Photo Credits: Jessica Miller -
Babies First Day Out
Pet Potential? - by
Size: Love birds are
approximately 5 ½ to 6 ½ inches in length, depending on
the species and quality of the bird. They will weigh between 45 and 60
grams. Baby love birds are about the same size as adults – they
will potentially gain a little in weight and bulk as they mature, but
this is not significant. What you see is what you get!
Color: Love birds come in a
wide range of bright colors. Whatever your favorite color is,
there’s probably a mutation out there that matches! You can find
love birds that have greens, blues, yellows, purples, oranges, and
whites in all shades and combinations.
Noise Level: Comparatively
speaking, love birds are not loud birds. Keep in mind, however, that
noise is a relative factor and what may be loud to one person is not
loud to another. Their voices are high pitched. Please remember this if
you are living in an apartment and have sensitive neighbors.
Cage Requirements: A cage
with the dimensions of at least 16 x 16 x 24 is preferable for a pet
love bird. There should be room enough to place at least two perches,
two toys, and three dishes (one for water, one for seed/pellet diet,
and one for fresh foods), leaving enough room for the bird to flap its
wings freely. The cage bars should be spaced at approximately ½
inches. Bars that are spaced too far apart will make it difficult for
the bird to hold on to and climb around.
Additional Supplies: A
transportable play gym is a great asset! A love bird can be trained to
stay on this gym, regardless of where the gym is located, giving you
great flexibility. A small travel carrier is also a must. This will
come in handy when you are taking your pet love bird for a visit,
traveling, or going to the vet.
Suitability as Pets: Love
birds can make endearing pets. Before deciding to purchase a pet love
bird, be sure to read up on as much information as you can! As with any
type of parrot, love birds have good and bad points. Know what you are
getting into and what you are committing to. Love birds can live for 15
– 20 years, so purchasing a love bird is a long-term commitment.
Every love bird has its own individual personality;
however there are some characteristics that are commonly found in most
- Active and energetic. There is constant motion and
activity when living with a love bird. They are not afraid of other
people’s motion or activity, either. In busy households, love
birds often fit right into the picture. A pet love bird can thoroughly
enjoy riding around on your shoulder while you go about daily
activities and household chores. Love birds can rarely stand still for
long periods of time, so they are not very cuddly. Cuddle time with a
pet love bird is most likely to happen late at night, when the bird is
tired and ready for bed. Responsible children make great love bird
owners because they can keep up with this activity level.
- Curiosity killed the cat… or maybe the love
bird. Love birds are extremely inquisitive. They are practically
fearless and insist on exploring all unknown things. This can be both a
good and a bad trait. Pet love birds are open and willing to meet new
people and travel to new places with their owners. If well socialized,
they rarely become one-person birds. While they may choose a person to
favor, they will also willingly play with other people. At the same
time, many love birds have met their demise by investigating dangerous
situations (including birds much larger than themselves).
- Love birds have a mind of their own – and they
will let you know it! If there is something a love bird has decided
that it wants to do, it will try everything in its power to do it.
Distracting a love bird that has a task or object in mind can be a
challenge. Patience and persistence is the key. However, love birds
rarely ever demand constant attention from their owners. When provided
with enough toys to keep their minds active, love birds will happily
play in their cage or on their play gym.
- Domineering, commanding, and controlling. Oh, and did
I mention bossy? In the wild, love birds are flock birds. Their place
in the flock must be established and protected. Young love birds need
to establish their place in the flock as well, whether their flock be
comprised of humans or other birds. This can be a challenging time for
pet owners. A young lovebird can be expected to routinely challenge
authority in order to determine what its role will be in the flock. A
pet love bird owner needs to be able to calmly but firmly maintain
their role as the leader of the flock. Once the love bird understands
where they fit into the group, they will not challenge authority on a
- Smarter than the average bear! Don’t be fooled
by their small size, love birds are very intelligent creatures. They
can learn to mimic common household noises such as the beep of the
microwave. They can also learn to imitate the sounds of other birds.
Very few love birds will learn to talk; if you are looking for a
talking pet, a love bird is not a good choice. They do possess the gift
of observation, and many love birds have learned how to let themselves
out of their cages or dump their food dishes in order to get some new
food or treat. With patience, a love bird can also be potty-trained.
Pet owners find this trick to be especially useful.
- No-guess, no-nonsense emotions. If your pet love bird
is happy, then you will know it. If he desires to be let out of his
cage, you will be made aware. If he’s feeling a bit moody and
would like to be left alone, you will be notified. If he is mad at you
or holding a grudge against you, then you will most certainly be the
first to know about it. Love birds do not hide their emotions from
their owners. You can expect total honesty from a pet love bird.
A hand-fed, well socialized love bird can make a
wonderful pet. As with any pet bird, only you can determine whether
this species would fit into your household and lifestyle. Consider
carefully the responsibility involved in caring for a pet. It is a time
consuming, patience trying, and heart warming experience. In my own
opinion, well worth the effort!
Photo Credits: Jessica Miller -
Handfed Young Love Birds at Play