A friend of mine is off on vacation soon, and he’s asked if I could possibly look after his lovebirds while he is away.
While I initially leapt at the thought, I had to take a step back and consider for a moment whether it would be good for my cockatiels.
I didn’t really have anywhere to keep them separate from my birds, so I had to find out whether they could be safely housed together.
I decided to look into it.
So, can lovebirds and cockatiels live together?
No, generally not. Lovebirds have highly aggressive tendencies, and don’t tend to get on with other species. Cockatiels are quite passive, on the other hand, meaning the lovebirds will have a tendency to attack them. In some cases, it may work, but you really shouldn’t risk it.
Housing different species of parrot together is often very difficult, and particularly so when it comes to lovebirds.
They are highly territorial, and don’t generally take well to other species being in their living area.
Even in the cases where they are successfully housed together, this does not guarantee it will work for you.
It’s best to keep them separate.
Let’s look further into this.
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Can lovebirds live with other birds?
As a general rule of thumb, no, they can’t.
Lovebirds are highly social creatures, but they usually bond with a single individual.
In almost all cases, this is a member of their own species.
They are distrusting of other parrots, and don’t like having them around.
They can become aggressive, territorial, and ultimately violent if housed with another parrot.
This applies to cockatiels.
The best way to keep lovebirds is in a pair.
One bonded pair should provide all of the socialization needs that each bird has, and though you will still need to interact with them, they won’t get bored or lonely as long as they’ve got another lovebird.
This is about the extent of how you can have lovebirds live with other birds.
As I said, there may be some individual cases where lovebirds get on fine with other birds.
However, these examples are anomalous, and the lovebird could always become aggressive at any moment.
So, no, lovebirds should not live with other species.
When it comes to cockatiels in particular, these birds are much gentler and more passive, meaning lovebirds can seriously injure them without the cockatiel really fighting back.
What about keeping cockatiels with other birds?
Can cockatiels live with other birds?
In many cases, yes, cockatiels can live with other birds just fine.
It’s always important that you manage this with extreme caution, though.
Parrots are highly complex creatures, and some cockatiels may not like to live with other birds.
In any case, you need to make sure you take the time to get the birds used to one another, with supervised play.
In general, though, cockatiels are passive and highly social, not excluding other species.
Assuming both birds are trained and socialized, your cockatiel will get on well with parakeets and many other kinds of docile parrot.
You need to be sure they have enough space and food for each of them, though.
One of the most common causes of disagreements between parrots is fighting over space or food, so be sure that you have plenty of room to house both birds.
What birds do well with lovebirds?
Realistically, the only answer is other lovebirds.
As I said, despite their size, name and reputation, lovebirds are nonetheless quite aggressive.
They are, most importantly, highly territorial, and this is one of the quickest things that can lead to aggression.
One other lovebird is really the only way you can be sure that they will get on.
Even if the lovebird appears, at first, to get on with other parrots, there’s no guarantee things will continue this way.
They could turn at any moment.
Ideally, the only real way to keep lovebirds is as a pair.
Though they can get sufficient interaction from you if you are giving it all of your attention, this can be demanding on your time.
Getting a pair will keep it happy even when you are not around.
What birds can be kept with cockatiels?
Cockatiels, on the other hand, do well with a wide variety of birds, and can be kept with many other species.
As I mentioned, one of the best choices is parakeets.
These birds are also highly social and passive, generally speaking, and will get on really well with cockatiels.
Of course, again, training and supervision at first are still really important.
Other common choices to keep with cockatiels include turquoise parrots.
These pretty birds enjoy interacting with other species and are highly curious.
Again, though, it’s also a great choice to simply keep two cockatiels together.
Everything I said about adequate food and space still applies, of course—they can get territorial if they must compete over space.
But two cockatiels will keep each other company throughout the day.
So, the short answer is no, lovebirds and cockatiels cannot live together.
You always run a risk of housing them together—even if they appear to get on at first, you may eventually find that they turn off one another.
Lovebirds, in particular, are highly territorial with aggressive tendencies, and this can lead to big problems when housed with other species.
If you want to take my advice, don’t risk it—find a different pairing that works.