Lovebirds are a favorite among pet birds, often called “pocket parrots,” and are among the most colorful pet birds you’ll find. All lovebirds belong to the genus Agapornis and the order Psittaciformes, making them small parrots. While there are several lovebird species in the world, not all of them are kept as pets.
In total, there are nine species of lovebirds. The most common to be kept as pets are the Fischer’s lovebird, black-masked lovebird, and peach-faced bird. There is no need to keep a pair of birds if you have one of these three popular pet species. They are all charming and affectionate.
Origin and History (Lovebird)
All lovebird species live on the African continent, with the exception of the Madagascarbird, which is endemic to that island. They tend to live in small flocks.
- Except in exhibit aviaries, these lovebirds are almost never kept in captivity.
- Agapornis taranta, the black-winged lovebird, is an Abyssinian species (Agapornis taranta)
- Black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis)
- Agapornis cana, the grey-headed lovebird from Madagascar (Agapornis cana)
- This bird is known as Agapornis lilianae, which means “lovebird of Lillian” (Agapornis lilianae)
- Red-faced or red-headed lovebird (Agapornis pullaria) (Agapornis pullaria) (Agapornis pullaria)
- Swindern’s or black-collared lovebird (Agapornis Swindernia) (Agapornis Swindernia) (Agapornis Swindernia)
In the wild, the Fischer’s, Nyasa, and black-cheeked lovebird populations are a cause for concern. As a result of the dwindling population, even though they are not yet listed as endangered, each of these species is considered threatened or vulnerable.
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.
Lovebirds can also be very territorial, aggressive, and jealous if not properly tamed and worked with from a young age. Lovebirds of both sexes can have wonderful personalities, although some experts believe females are more prone to jealousy and territoriality than males.
Lovebirds can produce a loud, high-pitched screech when they want your attention, though not as loud as some larger parrots. Normal chirps and screeches aren’t particularly loud, but they do enjoy chitchatting.
As a general rule, they are not known for their ability to mimic speech or sounds, although there are always exceptions to the rule. Males, according to some experts, are more likely than females to mimic sounds or speech, but both sexes are capable of chitchatting.
Markings and Colors on a Lovebird
It is common knowledge that the tail feathers of a lovebird are short and blunt in shape. This, more than anything else, sets them apart from budgerigars. Lovebirds also have a stockier build.
Peach, teal, white, and green are just a few examples of the species’ many colors. They’re all quite colorful, with heads and faces that are a different shade of brown than the rest of their bodies. Pet lovebirds with mostly green plumage are quite common.
Various color mutations exist in several species of lovebirds as well. This is particularly true of the peach-faced lovebird, the most popular to be kept as a pet. It is easy to breed in captivity and this has been done for hundreds of years, so you will find many color variations.
The Absynian, Madagascar, and red-faced lovebirds are dimorphic, making it is easy to tell the males and females apart by the color of their feathers. It is difficult to distinguish the sexes of the other species because they are monomorphic and nearly identical.
The white eye ring that distinguishes parrots can be seen on some lovebird species. The peach-faced and Swindern’s lovebirds lack this feature.
The color of the lovebird’s hooked bill varies from species to species, ranging from bright orange-red to beige-colored beige. Their feet are zygodactyl, meaning two toes point forward and two toes point toward the rear. This helps with agility and gives them a better grasp on branches.
Caring for Lovebirds
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 some training to make things easier for yourself.
Keeping lovebirds in pairs is a common misunderstanding about the care of these fascinating birds. 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. Having a companion for your lovebird is especially important if you don’t have a lot of free time.
Lovebirds, like other parrots, should be fed a variety of foods. Wild birds feed on fruits, grasses, seeds, and vegetables, and a pet lovebird’s diet should be just as diverse.
A good pelleted bird food should be the basis of the diet. Fresh foods and seeds can help round out your diet. Less than a quarter of a person’s daily calories should come from seeds.
It’s a good idea to offer a variety of seasonal fresh foods. 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.
A cage with dimensions of two feet wide by two feet long by two feet high is the bare minimum. However, a larger cage is always better.
The length of the cage is more important than the height if you have a larger cage available. This will allow your lovebird to fly around the cage and spread its wings.
In order to allow the birds to climb the cage walls, the spacing between the bars should be no greater than 1/2 to 5/8 inch. 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. Your relationship with them will be strengthened, and you’ll avoid problems down the road if you pay regular attention to them.
It is a good idea to have lots of toys on hand and to rotate them throughout the cage to keep these birds occupied. Toys and clothing should be free of zinc and lead, which can entangle your lovebird’s toes.
Lovebirds can be aggressive chewers so keep this in mind when choosing toys. A small part that could be chewed off and consumed should be avoided. You should also avoid clips, loose strings, and other small parts in which your bird could get its beak, feet, or head trapped.
Wooden, sisal, leather, acrylic, and rawhide toys, as well as bells and ladders, are safe options for your child to play with. Your sweetheart can also make use of common household items like paper towel tubes, paper cups, ink-free cardboard, and dried pasta shapes.
Similarity: Feisty Personality
Both lovebirds and parrotlets are described as big birds in small bodies. Despite their diminutive size, they will socialize with and even stand up to much larger birds. Both have been described as “nippy” at times, but if raised by their owners, they become devoted companions.
To maintain their tameness, both of these species’ pet birds require daily handling. You’re making a commitment when acquiring a lovebird or parrotlet companion. Despite their desire for companionship, neither species will thrive in the company of a bird. Keep one as a pet bird, or keep more than one in separate cages for their own safety.
Both dogs and cats have a tendency to be envious of other people or pets in the house because of their intense attachment to their owners. Sandee Molenda, co-founder of the International Parrotlet Society, said that “both female parrotlets and lovebirds are more likely to be more aggressive than males.”
Lovebirds and parrotlets are not only bold and feisty, but also smart. Lovebirds have a history of escaping from cages by opening feed cup doors or latches.
Lovebird Size Is a Distinction
The Pacific, Green-rumped, and Spectacled parrotlets are the most commonly kept as pets. Their size varies from 3 inches to 5-1/2 inches, and their weight from 18 to 28 grams. Peach-faced, masked and Fischer’s lovebirds are all 5 to 6 inches in length and are hefty birds with weights from 35 to 55 grams. Little parrotlets are about two-thirds of the size of lovebirds, but both are diminutive in stature.
In our current understanding, both species have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Parrotlets have not been kept in captivity as long as lovebirds, so we’re still learning about their longevity. Because of their small size, high energy and curiosity, these species have a propensity to have accidents, which affects actual lifespan, too.
sexually dimorphic individuals
Lovebirds, like most parrots, are not sexually dimorphic. In other words, from the outside, there is no difference between the sexes. When mature, parrotlets have visual differences between the sexes.
A shrill chirp is the natural call of birds. Parrotlets, on the other hand, chirp quietly and can’t squawk. The spectacled parrotlet appears to be the best talker among the species, despite its tendency to remain silent. Lovebirds rarely mimic noises or talk.
Activity is a good example of a similarity.
Both parrotlets and lovebirds are active, curious and acrobatic species. They hang on their toys and love to go in things. They’ll perch on someone’s shoulder, tuck themselves away in their hair, or tuck themselves into a pocket. Dena Tucker of lovebird and parrotlet owners both purchase toys with colorful parts, toys that make noise, and toys that can be shredded. Because these are hardy birds with strong beaks, their toys should be more cockatiel or colure size rather than budgie size. Again, these are big birds in small bodies!
A swing will be appreciated by both lovebirds and parrotlets. Despite their fondness for going into boxes or tents, adult birds will develop territorial breeding behavior if they do so.
Difference: Nesting Behavior
If you have a female peach-faced bird, you may notice that she shreds everything in sight. Afterwards, she inserts the palm fronds or paper into her rump feathers and goes flying or walking around decked out in this fashion! Other bird species and parrotlets don’t exhibit this type of nesting behavior, so it must be unique to this species.
Similarity: Various types of organisms
There are three species of birds often kept as pets — peach-faced, masked and Fischer’s — and three species of parrotlets most often kept as pets —Pacific, green-rumped and spectacle. Get to know the species before you get your pet.
Pet peach-faced birds can be found in a wide variety of colors and mutations. The masked lovebirds and Fischer’s birds that are tame as babies do not remain so, contrary to popular belief.
Most pet owners keep Pacific parrotlets, of which there are several mutation colors. They can be feisty and stubborn but also loving with their owners. Spectacle parrotlets are bold, and both sexes can learn to talk. Green-rumped parrotlets can be shy but with patience can make great pets.