My friend brought her kids round to my house the other day for a catch-up, and the kids were, I’m told, very excited.
They all wanted to meet my parrots, and I can’t blame them—they’re full of personality!
It all went great and we had a great day introducing everybody, but my friend couldn’t help being a little bit nervous.
She had been thinking of giving in to their requests to get lovebirds of their own, recently, and she had a question for me—do they bite?
This is what I told her.
So, do lovebirds bite?
As long as they are properly raised, trained, and tamed, you should not have any issues with biting from lovebirds. They can get a bit more protective of the person they bond with, and this can sometimes result in biting. As long as you take steps to discourage this behavior and buy from reputable breeders, you’ll be fine.
Owning a lovebird can be a bit of hard work, I won’t deny it.
They are highly intelligent and highly social creatures with a lot of needs. If these needs are not properly met, or they are otherwise frustrated, lovebirds can indeed become aggressive and get bitey.
Let’s look further into this.
Are lovebirds aggressive?
They very often can be—whether that’s to other birds, to people, or even other pets.
Despite their name, lovebirds do have some capacity for aggression and confrontation.
Generally speaking, though, they are good pets and you shouldn’t have a problem with this if you take all the necessary steps.
It starts with how the bird was raised by the breeder.
They need to be hand-raised, really, or they will never have gotten properly used to people.
This will make them much more likely to be aggressive and, ultimately, to bite.
It’s also dependent on the sex of the birds.
Females are much more territorial than males, and this leads to hugely heightened aggression.
Again, you can curb this with the necessary training and raising, but they are more aggressive than males.
Males are much gentler and are not nearly as likely to bite.
If biting is something you’re worried about, getting a male may be the right move.
Ultimately, lovebirds will have a tendency to bite, but any responsible owner can curb this tendency.
So, is it really normal for lovebirds to bite?
Is it normal for lovebirds to bite?
It depends on what you mean by normal.
It’s certainly not a behavior you should encourage.
Even the nicest lovebird will sometimes be in a bad mood, though, and they may not want to play.
This could result in biting if you don’t take the hint.
So, if your lovebird does start biting, then don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world.
That said, you should also take it seriously if it becomes an ongoing problem.
There may be something your lovebird needs but is not getting.
It may be under socialized, or even underfed.
Be sure that it is getting all the food and attention, and stimulation, that it needs.
One of the most common reasons that lovebirds bite is jealously.
In the wild, they will usually mate for life.
This means they have a capacity to form a bond with usually one individual.
When they see that individual interacting even with other family members, it can trigger jealousy and this can lead to biting.
Be sure to try and socialize your lovebird with all members of your family.
If your lovebird will not stop biting, you may need to consult a behavioral vet.
How do you train a lovebird not to bite?
It starts with how the lovebird is raised.
As I’ve said, this is really the crucial point, so the best way to avoid having to train it in the first place is to buy from a reputable breeder.
Beyond that, though, there are a number of things you can do to stop them from biting.
Firstly, anytime they do in a way that hurts or seems less than playful, stop the interaction immediately, and verbally scold them.
Eventually, this should condition them not to want to bite you in the first place.
Beyond that, as I’ve said, your safest bet is to consult a vet.
They will be able to tell you if there is any extraneous factor causing the aggression.
Do lovebird bites hurt?
They certainly can, more than you might think, from such a small bird.
Their beaks are hard and pointed, and if they want to they can certainly break the skin.
They will often do small, playful bites, and this gives you an idea that they could hurt you if they wanted to!
The problem is usually with kids, though.
They will hurt kids a lot more, so this is where you need to be really careful.
It’s not like being bitten by a big dog or anything, though.
The pointed nature of the beak does mean they’re likely to break the skin if they bite hard, but it won’t do lasting damage.
Owning a parrot is a complex thing, whatever kind of parrot it is.
Lovebirds are easier to manage than other species, but you’d better believe they can bite if they aren’t getting what they need.
Before you buy any parrot, you need to do a lot of research to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
If you buy from a reputable breeder and understand everything you need to do, then you’ll have no problem with biting.