Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 10, 2021

Weird action


In my flock of four Fischer’s lovebirds, two of them are new birds bought last year. They are both healthy and in good shape. But they both does this weird knocking on surfaces(on their cage bars, floor, wall, etc…) with their beak with tapping rhythm. My other two birds never do this. It mostly happens when they are trying to perform a mating ritual. Also the female becomes aggressive during this and acts weirder as if it’s trying to get out by running around at the bottom of the cage. Is this behavior normal or is it a stereotype of mating performance? The cage didn’t have factors that trigger mating.


Answer:

Hi Lillium,
Birds that are caged together will exhibit mating behavior, even if they are the same sex. Unless your birds have been DNA sexed or have laid eggs, you can only guess at their gender. This is likely all hormonal behavior. It could also be some passive aggressive territorial behavior, which is part of hormonal behavior. When you mentioned having 4 together before, you didn’t tell me that 2 had only been added in the last year. They may just now be getting mature and hormonal. If you still have them split 2 per cage, this is good. If all four are together again, I would be very concerned that this is leading up to fighting. As I said before, lovebirds don’t do well in groups as a rule. Sometimes they can in a really large, walk-in type aviary, but in anything smaller, hormones eventually kick in and often birds get killed. Even without nests, hormones will come into play from time to time. Just watch them carefully and slit them up if you see signs of aggression.
Thank you for asking Lafeber,
Brenda

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