Sunday, August 15, 2010

By Eduardo Gonzalez

Love birds are diminutive but quite aggressive, and they come in eight different breeds. Seven of those breeds are from Africa, and one is native to Madagascar. They measure from five to seven inches in length and weigh as much as one and a half to two and a half ounces.

Don’t be deceived by their smallness--they tiny but can be chubby and are definitely sturdy. Their short beaks are hooked, and their feathers are muted. In the wild, love birds abound in groups.

The males take charge of looking for food, and then bring it to the females, who direct them with their flock calls. They can live also live solitary lives, provided they are always kept active and are in constant communication with their owners and other family members.

These birds are playful and they need regular, daily exercise. They love getting attention from their owners. Below is a list of the different types of love birds. They come in three general groups but each category has distinctive qualities.

1. Distinguishable Love Birds. These are easily recognizable by gender. They are:

a. Madagascars. The tiniest of all love birds, their backs and wings are dark green, with a grayish white color on their heads and chests. They can be identified by the significant black marked colors on their tails. The color of their feet, legs and beaks are gray. The males and females look deceivingly similar. Actually, the females do not have gray patches on their forehead.
b. Red Faced Love Birds. These love birds have a shiny green color and their breasts are pale. They have green tail feathers and reddish, orange and black marks. The underside of the male wings are black while for the females the undersides are green. The females have more ruddy reddish faces than the males, whose faces are more reddish orange. Their faces have a lesser amount of blue.

c. Abyssinian Love Birds. Also called Black Winged Love Birds, Abyssinians are mainly green with a tinge of sparkling red on their foreheads that spread out around their eyes. Their feathers they use to fly with are black and they have black bars on the alternate side of their tails.

They have gray legs and feet, and red beaks. The females are completely green except for their red beaks and gray feet and legs. They do not have black marks.
2. Indistinguishable Love Birds. These are love birds where it is hard to distinguish the male from the female. They are:

a. Peach Faced love birds. These love birds come in a wide variation of colors because since they came to the U.S. they underwent many mutations. Their commonality is their peach or rosy colored faces. Their bodies are shiny yellow, blue and green.

b. Black Cheeked love birds. These are predominantly green with orange patches on their chests. Their heads are brown and their faces are black. Their beaks are red and their legs and feet are gray.
c. Nyasa Love Birds. These birds have orange heads and beaks. The middle parts of their bodies are yellow and their bottoms are green. They have gray legs and feet.

d. Fischers Love Birds. Their backs, breasts and wings are green, while their necks are yellow gold, then steadily turn orange upon their heads and faces. They have white rings around their eyes, and their heads are marked with olive green patches. Their beaks are red with gray legs and feet.

e. Masked Love Birds. Like the Peach Faced Love Birds, the masked love birds have undergone many mutations. As a result, they have a lot of different colors, but do have a persistent black mask on their faces. The bottom of their bellies are gray and blue. Their beaks red but at times their beaks can be white. They have gray legs and feet.

3. Eye Rings. These love birds are distinguished by those that have eye rings, and those that don’t. Those that don’t have eye rings are: The Red Faced Love Birds, The Madagascar Love Birds, The Abyssinian Love Birds and The Peach Faced Love Birds. Those that have eye rings are: The Masked Love Birds, The Nyasa Love Birds, The Black Cheeked Love Birds and The Fischer’s Love Birds.

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