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Grey-headed Lovebird

 (Agapornis canus)

Also known as: Madagascar Lovebird, Lavendar-headed Lovebird

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Grey-headed Lovebirds
© F. Vassen via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Madagascar or Grey-headed Lovebird lines its nest chamber with chewed leaf fragments or wood shavings, also with grass stems carried by the female between her body feathers.

Academic Research

Related publications: Agapornis canus

Species Profile

Genus: Agapornis | Species: canus

Size:

14cm (5.5 in)

Weight:

25-28g (0.8-1.0 in)

Races including nominate:

two: A.c. canus, A.c. ablectanea

Colourization Adult:

A.c. canus: Male-light grey head, neck, and breast; black underwing coverts; green tail; abdomen yellow/green; upperparts darker yellow/green. Bill grey/white. Eye dark brown.  Female-green head, neck and breast; underwing coverts green.
A.c. ablectanea: Both adults in general darker blue/green with less green/yellow; head and breast of male deeper and more purple grey.

Colourization Juvenile:

A.c. canus: As in adults but in male grey head washed with green. Bill yellow with black at base.

Call:

Calls are shrill and metallic while in flight and at roost before nightfall. Also quiet chattering. When alarmed high pitched notes given.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2

More Information:

AvianWeb
Avibase
African Lovebird Society
Handbook of the Birds of the World

Content Sources:

CITES
Lexicon of Parrots
BirdLIfe International
Internet Bird Collection
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
ML Media Collection Catalogue 100601, Grey-headed Lovebird Agapornis canus, Fitzpatrick, John, Madagascar, Aug. 21 1987, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Site
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1977. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, Snyder, McGowan, Gilardi and Grajal, 2000.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.
Psittacine Aviculture, Schubot, Clubb and Clubb, 1992.

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Grey-headed Lovebirds
© F. Vassen via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Madagascar or Grey-headed Lovebird lines its nest chamber with chewed leaf fragments or wood shavings, also with grass stems carried by the female between her body feathers.

Academic Research

Related publications: Agapornis canus

Species Care

Captive Status:

Rare

Longevity:

10-20 yrs

Housing:

Enclosure or aviary, indoors if in cold weather, minimum length 1.2m (4 ft).

Diet:

Small seed mix such as: canary, millet and oats; provide small amounts of hemp in cold weather; apple and other fruits if taken; green leaves such as: Swiss chard, lettuce, sowthistle, dandelion, chickweed; willow catkins; spray millet; rearing food made with hard boiled egg, wholegrain bread, low fat cheese and carrot, all ground to crumbly consistency, when rearing young; complete pellet.

Enrichment:

Avid chewers so provide bird-safe wood toys, fir and pine branches, heat sterilized pine cones, vegetable tanned leather toys. Also provide water for bathing.

Nest Box Size:

Vertical box 6" x 6" x 6" (15.2cm x 15.2cm x 15.2cm).

Clutch Size:

5-7

Incubation Time:

22-23 days

Fledging Age:

6 weeks

Hatch Weight:

Not available

Peak Weight:

Not available

Weaning Weight:

Not available

Specialist Club:

African Lovebird Society

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Grey-headed Lovebirds
© F. Vassen via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Madagascar or Grey-headed Lovebird lines its nest chamber with chewed leaf fragments or wood shavings, also with grass stems carried by the female between her body feathers.

Academic Research

Related publications: Agapornis canus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Not recorded

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

Trapping for wild bird trade.

Range:

A.c. canus: Madagascar except southwestern dry zone; introduced to Comoro Islands, Seychelles, Rodrigues and Reunion.
A.c. ablectanea: SW Madagascar.

Habitat:

Found in sparsely wooded areas, palm savanna, forest edge, degraded forest, scrub and agricultural land such as rice fields. Also seen around towns and villages. Up to 1500m (4920 ft).

Wild Diet:

Eats mainly grass seeds, but also takes rice spread out to dry around villages and farms.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Social, usually found in flocks of up to 30 individuals but may congregate in larger numbers where food is plentiful. Will associate with the Madagascar Red Fody, Sakalava Weaver and the Madagascar Mannikin. Roosts communally on bare branches.

Clutch and Egg Size:

5-7 rounded eggs, 19.0 x 16.0mm (0.7 x 0.6 in).

Breeding Season:

November-December

Related Links:

Wikipedia

 

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Grey-headed Lovebirds
© F. Vassen via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Madagascar or Grey-headed Lovebird lines its nest chamber with chewed leaf fragments or wood shavings, also with grass stems carried by the female between her body feathers.

Academic Research

Related publications: Agapornis canus

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