Love Birds

Lovebirds are playful, entertaining pets. These 6-inch-long parrots may be small in size, but they’re full of personality. They are easily found in pet stores, and cost far less than a big macaw or Amazon parrot.

Should lovebirds be kept in pairs?

Many people believe that lovebirds should always be bought in pairs. They certainly look happy cuddled up against a fellow lovebird, in their cage. But a single bird can make a perfect pet, provided that you have lots of time to lavish on it. The bird will bond with you instead of a fellow lovebird, and will cuddle on your shoulder for hours.

In houses with busy owners, however, lovebirds are better kept as pairs. Without attention, single lovebirds can become depressed, acting out by plucking their own feathers, or nipping at their human with a sharp beak. They may also become defensive of their cage area, especially around other parrots.

Different kinds of lovebirds

Three species are commonly captive-bred and sold in pet stores: the peach-faced lovebird, the masked lovebird, and the Fischer’s lovebird. The peach-faced lovebird is considered by some to make the friendliest pet. Breeders have developed many color varieties of each species.

A fourth species, the Nyasa lovebird, appears in Australian pet stores. The remaining five species are rare as pets – some, like the red-faced lovebird, would be hard to breed in captivity. In the wilds of Africa, it nests in termite mounds – a difficult environment for humans to provide indoors!