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Baby Lovebird Advice

technerd3000

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I've got a bit of a wild story, and I'm looking for advice from some lovebird experts...

I live in Phoenix, AZ, and for those of you who do not know, we actually have a thriving population of African lovebirds (the populations started from birds that escaped from pet stores). They only survive in the urban areas, because they rely on non-native vegetation (landscaping plants) for their diets. Lucky for me, about a dozen of them are happy to call my front yard home, where they live in the abandoned woodpecker holes in my 30-foot tall saguaro cactus (like you see in the old western movies).

Occasionally, I'll find a youngster on the ground who tried to fly the nest a bit early and can't make it back to the top of the cactus. I usually put these guys under my front porch, the rest of the flock will come visit for a day or two, then they take off on their own. However, two days ago I found a very confused youngster, who I estimate to be about 3 1/2 weeks old based on the photos I've seen. I found a shaded spot for him/her on a pillar on my porch, the flock has been visiting, and they appear to be taking care of him/her for the past two days.

That said, I've also been considering getting a lovebird as a pet, and I would love love love to bring this guy in the house! I recognize that it would need formula every 4-hours for the next few weeks, I'd have to keep an eye on brooder temperature, and those sorts of things. I've raised day-old chickens, and while they don't require hand-feeding, they do have some unique temperature requirements. I've also kept exotic pets of some sort for the past 30 years. My point being - I'm not totally naive about the suggested undertaking.

What I DON'T want to do is lessen this guy's chances of survival. So, what I'm asking for opinions on here, is do you think this cutie has better odds on his own the next couple weeks, in a shady corner on my porch (with stray cats in the neighborhood), where the current weather is ~85 degrees overnight and high temps over 110 degrees, or would he/she have better odds safe in my home where I can control the temperature, but I will need to hand feed for a while? I don't know which environment would give the little guy the best survival odds.

He seems spunky enough after 2-days on the porch, and I've seen the other birds visit, so I'm sure it's getting fed. My main concerns outdoors are about physical security, temperature, and the possibility that the other birds could stop visiting.

Any advice from someone experienced with lovebirds would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!!
 

Garet

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If there are stray cats around, I wouldn't leave him there. Especially taking into consideration where you live and how vulnerable he currently is and the vast amount of other predators that may live in your area. They're very tough birds, but if he's that young, he's going to need more than just a shady spot.

Even putting him in an outdoors cage won't help him, especially since you'd need to leave an opening for the rest of the flock to get to him, thus leaving him even more vulnerable. Heck, even his flockmates may wind up killing him. I've had to keep Krem away from Triss when he was younger, as she saw him as competition for her eggs, and I used to have to closely monitor him. His wings were clipped and he couldn't fly, and the rest of my flighted flock saw him as a bird that was too weak to survive because of this and would bully him until he started his adult molt.

Is there no way you can find the nest?
 

technerd3000

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I know where the nest is, but it's 25 feet up a spine covered cactus. I have no way to get to it without a cherry picker...
 

nu2birds

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I would LOVE to look out and see wild Lovebirds visiting my backyard. My understanding is they are mainly Peach face, is this true? I have heard that there is a wild colony on Maui Hawaii as well. I think you should bring him in so cats don't get him. But I have zero experience feeding babies so I would need help too.
 

technerd3000

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Yes, they're mostly all peach face, but I do have one lutino I've seen this year. An update on status - I found him out of the nest I made him late yesterday afternoon, and he was pretty weak. So, I brought him in, set up a little brooder, and I got him to eat about 4 ccs of formula last night. This morning he's got much more energy and he's eating formula readily. I've got an appointment with an avian vet this afternoon to get him checked out. I really hope he continues to improve. Thanks for the opinions! Here's a picture from this morning...
 

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DoubleTake

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I would definately get some blood work done. I believe i read that some of the lovebird colonies in AZ have diseases that normally would be harmful to birds but they have become immune and are carriers.
 

technerd3000

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Good to know. I don't have any other birds in the house, but I wouldn't want to make my chickens sick. Thanks!
 

Birdbabe

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Yea, you were right to bring him in, I live in Mesa..I've helped many babies
.but, do be aware that a lot of the wild lovebirds have PBFD..he dosen't look like he has it. An avian vet check would be best. They imprint quickly hey, you may have a new friend !
 

MahaSarah

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He is literally so so cute! Good for you in taking him in! Hopefully, he will live to be a healthy great little bird.

& I also agree on getting blood work done, make sure the little one doesn't have any diseases!
 

technerd3000

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In case anyone was wondering... This little guy (or gal) we've dubbed Walter is still doing great. He received a clean bill of health from the vet and he's started to wean back on the formula and feed himself. Here is a current picture!
 

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nu2birds

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Thanks for updating us.........look at that cute little baby! Glad you got a clean bill of health.
 
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