The lovebird is one of the nine species of the genus Agapornis. These are affectionate, small parrots that are native to Africa and Madagascar and are known to be energetic, nippy, charming and extremely curious. In the wild, lovebirds live in small flocks and feed on grass, seed, vegetables and fruit. Often kept as pets, there are several color mutations and colors available.
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How much do lovebirds cost?
The cost of a lovebird will depend on the quality, age, colors, rarity, breeder, inclusions and geographical location. On average, plan on spending anywhere from $50 to as much as $250 for a bird.
BirdBreeders.com, an online classified website, has a few listings ranging from $75 to $180 each.
Birdsnways.com says the average lovebird will be $40 to $130 for the more common mutations and species. Parent-fed lovebirds will be on the cheaper end, whereas the rarer species will cost a bit more.
|Abyssinian||$59 to $89|
|Black-Cheeked||$90 to $150|
|Fischer"s||$80 to $150|
|Masked||$75 to $150|
|Nyasa||$59 to $89|
|Peach-Face||$90 to $150|
|Red-Face||$75 to $110|
|Swindern"s Black-Collared||$59 to $89|
Both the males and females will have a green body with a red brow, and to distinguish the male from the female, the male will have a redder eye ring with black underneath the wings, while a female will have a green eye ring and black brow. There are very few mutations.
Most will have a green body with brownish-black cheeks and forehead. The beaks are red and no color mutations are really known.
Measuring about four inches, the Fischer’s, also known as the eye-ring lovebird, will have an orange face and throat, red forehead, red beak, and green body and tail. Common mutations, aside from orange, can include pied, yellow, seagreen and lutino. Compared to most, owners agree this species will be more aggressive than other lovebirds.
The males birds will have a gray upper body and head, whereas the females will be a lighter shade of green.
Of the masked lovebirds, the black and blue will be the most common; however, there are other varieties such as lutinos, albinos and pied. All of these birds will have a black mask, a red beak, yellow collar and a green body.
These birds are primarily green with a red beak, red forehead and an orangish-red throat.
Another primarily green bird with a red face, throat and beak. There are more than 70 varieties, with the most popular being the red face with a yellow body. This is the most commonly kept breed and will stand about five inches tall.
Primarily green, like most lovebirds, the male will have a clear red face, blue rump and black tips on its tail feathers. The females, on the other hand, will have an oranger face with less color when compared to a male. Both will measure about six inches and will have red beaks.
Considered to be a very rare bird, this species has a green head, yellow-like throat and blue rump with a black stripe that appears along the back.
What are the extra costs?
Its diet will consist of pellets, fresh vegetables, fruits and a few fortified seeds. According to Petco, the specialized pellets should make up to 70 percent of its diet, and owners should avoid non-stick cookware as it can emit fumes hazardous to your bird’s health. Treats, if fed, shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of their diet.
A lovebird cage should be, at a minimum, 18″W x 18″D x 24″H with metal bar spacing at least 3/8″ apart. If possible, try to provide the largest habitat possible for the birds to roam about. The cage should be placed off the floor, so if it doesn’t come with a stand, it’s highly advisable you invest in one.
Inside the cage, you should include perches, a metal grate to collect the droppings and toys to keep them entertained. Again, the more toys and perches you can comfortably include, the better it will be for your bird’s health. Plan on replacing these toys and perches as they age over time.
Lovebirds will always do best in pairs, so it’s important to have a partner, especially if you can’t give them the attention they need throughout the day. Avoid other species as these birds can often be aggressive, even going as far as killing another species for survival.
The substrate and/or liner you use on the bottom of the cage will need to be replaced every week to keep the cage clean.
A DNA kit, if you were to want to know the sex, could cost $15 to $25.
Tips to know:
The average adult size is five to seven inches long from the tip of the tail to the head. Lovebirds, when compared to its parrot counterparts, will be at the bottom of charts in term of size.
With proper care, the average lovebird can live up to 15 years.
Avoid feeding any fruit seeds, chocolate, anything high in sugar and/or avocado as this can cause serious medical conditions.
A sign of a healthy lovebird will be an active temperament, bright eyes, a clean vet, smooth feathers and a clean appearance. Red flags, on the other hand, can include swelling, plucked feathers, wheezing sounds, a runny stool, eye discharge, swollen eyes or if the bird hangs out on the floor of the cage.
A lovebird is prone to the following health issues: chlamydiosis, diarrhea, feather plucking, avian pox and psittacine beak, a feather disease.
Lovebirds love to chatter, just like any other parrot would. While they don’t sing, they will peep, chirp or squeak. Keep this in mind if you can’t handle noisy birds or live in a confined space.
How can I save money?
Try looking for a previous owner looking to get rid of their bird. Oftentimes, this is a nice way to get a bird and all of the supplies at once, at a fraction of the cost.
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