, it is the largest of the lovebird genus, a group of small parrots. The adult male is easily identified by its red forehead, and the adult female by its all green head.They are native to Eritrea and Ethiopia, and they are uncommon as pets.
The Black-winged Lovebird, with a length of about 16–16.5 cm (6.25–6.5 inches), is the largest of all the lovebirds. It is sexually dimorphic, as are the Red-headed Lovebird and Grey-headed Lovebird of the lovebird genus. The dimorphism becomes apparent in juvenile birds after their first molt at about eight or nine months of age. Both the male and female Black-winged Lovebird are mostly green, and only the adult male Black-winged Lovebird has a red forehead and a ring of red feathers around its eyes.
The tail is black tipped and feathers below the tail show a yellowish colour. The rump and feathers above the tail are light green. In the male feathers under the wing are typically black, and in the female the feathers under the wing are typically greenish or brownish black. Both sexes have a red beak and gray feet.
The natural habitat for a Black-winged Lovebird is typically from southern Eritrea to southwestern Ethiopia and they normally live in either high plains or mountainous regions.
Food and feeding
Sunflower seeds, corn, apples and mission figs are typical of an Abyssinian Lovebird diet.
The Black-winged Lovebird nests in a tree cavity. The eggs are white and there are usually three or four eggs in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for 23 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 45 days after hatching.
Widespread and a common species throughout its habitat range, the Black-winged Lovebird is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
In aviculture the Black-winged Lovebird has not become well established as a breeding bird, although it can tolerate cold weather. Breeding in aviculture is on a small scale, so it is an uncommon pet.
|Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Lovebird,|
|Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Lovebird,|
|Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Lovebird,|
|Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Lovebird,|
The Red-headed Lovebird (Agapornis pullarius) also known as the Red-faced Lovebird is a member of the genus Agapornis, a group commonly known as lovebirds. Like other lovebirds it is native to Africa.
The Red-headed Lovebird is a 15 cm (6 inches) long, mostly green parrot. It has a well demarcated red area on its head extending from the top of the beak, over the forehead to mid-crown, and extending to the left and right up to the eyelid margins. It has grey feet. The underside of the wings is a lighter green. The female has orange head colouring, which is less well demarcated than the male's red head. The adult male has a red beak while the female's is a paler red.
It is native to a wide range in Africa including Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. In addition, it is an introduced species in Liberia.
It makes its nest in a termites nest usually in a tree or sometimes on the ground. To make a nest the female digs a tunnel up to a length of 30 cm (12 in) in the termites nest in a colony with other lovebirds.
It is difficult to breed in captivity because it has to burrow to make its nest and the nest chamber needs to be heated to about 27 °C (81 °F); however, they can be induced to burrow into cork to build a nest. It is a very nervous species.
|Red-headed Lovebird, Red-faced Lovebird allin1ish,|
|Red-headed Lovebird, Red-faced Lovebird allin1ish,|
Sunday, April 6, 2014
The Lilian's Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae), also known as Nyasa Lovebird, is a small African parrot species of the lovebird genus. It is mainly green and has orange on its upper chest and head. It is 13 cm (5 inches) long and is the smallest parrot on mainland Africa. In captivity it is uncommon and difficult to breed.
The Lilian's Lovebird is 13 cm (5 inches) long and is mainly green with white eyerings. It has orange on its head, neck and upper chest and has a green rump. Male and female are identical in external appearance.
The Lilian's Lovebird is often mistaken for the slightly larger Fischer's Lovebird, which has an olive-green hood and a blue rump. It is also broadly similar to the Peach-faced Lovebird, which has more clearly demarcated orange colouration, and lacks a white eyering,.
Food and feeding
Lilian's Lovebird feeds on grass seeds, millet, wild rice, flowers, and the seeds and fruit of other species.
The Breeding season for Lilian's Lovebirds is from January to March and in June and July. They make a roofed nest in tree crevices. In captivity the clutch consists of three to eight white eggs, which are incubated for about 22 days, and the chicks leave the nest after about 44 days from hatching.
Lilian's Lovebird is endemic to Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In 2004 its numbers in the wild were estimated to be less than 20,000 individuals. It currently inhabits Liwonde National Park (LNP) and a few cluster groups occur in the surrounding forests outside LNP. Its distribution is rapidly becoming restricted to LNP because their feeding and breeding habitats are being exploited over for agricultural purposes. The extent of habitat loss outside LNP has not been determined scientifically although remaining habitat outside the LNP are fragmented Miombo Forest Reserves.
Lilian's Lovebird is a difficult species to rear in captivity. Many breeders worldwide struggle to breed the species.
Liwonde National Park is located in the southern region of Malawi, which has the highest human population density in the country approximating 100-115 inhabitants per km² (FAO, 1997). LNP is greatly impacted by population growth and agricultural activities than any other national park in the country. Recently, cases of Lilian's Lovebird poisoning have intensified although it is not known why poachers are poisoning the birds. Lilian's Lovebird researchers assume poachers mean to poison larger mammals and Lovebirds fall victims.
|Nyasa Lovebird aviary|
|Nyasa Lovebird pictures|
|Nyasa Lovebird chicks|
|Nyasa Lovebird in wild|
Friday, April 4, 2014
The Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) is a small parrot species of the Agapornis genus. They were originally discovered in the late 19th century, and were first bred in the United States in 1926. They are named after German explorer Gustav Fischer.
The Fischer's Lovebird has a green back, chest, and wings. Their necks are a golden yellow and as it progresses upward it becomes darker orange. The top of the head is olive green, and the beak is bright red. The upper surface of the tail has some purple or blue feathers. It has a white circle of bare skin (eyering) around its eyes. Young birds are very similar to the adults, except for the fact that they are duller and the base of their mandible has brown markings. They are one of the smaller lovebirds, about 14 cm (5.5 in) in length and 43-58g weight.
While most Fischer's Lovebirds are green, several color variations have been bred. The blue variation is predominant; lacking yellow, it has a bright blue back, tail, and chest, a white neck, a pale grey head and a pale pink beak. This mutation was first bred by R. Horsham in South Africa in 1957, and two years later it was bred by Dr. F. Warford in San Francisco, California. There is a yellow mutation, which first appeared in France. These birds are typically pale yellow with an orange face and a red beak. Lutino (a mutation that is yellow in color), pied, black or dark eyed white, cinnamon, white, and albino mutations have also been bred.
Fischer's Lovebirds show no sexual dimorphism, therefore it is impossible to tell whether an individual is male or female through plumage alone. The sexes of Agapornis fischeri appear the same, and are distinguished with certainty through DNA testing, and less certainly by their habits in perching. Generally, females sit with their legs farther apart than males because the female pelvis is wider.
Fischer's Lovebird are native to a small area of east-central Africa, south and southeast of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania. In drought years, some birds move west into Rwanda and Burundi seeking moister conditions. They live at elevations of 1,100-2,200m in small flocks. They live in isolated clumps of trees with grass plains between them. The population is estimated to be between 290,000-1,000,000, with low densities outside of protected areas due to capture for the pet trade; export licenses were suspended in 1992 to halt any further decline in the species.
Fischer's Lovebird has a fast flight, and the sound of their wings as they fly can be heard. Like all Lovebirds, they are very vocal and when they do make noise they have a high-pitched chirp and can be very noisy.
Food and feeding
Fischer's Lovebirds eat a wide variety of foods, including seeds and fruit. They sometimes are pests to farmers, as they eat their crops such as maize and millet.
The breeding season is January through April and June through July. The nest is in a hole in a tree 2 to 15 metres above the ground. The eggs are white and there are usually four or five in a clutch, but there could be as few as three or as many as eight. The female incubates the eggs for 23 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 38–42 days after hatching.
Fischer's lovebirds are kept in captivity. Lovebirds are social animals and are popular as pets.
Lovebirds are seen as charming and affectionate by their owners. Though they're not as cuddly as many parrots, they enjoy spending time with their owners, and require regular interaction.
As with many parrots, lovebirds are intelligent and inquisitive birds. In captivity, they like to investigate around the house, and have been known to figure out ways to escape from their cages, and to find hiding places where they may get stuck, and where it may be difficult to locate them. In order to avoid escapes it is advised to lovebird owners to use a cage where the bird cannot get out simply by lifting or pushing the door with its beak.
Lovebirds are avid chewers, with strong beaks. They can enjoy "preening" the hair and clothing of their owners, and chewing on clothing, buttons, watches, and jewelry. They may also, especially the females, chew up paper and weave it into their tails, which they will carry back to their cages to make nests.
Females may be seen as friendlier and more intelligent than males, and thus as better pets.
Female lovebirds are supposedly more aggressive than the males but both can make fine pets with patience and correct training.
Lovebirds (in general) are not known for their talking ability, although there are some lovebirds that do learn words - the females are usually the ones that do this. As is the case when many smaller parrots, the "voice" of lovebirds is high-pitched and raspy and it may be difficult to understand their speech.
Lovebirds are very vocal birds, making loud, high-pitched noises that can be a nuisance to neighbors. They make noise all day, but especially at certain times of day. That said, Fischer's are not quite as loud as some other lovebird varieties, and while they cheep frequently, they do not scream like the larger parrots. Their noise level increases substantially when they are engaged in pre-mating rituals.
Fischer's Lovebirds, like many captive birds, can suffer from feather-plucking if they get bored or stressed. This is more likely to occur with single lovebirds than those kept in pairs or groups. They should have a roomy cage, and should be shown affection if they enjoy it. After feather-plucking starts, it is very hard to stop the habit. Providing them with plenty of toys and giving them more opportunities for entertainment will often reduce or stop the habit.
Fischer's Lovebirds are prone to a mysterious disease characterized by having brownish to creamish patches in their feet and legs, which is probably an infection as a result of their obsessive biting of those areas. It is not known what causes this disease. One hypothesis is that they suffer from hormonal problems caused by changing light levels and the inability to perform things Fischer's lovebirds in the wild would naturally perform, such as building a nest. Another hypothesis is that it is caused by a pathogen. Treatments usually involve antibiotics for the wounds, and some way to stop them from continuing the biting of the area. This can sometimes be accomplished with sedatives. The Elizabeth collar may also be used, though wearing them is extremely stressful both to the bird wearing the collar and to the birds around it, and some lovebirds may start feather-plucking as a result of the stress.
Female lovebirds are prone to egg-binding, an often fatal condition in which an egg cannot be laid as it gets caught in the reproductive tract. It is thought that egg binding often occurs due to a lack of liquid calcium in the diet, which causes a softer shell. To prevent this, females, particularly those kept in pairs, should be given calcium supplementation in their water from a young age. Additionally, egg binding appears more likely amongst younger birds, and might be prevented by discouraging mating in younger birds.
- ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Agapornis fischeri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Birds? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 127–128. Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)
- Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. p. 218. ISBN 1-84309-164-X.
- "Species factsheet: Agapornis fischeri". BirdLife International (2008). Retrieved 9 July 2008.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
-[The Yellow-collared Lovebird]-
(Agapornis personatus), also called Masked Lovebird or Eye Ring Lovebird, is a monotypic species of bird of the lovebird genus in the parrot family Psittaculidae. They are native to northeast Tanzania and have been introduced to Burundi and Kenya.
The Yellow-collared Lovebird is a mainly green small parrot about 14.5 cm (5.5 in) long. Its upper parts are a darker green than its lower surfaces. Its head is black, and it has a bright red beak and white eye rings. Yellow on the breast is continuous with a yellow collar and an expansion of yellow over the nape of the neck. Male and female have identical external appearance.
The Yellow-collared Lovebird brings nesting material in its beak to a tree cavity for their nest. The eggs are white and there are usually four to five in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 23 days and the chicks leave the nest about 42 days after hatching.
White eye-rings lovebirds, of which Masked Lovebirds are part of, are reportedly less aggressive in comparison to the slightly larger Peach-faced lovebird. They are frequently housed in aviaries with other species of their genus, a practice which although can be convenient, & wonderfully aesthetic, may lead to hybridization. This can especially be concerning where other species may not be as locally common e.g. Black-cheeked Lovebird, & Lilian's Lovebird. It would be advisable to house Lovebirds either; by themselves, or if a mixed collection is desired, ensure they are kept in a large flight with a few feeding stations, & assertive species e.g. Red-rumped Parrot, Kākāriki, Rose-ringed Parakeet or Cockatiels. They can usually be kept safely with Quails, & Pheasants in aviaries.
Breeding cages should be 400mm x 400mm x 500mm, or these birds can be housed in colonies, or have in some cases been kept at liberty. There was a mixed flock of Masked, Peach-faced Lovebird, & a few hybrids near Napier, [New Zealand] for a number of years in the mid 2000's. There is also a small feral population in France, which contains the Blue mutant, & mixes with larger proportion of Fischer's Lovebirds - also from aviary origin.
Aviaries, & cages need perches in a range of diameters. Natural perches in the form of branches are ideal, especially if they have a variety of forks, angles, & a bit of bounce in them. The reason for this is to give the captives stimuli; it also keeps their feet healthy, & nimble. Research (suitability, & toxicity) must be carried out on all plant material going into any cages. Cherry wood is poisonous, as is Broom, Kowhai, & everything Avocado (its fruit being surprisingly poisonous to parrots), to mention just a few examples.
Nesting boxes are usually utilised throughout the year as sleeping quarters. It is advisable to clean them, but keep them up even after breeding season. The risk of losing a bird to egg laying complications (in the unlikely event they do decide to breed in the winter), is out-weighed by the benefit of keeping the birds content, keeping pair-bonds strong, & the reduced risk of losing a bird to the cold. A supply of Willow branches, & roughly slivered Corn, or Maize husk can be given in the aviary as nesting box lining: It will be ripped up, & carried into the nest box by the female.
Lovebirds are reasonably difficult to determine the sex of. A "pair" will often be of the same gender, even though they are exhibiting signs of mutual affection. This usually arises when inexperienced bird keepers house two birds alone, & wait on behavioral signs that they're a true pair, with the intention of swapping one out for another Lovebird if they're not; then being excited when they see birds pair up, even though they may both be of the same sex. These bonds are artificial, & can be broken, or tested if the "pair" are re-housed communally (or split up by the keeper). One or both of a pair of males may go, & breed with lone hens, despite staying connected to their original partner. Or the same sex pair's bond may completely dissolve immediately.
The blue mutation was originally found in wild birds in the 1920s and is the oldest colour mutation known in the lovebird genus. The other mutations are a result of selective breeding in aviculture, such as two cobalt's which will make a mauve (black). Various color mutations exist, including blue, cobalt, mauve, slate, dilute slate, violet, lutino (ino) and albino.
The Blue & the Lutino mutations are where some colour genes have not been passed on, or have been suppressed from the original wild colour form. In the case of the lutino the micro-structure which creates the blue based colours in the normal form is not passed on to offspring when it arises; hence everywhere yellow except the face which contained the colours which make up orange. In the case of the original Blue, none of the yellow or red pigment genes are passed on. The Albino is the latest "colour" which is a combination of the Lutino, & the Blue ('wild' colouring minus blue, & minus red & yellow = no colour so is completely white).
The Dilute mutation is a lightening of the darker feathers, most noticeable in the wings, & face. It was first noted from Green (Wild) coloured parents, & originally called "Yellow". This new colour was soon built up in numbers by passionate aviculturelists, & once secure was bred to Blue coloured birds. The result was then known as "White", but we now call this combo a Dilute Blue.