Avian Expert Articles

Lovebirds As Pets


No other companion pet has a name quite as endearing as a lovebird. The lovebird’s genus, Agapornis, is the words “love” and “bird” joined together — agape is Greek for “love” and ornis is Greek for “bird.” The lovebird might be a small parrot but not in a delicate way like a budgie. Lovebirds are stocky, with a beak that looks like it belongs on a slightly larger parrot!

The lovebird’s name is based off of the seemingly intense bonding and attention often lavished on the bird’s mate. From this aspect, it easy to see why lovebirds make the ideal Valentine’s Day mascot — who can argue otherwise when you see two lovebirds cuddled up against one another on a perch? They are most often shown as couples, so many people have the impression that pet lovebirds only come in pairs. However, just like people, you can’t just put two lovebirds together and expect a happily ever after. Unless the birds were introduced at a young age, the older bird might act aggressively to the new comer, and in a larger group situation, some bullying can occur. The average Joe might not know that companion lovebirds can be aggressive toward other birds — including other lovebirds — furred pets and people. Lovebirds have a tendency to be fearless and some have no qualms about going after the household dog or cat if they feel their space has been infringed upon.

A bonded lovebird pair might very well treat the humans in the household as a “third wheel” and want nothing to do with them. For this reason, some people recommend having a single-kept lovebird as a companion pet instead of a lovebird pair. However, given the lovebird’s intense social nature and need to bond, a single bird will need frequent social interaction and attention from the people in the house.

In the wild, most lovebird species pair for life. You can spot a budding romance by proximity, as lovebirds stay especially close to one another as mating season approaches, briefly parting to collect nesting materials and foraging for food, but back together to relax and roost. You might say that lovebirds love to be near the one they love.



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