Brief Summary

The group of small African parrots known as lovebirds consists of the nine species in the genus Agapornis:

The Grey-headed Lovebird (A. canus) is native to Madagascar, but has been introduced to the Comoro Islands, Réunion, Rodrigues, and the Seychelles. These birds are generally encountered in flocks of 5 to 30 or more individuals, in flight or feeding (mainly on grass seeds) on the ground. They are generally common in Madagascar (at least in more open country in coastal regions) and in the Comoros, but are present in only small numbers in Réunion and Rodrigues and have a limited distribution in the Seychelles. There are many Grey-headed Lovebirds in captivity as well.

The Red-faced (or Red-headed) Lovebird (A. pullarius) has a geographic distribution that overlaps with that of the Black-collared Lovebird over much of central Africa, with Fischer's Lovebird in the area around southern Lake Victoria, and with the Black-winged Lovebird in southwestern Ethiopia and its range approaches the range of Peach-faced Lovebird in the Cuanza River region of Angola. It is distinguished from these and other lovebirds by the combination of green upper breast with red (or orange) crown, face, and throat. This species has a broad but patchy distribution across West and Central Africa, inhabiting moist lowland savanna, riverine woodland and scrub, and also more open habitats, including abandoned plantations, cultivated land, and pasture. It is generally found below 1500 m (but up to 2000 m in Uganda). Flocks contain up to 30 birds (usually fewer) but these break into pairs for breeding. Flocks roam widely to find food (mainly grass seeds), but return to a communal roost. In captivity, these lovebirds often sleep hanging upside down. Red-faced Lovebirds nest in tree cavities (usually ones excavated by a woodpecker), in holes dug in the side of an arboreal ant or termite nest, or occasionally in terrestrial termite mounds. Significant numbers of Red-faced Lovebirds are trapped for sale as cagebirds.

The Black-winged Lovebird (A. taranta) is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia, where it may be common in montane forests (it is relatively uncommon in lower altitude savanna). These birds are usually observed in small flocks of 8 to 20 at the tops of taller trees. They roost communally in tree cavities (often an old woodpecker or barbet nest). They feed largely on tree fruits, including Ficus figs and juniper berries.  Large numbers are captured for the cagebird trade and many are in captivity outside their range. In captivity, these lovebirds occasionally rest upside down. Captive females have been observed carrying nesting material tucked into almost any part of their plumage. This is the only lovebird known to use its own feathers in nest construction.

The Black-collared Lovebird (A. swindernianus) occurs in two to four disjunct populations in West and Central Africa, where it inhabits lowland evergreen rainforest, both primary and secondary, usually below 700 m but reported up to 1800 m in Uganda. Other than female Grey-headed Lovebirds, Black-collared Lovebirds are the only lovebirds with green heads. The Red-faced Lovebird, which has a partially overlapping range, has a red bill (not blackish as in the Black-collared Lovebird) and no collar. Black-collared Lovebirds are generally encountered in small flocks flying swiftly over the forest canopy. They are quite shy and rarely encountered near ground level. They appear to feed largely on Ficus fig seeds, but also take other seeds and small fruits, as well as adult and larval insects.

The Peach-faced (or Rosy-faced) Lovebird (A. roseicollis) is found in southwestern Africa in dry, wooded country up to 1500 m. Like many lovebirds, Peach-faced Lovebirds are typically seen in small, fast-flying flocks. The diet consists mainly of seeds, sometimes taken from the ground. Peach-faced Lovebirds are very dependent on water. Capture for the cagebird trade has seriously impacted populations in southern Angola.

The Fischer's Lovebird (A. fischeri) is virtually restricted to Tanzania south and east of Lake Victoria, with its range centered on the Serengeti. This species is found in wooded grasslands as well as (especially in the western part of its range) more open grasslands and cultivated areas. Fischer's Lovebirds feed largely on seeds. They drink every day and are often found near water. This species breeds colonially. Feral populations are present in Mombasa, Kenya, and elsewhere where they apparently hybridize with Yellow-collared Lovebirds. The Fischer's Lovebird is distinguished from the Red-faced Lovebird (with which it co-occurs on islands in the south of Lake Victoria) by its golden brown collar, golden breast, and white eyering; it is distinguished from the Yellow-collared Lovebird (with which it overlaps narrowly at the southeastern margins of its range) by having an orange rather than yellow breast. Although Fischer's X Yellow-collared Lovebirds can be found in feral populations, these are not known from areas where the two species naturally occur together. In captivity (where any lovebirds may be seen!), the Fischer's combination of brown crown and nape, orange-red face, and blue rump distinguishes it. The Fischer's Lovebird is sometimes considered conspecific with (i.e., belonging to the same species as) the Yellow-collared Lovebird (and sometimes with the Black-cheeked and Nyasa Lovebirds as well). Fischer's Lovebirds are generally encountered in small flocks, often near water, and are usually quite tame and approachable. Although still quite common in some areas, and with large numbers in captivity outside its range, native populations may be endangered by the cagebird trade.

The Yellow-collared Lovebird (A. personatus) is native to the plateau in eastern and southern Tanzania. This species is easily distinguished by its blackish brown mask and bold lemon-yellow breast, which extends around the sides of the neck and nape to form a striking yellow collar. The Yellow-collared Lovebird is sometimes considered conspecific with (i.e., belonging to the same species as) Fischer's Lovebird (and sometimes with the Black-cheeked and Nyasa Lovebirds as well). This species is typically found in small flocks in well-wooded bushland and acacia thorn scrub, especially with scattered baobab trees, at 1100 to 1800 m.

The Nyasa Lovebird (A. lilianae) is found in several disjunct populations in southeastern Africa.  Nyasa Lovebirds can be distinguished from all other lovebirds by the combination of orange-red face and throat and green rump and uppertail coverts. The similar Black-cheeked Lovebird has a dark hood. Nyasa Lovebirds are highly gregarious and generally encountered in noisy flocks of 20 to 100 or more birds. Non-breeders form communal roosts in tree hollows where 4 to 20 birds sleep clinging to the walls. Food consists mainly of grass seeds collected both directly from the plants and from the ground. Nyasa Lovebirds visit water often. Breeding is colonial. The Nyasa Lovebird is sometimes treated as conspecific with the Black-cheeked Lovebird and occasionally even with the Fischer's and Yellow-collared Lovebirds.

The Black-cheeked Lovebird (A. nigrigenis) is found in southern Zambia and, formerly, extreme northern Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls. The Black-cheeked Lovebird is sometimes treated as conspecific with the Nyasa Lovebird (from which it is separated by 100 to 150  km of unsuitable habitat) and occasionally even with the Fischer's and Yellow-collared Lovebirds.This species is found in specific types of medium-altitude deciduous woodlands, usually close to a reliable water source for daily drinking. Due in part to its extremely restricted range (perhaps only 6000 square km), this species is considered to be endangered.

(Collar 1997 and references therein; Juniper and Parr 1998 and references therein)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

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Specimen Records:8
Specimens with Sequences:11
Specimens with Barcodes:7
Species With Barcodes:4
Public Records:4
Public Species:1
Public BINs:1
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For other uses, see Lovebird (disambiguation).

A lovebird is one of nine species of the genus Agapornis (Greek: αγάπη agape 'love'; όρνις ornis 'bird'). They are a social and affectionate small parrot. Eight species are native to the African continent, and the grey-headed lovebird is native to Madagascar. Their name stems from the parrots' strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods which paired birds spend sitting together. Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat fruit, vegetables, grasses and seed. Black-winged lovebirds also eat insects and figs, and the black-collared lovebirds have a special dietary requirement for native figs, making them problematic to keep in captivity.

Some species are kept as pets, and several color mutations were selectively bred in aviculture. Their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years.[1]


Lovebirds are 13 to 17 centimeters in length and 40 to 60 grams in weight. They are among the smallest parrots, characterized by a stocky build, a short blunt tail, and a relatively large, sharp beak. Wildtype lovebirds are mostly green with a variety of colors on their upper body, depending on the species. The Fischer's lovebird, black-cheeked lovebird, and the masked lovebird have a prominent white ring around their eyes. Many color mutant varieties have been produced by selective breeding of the species that are popular in aviculture.


Phylogeny of the genus Agapornis based on molecular evidence.[2] The species with the red line is currently unplaced in the phylogeny, but does belong to this genus.

The lovebird genus comprises nine species of which five are monotypic and four are divided into subspecies.[3] Eight of them are native in the mainland of Africa and the Madagascar lovebird is native to Madagascar. In the wild the different species are separated geographically.

Traditionally, lovebirds are divided into three groups:

  • the sexually dimorphic species: Madagascar, Abyssinian, and red-headed lovebird
  • the intermediate species: peach-faced lovebird
  • the white-eye-ringed species: masked, Fischer's, Lilian's, and black-cheeked lovebirds

However, this division is not fully supported by phylogenetic studies, as the species of the dimorphic group are not grouped together in a single clade.

Species and subspecies:[4]

  • Rosy-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis, (Vieillot, 1818)—or peach-faced lovebird
    • Agapornis roseicollis catumbella, B.P. Hall, 1952
    • Agapornis roseicollis roseicollis, (Vieillot 1818)
  • Yellow-collared lovebird, Agapornis personatus, Reichenow, 1887—or masked lovebird
  • Fischer's lovebird, Agapornis fischeri, Reichenow, 1887
  • Lilian's lovebird, Agapornis lilianae, Shelley, 1894—or Nyasa lovebird
  • Black-cheeked lovebird, Agapornis nigrigenis, W.L. Sclater, 1906
  • Grey-headed lovebird, Agapornis canus, (Gmelin, 1788)—or Madagascar lovebird
    • Agapornis canus ablectaneus, Bangs, 1918
    • Agapornis canus canus, (Gmelin, 1788)
  • Black-winged lovebird, Agapornis taranta, (Stanley, 1814)—or Abyssinian lovebird
  • Red-headed lovebird, Agapornis pullarius, (Linnaeus, 1758)—or red-faced lovebird
    • Agapornis pullarius pullarius, (Linnaeus, 1758)
    • Agapornis pullarius ugandae, Neumann, 1908
  • Black-collared lovebird, Agapornis swindernianus, (Kuhl, 1820)—or Swindern's lovebird
    • Agapornis swindernianus emini, Neumann, 1908
    • Agapornis swindernianus swindernianus, (Kuhl, 1820)
    • Agapornis swindernianus zenkeri, Reichenow, 1895


Species (wild-types)
Common and binomial namesPhotographDescription[3]Range
Yellow-collared lovebird
or masked lovebird
(Agapornis personatus)
Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata) pet on cage.png
14 cm (5.5 in) long. Yellow and green. Has blue tail feathers.Northeast Tanzania
Fischer's lovebird
(Agapornis fischeri)
Pap Pfirsichköpfchen Agapornis fischeri 070608 1.jpg
14 cm (5.5 in) long. Mostly green, orange upper body and head, blue lower back and rump, red beak, white eyeringsSouth and southeast of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania
Lilian's lovebird
or Nyasa lovebird
(Agapornis lilianae)
Agapornis lilianae 2c.jpg
13 cm (5 in) long. Mostly green including green back and green rump, orange head, red beak, white eyeringsMalawi
Black-cheeked lovebird
(Agapornis nigrigenis)
Agapornis nigrigenis -Valls Zoo -Spain-4a-4c.jpg
14 cm (5.5 in) long. Mostly green, brownish-black cheeks and throat, reddish-brown forehead and forecrown, orange upper chest, red beak, white eyeringsZambia
Peach-faced lovebird
or rosy-faced lovebird
(Agapornis roseicollis)
Agapornis roseicollis -Peach-faced Lovebird pet on perch.jpg
15 cm (6 in) long. Mostly green, orange face, blue lower back and rump, horn-coloured beakNamibia, South Africa, Angola
Black-winged lovebird
or Abyssinian lovebird
(Agapornis taranta)
Agapornis taranta (female and male).jpg
16.5 cm (6.5 in) long. Mostly green, red beak, some black wing feathers. Sexual dimorphism: only the male has red on forehead and crown, females plumage is all greensouthern Eritrea to southwestern Ethiopia
Red-headed lovebird
or red-faced lovebird
(Agapornis pullarius)
Agapornis pullarius.jpg
15 cm (6 in) long. Mostly green with red on upper neck and face. Sexual dimorphism: the male has more extensive and a darker red on face and head, and the male has a darker red beak than the femaleLarge part of central Africa
Grey-headed lovebird
or Madagascar lovebird
(Agapornis canus)
Agapornis cana -Beale Park -Berkshire-6a.jpg
13 cm (5 in) long. Mostly green with darker green on back, pale grey beak. Sexual dimorphism: male has a grey upper body, neck and head.Madagascar
Black-collared lovebird
or Swindern's lovebird
(Agapornis swindernianus)
Stavenn Agapornis swindernianus 00.jpg
13.5 cm (5 in) long. Mostly green, brown collar which has a black upper margin at the back of the neck, dark grey/black beakEquatorial Africa


Depending on the species of lovebird, the female will carry nesting material into the nest in various ways. The peach-faced lovebird tucks nesting material in the feathers of its rump,[5] while the masked lovebird carries nesting material back in its beak. Once the lovebirds start constructing their nest, mating will follow. During this time, the lovebirds will mate repeatedly. Eggs follow 3–5 days later. The female will spend hours inside her nesting box before eggs are laid. Once the first egg is laid, a new egg will follow every other day until the clutch is complete, typically at four to six eggs. Even without a nest or a male, lovebirds sometimes produce eggs.

Feral populations[edit]

See also: Hybrid lovebird
Hybrids (Fischer's lovebird x Masked lovebird) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Feral populations of Fischer's lovebirds and masked lovebirds live in cities of East Africa. Also present there are interspecific hybrids between these two species. The hybrid has reddish-brown on head and has orange on upper chest, but otherwise resemble the Masked lovebird.[6]

Feral lovebirds are also present in Phoenix, Arizona, USA and several species are found as feral populations in San Diego, California, USA.


Recording of the blue masked lovebird variety.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

With their inclination to bond, they can form long-term relationships with people in tandem with their intra-species companions. Aggression is easily aroused in lovebirds, however, and biting may occur unless a bond is established with gentle handling. Provided with adequate space, a stimulating environment, and appropriate nutrition, a lovebird can become a cherished companion parrot. They love to snuggle and often preen their favorite people.

It is preferable to obtain birds bred in captivity, rather than birds caught from the wild. Wild birds may be harboring a disease, such as avian polyomavirus.[7] Captured wild lovebirds also may mourn the loss of association with a mate or a flock. Their age is likely to be unknown, and they may have an unsuitable personality for domestication. Currently, lovebirds are no longer imported from the wild. Lovebirds are not necessarily best kept in pairs, as their name suggests, although relationships with humans are then less likely to be as intense when paired. Birds kept individually or brought up hand-fed, make very good pets. However, single birds require frequent attention to stay happy, and if the owner has limited time to spend daily with a single lovebird, it is preferable to grant the lovebird a companion of the same species, or a companion of another parrot species known to get along well with lovebirds. It is important to use caging that is suitable for smaller birds as wider-speed bars can cause damage to these small hook bills. Lovebirds can become very interactive with humans, and when comfortable, will willingly perch on a finger or shoulders.
Some lovebirds talk, but many will not: there is a chance they may learn to mimic human sounds if taught to do so at a young age. Lovebirds are noisy, with calls ranging from cheerily pleasant to highly irritating; in the wild, parrots must call to each other over long distances to keep flocks together, and it is through such signals that most of their communication is made. It is best to spend frequent, short periods of time with a lovebird, rather than having just one or two interactions every day.[8]

Sexual characteristics and behavior[edit]

Determining lovebird sex is difficult. At maturity of one year, it may show signs of whether it is male or female, such as ripping up paper and stuffing it into its feathers (female behavior) or regurgitating for its owners (male behavior: the male feeds the nesting female). This behavior is not a reliable indicator. The only sure method is DNA testing, however, some experts can sex them by feeling beneath the body.[9]

Housing and environment[edit]

A yellow-collared lovebird perching by the entrance to a nest box in a large aviary at Honolulu Zoo, Hawaii, USA

Lovebirds require an appropriately sized cage or aviary. Minimum recommended space per bird is 1m×1m×1m. Lovebird's beaks are made of keratin, which grows continuously. Chewing and destroying wood toys and perches helps to keep beaks trim. Cuttlebones help provide beak-trimming and a source of calcium and other necessary minerals. Natural perches and special rough surfaced perches of varying diameters placed at different levels in the cage will allow greater climbing mobility and gives them a choice to select the most comfortable spot to roost.[10] They also require plenty of toys, such as willow branches, swings, tunnels, boxes and safe things to chew on and play with.

Lack of toys, keeping the birdcage covered too many hours, and lack of companionship or social stimulation may lead to boredom, stress and psychological or behavioral problems (nervousness, aggression, feather-plucking, screaming, depression, immuno-suppression). Lovebirds are extremely social birds and will enjoy several hours of interaction a day. Without this interaction, daily exercise, a roomy cage/aviary, and many toys to play with, they may resort to feather-plucking, or screaming, and both behaviors can be difficult to cure. It is suggested that if the owner leaves the house that they leave a radio or TV set playing, to provide sound.[11] Lovebirds are intelligent, and if a relationship is to form they need a human who will dedicate lots of time with them. Lovebirds enjoy baths and like to sun themselves daily.


As with pet parrots in general, the tips of lovebirds' toenails should wear down adequately by the parrot climbing over rough surfaced perches. If the parrot has an inactive lifestyle, however, occasionally the toe nails grow long and may need to be trimmed.[12] Only the very tips of the toe nails are trimmed. If too much of a toe nail is trimmed away, it will be painful and bleed from the blood vessels in the centre of the nail.[12][13] This bleeding should be stopped as soon as possible with the use of styptic gel or powder. Sharp pointed toe nails that scratch the owner can be blunted by simply filing the point.[13] These procedures are usually done with the help of an assistant carefully holding the parrot wrapped in a towel.[12][13]

Diet in captivity[edit]

A fresh mix (with or without dehydrated fruits and/or vegetables) of excellent quality combining various seeds, grains and nuts generally represent the typical basic diet. Ideally the basic mix will contain or will be supplemented with an about 30% portion of any bio/organic (naturally coloured and flavoured and without any conservative agent) and/or of any natural (naturally coloured, flavoured and preserved) pellets.

Ideal basic dry mix:

Home made:

- 40% Yellow millet - 18% canary seed - 10% White millet - 9% Peeled oats - 5% Japanese millet - 4% Safflower - 4% Buckwheat - 3% Paddy rice - 3% Oats - 2% Linseed - 2% Hempseed

Or else a blend of commercial mixes:

1/2 typical basic dry mix for cockatiel parakeets &/or small parrot/parakeet species (i.e. Cyanoramphus/kakariki parakeets, monk parakeet, Australian grass parakeets, magnifiscent parakeets, Pyrrhura Conures, small Afro-Asian ringnecked parakeets).

1/2 typical basic dry mix for Budgerigar parakeets & other miniature parrot/parakeet species (i.e. Parrotlets, Lineolated parrot, Bourke's parakeet, Grass parakeets).

Cooked and fresh foods:

These foods and goods must be offered as often as possible (particularly cereals, fruits, greens/weeds, legumes/pulses and vegetables), ideally on a daily basis or at least weekly. The pellet ratio should be increased to 1/2 of the basic dry mix when cooked and/or fresh foods are occasionally or rarely offered.

Whole grains and cereals:

Amaranth, barley, couscous, flax, oat, rice varieties such as basmati, brown rice, jasmine rice, quinoa, wheat, lightly toasted whole-grain Waffles, non-toasted whole grain breads (i.e. corn-bread, multi-cereal, 14 cereals, whole-wheat), al-dente cooked pastas.

Edible blossoms and flowers:

carnations, chamomille, chives, dandelion, day lillies, eucalyptus, fruit trees' blossoms, herbs' blossoms, hibiscus, honeysuckle, impatiens, lilac, nasturiums, pansies, passion flower (passifloræ), rosees, sunflowers, tulips, violets.

Fruits with all discarded pits and/or larger seeds:

All are healthy and can be offered i.e. all apple varieties, banana, all berries varieties, all citrus varieties, grapes, kiwi, mango, melons, nectarine, papaya, peach, all pear varieties, plum, starfruit.


All are healthy and can be offered including squashes and their freshly harvested and/or oven-roasted seeds. i.e. beet, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, all cabbage varieties, fresh beans, fresh peas, parsnip, all pepper varieties, all squash varieties, sweet potatoes, tomato, turnip, yams, zucchini.

Legumes or pulses:

All are healthy and can be offered. i.e. almonds, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and tofu.

Commercial greens and weeds:


Bok choy, broccoli and/or cauliflower leaves, cabbage leaves, chickory, collard greens, dandelion leaves, endives, escarole, kelp, mustard leaves, seaweeds, spirulina, water cress.

Only occasionally and sporadically;

Amaranth leaves, beet leaves, starfruit, chards, parsley, spinach & turnip leaves. All of these feature high oxalic acid contents that induces production of calcium oxalates (crystals/stones) by binding calcium & other trace minerals present in foods & goods with which they are ingested. Possibly leading to calcium deficiencies &/or hypocalcemia in minor cases. Liver and/or other internal organs' damage or failure in more severe cases.

Wild harvested greens and weeds:

Bromus, chick weeds, cock's foot or dactylis (orchard grasses), dandelions, erythronium (dogstooth), elymus, fescues, Ammophila (Poaceae) (marran grasses), milk thistles, oats and wild oats, plantain (the weed), poa Genus (i.e. blue, meadow's, spear, tussock grasses). Care must be taken to offer wild greens and weeds that are only harvested anywhere in the country side far from highly polluted areas (i.e. cities, metropolises, towns).

  • Only avocados and rhubarb should never be offered because they are both highly intoxicating.*

Complete vegetarian proteins:

Produced by always combining 1 type of cereal with 1 type of legume/pulse and to offer during immatures' growth, during molting seasons and/or during breeding seasons (most particularly during the rearing of chicks) i.e. almonds + oat groat/meal, couscous + lentils, beans + pastas, quinoa + peas, rice + tofu.

Soaked and/or sprouted cereals and grains:

Aduki beans, alfalfa beans, buckwheat, lentils, millets & sprays, mung beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.

Sprouts stimulate the reproductive system. So they should be offered occasionally but more frequently (bi-monthly or weekly) to breeder specimens in the breeding season. And on a daily or at least weekly basis to breeders in breeding-season rearing their chicks. While they should only be occasionally (once per month) offered to immatures and/or adult pet birds.

  • Caution with only lima and navy beans which are toxic when sprouted but healthy when well cooked.

Fresh water and a mineral block must be available at all times.

Adding these foods provides additional nutrients and can prevent obesity and lipomas, as can substituting millet, which is relatively low in fat, for higher-fat seed mixes. Adult lovebirds often do not always adapt readily to dietary additions, so care must be taken to introduce healthy diets as young as possible (ideally weaned onto fresh foods before introducing chicks onto seeds). Lovebirds like any other parrots learn mainly by mimicry and thus most adult lovebirds will be easily encouraged to try new foods by observing another bird eating the food, or by placing the new food on a mirror.

Parrot species (including cockatiels) are biologically vegetarian species.[citation needed] Consequently, they should be fed vegetarian diets that are ideally supplemented with vegetable proteins provided by the combination of any type of wholegrain/cereal with any type of legume/pulse. Eggs (hard-boiled and/or scrambled) with crushed shells are the only appropriately healthy source of animal proteins.[citation needed] Mostly for birds in either breeding, growing, moulting and/or recovering conditions. High levels of proteins (most particularly animal proteins) is unhealthy for lovebirds living under any alternate conditions (i.e. non-breeding, pets).[citation needed]

Green- and blue-series peach-faced lovebirds:
two parents with their two recently fledged chicks

Aggression problems with other birds and animal species[edit]

Because of their dominant and territorial nature, lovebirds should be supervised when socializing with other species and genera (whether it be cat, dog, small mammal or other bird species). Lovebirds can be aggressive to other birds, even to other lovebirds. Hand-raised lovebirds tend not to be scared and pose even more of a threat to themselves. Toe biting can occur when lovebirds are socializing/housed with small birds (i.e. parrotlets, budgies, and even docile cockatiels). They should not be housed with other bird genera as they can be injured or pose a threat to other birds.

Pets and bird safety[edit]

Lovebirds are very vocal birds, making loud, high-pitched noises. Some make noise all day, especially during dawn and dusk. This is a normal parrot behavior as flock animals, where they are calling to each other before the start of the day and just before they settle down for the night.

Lovebirds are also very active and love to chew things. When they are flying within a household, it is wise to watch them carefully and protect any furniture, electrical wiring or anything else that they could possibly chew on. Try to place fresh willow or oak branches in a favorite spot (e.g. near a high/sunny platform) to satisfy this natural behavior. Other things to be aware of when keeping lovebirds (also applies to other pet birds) at home are the danger spots in the house, such as open toilet bowls for drowning, clear glass walls which might be rammed in full force by the bird, fumes from all teflon or anti-stick coating in the kitchen, microwave coatings, oven coatings and chemical fumes from regular household cleaning products. Interaction with other pets in the house must also be supervised, such as cats and dogs which may view the lovebird as a prey animal.

Some people who keep birds as pets practice the clipping of the flight feathers for safety reasons as mentioned above. This also promotes tameness between the bird and the owner; the bird is unable to react to flee and must become dependent on its owner for lengthy travel.

Lovebirds of different species can mate and produce both sterile and fertile hybrid offspring, for example Agapornis personatus mate with Agapornis fischeri will produce fertile hybrid offspring. These offspring have behaviors of both parents. It is recommended to only place birds of the same species together, or of the same sex for this reason.

There is an African Lovebird Society in the US.

In popular culture[edit]

Songs about lovebirds include:

In television and film:

Further reading[edit]

  • All About Breeding Lovebirds (hardcover) by Mervin Roberts
  • Lovebirds: Everything About Housing, Care, Nutrition, Breeding, and Diseases with a special chapter, "Understanding Lovebirds" (A Complete Pet Owner's Manual) by Matthew M. Vriends


  1. ^ Alderton, David (2003). The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Caged and Aviary Birds. London, England: Hermes House. pp. 216–219. ISBN 1-84309-164-X. 
  2. ^ Eberhard, Jessica R. (1998): Evolution of nest-building behavior in Agapornis parrots. The Auk 115(2):455-464.
  3. ^ a b Le Breton, Kenny. Lovebirds...getting started. USA: T.F.H. Publications. pp. 84–98. ISBN 0-86622-411-4. 
  4. ^ "Zoological Nomenclature Resource: Psittaciformes (Version 9.004)". www.zoonomen.net. 2008-07-05. 
  5. ^ Mclachlan, G. R.; Liversidge, R. (1978). "330 Rosy-faced Lovebird". Roberts Birds of South Africa. illustrated by Lighton, N. C. K.; Newman, K.; Adams, J.; Gronvöld, H. (4th ed.). The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. p. 236. 
  6. ^ Forshaw (2006). plate 45.
  7. ^ Johne, R. Müller, H. "Avian polyomavirus in wild birds: genome analysis of isolates from Falconiformes and Psittaciformes Auteur(s") Archives of virology ISSN 0304-8608; 1998, vol. 143(8), pp. 1501–1512
  8. ^ ParrotParrot "What's that Noise? http://www.parrotparrot.com/articles/aa053001.htm
  9. ^ LovebirdMania.com "Lovebirds-- Female versus Male" http://www.lovebirds.co.nz/choosing/vs.php
  10. ^ Johnson, Anne "Lovebirds" Birds and Ways, Pet Bird Magazine, Ezine January 1998 http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww19eiii.htm
  11. ^ Parrotfeather.com: "Lovebird problems" http://www.parrotfeather.com/lovebird/Lovebird_problems.php
  12. ^ a b c De Saulles, Annette; Forbes, Neil (2003). Parrotlopaedia: a Complete Guide to Parrot Care. Ringpress Books. p. 73. ISBN 1-86054-285-9. 
  13. ^ a b c Low, Rosemary (1999). The Loving Care of Pet Parrots. Hancock House. pp. 167–168. ISBN 978-0888394392. 

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