A Beginners Guide to Lovebirds

Lovebirds are so named from the way they sit close to each other, not because they are in love with each other. Lovebirds can and do mate for life, but it doesn't happen every time.

Lovebirds are social birds and should be kept in pairs.

They are very active and curious birds and can even be quite aggressive at times. They can chatter all day long with a sometimes very shrill sound.

Lovebirds are native to Africa and a few nearby islands. In their native habitat, they are found usually in small flocks of 10 to 20 pairs.

Lovebirds are of the class Aves, the genus Agapornis and members of the Psittaciformes, or family of parrots.

Agapornis comes from the Greek words: Agape meaning love, and ornis meaning bird.

Lovebirds typically live from 10 to 15 years depending a great deal on the care they are given, some lovebirds have been known to live to be 20 in captivity.

There are 9 species of lovebirds, of which 8 are available as pets. They are not related to the South American parrotlets.

Sexually Dimorphic

1. Abyssinian Lovebird
2. Redfaced Lovebird
3. Madagascar Lovebird (Grayheaded)

Sexually Monomorphic (Similar)

1. Black cheeked Lovebired (Blackfaced)
2. Fischer's Lovebird
3. Masked Lovebird (Black Masked or Yellow collared)
4. Nyasa Lovebird (Lilian's)
5. Peachfaced Lovebird (Rosyfaced)

Characterized by Eye Rings:

Without Eye Rings:

1. Madagascar
2. Redfaced
3. Peachfaced
4. Abyssinian

With Eye Rings

1. Masked
2. Fischers
3. Nyasa
4. Black cheeked

What To Look For In A Healthy Lovebird

1. Active, alert and curious disposition
2. 4 well formed toes, 2 forward and 2 backward, nails must be complete
3. Bright, round eyes
4. Nostrils clear of discharge
5. Feathers lay tight against the body
6. Smooth beak that closes completely

What To Avoid In A Healthy Lovebird

1. A bird that sits huddled in a corner or on the floor
2. A bird with feathers fluffed up
3. Deformed toes
4. Vent fouled with feces or badly stained
5. Signs of weeping or runny eyes
6. Excessive plucking or excessive missing of feathers
7. Bald spots
8. A squeak, wheezing or other abnormality when breathing
9. Nervous behavior
10. Lethargic behavior
11. Dull or lifeless feathers
12. A bird too large for it's normal size (birds can and do get fat)
13. Nasal discharge

If you are a first time or novice lovebird owner, don't choose a bird that you think may be sick, choose the healthiest bird you can find. Many sicknesses can be cured, but better to leave these birds for experienced owners. Don't buy a sick lovebird because you feel sorry for it.

If possible get a certificate of health from the breeder or pet shop guaranteeing that a replacement will be made if the lovebird becomes sick or won't breed.

Lovebirds are not rare, there are a lot of them around to choose from. So take your time and select only birds that you really like the coloring and personality of.

Keeping Lovebirds as Pets

Lovebirds should be kept in pairs, one female and one male. They very much enjoy each others company, although don't be alarmed if they have occasional spats with each other.

If a pair of lovebirds constantly fight, then it's best to find each of them another mate. If you're buying birds from a breeder, make sure the breeder will exchange birds if they are not compatable.

As a general rule, only one pair of birds should be kept per cage. Keep one or more cages far enough apart from each other so they do not allow birds to be able to peck at each other.

When introducing new birds to a home with pre-existing birds, the new birds may not always be welcomed readily.

Lovebird Behavior

Lovebirds need exercise out of their cages daily.

Remember: Birds Love to Fly

Being cooped up in a cage all the time is not healthy for them, physically or emotionally. Birds kept in a cage will often sit on a perch and flap their wings incessantly.

Lovebirds need between 10 to 12 hours of rest a night. Do not keep your birds in rooms with televisions or other noisy devices when it's time for the birds to roost. Total darkness is not advised either, use a small 7 watt bulb in the room to provide enough night light for the bird to find it's perch and drink or feed if needed.

Keep all electrical wires, extension cords, etc, completely hidden and unavailable to the birds.

Never use Kerosene or similar type heaters that give off fumes. Coal and wood stoves are no nos. No matter how hard you may' try, a wood burner will emit fumes and smoke into your home that may kill your lovebird. If you have a home with a wood burner completely isolate a room only for your birds and use an infrared or electric heater.

A fairly constant 80 degrees Farenheit temperature is about right for lovebirds.

It's not a good idea to keep finches, cockatiels, rosellas, or budgies with lovebirds.

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For more really cool info on all aspects of Pet & Wild Bird Care: visit Petey, Petunia & Tweet Tweet's site and take advantage of their extensive library of f r e e avian care tips & fun info.

http://petcaretips.net/bird_care.html

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