Agapornis canus – Grey-headed Lovebird

Foto: Eugène Rakotomahenina - Instagram profile: @e_rakotomahenina

The Grey-headed Lovebird/Gray-headed Lovebird or Madagascar Lovebird - Agapornis canus (Gmelin, JF, 1788) - is the only Lovebird specie that does not live in Africa itself but on Madagascar.

They are not very common in captivity and are sensitive to cold weather. They are shy and nervous by nature and therefore not as suitable as domestic birds. They may be aggressive to art mates. They are more difficult to breed than other Lovebirds.

They have relatively large wings and are good and fast flyers.

It is listed on CITES Appendix II.


The body color is green with darkgreen back and wings. The chest is a lighter green and lightgreen rump. The beak and feets are lightgrey.

The species is sexually dimorphic: The male has a light grey head and upper part of the chest - the female has a green head and chest.

Size:  13 - 15 cm
Weight: 25 - 31,5 gram


The Grey-headed Lovebird is native to Madagascar. The two subspecies live in different regions on Madagascar:

  • Agapornis canus canus (Gmelin, JF, 1788) - Southern Madagascar
  • Agapornis canus ablectaneus (Bangs, 1918) - Madagascar except southern part

The Grey-headed Lovebird  have been introduced to several of the other islands off the east coast of Africa: Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritus and Zanzibar.


They are not common as domestic birds and are more difficult to breed than other Lovebird species. They prefer to mate during autumn.

They are very shy and nervous and easily frightened in the aviary.

They have low tolerance to cold weather.



  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittaculidae
  • Genus: Agapornis


  • Danish: Gråhovedet Dværgpapegøje
  • English: Grey-headed Lovebird, Gray-headed Lovebird, Madagascar Lovebird
  • French: Inséparable à tête grise, Inséparable cana
  • German: Grauköpchen, Grauköpfchen
  • Portuguese: Inseparável-de-faces-cinzentas
  • Spanish: Inseparable de Cabeza Gris, Inseparable Malgache

IUCN Red List

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2017-3. <>.
Downloaded on 19 March 2018.

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