The lovebird is a small parrot that originated from sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. There are nine species of lovebirds, and the Fischer’s lovebird, black-masked lovebird, and peach-faced lovebird are the most commonly kept pets.
As a family companion, the lovebird is very devoted to his owner, once he forms an attachment. He is known to be highly affectionate and playful. On the other hand, he can end up being moody and nippy if not given proper attention.
The lovebird is a social animal, thus he requires daily interaction. He rarely learns to talk, but early training will encourage him to speak. Unlike other parrots, the lovebird can only learn a few words. However, he is known to mimic household noises.
Where did lovebirds come from?
There are a total of nine species of lovebird parrots. These include the yellow-collared or masked lovebird, Fischer’s lovebird, peach-faced or rosy-faced lovebird, Abyssinian or black-winged lovebird, Black-cheeked lovebird, Madagascar or grey-headed lovebird, Nyasa or Lillian’s lovebird, red-faced or red-headed lovebird, and Swindern’s or Black-collared lovebird. Most of them originated from sub-Saharan Africa, except for the grey-headed lovebird which is native to Madagascar.
Most of these species can be found in places like desert edges, forests, woodlands, and savannahs. Others live near human habitations or cities such as farms, parks, and gardens. Lovebirds often live in small flocks.
The Fischer’s lovebird, black-masked lovebird, and peach-faced lovebird are the most common lovebirds that are kept as pets. Check out our For Sale and Rehoming page to find the right lovebird for you.
What does a lovebird look like?
Every lovebird species’ appearance slightly varies. However, their size and shape are the same. Lovebirds are small. They are commonly between 12 and 15 cm long and weigh around 2 ounces. Lovebirds have a stocky body. Their heads are round and they sport slightly big beaks. Their tail feathers are short and blunt.
The plumage colours of each lovebird species come in different colours. These include green, teal, peach, and white. Meanwhile, they may sport black, grey, orange, or red colours on their heads or necks.
READ: 8 Best Pet Bird Breeds
How big should a lovebird’s cage be?
The lovebird can grow around 12 to 15 cm in length, thus he needs at least 2″x2″x2″ birdcage. You can always opt for a bigger one if you prefer it.
A large and spacious enclosure is always better so that your lovebird has enough room to fly around and exercise. Make sure that the bar spacing does not go over 1/2 to 5/8 inches. It will prevent him from getting stuck or escaping his cage.
Put perches inside the cage as it promotes exercise. Their sizes should be around ¾ to ½ inches. Choose ones that are made out of hardwood to prevent it from easily getting chewed. Do not place the perches near food and water bowls to avoid contamination.
Care for a Lovebird
How to care for a lovebird
The lovebird is an extrovert that needs daily interaction with his family. Playtime is also a must. Make sure to provide him with different kinds of toys to keep him entertained.
Bird-safe shredding toys, wooden toys, swings, bells, and ladders are some of the many options. You can also use household items such as paper towels and paper cups as bird toys.
Bathe your lovebird every day. Fill a shallow bowl with water and let him take a dip. You can also use a spray and spritz him with water. Just make sure to avoid misting his face and nose.
After bathing, your lovebird must dry off completely to prevent him from catching diseases. Placing his cage near a sunny window will help in quickly getting him dry.
Bacteria proliferate swiftly on unwashed materials. Thus, keep your lovebird’s toys, birdcage, and other items clean. Wash his food and water bowls daily. Toys and perches should be cleaned whenever it starts getting dirty.
His enclosure should be cleaned and disinfected once a week. Be sure to pick a bird-safe disinfectant to prevent the risk of poisoning.
Do lovebirds make good pets?
The lovebird may be small-sized, but he is full of energy and love for his family. As a highly social bird, he forms a deep bond with his owner. The lovebird appreciates getting attention and affection from his owners. Lack of these can turn him into a moody and nippy pet. So, do not forget to interact with the pet bird daily.
It is best to raise a lovebird whilst he is young. A hand-fed baby lovebird is known to be more friendly than the one that is not. Males tend to be tamer than their female counterparts. Females often turn out to be a little aggressive once they reached sexual maturity.
The lovebird parrot is not the best option for families with children since he can be quite crabby. If you want one as a family companion, always supervise his interaction to prevent accidents. The lovebird has a small and delicate body and rough handling can easily hurt him. Thus, children must learn how to handle their pets gently.
Can lovebirds live alone?
The lovebird is often stereotyped as a bird that should be kept in pairs. Contrary to this belief, a lovebird can survive without a mate. However, owners must spend their time with their lovebird to keep him from feeling bored or lonely. This will also allow the lovebird to form a strong bond with his owners.
Can lovebirds talk?
A lovebird can learn how to talk. However, unlike other parrot species, he is not the best at it. If you want to teach him new words, start doing it when he is at a young age.
On the other hand, the lovebird is good at mimicking simple noises if exposed to them regularly. He can imitate household sounds such as doorbells and microwaves.
What do lovebirds eat?
Freshwater should be available for your lovebird throughout the day. For his daily diet, it should be made up of pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. 75 per cent of his meals are a mix of pellets and seeds. Avoid giving him an all-seed diet as it is high in fat.
Vegetables make up 20 per cent of his diet, whilst fruits should only consist of 5 per cent. Do not offer excessive amounts of fruits as it has too much sugar content. Before serving these food items, thoroughly clean them and remove pits and seeds. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables that are healthy and safe for your lovebird:
How long do lovebirds live?
The average lifespan of lovebirds is between ten and fifteen years. Keeping him in optimal health will ensure that he lives a longer life. Thus, be sure to provide him with a healthy diet, daily interaction, relaxing and stress-free home, and sufficient amount of sleep and exercise.
What are the most common health problems in lovebirds?
Similar to most birds, the lovebird is susceptible to several health issues. An unkempt enclosure and sudden changes in routine can lead to the development of illnesses. Here is the list of the most prevalent diseases in lovebirds:
- Psittacine beak and feather disease
- Polyomavirus infection
- Yeast infection (candidiasis)
- Bacterial infections
- Internal parasites
- Mites and ticks
Knowing the early signs of illnesses will save your lovebird’s life. Be on the lookout for sneezing, difficulty in breathing, loose stools, changes in sleeping and eating routine, closed eyes, and difficulties in breathing. If your lovebird is exhibiting any of these symptoms, consult the vet immediately.
Cost of Ownership
How much do lovebirds cost?
Getting a lovebird will cost you around £30 to over £50, depending on the species. Around £300–£400 is the overall yearly expenses for his food. Purchasing a birdcage is about £30–£100, depending on its size. Expenses that you will incur for buying his basic items range between £40 and £70.
Budget £40 for perches, stands, and bird toys. The fee for each vet check-up is around £30 and the cost for microchipping is £20. If you decide to get your lovebird insured, you need to pay approximately £8 every month. Get your very own lovebird in our For Sale and Rehoming page.
Lovebird Fun Facts
- Lovebirds are monogamous birds. They only bond with their mate for their whole life. They can also bond with their human owners and greatly affectionate towards them.
- The genus name of the lovebird is called Agapornis. It comes from the Greek words ‘agape’ and ‘ornis,’ which means ‘love’ and ‘bird’ respectively.