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Lovebirds' Egg-Laying Process: A Personal Experience

Updated on March 28, 2017
SakinaNasir53 profile image

Sakina loves birds. She had 2 IRN parrots and 2 budgies. Now she has 2 lovebirds, one of which is a peach-faced male hand-raised by her.

Introduction

In this article, the following common questions and topics about egg-laying in lovebirds will be addressed in detail.

  • When Will a Female Lovebird Lay an Egg?
  • How Many Eggs Will a Female Lovebird Lay?
  • Signs of a Pregnant Lovebird
  • Finding a Suitable Nest Box
  • Nesting Materials for Lovebirds
  • Egg-Binding in Lovebirds
  • Calcium Supply for Your Lovebirds (Table)
  • A Healthy Recipe for Lovebirds
  • Infertility in Lovebirds
  • What are the Causes of Infertility?
  • Conclusion

When Will a Female Lovebird Lay an Egg?

Many novice breeders have this question in their minds at some point of time. A female lovebird will lay an egg with or without a mate, when she is around 9-12 months of age. Of course, without a mate, the eggs laid will be infertile. Sometimes people end up buying two females or two males. Housing them together may lead to a clutch of infertile eggs in the former case, while no eggs in the latter. When mating occurs between a true lovebird pair (male and female), the eggs laid will be fertile. Though infertile eggs are possible too, as it is in the case of my pets Mumu and Lulu.

How Many Eggs Will a Female Lovebird Lay?

Eggs will be laid within 7-10 days after mating. In my case, Lulu gave an egg exactly a week later on 6 October 2016. Interestingly, we had no idea that she was pregnant! Usually a hen (female lovebird) lays a clutch of 4-6 eggs, in a gap of 1-2 days. She then broods over the eggs, usually after laying the whole clutch. The incubation period is between 21-23 days, after which the chicks are hatched. There may be exceptions too. The chicks may even hatch out by the 24th or 25th day. Make sure you count the days, so that you can approximately calculate the hatching date.

Lulu had laid 4 eggs continuously every alternate days. Then after a gap of 7-10 days, she had laid 5 more eggs.

Signs of a Pregnant Lovebird

• She walks slowly

• She is unable to fly/flies with difficulty

• She shows slight weight gain

• Her body shows a clear "baby bump"

• She looks tired

• She sleeps a lot, fluffing her feathers

• The male feeds her rigorously

• She may bob her tail

My Female Lovebird Lulu Laid her First Egg

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lulu, my female lovebird laid an egg on 6th October 2016. Mumu my male lovebird is going to see the egg laid for the first time. He wagged his tail out of happiness.
Lulu, my female lovebird laid an egg on 6th October 2016.
Lulu, my female lovebird laid an egg on 6th October 2016. | Source
Mumu my male lovebird is going to see the egg laid for the first time. He wagged his tail out of happiness.
Mumu my male lovebird is going to see the egg laid for the first time. He wagged his tail out of happiness. | Source

Finding a Suitable Nest Box

A nest box is an essential component in lovebird breeding. Upon learning that Lulu laid an egg, we immediately bought a nest box. The pet owner had mistakenly given a round nest made out of steel, which was actually meant for canaries. Surfing the net, I realized that lovebirds need wooden nest boxes. The exchange was made and we bought a small nest box/English budgie nest, which my lovebirds readily accepted. Remember to provide your pets with nesting materials.

Placing the Nest Box

  • The nest box can be placed outside the cage, attaching it to the cage wall.
  • Attach the nest box inside (with S-Shaped hooks)

In my opinion, placing the nest box inside is better. My pets love to sit inside the box together, for warmth. They doze off too inside it sometimes; as the temperature here is cold. However, you can place it according to your wish.

(P.S. However, you can place it wherever you want, according to your pets comfort level. There is no hard and fast rule for that!)


Lovebird Nest Box

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We bought a canary nest assuming it to be a lovebird nest before. Lulu loves sitting on top her nest box.
We bought a canary nest assuming it to be a lovebird nest before.
We bought a canary nest assuming it to be a lovebird nest before. | Source
Lulu loves sitting on top her nest box.
Lulu loves sitting on top her nest box. | Source

Lovebird Eggs

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Picture showing my lovebird Lulu's eggs laid in her nest box.Close up of a lovebird egg.
Picture showing my lovebird Lulu's eggs laid in her nest box.
Picture showing my lovebird Lulu's eggs laid in her nest box. | Source
Close up of a lovebird egg.
Close up of a lovebird egg. | Source

Nesting Materials for Lovebirds

Lovebirds require nesting materials to make their nests. These are required to keep humidity in the nest, as it is essential for egg laying. Both males and females make long strips of whatever material is available' carrying them in the nest box. While the female tucks them in her wings and tail, the male tries to do so, though remains unsuccessful. However, there can be exceptions (Mumu has mastered the ability of shredding paper and tucking it in his tail)!

You could buy nesting materials from a local pet shop or provide the following:

What Can Be Included in Nesting Materials?

  1. Palm leaves (Lulu simply adores these)
  2. Paper towels
  3. Dried grass
  4. Lovebird's own feathers (lost ones)
  5. Leaves of non-poisonous plants (lovebird safe)

Lulu Shredding Palm Leaves

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Lulu, my female lovebird loves to shred palm leaves and tuck them in her tail. It is the perfect nesting material for her. Shredding has been an all time favorite activity of my lovebird Lulu. She can do that anytime and every time.
Lulu, my female lovebird loves to shred palm leaves and tuck them in her tail. It is the perfect nesting material for her.
Lulu, my female lovebird loves to shred palm leaves and tuck them in her tail. It is the perfect nesting material for her. | Source
Shredding has been an all time favorite activity of my lovebird Lulu. She can do that anytime and every time.
Shredding has been an all time favorite activity of my lovebird Lulu. She can do that anytime and every time. | Source

My Male Lovebird Mumu has Mastered Nesting Behavior!

Egg-Binding in Lovebirds

The most common egg-laying problem in lovebirds is egg-binding. This means that your bird is unable to pass an egg easily. This can be fatal to your bird. A vet must be consulted immediately when this occurs. If a vet cannot be consulted, you could do a few things to help your bird expel the egg.

In my case, Lulu had passed 9 eggs easily. The 10th, 11th and 12th egg had been passed with difficulty, in a gap of 5-7 days. She didn't keep well, started vomiting and slept a lot. She stayed like this for one day. The next day her egg would be passed and she would be normal and active again.

Signs of Egg-Binding

  1. Straining
  2. Fluffed feathers
  3. Sitting at the bottom of the cage
  4. Tail bobbing
  5. Difficulty in breathing
  6. Weakness
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Large droppings/Minimal droppings
  9. Sleeping a lot (in Lulu's case)
  10. Vomiting (in Lulu's case)
  11. Fever (in Lulu's case)

Curing Egg-Binding at Home

  1. Place bird on a warm towel (heat allows the dilation of muscles, thus helping in passing the egg.)
  2. Placing bird in a bowl of warm water. Your bird is likely to pass the egg in water.
  3. Giving calcium supply (crushed egg shells and small pieces of egg-white).
  4. If your female bird is not eating, feed the male with the calcium supply mentioned above.
  5. Give plenty of rest without any disturbance.
  6. Keep the cage covered in blanket for warmth.
  7. Keep the cage clean. Your bird is likely to pass large droppings which may wet the cage floor, making it colder.

Using Egg as a Quick Calcium Supply for Lovebirds

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Boil an egg. Crush egg shell and egg white into small pieces. Provide this to your lovebirds as it is a rich source of calcium. This helps a lot for egg-bound females too.Grind egg shell into a powdery form and sprinkle on your lovebird's food bowl. If your pets like to chew, crush the shells as small pieces as shown. It's up to you! Crushed egg shells sprinkled on seeds eaten by lovebirds.
Boil an egg. Crush egg shell and egg white into small pieces. Provide this to your lovebirds as it is a rich source of calcium. This helps a lot for egg-bound females too.
Boil an egg. Crush egg shell and egg white into small pieces. Provide this to your lovebirds as it is a rich source of calcium. This helps a lot for egg-bound females too. | Source
Grind egg shell into a powdery form and sprinkle on your lovebird's food bowl.
Grind egg shell into a powdery form and sprinkle on your lovebird's food bowl. | Source
If your pets like to chew, crush the shells as small pieces as shown. It's up to you!
If your pets like to chew, crush the shells as small pieces as shown. It's up to you! | Source
Crushed egg shells sprinkled on seeds eaten by lovebirds.
Crushed egg shells sprinkled on seeds eaten by lovebirds. | Source

Calcium Supply for Your Lovebirds

Vegetables
Fruits
Others
Brocoli
Kiwi
Egg Shell
Cabbage
Dried Fig
Egg-White
Celery
Orange
Sunlight
Collard greens
Apricot
UV Light
Chinese cabbage
 
Cuttle bone
Kale
 
Mineral Block
Aragula
 
 
Turnip greens
 
 
Mustard greens
 
 
Spinach
 
 
The following table shows the different sources of calcium , which can be provided to your pets. Calcium is essential for healthy bones, proper feather growth and overall health of birds.

A Healthy Recipe for Lovebirds

• Boil 4-5 spinach leaves and an egg.

• Dry the spinach leaves in sun and crush them.

• Crush some of the egg shell into tiny pieces/powdery form and add to it.

• Take some egg yolk and egg-white too.

• Take fresh corn and dry them till they are hardened. Mash them into tiny bits and add to the mixture.

Toss all of them and serve it fresh to your pet/pets. Either sprinkle it over their food bowl, or give it separately. It solves weakness and strengthens your bird.

Infertility in Lovebirds

Infertility may be caused in a lovebird hen, leaving the eggs empty/without chicks. This is in the case of my bird Lulu. Till now she has laid 12 eggs in total, but there aren't any chicks hatched. She sat on all of them for a while, but her brooding wasn't continuous. It is very saddening yes, I had always wished to see what color would be inherited by their chicks. My male lovebird Mumu is a medium-green heavy pied peach faced while the female Lulu is a white-faced violet roseicollis peach faced lovebird.

A Clutch of Infertile Eggs

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We had placed Lulu's eggs in this small wooden square box, removing all of them from her nest box. This was done to check if Lulu sits on her eggs or not. I believe that a mother knows her eggs are not fertile, so she didn't even sit on them. Take an egg after it has been laid for a week and put it under flashlight. If the egg shows red veins, it means the chick is growing. If the eggs appear translucent or "empty" it means it is infertile. Sadly, all eggs were infertile.
We had placed Lulu's eggs in this small wooden square box, removing all of them from her nest box. This was done to check if Lulu sits on her eggs or not. I believe that a mother knows her eggs are not fertile, so she didn't even sit on them.
We had placed Lulu's eggs in this small wooden square box, removing all of them from her nest box. This was done to check if Lulu sits on her eggs or not. I believe that a mother knows her eggs are not fertile, so she didn't even sit on them. | Source
Take an egg after it has been laid for a week and put it under flashlight. If the egg shows red veins, it means the chick is growing. If the eggs appear translucent or "empty" it means it is infertile. Sadly, all eggs were infertile.
Take an egg after it has been laid for a week and put it under flashlight. If the egg shows red veins, it means the chick is growing. If the eggs appear translucent or "empty" it means it is infertile. Sadly, all eggs were infertile. | Source

What are the Causes of Infertility?

  • Nutritional Factor

If the hen is lacking minerals and calcium, her eggs will remain infertile. A healthy diet with all the essential minerals and calcium may help in reducing infertility.

  • Loose Perches

Ensure that the perches are fixed firmly. The hen needs support to carry the male on her back. If the perches are loose, mating won't happen properly.

  • Mutation

If your bird is a mutation she may or may not be infertile.

  • Age

If your bird is too young or too old, the eggs may remain infertile.

  • Environmental Factors

There should be enough humidity for successful mating. Heaters and humidifiers may aid in creating such atmosphere. A nest box is also very essential for mating.

Have you Ever Seen a Chick Hatching?

See results

Conclusion

Lovebirds are a beautiful species and their reproduction and egg-laying process a wonder of nature. Unfortunately, I am not lucky enough to see the hatching of my pets's chicks. Nevertheless, I still hope that one day I might see their babies, hopefully...

© 2016 Sakina Nasir

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    • profile image

      Neelam Rawal 3 weeks ago

      Hi can you tell me. My love birds are only 5 months old. What food should I give it to them.

    • profile image

      Abhilasha 3 weeks ago

      Hi, my love birds have laid 3 eggs on 21st Sept 2010. Today is 26th Oct. The eggs have still not hatched. All the three eggs are having few small black spots. The female has also reduced her time to sit on those eggs. Please advise what should I do.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 6 weeks ago from Kuwait

      Hi, Khadir! You can place newspapers at the bottom of the cage. This way the eggs won't break. Thank you for asking this question. Please let me know the progress. :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 7 weeks ago from Kuwait

      @Kishan Hi! Thank you for asking this question. I believe that clay pots aren't suitable for laying eggs. Try buying a nest box like the one I've shown in the picture above. Also, fill this nest box with dry grass. It's okay if the eggs aren't fertile, not all eggs will have chicks in them. :)

      What's the age of your lovebird?

      @Kartik Kanojia Hi! Thank you for asking this question. Shayad aapne haath laga diya hoga babies ko? Esa hua tha? Ya kisi aur ne touch kiya tha eggs ko? Kyunki hum log touch karte he agar to birds gussa ho jaate he... fir wo fod dete he eggs ko ya maar dete he babies ko.

      Please let me know the progress. :)

    • profile image

      Kishan 2 months ago

      I had a pair of lovebirds i had arranged a clay pot for them for breeding in cage but they are not laying eggs in it they are laying out of the pot leaving the eggs idle it is the fourth unfertile egg. How can i help the bird to lay eggs in the pot ?

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Sakina :)

      @ 9:54 p.m., CDST., Sept. 17

      I have read and enjoyed (very Much) this hub. Exquisite text, lay-out, and graphics. Great advice.

      Loved how you presented this topic.

      Keep up the fine work.

      Write to me anytime.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago from Kuwait

      @prakash palakkad That's great! Good for you, I hope you and your birds stay happy. :)

      @Aarti That's great news! Congratulations! You should keep fresh foods available for both the male and female lovebirds. Make sure the baby is warm and check if the female lovebird is feeding him/her properly. Let me know the progress and thank you for the question. :)

      @Roger I'm aware that the eggs shouldn't be touched and the nest is at the same place where it was since the beginning. Actually, we had bought a nest for canaries by mistake, then after getting the proper one we changed it. Lulu's eggs aren't hatched even now. I think it's infertility. Thank you for the advice. :)

    • profile image

      Roger 2 months ago

      In your case you should not touch your lulus egg and shift it's nest that is the case your lulus is not sitting on top of eggs

    • profile image

      Aarti 2 months ago

      My love bird laid eggs and one of the eggs hatched today what precautions should I take to look after the new born.

    • profile image

      prakash palakkad 2 months ago

      dear i buy a paire buddies i like it i thing buy more paires soon

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 3 months ago from Kuwait

      @Arhamtaj

      Hi! :) If you give fresh grass they'll start to eat it because they like green foods. Include dry grass and fresh palm leaves in their nest. That will be good. Hope this helps. :)

    • profile image

      Arhamtaj 3 months ago

      My love birds didn't start the nest and I also provide them nesting material but yesterday I put some grass and material in it but today they started to eat it

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 3 months ago from Kuwait

      @Vic

      Hi! :) Do you mean she carries two eggs in between her legs or are they in her tummy? I'm sorry I didn't quite understand what you meant.

      @Yaszzzz

      Hi! :) Please read another article of mine which discusses about this. It's called Lovebird Courtship And Mating: What We Learned. If you have further questions, you're welcome to ask them. Hope this helps. :)

      @Purvi

      I'm so sorry that your female lovebird died. Please get your male lovebird a new partner. Otherwise he may go in depression. Lovebirds need mates and if one dies, they should be provided another one. Are the eggs hatched? No, the male bird won't hatch the eggs. Only females do that. Hope this helps. :)

      @mfhuq

      Hi! :) I see. It's a possibility that your birds might be females. Have you seen your birds mating? Please read this article of mine called Lovebird Courtship And Mating: What We Learned. It explains about mating and how lovebird mates behave. I hope this helps. You're welcome to ask more questions.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 3 months ago from Kuwait

      @Jackie

      Aw that's so cute! I'm so excited for you. Did the egg hatch? Also, the lovebirds won't be scared if you look at their eggs. :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 3 months ago from Kuwait

      @Murali Krishna

      A good pair of lovebirds are those that are active, playful and have a distint round chest. Their feathers appear clean, at proper length and the beak should be proper without any scratches or breaks. :) Hope this helps.

      @Natalie Frank

      Hey! :) Thank you so much for the warm comments. No, thankfully, I've never seen them depressed. They're happy and active. No, it's not necessary that birds that are together would be interested in each other. Like humans, they take time to bond, like and trust each other.

    • profile image

      mfhuq 3 months ago

      Are two female love birds Leave in one nest box and lay egg jointly?

    • profile image

      mfhuq 3 months ago

      My love bird laid 10 eggs starting from 26th June 2017 .To day is 26th July 2017.30 days passed but no baby hatched till to date.Some one commented that the incubation period of first egg over .And in his opinion both the birds are female and the eggs are laid by both the birds.The birds prepare one nest jointly, laid eggs and leaves jointly .Comment, is it possible ? And what is the fact.

    • profile image

      Yaszzzz 4 months ago

      How to make love birds mate.... It's been more than year since I bought a pair but they haven't mated yet wat shd I do to make them mate

    • profile image

      Vic 5 months ago

      My budgie has attracted 2 eggs between her legs under her tummy and she flies with them, why is she doing this. I have a big cage outside with 5 pairs of birds and 5 nests, i don't understand why she does this.

      Thanks Vic

    • profile image

      Jackie 5 months ago

      I just noticed today that my love birds have egg in the house nest.. I'm not sure how many because I did not want to scare them by looking in there.. I'm also not sure how long the egg been rhere.. but I am so excited

    • profile image

      mukunth 6 months ago

      HELPFULL.MAGNIFICENT COMMENT.

    • profile image

      Natalie Frank 6 months ago

      This is amazing! I can't believe your bird laid all those eggs, though it is sad that none of them had chicks. Does she or her mate ever seem depressed after so many infertile eggs? If you have a male and female and put them together is it taken as fact that when she lays eggs they have mated? Or is it possible the two birds for some reason aren't interested in each other? You know so much about this - I am truly impressed. I hope one day they'll hatch at least one chick and that you'll write something about it!

    • profile image

      Murali Krishna 6 months ago

      How to select a good pair of love birds from the pet shop

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 7 months ago from Kuwait

      Out of the four lovebirds, how many are female and how old are they?

    • profile image

      my name is mohd RIZWAN 7 months ago

      I have four love birds that not giving eggs

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 9 months ago from Kuwait

      You're most welcome Jackria! I am glad to help you any time. Feel free to ask me. :)

    • profile image

      Jackria Marecar 9 months ago from Chennai.

      Ohhh... Thank you sis...! I came back with some other ques.

      I'm beginner in growing birds.!!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 9 months ago from Kuwait

      Hi Jackria! :)

      Outside means where? Not inside your house? Are your lovebirds mates? Then, they will lay eggs if courtship is fone. Give them personal space and quiet atmosphere so that they can mate. Don't place them in direct sunlight. Keep them inside your house.

    • profile image

      Jackria Marecar 9 months ago from Chennai.

      I placed my lovebird cage outside where regular presence of human and light.... Is there any problem for lovebirds to lay an eggs ????!!!!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 9 months ago from Kuwait

      @Suresh deepak

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my article. I hope that your lovebird's chicks grow to be fine and healthy. Good luck! :)

    • profile image

      Suresh deepak 9 months ago

      I love this article it is very helpful to me, becoz my love bird are ready to lay eggs...

      Thanks for saying this wonderful information.

      very good luck for sakina

      Keep it up

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 10 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much Nell Rose! ☺ I am so glad you liked my hub.

    • profile image

      Nell Rose 10 months ago

      That was totally fascinating! Great to meet you and welcome to hubpages! great read!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      I am so glad that you liked my hub. Thanks for stopping by and adding your valuable feedback. ☺

    • profile image

      Tasnim 11 months ago

      Very informative for those who dont know anything about pets and egg laying process...well done!!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      Thanks a lot Hamza! I am so glad you liked it. God bless you too! ☺

    • profile image

      Hamza 11 months ago

      Woow very nice and helpful for many who doesn't have much knowledge about pets... God bless u keep writing.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback Lipnancy! I am so glad you liked my hub.

      Lovebirds are mini parrots and their personalities are amazing. ☺

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 11 months ago from Hamburg, New York

      What a cool article! I had no idea that lovebirds were so interesting.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      @Bibliopola Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback and appreciation! ☺

    • bibliopola profile image

      Işın Tuzcular 11 months ago from Istanbul

      Very informative and a beautiful hub :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      Thanks a lot Ashish! ☺

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 11 months ago

      You are welcome Sakina :)

      Keep on writing such beautiful hubs :)

      Good Luck :)

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
      Author

      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much for your warm comments and appreciation Ashish! I am glad you feel this way. I would be very happy to find out that someone benefited from my hub. God bless you too my dear friend. ☺

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 11 months ago

      Doctor Sakina Nasir, ;) :p

      You have waved this hub very beautifully. Such topic is very sensitive when it comes to writing but you have penned down in very creative and natural way.

      This hub giving new informative and knowledge to the common man like me who is not familiar with birds and animals.

      Bless you.

      Regards,

      Ashish

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      Thank you so much Samitha! ☺

    • profile image

      Samitha 11 months ago

      Amazingggggg❤

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      @Masuma ben Thank you for your appreciation!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image
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      Sakina Nasir 11 months ago from Kuwait

      @Maryam Thanks a lot for your appreciation!

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      masuma khamera 11 months ago

      superb article

    • profile image

      Maryam 11 months ago

      Really helpful!