If you are considering getting a pet bird at the moment, then chances are, you’ve already looked at, or are currently looking at, a lovebird. And who wouldn’t?
Essentially the feathered and flying equivalent of goldfishes in the pet industry, lovebirds are a favorite among domesticated birds and are among the most common pets you can find today.
But are lovebirds good pets for beginners? Well, they are okay for beginners, but these birds usually require more work and attention. However, with the right amount of care and attention, lovebirds make excellent pets that will provide companionship and affection for years to come.
What Are Lovebirds?
Originating from the African continent (except for the Madagascar lovebird – a native to that island), the lovebird is a small, stocky parrot around 5.1 – 6.7 inches in size.
Did you catch that lovebirds are parrots? Yes, they are parrots, although they are relatively smaller than the average one. Like all birds in the parrot family, they also have a hooked bill and zygodactyl feet, where two toes point forward and two point backward.
Compared to other parrot species, they’re not known for being “talkers,” as they are not adept at mimicking speech or sounds. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re quiet, as lovebirds are a particularly chatty bunch that love to sing and whistle all day long.
They’re also highly active and playful, often found playing and hanging around in addition to being noisy. If you have a pair of lovebirds in a large cage, then expect a particularly chirpy morning as they are bound to start singing at the break of dawn.
Besides that, lovebirds are also an affectionate and intelligent bird species, and it’s common for a hand-tamed lovebird to always ride on its owner’s shoulders.
More reading: How do Lovebirds Sleep? Everything You Need to Know
Do Lovebirds Make Good Pets For Beginners?
Provided that lovebirds are well-socialized and tamed, they make lovely pets. Lovebirds are affectionate, intelligent, and friendly, which are three qualities that make them ideal as pet birds.
That being said, they do require socialization just about every day if you want to earn their trust, and you can’t expect a lovebird to stay tame if you ignore them.
However, for beginners who are particularly new to taking care of birds, lovebirds are generally an okay choice. While they aren’t necessarily big animals, lovebirds are more similar to the demands of having a dog than having a tiny hamster.
Furthermore, it’s recommended that if you want a lovebird but can’t commit to spending a lot of time with them, you need to get a pair, so they don’t get lonely.
However, the key to building a relationship with a lovebird is to “start ’em young” by showering them with attention from an early age. Adult lovebirds can be tough to please, but juvenile ones can be easily hand-tamed. Over time, you will closely interact with them while also learning what it’s like to be a responsible pet owner.
So if you want a pet lovebird, then prepare to provide them with daily interaction and plenty of your time. Just get one young and handfed, and you should be able to build trust in no time.
More reading: Are Quaker Parrots Good Pets?
How Can Beginners Pet Lovebirds?
Aside from giving them lots of attention right from the start, beginners can pet lovebirds by making sure that they’re living their best lives. This means providing them with a healthy diet, housing them in a big cage, and keeping them stress-free and happy.
For example, it’s best to feed them with formulated diets in pellet form, with the occasional safe fruit and vegetable mixed in. This ensures that your pet cannot pick and choose which parts to eat. Of course, make sure they have clean water too, and you’ll be one step closer to being a great lovebird owner.
Additionally, provide them with appropriate housing. While you don’t have to necessarily get the biggest one you can find, make sure they have room to stretch their wings for exercise. If this isn’t possible, then letting them out for a couple of hours every day is the next best thing.
Lastly, train them! Lovebirds are very trainable birds, and you can start by getting the bird to leave its perch and fly to your finger. Of course, this will take a lot of time, but be patient enough, and you’ll be rewarded with an affectionate animal that trusts you and always wants your attention.
Just remember to treat the bird with respect, and to always be gentle when handling one. Alternatively, it’s also best to just wait for them to come to you instead. Coax them with treats, and pet them on the neck and head once they become comfortable with you.
Here are a few other related questions you may have about these colorful, chatty birds:
Can Lovebirds live alone? While you’d think that lovebirds require a partner because of their name, this is a common myth, as they are perfectly capable of living on their own. A solitary lovebird will bond deeply with someone who puts in the hours to really care for them. However, they like being part of a flock, as they are highly social birds that stay together in the wild.
How many species of lovebirds are there? There are nine species of lovebirds that are classified. However, out of all nine species, only three make good pets. This includes the Fischer’s lovebird, the peach-faced lovebird, and the black-masked lovebird.
Do lovebirds mate for life? Yes! Lovebirds are monogamous and often mate throughout their roughly 15-year lifespans. Lovebirds also affectionately feed each other, and a lovebird that lost its partner often exhibits erratic behavior.
While they are not the top choice for beginner bird pets (that would have to be budgies and cockatiels), lovebirds still make an excellent companion for those committed enough to provide them with what they need.
As long as you make an effort to socialize and care for them every day, they will be rewarded with a deep bond that will continue throughout the bird’s life.
If you think a lovebird fits nicely into your life, then you’d also be glad to know that they are readily available and reasonable in terms of cost. Just remember, care and attention are key!