Pet Lovebird Species
There are several species of lovebirds in the world but not all of them are kept as pets. The most commonly seen species that are also pets are peach faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis), masked lovebirds (Agapornis personata), and Fischer's lovebirds (Agapornis fischeri). The colors that these species come in can vary widely from peach to teal to white to green. Various color mutations exist in several species of lovebirds as well.
Lovebirds are small and compact parrots that are about five to six inches in length. They are typically a little larger than a common pet budgerigar (parakeet).
Lovebird Life Span
Pet lovebirds can live up to 15 years or more if properly cared for.
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 as a result of this. But they can also be very territorial, aggressive, and jealous if not properly tamed and worked with from a young age. Some experts believe that female lovebirds are more prone to jealousy and territoriality than males but birds of both sexes can have wonderful personalities.
Taming a Lovebird
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 getting an older lovebird try to find one that has been handled regularly and has some training to make things easier for yourself.
Social Needs of Lovebirds
A common misconception about keeping lovebirds is that they should always be kept in pairs but plenty of single lovebirds do fine without a mate but with enough attention and social interaction from their owners.
With that being said though, 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 lovebird it is especially important to get him or her a companion.
Vocalizations of Lovebirds
While not as loud as some larger parrots, lovebirds can still produce a loud, high pitched screech, especially if seeking your attention. Their normal chirps and squawks are not overly loud, but they do like to chatter. As a general 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 the potential to chatter.
Lovebirds, like other parrots, should be fed a variety of foods. A good pelleted bird food should be the basis of the diet and then be supplemented with a variety of fresh foods and some seeds (seeds should make up less than 25 percent of the total diet). Try to rotate what kinds of fresh foods you offer but keep in mind that it may take your lovebird a little time to adjust to any new things, including food.
A cuttlebone can be provided in the cage for extra calcium.
Cages for Lovebirds
As a bare minimum, you will need a cage that is at least two feet wide by two feet long and two feet tall but a larger cage is always better. If you can provide a larger cage, focus on the length more than the height so that your lovebird can spread their wings and even fly across the cage some. Bar spacing should be no more than 1/2 to 5/8 inches and should be oriented 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.
Toys for Lovebirds
Lovebirds can be aggressive chewers so keep this in mind when choosing toys for them.
Make sure there are no small parts that can be chewed off and ingested and 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 are very active and playful so it is a good idea to have lots of toys on hand and to rotate them throughout the cage to keep them occupied. Make sure all toys are zinc and lead-free and there are no loose threads on cloth that may entangle your lovebird's toes.
Edited by Adrienne Kruzer, RVT