Ask anyone about lovers, and I assure you that in order to be happy and healthy, these beautiful creatures must be kept as a couple.
This is not entirely true. It is true that a pair of lovers who have already bonded should not be separated, but if a little darling has been raised by hand since childhood, they can make excellent family pets in their own right.
Lovebirds need some daily handling and care; if you ignore them for more than a couple of days, they can get pretty nasty.
They are quite a small bird, many people make the mistake of buying a small budgie type cage to house them, but this is not really the best way to go.
They are a very active bird, the bigger the cage the better they can get – they can really do it with lots of toys – for example they like to play with ring games, or get into the swing and jump, they are really full of energy.
There are nine species of lovers, all native to continental Africa, with the exception (it’s in the name!) of the Madagascar lover.
The others are Peachfaced, Masked, Fischer’s, Nyasa, Redfaced, Black-Collared, Abyssinian and Black-Cheeked.
That is only the tip of the iceberg though. In addition to the different species, keep in mind that there are many, many color mutations; for example, there are 17 known color mutations for the peach-faced variety, but when you consider mutations bred together over many years, there are. thousands of different colors are now available.
The Peachfaced variety is said to be the prettiest, with peachy caps, while the standard redface and lutino varieties are louder and can be more aggressive.
As for the diet, it should consist of a varied mix of vegetables, whole grains, bean mix in cockatiel pellets and seed mix. This can be supplemented with an occasional orange slice.
You should also put a squid bone or calcium block for the birds to chew on.
The pet is a great companion for someone stuck at home or simply looking for a family pet. They generally have a very fun personality and are cheerful and playful. They are great fun to watch sitting down, but they can also be adorable.
While they’ve never been known for great talking skills, they can certainly pick up a few words. They also love to play, and these smart birds are very quick to pick up tricks and such.
So there you have it. A small but perfectly formed bundle of fun that benefits from a good level of human interaction.
Read our full guide to pet birds here, and our lover’s article here.