A new pet can be a fantastic companion, but sometimes the novelty can wear off (some pets live for a very long time). You may find that regular cleaning, feeding, and handling becomes a time-consuming chore. Please try to handle and play with your pet as often as possible, you will find that you will be rewarded with a much happier and friendlier pet. If you are not 100% sure that you or your children will be able to give your pet the attention that it needs then please think twice.
- Average Adult Size: Lovebirds are small and compact parrots that are about five to six inches in length. They are typically a little larger than a Budgerigar
- Average Life Span: Pet Lovebirds can live up to 10 to 15 years or more if properly cared for
Lovebirds are a favourite among pet birds, often called “pocket parrots,” and among the most colourful you’ll find. While there are several lovebird species in the world, not all of them are kept as pets. The three most popular species can make charming and loving companions for a bird lover and you don’t necessarily need a pair of lovebirds to keep them happy.
All Lovebirds belong to the genus Agapornis and the order Psittaciformes, making them small parrots. In total, there are nine species of Lovebirds. The most common to be kept as pets are:
- Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)
- Black-Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata)
- Peach-Faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)
With the exception of the Madagascar Lovebird – native to that island – all Lovebird species call the African continent home. They tend to live in small flocks and feed on fruits, grasses, seeds, and vegetables. In the wild, the Fischer’s, Nyasa, and Black-Cheeked Lovebird populations are a cause for concern. Though they are not yet on the endangered species list, their numbers are so low that each falls into one of the “threatened” or “vulnerable” categories.
Lovebirds, like other parrots, should be fed a variety of foods. A good pelleted bird food should be the basis of the diet. Supplement that with a variety of fresh foods and some seeds. Seeds should make up less than 25% of the total diet.
Try to rotate the kinds of fresh foods you offer. Just keep in mind that it may take your lovebird a little time to adjust to any new things, including food. A cuttlebone bird treat can be provided in the cage for extra calcium. We recommend Harrison’s High Potency which is ideal for Lovebirds.
Check their food and water twice a day, blow off any seed husks and make sure there’s no poo in the food.
As a bare minimum, you will need a cage that is at least 24″ long by 18″ wide by 24″ for a single bird. However, a larger cage is always better, as Lovebirds need space for horizontal flight and with this in mind, at Pets Corner, we would recommend 36 inches long, 24 inches high and 24 inches wide as a good size for a pair of lovebirds.
If you can provide a larger cage focus more on the length rather than the height. This will ensure that your lovebird can spread its wings and even fly across the cage some. Bar spacing should be no more than 1/2- to 5/8-inch and should be orientated horizontally to allow the birds to climb the sides of the cage. Avoid round cages as they are more likely to damage tail feathers. Provide a variety of perch sizes (including natural branches if possible) to keep your lovebird’s feet healthy and strong as well.
Like all parrots, Lovebirds are quite active and playful. They’ll do best with plenty of interaction and playtime. By giving them attention every day, this will also strengthen your bond and prevent unwanted behaviour. It is a good idea to have lots of toys on hand and to rotate them throughout the cage to keep these birds occupied, Made sure all toys are zinc and lead-free and that there are no loose threads on cloth that may entangle your lovebird’s toes. Lovebirds can be aggressive chewers so keep this in mind when choosing toys. Make sure there are no small parts that can be chewed off and ingested. You should also avoid clips, loose strings, and other small parts in which your bird could get their beak, feet or head trapped in. Safe toys include wood, sisal, leather, acrylic, and rawhide toys, as well as bells and ladders. Household items such as empty cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls, paper cups, ink-free cardboard, and dried pasta shapes may also be used by your lovebird.
Lovebirds as pets:
Lovebirds can be described as active, curious, feisty, and playful so they definitely pack a lot of personality into a small package. They are very social birds that form deep bonds with their owners and can be very cuddly birds because of this. Lovebirds can also be very territorial, aggressive and jealous if not properly tamed and worked with from a young age. Some experts believe female lovebirds are more prone to jealousy and territoriality than males but birds of both sexes can have wonderful personalities.
While not as loud as some larger parrots, Lovebirds can still produce a loud, high pitched screech, especially when they’re seeking your attention. Their normal chirps and squawks are not overly loud, but they do like to chatter. As a rule, they are not known for their ability to mimic speech or sounds, although there are always exceptions to the rule. Some experts say females are more apt to mimic sounds or speech than males but both sexes have potential to chatter.
Regular handling and training are needed to maintain a tame Lovebird. Purchasing a hand-raised fledgling will make taming your new lovebird easier but with a little time and patience, you can tame any bird. If you’re getting an older lovebird, try to find one that has been handled regularly and has had some training to make things easier for yourself.
A common misconception about keeping lovebirds is that they should always be kept in pairs. Plenty of single lovebirds do fine without a mate as long as they receive enough attention and social interaction from their owners. That being said, lovebirds are flock animals so they really do thrive when they feel that they are part of a flock and have their own kind to communicate with. If you are short on time to spend with your love bird it is especially important to get him or her a companion.