Lilian’s Lovebirds are a small African parrot species of the lovebird classification. They are the smallest parrots known throughout the African mainland, measuring only about 5 inches long. What made this parrot peculiarly odd is that Lilian’s Lovebirds are very difficult to breed when domesticated. The lovebirds are also uncommon due to their small population. Being rare and almost unidentifiable, they are usually mistaken for their lovebird relatives called Fischer Lovebirds, who only vary from them in marginal size. They are also mistaken for the Peach-faced Lovebirds in appearance, although the latter has a more clearly demarcated orange tone and the absence of white eye rings which the Lilian’s Lovebirds possess.
Lilian Lovebirds has an orange head, which trails down towards the neck and the upper chest. What is even more interesting is how the orange tone fades downward to yellow until it gradually turns yellow bordering the upper chest and abdomen. They have light green lower bodies and wings. In some cases, their outer wings have a completely separate darker tone compared to their bellies.
The lovebirds feed on grass seeds, millet, wild rice, flowers and the seeds and fruits of other plant species. The breeding season for the birds would start around January, then progresses throughout February and ends in March for the first half. By the second half of the breeding season it starts around June and ends next month of July. They make roofed nests in tree fissures during these times. Under the conditions of being domesticated, it has been observed that the clutch consist three to eight white eggs which will go under incubation for about 22 days. Around about 44 days after it hatches, the chicks leave the nest.
Lilian’s Lovebirds are common around Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In 2004, it has been chartered that their population in the wild has greatly decreased, numbering merely less than 20,000 birds. They are already classified as “near threatened”. They currently inhabit Liwonde National Park for their preservation. It is believed that authorities and concerned groups would not want to distribute them because outside the reservation, their breeding and feeding grounds are exploited for agriculture. What is even worse than their declining population is that many of the birds suffer cases of poisoning, a phenomenon that steadily rises recently. It is unknown why poachers would poison these threatened species but it is widely believed that they are just collateral damage to the real target of the poisoning.
Source by T Charles