Ask Lafeber


February 15, 2021

Lovebird behavior

My almost 6 month old male Peach-faced Lovebird Kiwi has been engaging in an odd behavior as of late (3-4 times so far). He has jumped onto my plush, cuddly blanket on my lap, spread his tail feathers, opened his wings slightly, and pivoted back and forth, rubbing his vent on my blanket. I posted a video of this behavior on a lovebird forum, and the consescus was that Kiwi was masturbating. According to my research, lovebirds don’t reach sexual maturity until 10 months of age. Since Kiwi is just shy of 6 months of age, could this behavior actually be masturbation?


Hi Sue,

That is indeed what the behavior is. Captive raised birds tend to become sexually mature at a much younger age than in the wild. However, they are still developing physically and mentally, so they are not ready for a breeding situation. Not that this was your intent, but it explains his behavior at such a young age. If he was intended as a breeder, he still should not be paired with a mate until he is at least 18 months old, and a female should be 2 years old. When you let young birds breed, there can be many complications and they often develop bad breeding habits that ruin them as being good breeding birds. When Kiwi does this, try distracting him with a toy or a different activity.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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