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Lonely bird?

D.Chu

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Hello Aviana Peeps!

It is my first time joining in this community and its been fun reading up on all the bird posts. My uncle gave me my very first baby lovebird called Mango and it is about 1 and a half months old. It is my first time having a bird as a pet. I have been hand feeding Mango since it was a baby. It has grown quite attached to me and we even start to do recall training and we are slowly getting there. It prefers to land on my head or shoulder rather than my finger.

I need help and a bit of guidance since it is my first time taking care of a bird. Mango's cage is on the balcony outside my room. Every now and then i will let it out of the cage and roam around the balcony. The balcony is netted so it cant fly away. In the long run, I plan to remove the net and leave the bird cage open forever once it is comfortable and it is good at recall training. The main goal that I want to achieve is so that it can fly in and out without my supervision. Do you think this is wise? I don't want to constantly keep it in a cage or only confined it to my balcony area. I want it to roam free but be back by dinner. Is this wishful thinking?

On another dilema, everytime I go to work in the morning, I would spend sometime with Mango. But when I am not around, i would try to peek at my cage to see what its doing, and sometimes i just see Mango at the corner of the cage feeling lonely. Should i get another lovebird to keep it company? Wouldn't want my buddy to feel lonely and depressed when I am away. Poor fella.

P.S how do i tell if my bird is a male or female?
 

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Sunni Tiel

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Welcome to the avenue!! Such a cute birdie!

I really, truly do not think it's ever a great idea to let a bird so small outside without any sort of cage or harness. It's so so risky and very scary, especially without any supervision. Some people can train big birds like Macaws and cockatoos to safely free flight, but it takes years and years and it's really not the safest. I have heard of very few successes in free flight training for birds as small as cockatiels, but never without supervision and always with years of training. A lovebird or budgie is even scarier, such small birds that get spooked so easily. Don't forget about Predators!! There are other animals that would easily hurt your baby outside. Really not worth the risk to me.

I'm so glad you're asking for advice and doing your research, owning a bird can be tricky and there are so many mistakes that are often made. Could you post a picture of the cage setup and tell us what you're feeding them? Many people are uninformed in these areas and we would love to help!

Also, you said he seemed lonely? He's probably bored. The cage might be too small or there might be a lack of toys to keep his brain working. Often times housing multiple lovebirds together causes problems, they are a very aggressive species of bird. You would need a huge cage and there's a high possibility they just wouldn't get along.
 
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Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue :)

I agree with what Rachel said above. But also, lovebirds are stubborn, they will sometimes simply refuse to come back. It happens when recall training sometimes. They are not a good candidate for free flight, let alone free-roaming (not a good idea for any companion parrot).

Having a netted balcony is a great space, however you will need to be sure you constantly check for wear and tear, holes, parts being chewed to make sure your bird is not able to escape.

You could set up a nice stand in the balcony with smoe toys and foraging activities for him to do during the day. If you want to get him a friend, that could be nice, though there´s no guarantee they will get along and be friends.
 

BirdLady13

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1.) I highly recommend you do not remove the net or leave the cage open 24/7. Assuming Mango doesn't fall prey to predators, victim to the windshield of a vehicle, etc.. there is no guarantee Mango would come back like clockwork.
2.) Mango is likely bored or cramped. From your photos it's impossible to tell if there are enough toys (or any since I can't actually see one), and what the cage dimensions are.
3.) This is your 1st bird and it's still quite young, so instead of taking on the responsibility of a 2nd bird that potentially won't even get along with Mango, I would suggest you work on strengthening your bond instead.
4.) You would need to have a blood DNA test performed to identify Mango's gender.
 

Oscarbird

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I agree with everyone above, letting a a smaller bird like a lovebird fly around outside by itself is a huge risk. Because all birds are prey animals, they get spooked easily and will fly away as their way of protecting themselves. Like Zara also mentioned, they are very stubborn and are more than likely to ignore you when you want them to come back. There is also no guarantee that your bird will return to its cage all by itself. I would also keep the net on at all times, letting your bird out into the open (especially when it's a smaller bird) is just not a good idea at all.

Also, I agree with Zara and Sunni Teil, please post a picture and the dimensions of the cage for us so we can see what's inside of it. The more foraging activities and toys the better. Birds need a lot of enrichment (that also goes for non-parrot birds) and putting things like foraging and shredding toys inside their cage and showing them how to use them is a great boredom buster and helps to mentally engage your bird and keeps them entertained. While getting another lovebird might help alleviate some of this boredom, they still need destructible and foraging toys to help keep their minds and beaks in good shape.
 

D.Chu

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Thanks for the reply guys! For now its in a cage that is the biggest i could find in my area. I guess i won't let it out in the open. I had always assumed that if it is scared, it will always try to fly home instead of flying away to somewhere else.

I made it a little coconut house too and a few stairs, but do i need to build a bigger one in the near future? To me it feels like its cozy enough for one lovebird. If you guys suggest me to build it a bigger house i would but how big should i build it? If i were to build a house for one?

On another note, my little mango hates to drink water. Whenever i try to attempt to make it drink water, it would taste the water and shake its head rigorously and tries to get away from it. Is this normal?
 

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BirdLady13

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1.) I can now confirm Mango is definitely bored because he doesn't have any toys. Toys are important; they provide entertainment and stimulation.
2.) Use a bowl instead of a bottle for water, and make sure it's cleaned and changed daily.

Tip: If you line the tray under the grate with newspaper it's easier to clean.
 

Oscarbird

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There aren't any toys its cage. As BirdLady13 mentioned, toys are really important for your bird and they help engage your bird in natural behaviors that help keep them entertained. There are plenty of great parrot toy shops, and you can also purchase toys from vendors here on AA.
 

Muna

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Such a cutie mango

There are some YouTube videos 5-8hour long of lovebirds chirping.I would turn tv on whenever I need to leave the house. Defiantly kept my lovebird entertained for hours. Toys is a must have!
 

D.Chu

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Thanks for the comments guys! I will put in more toys and keep mango busy. Will update you guys soon if i dont forget ;)
 

Tazlima

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I had always assumed that if it is scared, it will always try to fly home instead of flying away to somewhere else.
Nope. If they're scared, they'll fly whatever direction is away from the scary thing. That might be toward home, or away from it, or to the side. If the scary thing chases it (which happens a lot with common birds like crows and seagulls, that aren't necessarily predators but don't appreciate strangers in the neighborhood), they could wind up miles away with no idea how to get back home.

Even a wild lovebird, with a full set of survival skills, is in serious danger alone outdoors. Small prey birds survive by hanging around in a flock, with lots and lots of friends constantly watching for danger, and moving as a group to confuse predators in the air. Your bird would be easy pickings for every predator in the area.

And if it was outside long enough to do like some escaped birds and join with a local flock of doves or sparrows or whatever for protection? That puts them at risk for all kinds of avian diseases. I don't know where you're located, but in the US, there were massive numbers of wild bird deaths from disease this year. They were even recommending people stop putting out bird feeders or bird baths to keep wild birds from gathering in the same place and spreading illness to each other.

As humans, we're so comfortable walking down the street. That cat? It's a fluffball to pat. Stray dog? No biggie. The hawk overhead? Neat! Lemme grab a photo! Pond or lake or ocean? Pretty to look at. We don't have to worry about accidentally landing or crashing into them and drowning. Gusty winds? Maybe it will mess up your hair, but short of tornado force winds, it won't literally blow you away.

The world's a dangerous place for a little bird.
 

D.Chu

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Nope. If they're scared, they'll fly whatever direction is away from the scary thing. That might be toward home, or away from it, or to the side. If the scary thing chases it (which happens a lot with common birds like crows and seagulls, that aren't necessarily predators but don't appreciate strangers in the neighborhood), they could wind up miles away with no idea how to get back home.

Even a wild lovebird, with a full set of survival skills, is in serious danger alone outdoors. Small prey birds survive by hanging around in a flock, with lots and lots of friends constantly watching for danger, and moving as a group to confuse predators in the air. Your bird would be easy pickings for every predator in the area.

And if it was outside long enough to do like some escaped birds and join with a local flock of doves or sparrows or whatever for protection? That puts them at risk for all kinds of avian diseases. I don't know where you're located, but in the US, there were massive numbers of wild bird deaths from disease this year. They were even recommending people stop putting out bird feeders or bird baths to keep wild birds from gathering in the same place and spreading illness to each other.

As humans, we're so comfortable walking down the street. That cat? It's a fluffball to pat. Stray dog? No biggie. The hawk overhead? Neat! Lemme grab a photo! Pond or lake or ocean? Pretty to look at. We don't have to worry about accidentally landing or crashing into them and drowning. Gusty winds? Maybe it will mess up your hair, but short of tornado force winds, it won't literally blow you away.

The world's a dangerous place for a little bird.
That makes a lot of sense. Everyday i learn something new about my little mango and how to nurture it. It took me sometime to understand its boundaries whether it wanted to be pet or left alone. A lot of trial and error for us but we understand each other now.

But i will definitely put up some durable mosquito netting around my balcony after my business trip.

On another note, i am going on a business trip for a week in a couple of days. I have someone to help take care of the bird e.g hand feed it and change its water daily, thats about it, but not play with it. So it will be locked up in the cage until i return. Will it cause a lot of stress to the bird? what else can I do to help make this transition easier for the bird?
 

FeatheredM

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I understand the cage you have is the biggest you could find and that's great! I just wanted to let you know that sometimes you can get a larger used cage found on Facebook or similar websites. Technically what I want to say is that don't stop looking because eventually you will get a good chance! I would add variety to your birds perches, if you can't find any perches you could make some by properly disenfecting it and finding safe wood. There's also alot of good diy ideas here, and there is plenty of bird toys on the market.
 

BirdLady13

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That makes a lot of sense. Everyday i learn something new about my little mango and how to nurture it. It took me sometime to understand its boundaries whether it wanted to be pet or left alone. A lot of trial and error for us but we understand each other now.

But i will definitely put up some durable mosquito netting around my balcony after my business trip.

On another note, i am going on a business trip for a week in a couple of days. I have someone to help take care of the bird e.g hand feed it and change its water daily, thats about it, but not play with it. So it will be locked up in the cage until i return. Will it cause a lot of stress to the bird? what else can I do to help make this transition easier for the bird?
If Mango is being hand-fed I assume they would be taking him out of the cage to do so. :huh:
 

D.Chu

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If Mango is being hand-fed I assume they would be taking him out of the cage to do so. :huh:
He is both actually, he is having pallets as well as being hand fed. But mango still prefers to be hand fed at the moment.

Yes, mango will be out of the cage to be fed, but thats it. After he is fed, he will be back in his cage.
 

D.Chu

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I understand the cage you have is the biggest you could find and that's great! I just wanted to let you know that sometimes you can get a larger used cage found on Facebook or similar websites. Technically what I want to say is that don't stop looking because eventually you will get a good chance! I would add variety to your birds perches, if you can't find any perches you could make some by properly disenfecting it and finding safe wood. There's also alot of good diy ideas here, and there is plenty of bird toys on the market.
There are bigger cages, but those are mostly for dogs and cats, mango could just slide out from the cage because the gaps are quite big. I am from Malaysia and there are not a lot of bird owners here. I already cut up a few branches, but i am waiting for it to dry off before i screw it onto the cage. Will still keep a look out for bigger cage.
 

BirdLady13

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There are bigger cages, but those are mostly for dogs and cats, mango could just slide out from the cage because the gaps are quite big. I am from Malaysia and there are not a lot of bird owners here. I already cut up a few branches, but i am waiting for it to dry off before i screw it onto the cage. Will still keep a look out for bigger cage.
Double check that the wood you plan on using is non-toxic and has been disinfected.
 

Pat H

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Thanks for the reply guys! For now its in a cage that is the biggest i could find in my area. I guess i won't let it out in the open. I had always assumed that if it is scared, it will always try to fly home instead of flying away to somewhere else.

I made it a little coconut house too and a few stairs, but do i need to build a bigger one in the near future? To me it feels like its cozy enough for one lovebird. If you guys suggest me to build it a bigger house i would but how big should i build it? If i were to build a house for one?

On another note, my little mango hates to drink water. Whenever i try to attempt to make it drink water, it would taste the water and shake its head rigorously and tries to get away from it. Is this normal?
Please understand, that when he shakes his head after drinking water, the food bowl is VERY CLOSE and he could be getting it wet... which ultimately will cause mold or other problems...
Destructible toys, toilet paper cardboard, rope chew toys... LBs do like to go INSIDE of things... but that can lead to a self-breeding situation.
I wouldn't trust a 'string' net to hold a LB...
 

FeatheredM

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I'm talking about real bird cages, they really do pop around once in a while use
He is both actually, he is having pallets as well as being hand fed. But mango still prefers to be hand fed at the moment.

Yes, mango will be out of the cage to be fed, but thats it. After he is fed, he will be back in his cage.
I'm talking about real nice bird cages that poeple sell sometimes:D I'm in a place where there are barely any one with a bird, and I've seen some really nice Bird cages for birds the size of Amazon's!
 

D.Chu

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Hello Avians! A little update since i last talked about Mango. Mango has been happy ever since i put in more foraging toys in. I have build up a fence on my balcony so it could fly around without me worrying and it allow Mango to excerise a bit.

On another note, I am having trouble with putting it back into its cage when it's time to go home. It constantly clings on to me and does not want to go home. Even if i manage to put it home, after i close the cage door, Mango would act very franctic/ crazy. It would walk up and down, climb here and there hastily trying to find a way out of the cage just to get near me. I have tried looking up solutions on Youtube but to no avail. I have tried putting its favourite treat inside the cage, but no matter what i do, it will still want to come out and stick around me. I have tried positive reinforcement but it does not work too. What should I do to make it want to be comfortable to go back home?
 
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