By their names alone, one can easily assume that lovebirds are loving creatures, and they are! Easily one of the most common pets among the parrot family, lovebirds are known for being very social, caring, and personality-filled. Unfortunately, it’s not always cheery chirps and chatter for these birds, as they can be pretty aggressive now and then.
So, if you’re wondering, why do lovebirds fight? Well, it’s because lovebirds are territorial birds that struggle with getting along with other species, especially if they’re in the same cramped cage. It’s pretty common for same-gender lovebirds thought to be a pair to start attacking each other. And out of all the lovebird species, this behavior is most common among Peach-faced lovebirds and female lovebirds.
That being said, other reasons can be behind lovebird aggression, and this article will talk about everything you need to know about this topic and a few related questions.
Why do Lovebirds Fight?
If you’re reading this, then there’s a pretty big chance that your lovebirds are fighting, and you’re looking for a way to stop it. But to do that, it’s essential first to understand why lovebirds exhibit this behavior.
Among the parrot family, lovebirds (yes, they’re parrots) are easily one of the most domesticated, which is why they are often found in pet shops from all over. However, despite this, lovebirds managed to retain their territorial instincts and become very defensive of their space in the cage.
In such cases, it might be best to put your pets in separate cages to avoid fighting and, worst-case scenario, killing each other.
Aside from being territorial, however, another reason behind your lovebirds fighting is because they might not be a pair in the first place… meaning they are either both male or female.
As lovebirds generally look similar between genders, it can be easy to mistake two lovebirds as a pair. And when two same-gender lovebirds are placed together in a cage, it won’t be long before they show aggression towards each other.
Aggression doesn’t always mean that they’re the same gender, as fighting/biting is also common during mating season. When a female lovebird reaches sexual maturity, her hormones usually go overboard, making her more prone to aggression. Furthermore, males also tend to bite at females during the courting and mating process.
More reading: Why Do Lovebirds Die Suddenly?
Why Does Your Lovebird Bite?
Often, a small amount of biting is normal and should not be cause for concern. It’s even one of the many ways that a juvenile lovebird will play with you and can be compared to a toddler going through teething.
However, if the bird continues to escalate biting, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. First, biting is a sign of displeasure in birds. This means that if your pet bites you a lot, they are most likely stressed or frightened. Sometimes, it’s a combination of both. Regardless of the reason, an unhappy bird is liable to react by biting.
Another reason behind lovebirds lashing out by biting is insecurity. In case you don’t know yet, lovebirds are pets that thrive on getting attention, so not giving them enough or showing favoritism between your pets can easily result in jealousy/insecurity and, in turn, biting. This is even more evident if the cage where they are kept is small or cramped.
Your pet’s environment also plays a role in how cranky or stressed your pet bird can be. Do they live in a noisy environment? Are there always kids shouting? Is there a pet cat always bothering the cage? In such cases, your bird will most likely become stressed and react by biting you whenever you go near. This is irritability and is very unhealthy for a lovebird.
More reading: How do Lovebirds Sleep? Everything You Need to Know
How to Stop My Lovebirds from Fighting
With so much possible aggression between lovebirds, is it possible to train them to stop being so aggressive and bitey? The good news is, yes!
As pet birds, lovebirds are highly trainable, and correcting their behavior is one of the many responsible things you need to do as a pet owner.
And when it comes to training, the most effective way is to begin with small interactions. You can do this by whispering to the bird, keeping the cage near you, singing/whistling near the bird, or just giving them your attention. This should help make them comfortable with you, which is an important step. But of course, understanding their body language and respecting their choices is also essential.
If you have more than one bird, make sure they are both given the same amount of care and attention, as well as playtime to stay healthy every day.
Another thing you can do is to stabilize their hormones by eliminating dark spaces in the cage and refraining from food that encourages this. Then, when your bird starts getting more comfortable, offer them security out of the cage by keeping the place peaceful. Never force the bird as well, and remember to be patient when training a bird.
If you do everything right, then your pet lovebird should bond with you in no time and refrain from hard and hurtful bites.
More reading: Are Lovebirds Good Pets for Beginners?
Why do lovebirds bite each other? Often, when lovebirds bite each other, it’s because their territorial instincts are kicking in and pushing them to be defensive of their space. Lovebirds do this in the wild, and they carry this behavior even in domestication. However, there are also other reasons behind biting, such as mating and stress/unhappiness.
Should I separate my birds if they fight? If they are the same gender and are not a pair, then yes, as there is a chance of them drawing blood and seriously hurting each other. However, if it’s mating behavior, observe more closely and only separate them when it goes overboard.
How do I Make My Lovebirds Get Along? First off, make sure they are different genders and are an actual pair! Second, make sure that they aren’t just playing with each other! When you’re sure of both, the next best thing is to give them ample space, keep them healthy with a varied diet, and give them lots of your attention and care on a daily basis. This should result in happier lovebirds that will get along.
It can be disconcerting to see your pet lovebirds showing so much aggression, and it’s easy to lose it and start panicking if you don’t know what to do.
Luckily, knowing the reasons behind this aggression and knowing how to check what the actual situation is all about is key to making the best decision for your lovebirds. Nevertheless, most cases of lovebird aggression can be solved by keeping the bird (or birds) healthy and providing what they need.