If you’re hoping to adopt a bird as your next pet, it can seem like a no-brainer to head to the pet store and pick out a parakeet.
But if you were hoping for something a little different, lovebirds can make great pets for a beginning or intermediate birdkeeper who is willing to be dedicated and give their new companion significant attention.
You’ve likely heard that you can’t just have one lovebird. If you’re not stoked on the idea of having two birds, you’ll be happy to know that it is not true that lovebirds need partners.
In the wild, these highly social birds do travel in flocks, but it is entirely possible to have only a single lovebird as a pet. In fact, if you’re hoping for your bird to be quite affectionate with you, only having one lovebird is going to be your best bet.
A single lovebird will need more daily attention from you, so you’ll have to be prepared to invest plenty of time and patience in care and training when you adopt a solitary lovebird. You will need to shower your bird with plenty of affection from an early age.
Much like in the wild, pet lovebirds like to be active. They will rise first thing in the morning to eat, drink, and treat you to a noisy concerto. They can sometimes settle down for a bit in the middle of the day, but they’ll get back to their commotion by late afternoon.
Rotating out different toys is a great way to keep your bird stimulated day after day. They also enjoy running back and forth and investigating items with different textures, toys that make noise, or tearing up dye-free paper. At least once a day, lovebirds should be released from their cage into a secure room without any open windows so that they can explore the environment, as well.
If you’ve been apprehensive of getting a bird out of fear that they will poop all over your home, you might want to reconsider! Thanks to being intelligent and motivated by affection, lovebirds are great learners. That means that aside from learning how to do cool tricks, like giving kisses, waving a foot, or whistling, you might be able to train your bird to poop before leaving the cage to explore.
Although they will still go potty every 10-15 minutes, the ability to relieve themselves on command before leaving their cage will at least help minimize the amount of times it will happen when you don’t expect it.
If you’ve decided to adopt a lovebird or two, you’ll have a few choices. There are actually nine lovebird subspecies, but three are considered good candidates for pets, thanks to their temperaments: peach-faced lovebirds, black-masked lovebirds, and Fischer’s lovebirds.
Much like other pets, there are plenty of rescue lovebirds out there that are looking for their forever homes. Check around for birds in local shelters or with bird rescues before adopting from a breeder, if possible.