Songbirds

Everyone knows birds chirp and sing as a rule. Many parrot species whistle and talk, but did you know that they also LOVE to listen to music and many like to dance? Yes, it’s true and lovebirds are no exception!

A great way to bond with your bird is to sing and play music for them while you pay attention to their “moves” My lovebird particularly likes 70’s disco… but really anything with a groovy dance tempo will fit the bill.

It is really quite comical and endearing to watch them “get down” –I can only speak for my LB but she mainly bops her head around and will often do acrobatics on anything she happens to be standing on.

Of course if you can sing along with the tempo and pay close attention to how your bird is enjoying the music, it’s all the better. While SOME music is better than NO music,  just playing the radio in the backround is really not sufficient—you must focus all your attention on the bird because they love it! They are  showy birds at heart and really need an audience to inspire them. Who can blame them really?

I have several shiny disco balls around the perches that have hanging bells on the end. Most often a lovie will either chirp loudly to remind you to play DJ or they will ring the bell to get your attention! It is hilarious….

I have taught my bird to ring the bell on cue when I play “Ring My Bell” featuring Anita Ward…. talk about classic 70’s disco!  Not to mention the fact that I have created a dancing machine. HAHA

You can also WOO your bird with soft love songs most effectively if sung by you and/or along with the music. Serenade if you must.

 IN CONCLUSION

Lovebirds desire music and interaction with their owners– it’s a great way to bond and play with your bird (especially a solo bird because they NEED that time and attention) and it’s fun for everyone!

Don’t like to sing? It’s okay just lip synch and pay attention to your bird’s reaction– it’s really all about the bonding and good energy between you and your bird.

HAVE FUN and until next time..Happy Parroting!

 

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Best of…Reviews and Recommendations

These are recommendations of all products and necessities  you will need for a solo or pair of lovebirds. Keep in mind I am NOT a breeder and these recommendations are for pet ownership only.

  • CAGE
  • CARRYING /TRAVEL CAGE
  • TOYS
  • SWINGS/LADDERS
  • MIRROR
  • NATURAL PERCHES
  • WATER/FOOD BOWLS
  • CUTTLEBONE
  • MINERAL BLOCK
  • PLAYSTAND
  • TREATS
  • FOOD
  • A GOOD AVIAN VET
  • TIME DEVOTED TO YOUR BIRD  (not a product but very important!)

 

 

REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

Here you have it folks…. I am recommending all products and supplies needed to own a happy, healthy lovebird. You may certainly purchase any item you want, but I took the guess work out of a lot of the decision-making and the best part is that most of these products are fairly CHEAP! Yes, as in inexpensive because we like cheap here at BIRDSRUS.

For instance, if you are THINKING of owning one of these little cuties…

Here are my:

CAGE RECOMMEDATIONS:

First off, let me just state that NO cage is really ever going to be big enough for your pet lovie. These are very active, playful birds and they need a lot of exercise in order to stay happy and healthy. Having said that, in reality you will need a cage when you are not home, when the bird is sleeping and obviously various other reasons. Yes, you HAVE to own a cage for your bird.

The minimum size should be no smaller than 18x18x24 inches and bar spacing should be 1/2 inch  x  1/2 inch so that your bird cannot get it’s head stuck between the bars and possibly strangle itself. Yes, it can happen!

I absolutely LOVE antiques so I can understand if you are roaming that flee market or yard sale and find a really cool old-fashioned birdcage that would look stellar in your home.  DON’T BUY IT!  At least not for your bird.

If you want it for decoration purposes be my guest, but there is a strong chance that the metal is toxic to your bird, or the paint could be as well. It is better to not take this chance as your bird will constantly be chewing on the bars of the cage. It’s just what they do….

I prefer the Prevue Hendryx line of birdcages, which can be purchased at most pet store chains like Petco or PetSmart, however I prefer www.amazon.com prices. For one thing, if you are a Prime member, many times you can get a discount on top of your lower price item anyway. I am a HUGE fan of Amazon as I have gotten many things on there for nearly free with my rewards.

Prevue Hendryx  are bird-safe in every way, not too expensive and the BEST PART IMO is that they are extremely easy to clean. They have a removable tray that pulls out on the bottom of the cage and really all you need to do is remove the newspaper (or whatever dropping paper you choose) and a slight quick wipe down . Voila!  ….. and your cage is clean for the next few days/or week.

Keep in mind lovebirds actually smell GOOD and rarely do the droppings have an odor, but bacteria can build up and I recommend that you keep up with at least weekly cleaning of your cage. In particular, you want to wipe off any toys or perches  with a bird-safe cleaning product or simply water works just fine.

You can find some great low priced Prevue Hendryx cages right on the internet and there are quite a few different styles to chose from…. just remember not too small!

PREVUE HENDRYX BIRD CAGES FOUND HERE:

www.amazon.com

TRAVEL CAGES:

I recommend that you have some form of small travel cage for your bird mainly for vet visits or bringing him/her to a boarding facility. As I have stated before, I really don’t think you should do a lot of traveling with your lovie because it’s stressful for them, especially if you have a new bird or a skittish one.

Some lovies can become “Velcro birds” as the term implies– that they always want to be near you. If your bird is a Velcro, well use your best judgement. I have seen and heard about owners bringing their birds to work, in the car, etc. but this is an exception and only if you feel that your bird would enjoy it. Most do not! 

Now getting back to the travel cage, I would go with a Prevue Hendrix once again, but this is your call. If you can find a cheaper, safer alternative that’s cool but don’t use a shoe box with holes in it for heaven’s sake unless you are desperate.

You want your lovie to be riding in style don’t you? Just kidding but you will need a decent carrying cage in the event you need to bring him/her to the airport, veterinarian, etc.

PREVUE HENDRYX TRAVEL CAGES FOUND HERE:

www.amazon.com

TOYS:

As far as toy recommendations, well there are lots of options here. I will say that I have my favorite brands and one of which is PLANET PLEASURES. Most of these are earth friendly natural products made from palm leaves, coconut and bamboo. They are also artisan hand made and especially good for birds that need foraging toys (Most lovebirds do BTW)

You can find them at most Petco and PetSmart locations and specialty bird stores, but again I recommend  www.amazon.com  for the convenience and low prices. A lot of them come in piñata type hanging foraging palm leaves, but if you are undecided I would start out with the Rainbow Shredders which are just one long braided strip of naturally dyed palm leaves.

www.amazon.com

I GUARANTEE your lovebird will enjoy them. The best part is that they will last a long time. All you do is cut the strip to the length that you want, and once your birdie rips them apart, just cut another one. One shredder package will last you for months. This will also deter your bird from wanting to chew on wood because honestly, they prefer to chew paper products and palm leaves anyway! Don’t forget it’s natural. If they were back in Africa, chances are high they would be chewing on palm leaves and they naturally love to shred stuff anyway.

PLANET PLEASURES FORAGING TOYS FOUND HERE:

www.amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Birdie Language

Besides being aware of the best ways to care for your lovebird(s), knowing the body language– or birdie language— as I like to refer to it, is very important.   It could prevent a bite, for instance, and believe you me those can HURT!

BEAK CLICKING

One sign that your bird is happy and content is while they are resting on a perch, usually with one leg tucked under the body and the beak is opening and closing at a steady and regular pace. Many times you will notice the tongue darting in and out as well. Don’t be alarmed, it is most likely a sign of contentment.

REGURGITATION

Regurgitation is actually a sign of affection  (I almost took mine to the vet thinking she had eaten something toxic) If your bird looks like it’s having small convulsions and opening it’s beak at the same time, he/she is often saying I LOVE YOU.

  I know, weird right?

….but in nature bonded pairs feed each other this way and mothers feed the young through chewing up food and regurgitating the remains into the babies open mouths.

RUFFLED FEATHERS

No, you didn’t say the wrong thing, chances are your bird is a bit chilly. Lovebirds will often fluff their feathers in an attempt to stay warm (safe temps for your bird should range from 60-80 degrees) More on that later–but they DO adapt quite well to changes in temperature as long as it’s gradual and not in a shocking, short time frame. Beware of cold drafts in addition to cold temperatures, as they can be insidious to your bird’s health.

I must add that ruffled feathers can ALSO be a sign that your bird is ill and if you notice him/her doing this for a long period of time coupled with lethargy, I recommend a vet’s visit ASAP. It is better to be safe than sorry!

LETHARGY

Keep a close eye on your bird if you notice he/she is sleeping more than usual i.e. eyes closed a lot during the day, not moving around for long periods of time, tilted head or neck or just being extra lazy. Lethargy is usually a sign that something is wrong and I would also be alarmed if your bird is spending a lot of time sleeping on or around the food bowl.

TAILFEATHERS

If your bird is wagging it’s tailfeathers especially at a rapid pace, it’s usually a sign of excitement and/or happiness.

Flared tailfeathers that stay in one place, however, could be a sign of aggression and you may get bitten. Now keep in mind that a lovebird’s bite can REALLY hurt, but rarely is it dangerous or skin-breaking.

BEAK WIPING

You might notice your bird wiping it’s beak on that favorite perch and it’s kind of cute. They may be just wiping to stay tidy, but often in nature, it is to mark the bird’s territory.

HEAD BOBBING

Often a technique used to get your attention or your little lovie is getting ready to take off for flight.

WING EXPANSION

Another attention getting ploy, although sometimes it is to cool the bird off. If your bird extends it’s wings right in front of you, it may mean that he/she is happy to see you. (aww)

PREENING

Birds love to stay clean and tidy, so for the better part of the day, they will pull at their feathers to clean and preen. This is completely natural and they will most likely do this several times per day. Often you will see them reaching way back into the tailfeathers and cleaning their feet as well. If your bird does NOT do this several times a day, it could be a sign of illness.

If you have a bonded pair, they will most likely preen each other.

Also, check to make sure the vent area is clean and not stained. Obviously there may be a time that they get part of the feces stuck to the vent, but it should fall off within minutes. If the bird has a constant stain or discharge in the vent area , it is most likely a bad sign and you will need to see a vet.

 

IN CONCLUSION

Take the time to observe your bird in all circumstances and you will learn how to read your lovie. As with anything, if you feel there is something critically wrong with your pet PLEASE do not hesitate to take them to a good Avian vet.

 

 

 

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