While having a conversation about the temperaments of different parrots with my other parrot enthusiast friend, he mentioned the bonding of lovebirds and I realized it wasn’t a parrot I had ever really considered owning.
I had often remembered hearing that lovebirds, despite their name, were very temperamental and could even be mean, so I decided to look into the question.
So, are lovebirds affectionate?
The basic truth is that yes, they are very affectionate. They are highly intelligent and will bond very closely to you given the chance. However, lovebirds do in some ways require a bit more work than other species. So, essentially, they are affectionate, but the affection is not unconditional!
For beginners, as far as most small parrots go, lovebirds can be a bit more difficult than, say, a cockatiel or a budgie.
If given the care and attention they need, your lovebird will be a highly affectionate companion.
Lovebirds are highly social animals.
Most parrots generally are, at least to some degree.
Lovebirds in particular even among parrots require a lot of socialization, and it’s generally advised to keep them in pairs if you aren’t able to interact with them plenty.
If you are keeping only one lovebird, you must be sure you’re able to provide all the necessary socialization that it needs.
You will need to interact with it for some time every day.
Because they are so highly social, it is generally common practice to keep lovebirds in pairs.
However, if you have the time and the will to give your lovebird all the attention it needs every day, then your lovebird will grow fiercely bonded to you and will be highly affectionate.
This highly social nature, if not properly tamed, can end up falling on the opposite end of the spectrum, and can result in aggressiveness, being territorial and even jealous.
It’s very important that you understand a lovebird’s needs.
One final note, is that lovebirds do not get along well with other species.
If you want to keep another parrot along with your lovebird, it must be another lovebird.
Do lovebirds like to be handled?
Given how deep are the social bonds formed with their fellow lovebirds or with their human owners, naturally lovebirds usually enjoy cuddles and physical interaction.
You should begin bonding with your lovebird as soon as you bring it home.
This includes handling the bird, if it is receptive.
It may take some time to get used to it, and you must absolutely not force the interaction.
Handle it very gently and with care, allowing it to perch on your finger when removing it from the cage.
Eventually, as your bond deepens, it will begin to enjoy being handled.
If you slowly begin doing this several times a day, your lovebird will come to love being handled!
Again, it’s vital to build up this relationship over time.
Your lovebird is by its nature affectionate, but it will not develop this relationship to you overnight.
Do lovebirds bond with their owners?
The answer to this question is yes, but there are a few things you will need to think about.
As I mentioned earlier, it has been common practice to keep lovebirds in pairs.
While this is not strictly necessary, even if you are able to provide all the socialization that your bird requires, it might be a good idea to consider getting a pair.
In the case that you have two lovebirds, they will indeed still bond both to you and to each other.
In order to maintain that bond, it’s important that you keep interacting with your lovebirds as much as you would if you only had a single one.
If, on the other hand, you have a single lovebird, you may notice that its bond to you is fiercer.
After all, you are its main companion!
This is why it is so important to maintain constant interaction if you have a single bird.
Its temperament will be fiercely affectionate, and you can see how this could lead to being aggressive or territorial if not properly nurtured.
Do lovebirds need to be in pairs?
So, as said, it is not strictly necessary to keep your lovebirds in pairs, if you’re able to give it all the attention it needs.
However, let’s look at the pros and cons of both options.
First of all, to reiterate the point, lovebirds are, even among parrots, highly social animals who require a lot of stimulation.
For this reason, it has for a long time been assumed that the best thing to do was keep them in pairs.
It is certainly true that, as long as they are both of the same species, two lovebirds will very much enjoy each other’s company.
Another member of their own species is a great way to increase their feeling of comfort.
However, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to avoid keeping them in pairs.
They breed readily, for instance, and so it’s generally best to keep a same sex pair if you don’t want a whole family!
It’s best to have the pair bond from a young age, and even to observe them getting along beforehand.
While they are, in most case, highly affectionate and social, sometimes when they reach sexual maturity, they can become territorial.
Monitor their behavior closely as they grow.
So, with all that said, the answer is that no, your lovebird does not need to be kept in a pair, but if you are going to own a single lovebird, make sure you’re able to give it all the attention it needs.
So, in conclusion, lovebirds are definitely just as affectionate as their name suggests.
Highly social and highly intelligent, they will become deeply bonded to their companions, be they human or another lovebird.
Their temperament and personality means you will have to keep a close eye on them, but once you’re accustomed to one another, you and your lovebird will become very affectionate companions.
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