We've had a few love birds in the area in recent weeks; they turn up in the garden every morning, and seem to have a route they follow including our neighbour's garden. They show an interest in cypresses, Cupressus sempervirens, perhaps for seeds from the cones. But they also congregate on the roof and guttering - which gives me a better chance at photographing them. They appear tolerant of me and my camera, at least from several feet away.
No parrots are native to Cyprus; these must be escapes or releases from captivity.
I'm fairly sure the more-colourful ones are Fischer's love bird (Agapornis fischeri).
But what is the grey one?
It is not a grey-headed (Madagascan) love bird, because that has green elsewhere on its body.
Is it a grey form of peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)?
and see 'slate' here - http://kmbreeding.weebly.com/peach-face-lovebird-mutationsgenetics-general-info.html
They all seem to have the typical lovebird call, somewhat like this
My photos show
- the grey one (head)
- the grey one (tail)
- the Fischer's love birds with which it associates
Thanks for your thoughts,
The colourful one is, as you said, Agapornis fischeri. I believe the mutant belongs to A. roseicollis. The white face and bib correspond to the orange/peach of the wild variety. It seems to have a larger head, and notice the tooth-like notch in its maxilla (upper beak), somewhat like a falcon's. You will often see this in A. roseicollis, but less often and less pronounced in A. fischeri. Of course, it being a colour mutation and with the possibility of being a hybrid, I may be wrong, but this is my best guess.
Please let me know if they survive in the wild, as I love parrots and I watch them wherever they live free (England, Tenerife...).
Many thanks; that's just the sort of insight I was hoping for.
I will try to remember to let you know if they persist
(am I allowed to knit little scarves to help them through the winter?)
Thank you so much for the update and for this excellent picture. I wish I could take such photo. I went to Tenerife this summer and tried to photograph the local feral parrots. One of them is the Peach-faced Lovebird (A. roseicollis), small numbers in a locality on the North coast. I didn't see them.
Speaking of Peach-faced Lovebirds, I must tell you that I think I may have got that ID wrong. I'm sure that the wild-coloured Fisher's is just that, but the mutant could be Fisher's as well.
I was unsure to begin with, but I searched and compared images of both species, wild and mutant varieties. In the melanin-deficient mutations, A. roseicollis retains darker sides of neck and back of head, in those areas where the wild ones are coloured in green. The resulting white patches are narrower than in Fischer's. Of course, I did find similar mutations in the latter, but many more images of Fischer's with broad wide areas extending all the way around the neck and head. Just see the photos on this page, especially those at the bottom part, to see what I mean. Again, I'm not sure, but now I lean more towards this ID, thinking that the owner may have kept them as a group of same species.
A new idea came to me: are they really escaped pets, or free-flying birds still owned by a neighbour? I have seen many examples of free-roaming parrots, including Lovebirds, so I wouldn't be surprised if these are in fact such happy pets.
Thanks for your further thoughts and research.
That is indeed an interesting page. I see what you mean.
I'll try to get some photos of the grey bird(s), in case they help clarify the situation.
Meanwhile, lets make no fresh committment to an ID for that one.
I don't know about being free-roaming pets.
We have only two neighbours; then our three properties are quite some way from the next nearest ones, and I'm pretty sure they would not be the origin. Also, now I have got my ear in, we hear them about the garden at various times during the day, and we know they hang out in our neighbours' gardens, too.
It is a valid thought; I don't find myself leaning towards it, but I can't rule it out.