Africa and Madagascar.
5-7 inches in length.
Between 15 and 20 years.
Lovebirds are intelligent, affectionate, and playful little birds. With proper care and adequate socialization, many form especially strong bonds with their owners. Those that don't have a lot of time to spend with a Lovebird typically purchase a mate for their pet, as these birds are extremely social and cannot thrive without interaction.
There are nine sub-species of lovebirds, the Peach-Faced, Red-Faced, Madagascar, Abyssinian, Nyasa, Swindern's, Masked, Black-Cheeked, and Fischer's. Each type displays different colors and markings, but the Peach-Faced -- by far the most common -- has a gorgeous yellow, green, and blue body with a brilliant splash of peach or apricot on their heads. Color mutations also occur in several types, and are often available.
Lovebirds in the wild normally feed on grains, grass, seeds, and berries. They do best in captivity when fed a high-quality pelleted diet, supplemented with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly greens.
Lovebirds make extremely active pets, and must be provided with adequate space to explore, climb, and fly. Many lovebirds also love to chew, and need to be provided with plenty of wood and toys that they can exercise their jaw muscles on.
Lovebirds as Pets:
Some of the smallest members of the parrot family, Lovebirds have captivated bird owners for over 100 years. Although they rarely talk or mimic, these beautiful little birds are exciting to watch and charming to interact with -- traits that have made them one of the most commonly kept pet bird species.
True to their name, Lovebirds thrive on social interaction, and require a mate to keep them company if their owner is unable to handle and socialize with them regularly. These birds form extremely strong emotional attachments to their owners and mates, so it's important that they are only adopted by those who plan on keeping them for life. To separate a Lovebird from the object of their affection is, in some cases, a death sentence.
While it's important to consider a Lovebird's emotional needs, owners should take care in choosing cagemates for their pets. Lovebirds that do not get along often become very aggressive, and can fatally injure each other. Because of this behavior, it's never a good idea to house a Lovebird with a bird of a different species.
Those that choose to keep a pair of Lovebirds must be prepared for the possibility that they will breed. Lovebirds reproduce readily, and a single pair can produce 3 clutches of eggs per year. Many owners of lovebird pairs have been unexpectedly turned into breeders overnight, so many may wish to purchase DNA sexed birds so that they'll know what to expect.
All photos of "Pierre", a Peach-Faced Lovebird, 2006 Courtesy of Colleen Varga.