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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about Lovebirds

TheBirds

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After six months as little Lyric's "carer", I think I can confidently add to this thread now! He's roughly 9 mos. at the moment and we got him from a really wonderful breeder (Lovely Lovies, if you're in Ontario!). I've been so impressed by both the bird and the breeder that we're adding a second Lovebird just as soon as he has something that's been weaned! Let's see ...

The Good? Lyric is clownish, outgoing, and personable. He'll quite reliably step-up on fingers and hands (although we did have quite a set-back after an unfortunate visit to the vet ) and is easy to return to his cage when it's time - without protest. If he's out, he'll fly to me or a family member and hang out on a shoulder, and loves to cuddle .. especially in the evening. He's been really good about accepting pellets, and not just one kind but MANY different kinds (I try to sneak them in without his noticing, lol). Honestly, I can't say I recall a time that he's ever bitten me, but he does use his beak to examine my fingers (fingernails) or put the brakes on any head scratches that he's not interesting in receiving! He's most entertaining with his foot toys, like his plastic ball with a bell inside that he'll chase - and then throw - around the bottom of his cage, and he likes to drop it in his water or food dish on occasion too. This sounds weird, but even his poops aren't terrible .. they're relatively solid and easy to clean up if they end up on clothing or the floor.

The Bad? He's resistant to eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and can be very vocal. Not so much the volume, but the duration .. there was one night where he chirped for nearly two hours straight! To be fair, he tends to do it at "roosting time" where he'll tuck his beak into his feathers and "bweep, bweep, bweep", so it's not like he's being intentionally obnoxious.

The Ugly? Literally nothing!

I absolutely love these little birds, from their body shape (just a round ball of feathers!) to the way they run (pat-pat-pat----pat-pat-pat-pat----pat-pat). Lyric's in a Vision cage so there's virtually NO mess, and cleaning the cage itself from top to bottom takes less than 30 mins a week. It's the fourth cage I've tried him in and it's the absolute cleanest (and easiest to keep clean) so we're sticking with it permanently now!
 

TheBirds

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Back to add to my previous post ... since adding a second Lovebird we've come to understand how noisy these little guys can be. So I'm amending the above to add - somewhere between bad and ugly! - the constant chatter.

It got to a point where we couldn't keep them in our Family Room anymore .. not because of the volume, but because of the frequency of their vocalizations. It's not unusual for one of them to vocalize for a solid 30 - 45 minutes at a time, multiple times a day. Not outright squawking, but something between a chatter and a squawk. Want to have a conversation without losing your train of thought? Forget it. Want to watch TV? Good luck! For anyone considering a Lovebird, I'd recommend having somewhere you can put them where you can close the door when the noise gets to be overwhelming.

I can't say I have any other real complaints, because both our two are really sociable and are always happy to be let out and be handled. And no nasty bites (although the younger one is still experimenting with his beak)! They love to preen my face (?) and will fly to find me when I leave a room even for a brief moment. Really wonderful companion birds, but can be noisy as heck :laugh:
 

fluffypoptarts

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@TheBirds That is so funny - our 8 have many times when they’re pretty quiet! It’s actually not that often that they all get going at once.
 

Zara

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For anyone considering a Lovebird, I'd recommend having somewhere you can put them where you can close the door when the noise gets to be overwhelming.
My partner leaves the house and goes out for a walk when things are really noisy :lol:

since adding a second Lovebird we've come to understand how noisy these little guys can be. So I'm amending the above to add - somewhere between bad and ugly! - the constant chatter.

It got to a point where we couldn't keep them in our Family Room anymore .. not because of the volume, but because of the frequency of their vocalizations. It's not unusual for one of them to vocalize for a solid 30 - 45 minutes at a time, multiple times a day.
We had all this too when adding birds. It would last a couple of months then settle.
My birds are quite for over half the day (maybe off peeps and cheeps, but nothing really noisy).
It´s 2pm now, and you could hear a pin drop in here. Sydney is making a couple of quieter peeps but the most noise is my keyboard as I type this.
They get a bit noisier when letting them out of their cages as they get excited seeing the others being let out, but once they are all out they make noise at first then quieten down.
 

LunaLovebird

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My partner leaves the house and goes out for a walk when things are really noisy :lol:


We had all this too when adding birds. It would last a couple of months then settle.
My birds are quite for over half the day (maybe off peeps and cheeps, but nothing really noisy).
It´s 2pm now, and you could hear a pin drop in here. Sydney is making a couple of quieter peeps but the most noise is my keyboard as I type this.
They get a bit noisier when letting them out of their cages as they get excited seeing the others being let out, but once they are all out they make noise at first then quieten down.
It's the same for us here. Anakin used to go through periods where he would make a whole lot of noise for no reason for about half an hour, but all of them are generally pretty quiet during the day. A bit of chatter in the morning and when I first let them out, but otherwise it's silent. Charlie, on the other hand, is all chatter almost all day.
 

TheBirds

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@Zara @fluffypoptarts and @LunaLovebird .. I hope I'm soon joining your club :laugh: Indie, the younger, is definitely worse as far as noise. But they both like to try and compete with the TV as well as any conversations going on, especially in the evening.

So even if my experience isn't typical (and here's hoping that it's NOT), let's say it could be a possibility :wacky:
 

TheBirds

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They get a bit noisier when letting them out of their cages as they get excited seeing the others being let out, but once they are all out they make noise at first then quieten down.
It must be awfully cool to see them all out and about at once .... do you have a clip anywhere of them enjoying out of cage time together?
 

Zara

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It must be awfully cool to see them all out and about at once
Sounds better than it is.
I can´t keep up with them when they are all out at once, so I rarely do it.
I usually fly the Blue team and then Sydney/Adelie separate. Gisli goes with whoever, but he gets some extra time out after I cover everyone for bed (because he´s the only one without a buddy).
 

Neversaw

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I've had other lovies who were pretty much exactly as other posts but my girl Nora is like no bird iVe met
The good: she's cute as hell and smells delicious! She's a clever chicken and has a few phrases very clearly spoken like peek a boo (aside from a peek a boo situation she always says this when you cover and uncover her cage as a goodnight) what are you doing/whatcha doin/what doing/what do, when you tell her off for something she says brightly "good girl!" Like no, no good girl! And screams 'pew pew pew' when in the shower and loving life. She's a nutty flyer, she had 5 flight feathers cut each side when I got her but could fly high, fast, dive bomb and pull out last min etc but she loves to fly fast and hard land om shoulder when excited, and to slap you with a wing as she flys past and loves a last min syke by flying at your face and last second pulling out and going elsewhere.
Sometimes I get lovely patting times but when I do She mostly wants me to rub on her bottom jaw and neck.

The weird: bad didn't seem the word for it, she HATES having her cage rearranged and if you so she will sleep sitting on the bottom looking like she's lost at sea! She loves bells but specifically one toy which is a perspex spiral with a bell on and she lays on her back and kicks it with her feet, not too weird except she likes to do this around 9:30 each day even if shes out of the cage it's like 'oh shizz it's spiral time I gotta go'. She's an explorer but if she spots legs or feet or toes she will excavate like an archeologist to get to where you've hidden those toes so they can be bitten.
She also purposely gets into spots then calls out like she's stuck so you find her (up the fly screen behind the blind, in the box under her cage she squeezes into, under paper towel in the cage). She also loves to call to the native lorikeets but specifically loves the pasty myna and butcher birds because they try to kill her but end up thwacking themselves into the window much to her extreme delight. Sadistic!

The ugly: she bites. All the time. Regularly gets blood but it's just something she enjoys. She will hunt you out to flY over land on your shoulder just to bite your neck. She knows how to step up and come and all sorts but she also doesnt feel like perflrmjng 99% of the time so pretends youre just asking for bites.
She tears paper but just flings in behind her as she has no interest in making a nest, the hormones make her tear and hump my hair when it's in a bun and that's it, weirdo! Doesn't hump anything else haha lucky me and my sexy bun.
She screams a lot sometimes in human words some times birdy tweets mostly just the highest and loudest to get attn. If things are her way she wants me in the room, her in the cage door open, me not touching but flys over to bite just to make sure you dont forget the feeling.
 

fluffypoptarts

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@Neversaw Female lovers can be feisty little terrorists, but they never cease being adorable! :D
 

TheBirds

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Update time...

Lyric, the one we got from the breeder, thinks that's where he still belongs because as we near the 2 year mark with him, he is CONSTANTLY humping and regurgitating on his toy (and he'll scream if it's not where he expects it to be or is missing because it's been cleaned). And we get to listen to him hump and grunt on his toy in the evenings, all evening. Ick. And that's not when he's shrieking at me through the bars of his cage :bored:

Indy, who we bought from a well-reputed pet shop specializing in exotic birds, is lovely. He's quieted down so much, and is just delightful. He's earned the nickname Flufferbutt as he just fluffs up in delight when spoken to or picked-up. He doesn't have any interest in humping or regurgitating on anything (I guess Lyric does enough of that for the both of them) and won't screech incessantly like Lyric will. The experimental beaking has stopped, he's learned to be gentle, and loves to be scratched around his neck.

Thing is, the two of them get along so well that I don't think I can quite bring myself to rehome Lyric, even if I think he'd be MUCH happier in a breeding program!
 

Zara

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I think he'd be MUCH happier in a breeding program!
I don´t think we can draw a solid conslusion on the happiness of our birds. I don´t know why you think this about a breeding programme?
What about this... Joe bloggs sits at home in his room, screams at anyone who comes in, and spends all day masturbating, are we saying he will be a good dad?
Just because Lyric is forever humping his toys, It´s not to say he would be a good breeder bird or not. Actually, given he has no mate to show you how good of a partner he can be, we can´t really make any conclusions at all. Good breeder birds are attentive to their mate, bring them food, help with the nest, creating it, sitting in it, guarding it out on the outer perch... And those good breeder birds, are they happy? Who knows.

My youngest is always humping and feeding his toys, I´ve never even thought of rehoming him because of it thinking he would be ¨happier¨ elsewhere. I won´t ever breed him as I have no plans to bring home any more Roseicollis.
I took advice from Faislaq who uses a Kong toy for her Macaw to show affection to, and I bought the smallest size Kong, and my youngest loves it! He feeds it all the time and humps it, and it´s super easy to wash. I would highly recommend one for Lyric!
Remember, you can add an extra night hour if you think the hormones are getting a bit wild. As well as rearrange the cage, move toys around, move food and water, add more foraging, just like we do for the girls to reduce the desire to lay.
 

TheBirds

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I took advice from Faislaq who uses a Kong toy for her Macaw to show affection to, and I bought the smallest size Kong, and my youngest loves it! He feeds it all the time and humps it, and it´s super easy to wash. I would highly recommend one for Lyric!
Interesting. Do you string the kong up in the cage or leave it on the bottom?
 

Zara

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I leave it on the cage floor, and he pushes it to where he wants it :)
 

Danybirb

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The attributes listed in this thread are the experiences of each individual and your experiences may differ with your individual bird.

I can't believe no one has done one yet, so I guess I'll start. Please add your own experiences, while I have nearly 13 years experience, it's all with the same bird.
Keep in mind every bird is an individual, and as such this will not apply to every lovebird!

My own experience is with a singly-kept, tame, hen, so I will be mainly focusing her. Please keep that in mind.

The Good
Peanut is tame and views me as her mate. She is very sweet and would like nothing better than to spend her entire day near me. She loves scritches, cuddles, and will fall asleep in my left hand while I scritch her. She likes to sit on my shoulder or chest, as close to my neck as she can get, and just huddle there. She loves napping in the recliner with me.

She plays like a velociraptor, running at something, jumping onto it to grab hold with her feet, and bites it repeatedly. She'll flap her wings and make the toy slide everywhere while she "attacks" it. If it's small enough she'll slide it around rapidly with her beak and chase it. She loves to push and throw things off the computer desk and watch them fall to the floor. We play catch, where I'll catch an object and throw it back, and will toss it back and forth until she "wins" and I miss. She's a sore looser though, if it goes on too long she'll carry to the back of the desk and drop it off herself!
She also loves to shred, and it's pretty cute to watch.
Lovebirds, as a whole, are super-adorable. This is fact. :lol:

They aren't known for talking but are able to mimic sounds. Peanut has a small repertoire of clicks, trills, kisses, whistles, and er, fart noises (it's actually a raspberry.) She also surprised me a few years when she started repeating a few phrases. However her voice is extremely high pitched and difficult to understand, most of what she "says" I have figured out simply based on the number of syllables in the squealing. A few months ago she's even started mimicking my laughter. It is the lowest pitched noise she makes and it sort of sounds like I may need to hire an exorcist.

I would say, generally, she is about as smart as an average dog. She could even escape from her old cage, I had to put locks on the feeder doors. The few things she does say, she says in context, especially the laughter! She'll laugh when I wouldn't, but she is doing something she thinks is funny (like pushing a glass of water over and making a bid mess. I didn't laugh, I sighed... she did however.) Kiss noises when she's feeling loving, things like that.
(I do not own another bird I can compare her to, but her problem-solving and general intelligence is pretty much equal to my Labrador mix.)


The Bad
Unlike another lovebird I simply cannot spend the entire day with her. Also unlike another lovebird, at night we each go to our own "beds." Like naps, she would love to spend the entire night near me too but that just isn't safe or practical. It's definitely one of the areas where I feel having her bonded to another lovebird would maker her happier.

However she's also extremely bird aggressive. Female lovebirds are known to be territorial and Peanut has taken this to an extreme. Boarding her at the vet's house revealed she doesn't tolerate any other bird, big or small, in her line of sight. She tries to attack them without any other provocation than existing.

She is very determined to nest. Don't leave important paper around your female bird or it will be bitten into strips, tucked into her butt, and carried back to her nest. Uncashed checks make the best nests.

She is also territorial and will defend what she thinks is hers with her beak. Lovebird beaks are sharp and powerful enough to go through skin if they want. She's even cut me on accident with the tip of her beak it's so sharp. Some of the things she will defend with force are actually mine. She's bitten me before for being too near to her latest nest that was the inside of my shirt I was wearing.
Mostly though she gives clear warnings and I am rarely bitten unless I miss or ignore them. She doesn't want to bite, it is just part of her nature to defend her territory so she will if she feels she has no other option. If I respect her instincts we get along very well, in fact I don't think I've been bitten yet this March.
A few rare objects will elicit an immediate attack though, and they get added to the "banned around Peanut forever" list.

While lovebirds aren't nearly as loud as medium or larger birds but their shrill, piercing contact calls are like nails on a chalkboard to some people. When Peanut wants to be heard, I can hear her anywhere in the house and outside the house with all the windows closed. However she is not loud enough to be heard around 40 feet away from the house.
They will still chew on things they aren't supposed to, like all parrots, but little beaks mean smaller damage.


The Ugly
I'd be inclined to say "there is nothing ugly about lovebirds" due to their status as one of the cutest things on the face of the earth but there is one thing...

Peanut is fearless. She would take on any thing of any size if she thought she needed to. Lovebirds can and do attack other birds of any size, and the results can be ugly indeed.
Smaller or more gentile birds like tiels and budgies have been killed and maimed by lovebirds, and lovebirds have "kamikazed" themselves on much larger parrots, resulting in their own deaths or severe injury. Two lovebirds will even fight and kill each other over territory, females being the most notoriously territorial.

I've even caught Peanut sizing up my dogs from her cage before. My dogs are not small.
(They are never, ever, allowed near the room where Peanut lives while she is out for reasons that are probably obvious.)


I hope this post is adequate, please contribute.

Is peanut loud often? Is loud just certain times?
 

expressmailtome

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Is peanut loud often? Is loud just certain times?
@Ankou has not posted in the last year, and has not logged in in several months, so you will most likely not receive a reply.
 

Wally&Eva

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Is peanut loud often? Is loud just certain times?
I have 2 and they are young. When they want to, they can be loud. It can go on without stopping for an hour. They chirp all day. Most of the time, it is dealable. And they have certain times. You can do things to help that. They aren’t as bad as some of the larger birds but again, it’s what you can deal with. When they sit on my shoulder and scream, I definitely hear ringing for a few minutes.
 
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