The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Parrot The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Parrot
Showing posts with label Parrot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parrot. Show all posts

Friday, September 10, 2021

Selecting a pet bird

Humans have been fascinated by birds for centuries, with a variety of species kept as companion animals in cultures around the world. They can make wonderful additions to households, especially if there is limited space or family members are allergic to other animals.

What are you looking for in a bird? Your choice of bird will be affected by your preferences for appearance, personality, companionship or ability to talk.


Pet birds come in many sizes and colors — ranging from finches with a wing span of just a few inches, to macaws whose wing span can be up to four feet. Bird feather hues range from natural greys, yellows, reds, and greens to unusual color combinations resulting from selective breeding.

To read more on this story, click here: Selecting a pet bird


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Important Facts about Parrot for Kids

Parrot is the most popular and loved bird among children. Apart from being beautiful with its bright coloured feathers and beak, it is considered to be one of the most intelligent among birds. However, there are more facts to a parrot than it being a bird with colourful plumes and its mimicry skills. So here is an article not only on Indian parrot bird information for kids but also on other parrot species of the world as well.

Interesting Information about Parrots for Kids

Parrots are interesting creatures not just for their intelligence and beauty but also for their diversity and variety. Not all parrots are the same; the diet, plumage, size, look and the vocal sound all differ from one type to another.

To read more on this story, click here: Important Facts about Parrot for Kids


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Before Buying An Exotic Pet, Please Do Your Homework First

Whether they are hamsters, parrots or iguanas, exotic pets have specific veterinary needs. Don’t get an exotic pet until you read this first.

What is an exotic pet? Good question.

In my experience, it’s anything but a dog or a cat. That leaves a lot of fantastic creatures that people keep in their homes in between the “dog” and “cat” label.

Veterinarians usually specialize in large or small animal medicine. Large means, well, large, like cows and horses. Throw in the other ruminants — and don’t forget the poultry. “Small animal medicine” means dogs and cats.

To read more on this story, click here: Before Buying An Exotic Pet, Please Do Your Homework First


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The 6 Best Bird Pets for Children and What Makes Them Great Pets for Kids

When finding the best bird pets for children, you must take into consideration the kinds of birds that are compatible with kids. Each bird species is unique in more than just its appearance. Bird species require different levels of time, attention, commitment, and even space. So, which types of birds are most compatible with children?

To read more on this story, click here: The 6 Best Bird Pets for Children and What Makes Them Great Pets for Kids


Saturday, March 6, 2021

How to Care for Hyacinth Macaws (Blue Parrots)

The beautiful, cobalt-blue hyacinth macaw is the largest of all parrots. It is a rare and threatened species that should be kept only by a very dedicated owner who can provide for needs that are as large as the bird itself. This is a bird that is more common in zoos than it is in private homes—and for good reason. It is a rare owner who has the time, patience, and financial resources to care for a unique and sensitive bird that is nearly as large as a bald eagle.

To read more on this story, click here: How to Care for Hyacinth Macaws (Blue Parrots)


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fat, Flightless Parrot Named Bird of the Year After a Campaign Tainted by Voter Fraud

London (CNN)A lengthy and bitter election campaign that dragged in competing interest groups and was sullied by a voter fraud scandal came to an unlikely end on Monday, when a fat, flightless and nocturnal parrot stunned pundits to claim an upset victory.

The kakapo, officially the world's heaviest parrot, won New Zealand's Bird of the Year vote after a weeks-long campaign that rivaled human political contests in intensity.

It became the first bird to win the contest for a second time -- a feat not explicitly prohibited by the country's constitution -- and snatched victory thanks to the competition's unique and convoluted voting system, having lost the outright popular vote to the Antipodean albatross.

To read more on this story, click here: Fat, Flightless Parrot Named Bird of the Year After a Campaign Tainted by Voter Fraud


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Zoo Removes Parrots From View After They Kept Cursing At Visitors

There is no audio in this story. So you will not hear the parrots.

Polly’s got a potty mouth.

A group of parrots at a UK zoo have been removed after repeating obscene language at visitors.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park received the five African grey parrots back in August and quarantined them together in the same room, Lincolnshire Live reported. However, the close proximity seemed to have brought out the worst in the birds.

To read more on this story, click here: Zoo Removes Parrots From View After They Kept Cursing At Visitors


Monday, September 7, 2020

Parrots Can Be Amazing Companion Animals, But Do They Really Make Good Pets?

It is estimated that there are 11 million birds living as pets within the United States. Parrots are now thought to be the fourth most common household animal after dogs, cats, and fish. So do they make good pets? You may be surprised to learn that for many Americans the answer is no.

Parrots can be amazing companion animals. They are highly trainable, they can be cuddly and affectionate, and if treated correctly they will form very strong bonds with their care takers. The flip side is that they are such social and intelligent animals that they demand a huge amount of attention and mental stimulation in order to thrive. 

Many people eventually find that they can’t give enough time and energy to

their pets, especially in the long run when the joy of a new pet begins to ware thin. To make matters worse, many parrots can be aggressive, especially once they become sexually mature. A parrot bite is not a fun thing to endure.

If you want to get a parrot of your own, there are several things you should consider before purchasing. Read through the 5 following questions and answer them honestly to your self to see if a parrot is the right fit for you.

1. Can I afford a parrot?

If you get a small parrot the cost can be fairly cheep. A budgie Parakeet will only cost you about $20 in the US and a decent sized cage for the bird probably won’t cost over $50. Larger and less common parrots demand a higher price. You should expect to pay anywhere between $400 and $10,000 for a larger parrot and then you will need to spend about the same on a cage.

Once you get the parrot you will need to spend more money on food, replacement toys, replacement perches, veterinary care and other continual costs. The price for the average small bird (parakeet or love bird) will cost between $315 – $500 a year to keep alive and well. A large parrot like a Macaw will cost about $650 – $1,275.

Are you honestly willing to spend that kind of money on a pet? If not, I suggest you look for a different kind of pet.

2. Do I have time to take proper care of a parrot?

The average parrot needs 2 – 6 hours of direct interaction outside the cage from you or one of your family members every day in order to maintain mental health. Remember that depending on the species, your parrot could live to be 80 years old or more.

Can you consistently dedicate that kind of time to your parrot in the long run?

When you go on vacation you will need to leave your parrot with someone who is also willing to give your bird all the special attention he needs. Even then, things may not work out. 

Sun Conure
One alternative to one on one interaction is to build a large aviary and get several parrots that will interact with each other. Keep in mind that these birds may bond strictly to each other and can become aggressive to people unless they are constantly socialized to humans. Parrot that live together in groups can also become aggressive to one another. Make sure you know what you’re doing before creating a multi-parrot aviary.

Parrots also need enrichment exercises to stimulate their minds. 

Tip – Make as many friends with other parrot owners as you can! This way you can take turns watching each other’s birds when needed and you can share tips on how to better care for your parrots.

3. Do I have the patience to be a parrot keeper?

Parrots have all sorts of strange behaviors that can be very annoying. Sun Conures are great parrots, they are playful, loving, loyal, beautiful, and easy to train but they come with a voice so loud that the entire block knows when one gets upset. Sun Conures are so loud that they can easily get you evicted from your apartment and because of this they often end up in bird rescue shelters after their owners decide they just can’t stand the noise.

Quaker Parrot

Other species of parrot have different problems. The Quaker Parrot, for example, becomes extremely territorial of his cage during breeding season and the Lorikeets have a way of shooting their poop all the way across the room when relieving them selves after a meal. 

Parrots are wild animals and don’t naturally know how to behave appropriately around humans or inside of houses. You are the one the decided to take them from their natural habitats and place them in your home, it is your responsibility to put up with the problems that are bound to arise as a result of this decision.

With careful training and loving patience, your bird can be taught many house manners and can become a wonderful member of your family but this takes time and lots of hard work. Are you truly up for it?

4. Can I handle getting bitten by my parrot?

Even the nicest birds will have a moment where they feel threatened or mistreated and will decide to attack.

Parrots tend to get most aggressive during breeding season (breeding season varies from species to species) and a parrot that used to be perfectly tame can suddenly seem to go crazy. This of course is true of virtually all pets but the signs of aggression are particularly hard to see with birds. An attack can seem to come out of nowhere from a bird who is usually very loving.  As a result, people tend to develop phobias of their own parrots after just one incident.

No matter how sweet and wonderful your bird may be, no matter how good of a bird owner you think you are, You will get bitten…and it will hurt! 

If you own a small parrot this may mean a simple little puncture wound. If you own a mid sized or large parrot, stitches (or worse) may be needed.

At the Knoxville Zoo they have all sorts of dangerous animals in their bird show: hawks, owls, a vulture, a crane, and a giant African Ground-Hornbill but the one bird that has sent the most staff members to the hospital is their Scarlett Macaw – one of their only birds that can legally kept as a household pet. He bit one trainer on the mouth and tore her lip open so far that plastic surgery was needed in order to properly heal the wound. She was a pro bird handler working with an animal she saw every day. If it can happen to her under the best of circumstances, it can happen to anyone.

Can you forgive a bird after receiving a bite like that and then be willing to continue working with and loving your parrot? If your answer is no then you really need to consider a different hobby. Parrot keeping is not for you. Once a parrot owner develops a fear for their own bird, the bird will be left inside his cage all the time and will suffer. This is not good for your bird or for you.

Tip- The smaller the bird, the weaker the bite. If you have a low tolerance for pain, get a small parrot. There is no shame in this and there is an amazing selection of small parrots to choose from. You would be amazed to discover just how much personality, beauty, and charisma these small parrots really have. You don’t need to go out and buy the biggest macaw you can find.

5. Am I willing to study and learn about parrot keeping?

Most of us have never had much contact with birds before. We know how to deal with cats and dogs but as soon as we get our hands on a bird we quickly realize we have no clue what we are doing. As a result you need to be willing to study and learn.

There is a lot to learn and you are a busy person. Are you willing to make the sacrifice of time needed in order to learn about your birds needs?

The Joy of Parrot Keeping

For those of you who actually do have the money, time, patience, pain tolerance, and the desire to learn that is needed for the life long hobby of parrot keeping, the joy associated with the hobby is unlike anything else you have ever experienced. Your parrot will change your life and the way you view the world.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Celebrate National Pet Bird Day on September 17

Founded by the Bird Enjoyment & Advantage Koalition (BEAK), National Pet Bird Day celebrates the joys and benefits of bird ownership

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bird Enjoyment & Advantage Koalition (BEAK), a concentrated effort to educate on and grow responsible bird ownership, is excited to announce the 2nd annual National Pet Bird Day, which will take place Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Pet bird owners are encouraged to share stories, photos and videos of their birds using the hashtag #NationalPetBirdDay, while others can learn more about the joys and benefits of bird ownership.  

To read more on this story, click here: Celebrate National Pet Bird Day on September 17


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Police Respond to Report of Woman Screaming 'Let Me Out' to Discover It’s a Chatty Pet Parrot

Fortunately, this distress call turned out to be a false alarm!

Police with Florida’s Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office were contacted by a concerned neighbor on Dec. 29, reporting that they heard a woman nearby calling out for help. However, after arriving at the house in question, the authorities found out that the woman in distress was actually just a pet parrot.

“Our Deputies in Lake Worth Beach came to the help of someone screaming for help. Hilarity ensued,” the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook, alongside a video of the encounter.

To read more on this story, click here: Police Respond to Report of Woman Screaming 'Let Me Out' to Discover It’s a Chatty Pet Parrot


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Is Your Pet Left Handed or Right Handed

Cats, dogs, parrots and even fish are right or left-handed, scientists have revealed.

The discovery was made by psychologists from Queen's University Belfast, who as part of their research played with 42 pet cats for weeks on end.

Dogs are the same - until they are spayed or neutered, when the difference disappears, suggesting hormones play a role in left or right-handedness. They found that females are 'right-handed' while toms favor the left.

Paw preference: Female dogs favor their right front paw and males choose their left, according to the study.

The scientists also reported that parrots will pick up objects with their 'dominant' foot, toads are mostly right-handed and fish will have a preference to left or right when they dodge a predator - and even humpback whales prefer the right side of their jaws when feeding.

Dogs wag their tails to the right when relaxed and to the left when agitated, this week's New Scientist reports.

The experts said: 'Male and female cats differ in their behavioral patterns, for example hunting styles and parental care, and it is possible that these place different demands on motor functioning.'

Female felines use their right paw while toms tend to use their left

Dr Culum Brown, a behavioral ecologist, said they also tested the theory with parrots: "Anything they are interested in they will pick up with their dominant foot".
Curiously, those parrots that favor their left or right rather than liking both equally, have been shown to be brainier.

With goldfish, the way they dodge predators is likely to allow them to use a specific eye and side of the brain to deal with the threat.

To test it out, place an unfamiliar object in the center of your fish tank and watch which way your pet swims round it.

Toads, however, prefer their right, and pounce more quickly on morsels of food that enter their line of vision from their right.

Humpback whales prefer to use the right side of their jaws to scrape up sand eels from the ocean floor.

While there are advantages in following the crowd, it can also be good to be different. For instance, those humans or animals that are left-handed, or pawed, in a right-handed world, have the surprise on their side when they launch an attack.


Monday, October 8, 2018

The Budgie Bird - One of the Most Owned Parrots Around the World

Do you know what a budgie is? If you live in the United States you probably know it as being a parakeet. Budgies and parakeets are actually one in the same. The term parakeet is a generic label used to describe any small, parrot-like bird that has a long tail.

The Budgie/Parakeet is one of the most owned little parrots around the world. They are a favorite with many pet bird owners because they are small, capable of singing, talking and they are relatively easy to care for.

The Budgie short for Budgerigar are a native to Australia, and belong to the parrot family. They are colorful and graceful. They come in a variety of sizes from small to medium. They have long tapered tail feathers, and are full of energy. The average life-span of a budgie is generally 2-7 years, although there are some that have lived to 13 and ever older. Some budgies die before their first birthday. There are many factors that can affect the lifespan on a budgie. Many budgies die from natural causes like tumors, unfortunately they are very susceptible to them. Although budgies are often called parakeets, they are actually birds of the species Melopsittacus Undulatus.

How to tell the sex of your pet budgie:

The color of the cere, the fleshy area above its beak where its nostrils are is the best indicator of a pet budgie's sex. A male budgie will typically have a blue cere or it may be pink or pinkish purple in color. A female budgie will usually have a brown, white, light beige, or a reddish cere. Female budgies also have whitish rings around their nostrils.

While green is the most common color, budgies are bred to produce many color mutations. These colors are categorized primarily by shades of blue or green. Most budgies have striped bars on their wings.

Foods you should never give your budgie:
Never give your budgie alcohol, avocado or chocolate - these can kill your parrot! Also avoid asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, caffeine products, junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).

Foods you can feed your budgie:
Radishes; turnips; carrots (root and tops); cooked sweet potatoes; radicchio;endive; mustard & dandelion greens; swiss chard; kale; parsley; cooked red potatoes; green beans; bok choy; tomato; sweet red & green, and other types of peppers; cauliflower;broccoli (head and leaves); beet & turnip greens; kohlrabi; sugar snap or snow peas; squash (peeled & steamed); red beets (peeled); romaine or green/red leaf lettuce; collard greens; corn; cucumber.

Apples;berries; kiwi; mango; cantaloupe; honeydew; pineapple; cherries; cranberries;
banana; pears; peaches; oranges; pomegranate; tangerines; grapefruit; papaya; grapes;

Make sure that you wash all vegetables and fruits thoroughly before feeding. Remove the pits, and all seeds from the fruit. Any vegetables and fruits left uneaten should be discarded daily so that it does not spoil. Since vegetables and fruits are high in water content, the urine portion of the droppings will increase.

Your bird’s cage needs to be big enough for them to stretch and flap their wings without hitting the walls or any hanging toys. The bigger the better. No smaller than 12"x18"x18". Make sure that the spacing between the bars is no wider than 1/2-inch wide. Any wider than that and a budgie could squeeze through the bars and escape, or get stuck in the bars.

The decision to own a budgie should be considered carefully. Please consider the facts below before buying a budgie:
  • Budgies needs daily exercise or it will soon become overweight.
  • Budgies are highly active and need a variety of toys to play with and chew on.
  • You should allow your budgie out of the cage for at least an hour a day to fly around and explore.
  • Males seem to be more "talkative" than females.
  • They have the ability to speak 100’s of words.
  • They often have a favorite person, and that will be the person they will cuddle with.
  • They do bite, and their bites feel like a hard pinch.
  • Make sure that you socialize your bird when you bring it home so that it will be comfortable with many people handling them.
  • A budgie might get somewhat loud is if it hears a bird outside and will call to it.
  • Avoid mirrors in the cage until after you have tamed your budgie. They will think it's another bird and may bond to it instead of you.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

How To Be Your Pet Bird's Best Friend

Think about your best friend. What makes them that? Maybe it’s that you can always talk to them. They know when to be blunt, and when to give you space. They see you at your worst and encourage you to be your best. They’re always there for you, as you are always there for them.

That type of relationship is one you should have with your bird, especially as they get older. (Young parrots need a mentor-student relationship, so they learn how to live in our homes.) To develop a BBFF relationship with your bird, here are several things to do and consider.

Communication is Key
Having a best friend means you have someone you can share all your secrets with. You can do the same with your bird if you really want (they may only repeat their favorite words), but the point is that communication is important. Where this gets complicated is your bird can’t speak and tell us what they like, at least vocally.

Through body language, a parrot speaks volumes, and that’s how they chiefly communicate with us. We’re talking pining eyes, ruffled feathers, tail wags, etc. Each of those movements means different things, and it’s up to us to learn to “speak” parrot. If you don’t learn to understand parrot, the only conversations you’ll be having with your bird will be bites.

While learning body language (or how parrots speak to us), we also need to learn how to communicate with our parrots. Luckily, we can talk through training, where you tell your parrot what you would like it to do through cues. It’ll take some work to get the hang of positive reinforcement training, so do your research and don’t be afraid to reach out to people for guidance. It’ll help create a great relationship with your bird in the long run.

To read more on this story, click here: How To Be Your Pet Bird's Best Friend


Friday, August 3, 2018

Some Unusual Shelter Animals You May Not Have Known You Could Adopt

Although dogs and cats remain by far the most common pet to rescue and adopt, other kinds of animals do end up in shelters. From farm animals to small rodents and even reptiles, there are plenty of options if you’re looking to bring home a different kind of furry or scaly — friend.

While some of these animals end up in shelters because an owner moves away, plenty of them are abandoned by “impulse buyers” who change their mind after buying a needy breed of pig or chinchilla, experts say.

For that reason, Dana Puglisi of, which has listings for more than a dozen species of shelter animals, said that it’s important to read up on animal needs if you’re interested in adopting an atypical pet.

“It’s very easy to look at an animal and say, ‘That’s such a cute animal, I want it to be a part of my life,” Puglisi tells NBC. “It’s another thing to take on the actual day-to-day responsibility for caring for that pet.” 

In addition, some states have restrictions on what kind of animal you can keep as a pet, so Puglisi said she also suggests checking local laws before reaching out to a shelter.

Below are some of the unusual shelter animals you may not have known you could adopt:

Holy cow, indeed! In areas with more farmland, shelters and sanctuaries like Animal Place in Grass Valley, Calif. may have cows that were rescued from factories. Be sure you have the space and resources to adopt a shelter cow, though, as they need at least 80 square feet of space and over 20 gallons of water a day.

According to, chinchillas are noisy and nocturnal, so it’s best to avoid keeping them in their new owner’s bedroom. Since rescue chinchillas are of unknown parentage and may not be neutered, owners should plan to keep them apart from opposite-sex chins in order to avoid accidental breeding.

The right breed of pig can make for an adorable rescue animal — and a shelter is often the best way to find one. Puglisi said that more and more pig owners are abandoning their pets after being tricked into bringing home baby farm pigs that put on hundreds of pounds as they grow up. If you have the space, you can adopt one of these larger abandoned pigs, but shelters also have plenty of smaller breeds, like Vietnamese miniature pot-bellies.

Parrots (as well as other tropical birds like parakeets) are often left behind at shelters when owners move away or become unable to keep caring for these sometimes needy birds. As with some other animals on this list, though, be sure to check local regulations if you choose to adopt — parrots aren’t allowed to be kept as pets in some states.

If there’s anything to learn from the recent goat yoga fitness craze, it’s that these farm animals can serve as fun, furry additions to the family. While regular-size goats can be found in some shelters, a few also have pint-sized pygmy goats up for adoption for anyone short on space. Who knows, they might even eat the weeds in your yard.

Equestrian lovers can adopt either full-size or miniature horses, like Smooshy, a dwarf miniature horse adopted by actress Kaley Cuoco of “The Big Bang Theory.” Mini-horses in particular are seeing a surge in shelters right now, Puglisi said, as “impulse buyers” purchase and then abandon the horses they use to emulate celebrity horse owners.

From king snakes to corn snakes to Colombian boa constrictors, there’s plenty of shelter serpents snakes that you can adopt into your home. Most snakes are carnivores or omnivores, and they require a steady diet of other animals in order to be well-fed — so be prepared to keep “mousicles” inside your freezer.

These tail-wagging mammals make for active, friendly pets to adopt or even house temporarily through foster programs for older or sick ferrets. Watch your fingers, though — ferrets are also known for biting.

Bearded Dragons
They may not be quite like the Viking pets in “How to Train Your Dragon,” but shelter bearded dragons can let you support shelters while (sort of) living out a mythical animal fantasy. Sometimes known as “beardies,” these reptiles originated in central Australia and are often kept in zoos. They’re considered one of the easiest reptiles to care for, but still need a specific light pattern and large tank.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

In Puerto Rico, a Hopeful Sight: Endangered Parrot Spotted After Hurricane Maria

WASHINGTON — Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico about one month ago, a team of scientists has trekked daily into El Yunque National Forest hoping to pick up signs or sounds of endangered Puerto Rican Parrots.

Their habitat stripped of foIiage by Hurricane Maria, the parrots, both wild and those released after being bred in captivity, went quiet.

“Hurricane Maria seems to be a major setback for recovery of the parrot,” said Jafet Veléz-Valentín, a wildlife biology/aviculturalist for the Iguaca Aviary, formerly the Luquillo Aviary.

On Wednesday, 28 days after Maria, there was “a new hope,” as Veléz-Valentín described it in a string of texts from the island. Someone spotted a cotorra, the Spanish word for parrot, with a radio collar and an orange leg band in Barrio Caguitas in Aguas Buenas.

The person notified the aviary through Facebook. The collar and band mean the parrot is part of a population bred during the 2016 season, Veléz-Valentín said.

“One of our biologists, Gabriel Benítez Soto, contacted the person who saw and photographed the parrot,” he said, adding that another search is on in the forest and vicinity for more parrots.

To read more on this story, click here: In Puerto Rico, a Hopeful Sight: Endangered Parrot Spotted After Hurricane Maria


Friday, December 11, 2015

16 Reasons Why Fostering A Shelter Pet Is Basically The Best Thing In The World

Want to make the world a better place in one easy step? Take home a foster pet from a local shelter or rescue group.

Fostering means bringing in a cat or dog -- or parrot, or baby pig, or any other homeless pet -- with the goal of nurturing them for a while until they can be dispatched to a permanent home with a family who'll love them forever.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Did You Know That Lovebirds Are Very Social, Come from the Drier Regions of Africia…and Make Perfect Pets?

Lovebirds are active, cheerful and beautifully decorative. These petite 'pocket' parrots are very intriguing! Lovebirds come from the drier regions of Africa. Because they evolved from a very harsh environment, they are very suited to captivity. Not only do they have a good disposition, these charming, brilliantly colored little pets are very hardy and easy to care for. They can also provide you with a successful breeding experience.

In the wild lovebirds live in flocks. They will often bond with a mate for life and show fierce loyalty and affection to their family. If you can earn their affections as young birds, you will receive that same fierce loyalty from your little friends. They are very social with both their keepers and their mate.

The rewards of keeping a single lovebird can be astonishing. The amazingly determined spirit of a pet lovebird can far surpass other small parrots, both in their ability to learn tricks and to show affection. But because of their strong devotion, a lovebird kept singly will require vast amounts of time and affection in return in order to thrive.

Lovebirds also won't easily switch loyalties from one companion to another, whether it is to another bird or to another human. On the other hand, unless they are very attached to their keeper, lovebirds are not going to learn a lot of tricks or necessarily want to have a lot of handling.

If you simply want to enjoy the antics and chatter of these colorful little birds, get two to keep in an indoor cage. Or you can get more to keep in an aviary. They are very flamboyant, and are wonderful birds to observe and enjoy.

Lovebirds belong to the genus Agapornis. There are nine species of lovebirds and they are all native to Africa except one. The exception is the Grey-headed Lovebird which comes from the island of Madagascar. Most lovebirds live close to the equator where they inhabit dry savannah regions. There is one exception, a forest dwelling lovebird, the Black-collared Lovebird.

The lovebird is a small stocky parrot mostly between 5.1-6.7 inches (13-17 cm). They have a large bill and a tail that is either round or square. Their average life span is between 10-12 years with some living even longer. The lovebird has been recorded at 17 years and several people have reported their birds living even longer than that. We had one person state that their lovebird lived for 25 years!
The different species of lovebird are identifiable by their colors and markings. They vary greatly in their coloring, and each species can be viewed for their unique combinations. Younger birds are duller in color and they have black in their beaks. The young birds coloring intensifies as they reach maturity. Regardless of the species, mature lovebirds are gorgeous parrots.

Three of the nine lovebird species are most commonly available lovebirds for pets. The other six are more rare, and in some cases, absent at least in the United States. The three common species are the Peach-faced Lovebirds, the Masked Lovebirds, and the Fischer's Lovebirds, and all three make wonderful pets. There are a variety of color mutations in lovebirds, developed from these three common species. This is especially true for the Peach-faced Lovebird, which can be bred in hundreds of different combinations of mutations. As a result, there are many new lovebird colors available.

A wide variety of lovebirds can be found in the pet industry and from breeders. Some lovebirds and lovebird mutations that are commonly available include:

Care and feeding
In the wild, lovebirds feed on seeds, berries, fruits, grains, grasses, leaf buds, and agricultural crops of corn, maize and figs. Their food and water dishes are best if earthenware or porcelain as they will get gnawed if plastic.

Bird Food
Foods available for Lovebirds include formulated diets, either pelleted or extruded, seed only diets, and small parrot mixes which offer a mixture of both. There are pros and cons to feeding only a formulated diet as well as feeding only a seed diet.

Formulated Diet
A formulated diet provides a good nutritional base so does not require the addition of vitamins. However it does not contain the phytonutrients (antioxidant pigments) that are found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds. Phytonutrients are believed to boost the immune system, help a body to heal itself, and to prevent some diseases. Also, parrots can become bored with formulated diet due to the lack of variety.

Seed Diet
A seed only diet offers much more variety but requires additional vitamin and calcium supplements. Lovebirds need not only nutritional requirements met but also variety for psychological enrichment.

A lovebirds's diet will consist of 1 1/2 to 2 ounces (45-60 grams) of feed daily for a single bird. A diet consisting of a small parrot mix along with a variety of supplements and vitamins is generally regarded as suitable. Also a formulated diet along with greens, fruits, and vegetable supplements but without additional vitamins is also regarded as suitable, and is a more current trend.

Supplements include fresh vegetables, greens, tree branches for the bark, some fruits, and millet spray. Some of the fruit supplements include berries, apples, grapes, pears, bananas, and kiwi. Some of the greens and vegetable supplements include spinach, endive, watercress, chickweed, radish, parsley, dandelions, carrot tops, corn on the cob, peas, endive, field lettuce, and various garden herbs.

Additional proteins can be offered such as nuts. Try some unshelled peanuts as well as hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts.

A cuttlebone, or gravel and oyster shell in a separate dish can be offered to provide calcium. Do not feed avocado as it can be toxic to birds!

Vitamins can be added to the food or drinking water.

Lovebirds drink a lot of water, so will need fresh drinking water every day.

Bird Baths
Most lovebirds love a bath either in a flat earthenware dish or by spraying them with a light mist of lukewarm water. If you use a bathing dish, you will see the birds perch on the edge and dip their heads and upper bodies in the water and beating their wings. They prefer this kind of bath to getting into the water.

Bird Grooming
Lovebirds generally maintain their nails and beaks on their own through climbing and chewing. Another good use they make of their tree branches.
You can find bird seed, bird cages, and everything you need for your pet here: Bird Supplies

Lovebirds are very active birds. When housing your lovebird, bird cages or an aviary best suited to them must provide a lot of space.

Bird Cages:    A minimum of 32 x 20 x 20 (81 x 50 x 50 cm) per pair of birds is recommended with about four perches, feed and water dishes and an area for a bath. When you use a small cage, you must let your pet out daily to fly around.

If you are housing pairs of lovebirds here are a few guidelines: Try to house only one species of lovebird as mixing species can cause serious fights. House either one pair of lovebirds or three pairs, never two pairs or there will be fighting. Each pair needs about 35 cubic feet of space.

Bird Perch
Provide one or two perches about 3/4' in diameter and dishes hanging from the side for feed, water, and grit. Try to place the perches away from dishes so the food and water dish do not become soiled with bird droppings.    Do not use plastic because your bird will chew and break the plastic and it can become hazardous. Tree branches of a similar size make good perches and will help to wear the claws down naturally.

Bird Hide / Nest Box
Lovebirds like special resting places. Nest boxes placed up high, all at the same level and all of the same type work well and help prevent fights.

A roomy indoor aviary, a bird room, or an outdoor aviary (depending on your area) are all good choices. The aviary needs plenty of light and fresh air. The outdoor aviary needs to have a protected shelter that can be heated and cooled where necessary. Flights are recommended to be a minimum of 6' x 6' x 3' (183 x 183 x 91 cm) with plenty of perches or branches at least 1 1/2" (15 cm) thick.

It is important For the health of your lovebird, it is important to keep bird houses and accessories clean and in good shape. Basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Weekly you should clean and disinfect the cage. Wash and completely dry the perches and toys whenever they become soiled. In the aviary, sand floors should be renewed annually.

Social Behaviors
Lovebirds as pets, as well as in the wild, are very social birds. Generally and in most situations, it is thought to be essential for their good health and happiness that they be kept in pairs, not singly. If keeping a single lovebird, you must provide the necessary social interaction that it is missing from another bird. These birds develop fierce loyalties to their keeper or their mate.

Aside from their social nature toward you or their mate, lovebirds can be extremely aggressive towards other birds. You must be certain that all pairs get along together, and that they are true "pairs", not mismatched. Bonded pairs constantly groom each other and will feed each other from the crop during breeding season and all year round.

These little birds will chatter all day long. They will hide in their nest box if they are startled by a sudden noise, if they spot a potential predator, or if it gets cold and windy.

Lovebird training is best accomplished with a young bird. To have a tame lovebird, its also best to work with a single bird. Young birds have an amazing ability to learn tricks and be affectionate. Adults on the other hand, are very difficult to tame and generally won't learn a lot of tricks or imitate behaviors. Hand-raised youngsters are easiest to work with. They are already quite socialized and tame, but unfortunately they are not always available.

Taming involves acceptance and trust between you and your bird. It means spending a lot of time with your bird daily. Start with talking softly and making slow movements. Once your bird is comfortable with you, then you can begin hand-taming. Use a dowel and push it gently against the bird’s chest while offering a treat to coax it up onto the dowel. This may take many tries. Once it is comfortable with stepping up onto a dowel, substitute your finger for the dowel.

Lovebirds are not considered one of the best talkers, and only some may learn a few words.

Lovebirds awaken with the dawn, get a drink, eat, and then immediately begin to chirp. They will generally quiet down by mid-morning and resume their chirping in the late afternoon.

These birds are very active, flying and climbing about, gnawing on wood or chew toys, and grooming themselves many times all day. They love toys of all kinds such as seed bells, swings, ladders, mirrors, shiny objects, and wooden gnaws. A lovebird outside of it's cage will not stay on it's playpen, they like to explore. Be sure this room is safe with no open doors or windows, no toxic plants, no open water containers, and no hot stove.

One of the pleasures of lovebirds is that they are easy to breed. For breeding lovebirds, each pair of birds will need 2 nest boxes for sleeping and nesting. These boxes need to be of the same type and size, and placed at the same height on the same wall.

Breeding Lovebirds
Lovebirds will breed willingly as single pairs and some species of lovebirds can be bred in a colony setting. Especially suited to a colony are the white eye-ring group of lovebirds.

Breeding Age for Lovebirds
Lovebirds need to be at least 10 months old, though 12 to 13 months is better. Also birds that are 5 to 6 years or older should be retired from breeding.

Sexing Lovebirds
Some visual characteristics that may aid in determining sex are that the female is heavier bodied than the male and will sit more broadly with legs apart, while the males sit more upright. A female’s tail will appear more square while a males will appear more rounded. When observing the nesting behavior, the female will do most of the nest building work.

An anal inspection can be done but takes experience in sexing these birds to make a fair determination. Basically there are two bones called the ossa pubes on the ventral side of the pelvis and the female will be spread wider apart than the male.

The sexing of lovebirds falls into three categories

Dimorphic Types
The first group are different in their outward appearance and can be classified as dimorphic.
This first group consists of:

Abyssinian Lovebird Agapornis toranta
Madagascar Lovebird Agapornis cana
Red-faced Lovebird Agapornis pullaria

Intermediate Types
The second or intermediate group are harder to differentiate by appearance.
This group consists of:

Peach-faced Lovebirds Agapornis reseicollis
Black-collared Lovebird Agapornis swinderniana

Monomorphic Types

In the third group, the white eye-ring group, there are no definite differences that can be seen. The sexing of the white eye-ring group must be determined by either a surgical probe, endoscopy, which can be done by many veterinarians or by a DNA testing, usually a blood sample or a few plucked feathers sent to be diagnosed in a lab.

In the white eye-ring group are the:

Masked Lovebirds Agapornis personata personata
Fischer's Lovebirds Agapornis personata fisheri
Nyasa Lovebird Agapornis personata lilianae
Black-cheeked Lovebird Agapornis personata nigrigenis.

Breeding Environment
If you are breeding lovebirds in a colony setting, it is very important to provide many more nest boxes than their are pairs of birds to minimize fighting. The nest boxes should all be the same and mounted at the same height of the enclosure. Also, be diligent in watching for fighting as it can lead to death.

A nest box for a lovebird is 8" x 8" x 8" (20 x 20 x 20 cm) or 10" x 6" x 6" (25 x 15 x 15 cm).

Egg Laying and Hatchlings
The female will lay about 5 eggs, though the clutch could be as few as 3 eggs or as many as 8 eggs. The incubation period is 22 - 25 days, with 75% to 80% of the eggs hatching. The hen will start to brood after the second egg is hatched. Often the male will join the hen in the nest. The chicks will begin to leave the nest in about 38 - 50 days and will be independent about 2 weeks after leaving the nest.

Potential Problems
Lovebird ailments, signs of illness to be aware of, include if a bird seems withdrawn, its feathers are ruffled and the plumage is dull, it sits with its eyes closed, watery or dull eyes, runny nose, it sleeps a lot, it looses interest in its environment, and it stays at its feed cup. The droppings may change color and be loose (if healthy they are grayish white and not to thin). A couple other lovebird ailments to watch for are a lot of tail bobbing, dropping off its perch, odd breathing, sneezing, and excessive scratching.
Some of the common lovebird ailments, illnesses your lovebirds could contract, are injuries from fighting, Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, Polyoma Virus Infection, yeast infections (Candidiasis), Avian Pox Virus Infection, bacterial infections, internal parasites, mites, ticks, egg binding, intestinal influenza, coccidiosis, respiratory ailments, and diarrhea. An ailing parrot should be taken to a avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

The most available types of lovebirds for sale are the Peach-faced Lovebird, the Masked Lovebird, and the Fischer's Lovebirds. There are many beautiful lovebird mutations developed from these three groups of birds that are also readily available. Many other species of lovebird are available but not be as readily found. Lovebirds are also fairly inexpensive little parrots.