Rose Heads: Small Parrots With Special Features

Agapornids, better known as “lovebirds”, come in numerous subspecies. One of the most famous is the rose-head. The distinctive appearance and the funny behavior have made the rose-heads popular. Like all lovebirds, the pretty small parrots absolutely need a partner. When it comes to caring, roseheads are no more demanding than other Agapornids. Still, there are a few discrepancies that make it particularly interesting.

Funny Small Parrots From Southwest Africa

With a length of up to 17 centimeters, rose heads are the largest Agapornid species. The natural habitat is characterized by dry forests, steppes, and savannahs with loose trees. Further distribution areas can be found at the edges of forests, riverbanks, and even close to settlements near arable land. As a rule, roseheads are out and about in small groups of up to twenty animals; In particularly favorable habitats, such as at water points, a swarm can even contain several hundred animals.

Roseheads demonstrate a curious peculiarity when building their nests: Nesting material is not transported in the beak or in the claws but is stuck in the plumage. The shape of the nest is also unusual; while other Agapornids build goblins, rose heads make cup-shaped nests. Rosenkopfchen has been known in Germany since 1860 – that is when the first birds came to the continent. In 1869 Alfred Brehm had the first successful offspring under zoo conditions. In their homeland, roseheads are unfortunately persecuted as crop pests. Experts currently estimate the population in the wild at just 100,000 birds.

Natural Green and Shades of Color: This is What Rose-heads Look Like

The plumage of the natural-colored rose-heads, as found in Africa, is a strong green. Starting at the forehead, the salmon- or rose-colored bib, which gave the rose-head its name, continues to the underbust. The rump and tail plumage is blue. In captivity and through human breeding selection, several other colors have developed, including lutino (pure yellow), blue, olive green, and pastel blue, each with a pink bib.

Rose-headed Attitude – Between Chirping

As a holder of rose-faced roses, you have to get used to certain background noise: The utterances of the birds fluctuate between gentle chirping and shrill screams. That times two: The individual keeping of parrots is not in accordance with animal welfare and especially unreasonable for Agapornids. Keeping these birds in pairs is the only option. Before you buy the animals, make sure that your neighbors tolerate the birds’ need to communicate. The minimum dimensions of the accommodation for a couple are 60 x 100 x 120 centimeters (length x width x height). Accommodation in an aviary is ideal; an outdoor aviary is also possible. In both cases, you should avoid lacquered grids. Agapornids gnaw the stalks so that varnish could come off.

As house birds, the animals need a lot of supervised free flight. Distribute bird playgrounds with perches at places that are often flown to – this serves as a hygiene measure in the room. Since roseheads like to bathe, a freshly filled bathing bowl should always be available to them. You choose toys and equipment made of natural wood; Roseheads gnaw the rods and thus keep their beak fit. Do not underestimate the gnawing drive: Despite the small body size, it is much more pronounced than in the budgie, for example. Movable seats such as swings and rings as well as springy perches are particularly popular with the Rosenköpfchen – these are simply attached to one side in the accommodation. Another specialty: Roseheads should have a “sleeping house” open to the front (attention: not to be confused with a nest box!) In the birdhouse. The rose-headed age is around 20 years if the conditions are good. If all of their needs are met, rose-headed birds are suitable as beginner birds. Keep in mind, however, that they are more like observation animals and not affectionate pets.

Lonely Hearts – the Partner Search for Little Roses

Agapornids have to be kept in pairs, that’s clear. If one of the animals dies, you have to organize a new partner as soon as possible. This is precisely what is often a problem for rose-headed keepers, because: A widowed rose-headed rose cannot easily be paired with another single. The lovebirds of this kind want to choose their partner themselves – otherwise, there can be trouble in the aviary. For this reason, real “dating agencies” have established themselves among Agapornid keepers. This gives lonely birds the opportunity to look for a new partner based on instinct. By the way: socialization with other birds is not recommended. Roseheads are quite quarrelsome and rabid even within the flock – only couples stick together like bad luck and brimstone.

The Species-appropriate Diet of the Rose-head

The natural diet of the rose-headed diet includes grass seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, and cultivated cereals such as maize. Depending on the food supply, individual groups have also discovered mice as a source of food in nature; certainly not the norm for a parrot. Of course, you don’t have to get mice for your pet birds. Rich a high-quality Agapornid feed mixture with millet seeds and oats as basic feed – about 10 grams per bird per day – and supplement this with green fodder. Please only feed sunflower seeds or seeds containing oil such as niger seeds and hemp very sparingly.

Interesting Rosebuds in fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be a test of patience. Like many parrots, the birds are suspicious of unknown food, and sometimes it takes time to try it. Be patient. In this case, the only thing that helps is to keep offering it. For the metabolism and the supply of minerals, grit, lime pick stones, and always clean water are also available.

Do Rose-heads Get Tame?

Rose-headed birds are among those birds that tend to become less tame but delight their owner with their delightful behavior. You can help confidence with a lot of patience and the use of millet: Basic lessons such as stepping on the hand or reacting to the name should not be a problem even for the animals that tend to be reserved. But even the tamest rose-head will not speak. Lovebirds are therefore particularly suitable for bird lovers who want to watch the animals.

Rose-crowned Parakeet

Southwest Africa;

15-17 centimeters;

46 – 63 grams;

Strong, flesh-colored to the yellowish crooked bill, short, pointed, rounded tail, small body with a large beak, weak eye-ring;

Natural green color with salmon pink from the forehead to the upper chest; Tail cover and rump blue; different colors (yellow and blue birds and different shades of green) established in captivity;

Life expectancy
Up to 20 years;

Active, vocal, self-confident, careful.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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