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Monday, October 1, 2007


Agapornis: from the Greek Agape, for love, and Ornis, for Bird) is a very social and affectionate parrot.

The name Lovebird stems from these birds' affectionate nature. This is reflected by the birds name in other languages: in German, "die Unzertrennlichen," and in French "les ins├ęparables"- "inseparables." For this reason, many people feel strongly that lovebirds in captivity should be kept only in pairs which is not always true. Others believe that lovebirds, like other parrots, are social animals who can bond with human companions when given a great deal of care and attention. Recommended foods include a pellet based diet along with fruits, vegetables and grains.

Lovebirds are about 13-29 cm in size, 40-80 grams in weight and characterized by a small, stocky build and a short, blunt tail. This puts them among the smallest parrots in the world although their beak is rather large for their overall size. Most lovebirds are blue, green, or lutino although color mutations can feature many different colors. Some lovebird species, like Fischer's, black cheeked, and the yellow collared lovebird, have a white ring around the eye. Lifespan is 10 to 20 years.

Female Northern Cardinal on a Snowy Pine

The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 8.3 to 9 inches (21-23 cm) and a wingspan of 10-12 in (25-31 cm). It weighs about 1.6 ounces (45 g). Males are slightly larger than females.

The male is a brilliant crimson red with a black face mask over the eyes and extending to the upper chest. Females are a fawn color, with mostly grayish-brown tones and a slight reddish tint in the wings and tail feathers. The face mask of the female is gray to black, and is less defined than that of the male. Both sexes possess prominent raised crests and strong bright coral-colored beaks. Young birds, both male and female, show the coloring of the adult female until the fall, when they will molt and grow their adult feathers.