Nine Species of Lovebirds

Many people have never heard of or seen lovebirds in the pet trade (or in the wild for that matter) so I wanted to acquaint all of you with the 9 different species within the lovebird category.

Only 3 species, the Peach-faced, Fischer’s and Masked lovebirds are readily available in the U.S. pet trade. has some great books on this subject.



Peach-faced or Rosy-faced as they can be referred to, are the most common pet lovebird. Within this genre are many color mutations and the variety of colors are endless (which is one reason they have become so popular)

The common non-mutation coloring is green with a bright peach or rose colored face as pictured below:

The tailfeathers are usually a bright aqua blue…what a little cutie!

Fairly common are the Lutino mutation which is yellow with an orange/rose face. Keep in mind, no matter what color mutation, all Peach-faced lovebirds posses a flesh-colored or yellowish beak. Again this little lutino  (pictured below)  is a color mutation within the Peach-faced  genre:

There are some visible white feathers on the  rump and tail as well.

Just to give you an idea of the various mutations within the Peach-faced genre here is a mutation called the Dutch Blue:

American Cinnamon Pied:


A Dutch Blue and Violet Pied together:

Don’t let the Peached-faced name fool you …as  many of the color mutations have lighter or white faces.

The best thing to do is visit a breeders’ website that specializes in Peach-faced mutations to find your perfect little lovie color mutation (If you are planning to get one that is)




The second most common species seen in the pet trade are the Fischer’s Lovebird. These birds are slightly larger than the Peach-faced but just as pretty IMO. They have a bright red beak and resemble small parrots (probably because they ARE small parrots) and sport a white eye ring.

Here below are a few  pictures of a pair of Fischer’s lovebirds and like the Peach-faced there are several other color mutations:




Thirdly, the Masked lovebird which can also be found in the pet trade. These are slightly more difficult to find in pet stores, but you will still see some people that own and/or breed them

Below is a picture, and just as the name implies, the non-color mutation have a black masked face with a white eye ring. There ARE other color mutations within this genre but all masked lovebirds have a black face like the bird pictured below:

For instance, there are violet masked lovebirds and other color mutations available. Check breeders online that specialize in this particular lovebird, if you can find them.



Below are the remainder of the species found in the wild (Africa and Madagascar) Keep in mind this chart still features the 3 genres of lovebird that I mention earlier in the post and that are readily available in the pet trade. The only bird on this chart that hails from Madagascar is the Grey-headed lovebird shown below. (Madagascar is an island right off the coast of Africa) has some great books on lovebirds and ownership so be sure to check them out.

I hope you have learned a little bit about this unique genus of parrot and feel free to comment below with any questions or thoughts… I would love to hear from you.



Bird-Proofing a Room

As I have mentioned in other posts, I am not a huge advocate of leaving your bird(s) in cages 24/7. At some point–and as far as my opinion goes–as OFTEN as possible—- you should be letting your bird out of the cage.

Your first consideration should be bird-proofing the room in which to let your bird fly free. I am going to assume in this post that your LB is flighted. What I mean by this is that your bird’s wings are NOT clipped and he/she is able to fly around a room with ease.

Before letting little precious out, there are some extremely important things you need to do in order for the room to be safe. Most birds will quickly become accustomed to navigating the room but the first time around (and especially if you have a new bird) they can become panic stricken.


NEVER should you have any type of fan on while your bird is flying free and in particular ceiling fans. They are deadly!        

Be sure to cover all mirrors and windows with a sheet or towel until the bird becomes comfortable and acquainted with the room. They can easily fly straight into a mirror or window knocking themselves out,  getting a serious

concussion and in many cases will die immediately. This happened to a friend of mine who was nursing a wild bird. The bird panicked, flew straight into the sliding glass door and was instantly killed.


Be certain there is nothing toxic in the room that the bird could get into. I have made a list of toxins in my TOXIC!  post so be sure to check that out. Many live plants can be toxic to LBs as well so if you have any doubt, just remove them from the room, and by all means I would expect you to close the door to this said room.



If you happen to be in a  bathroom be sure to close the lid on the toilet seat, birds can drown in any water that is deeper than 7in (beware of a filled bathtub or sink for that matter) and once again cover any mirrors.




I do NOT recommend that you ever keep a bird near the kitchen including when they are caged. Non-stick cookware fumes are deadly to a bird not to mention hot burners and just stuff in general hanging around. Keep your birdcage and birds AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN. Period. End of Story.

I cannot stress this enough…


Burning candles and a lit fireplace is a huge “no no” as well. A panicking bird can do all kinds of crazy things including flying into or near an open flame.






When you first introduce your bird to free flying around a room it should always be supervised. Never leave a  flighted bird alone in a room until they are comfortable with the navigation and even then, use your best judgement and always be cautious.



Another danger to birds are electric cords. LBs love to chew, as any parrot does, and if they start chewing on a lamp cord or any electric cord, well I don’t really have to explain this one do I? Unplug your cords or just keep a watchful eye on what your bird is doing.

More often than not, the bird will instinctively look for a high perch area in the room, i.e. curtain rods, the top of a mirror, top of a bookshelf; that sort of thing, but there are always exceptions.  For instance you could have a cord on a high bookshelf which would be tempting for the bird to start chewing on.

If it’s evening and you must have the lights on, just be sure the cords are low to the ground and away from the bird.



Lead paint and toxic metals are dangers to be aware of also. Just don’t let them start chewing on anything you would deem as questionable.

Some woods are toxic also so be sure to do your research on the types of wood that are safe for birds. Clearly, no matter what type of wood you have concerning furniture or baseboards you wouldn’t let them chew on it anyway.

Once your bird gets comfortable in the room, 9 out of 10 times they will head to their favorite perch which is almost always a LB approved play stand and will usually stay on or close to that. Especially if there are toys and food on the stand because like us, they are creatures of habit and comfort thus getting used to their favorite spot and “hanging out” there.


Be sure to understand and learn all toxins and anything questionable in the room that the bird could get into. Supervise your bird especially the first time around when they can be panicky and by all means use common sense.




Is LB ownership right for me?

Often people will make an impulsive decision when adopting or purchasing a pet and regret their choice later for whatever reason. Let’s focus on lovebird ownership on this site and suppose you are thinking of getting one…

Is lovebird ownership right for me? It’s a great question to ask yourself and I would highly recommend that you do a lot of research before taking the plunge. has some great books available



I am the first to tell people if you really want to own a parrot, start out small. Budgies, Lovebirds and Parrotlets are a great starter parrot and since this site is dedicated to lovebirds, we will talk about the pros and cons of owning one.


First off, lovebirds will cost something to own. Obviously they are not as expensive as a Macaw or Eclectus parrot but don’t forget the price of supplies and vet visits. Sit down and crunch the numbers of costs pertaining to cages, toys, play stands, food, etc. While certainly you can find bargains via Craigslist and other sources, Avian vet visits can add up. Please do your research…


Secondly, do you have the time to devote to a pocket parrot aka lovebird? Many people prefer to buy them in bonded pairs hence not worrying so much about the LB being bored, depressed or self-destructive. A bonded pair will still need your attention and love! Water and food MUST be changed daily and cages cleaned at least once per week to keep these birds in optimal health.


Do you go on vacation a lot? It is not recommended that you travel with birds as it can be very stressful on the bird’s health. Finding a good boarding facility is a must! Many local vets offer this service or you may find a specialty bird store that offers boarding services. This can add up as well.


What is your living situation like? Do you have other birds? Dogs and/or cats? Snakes or rats? ….but seriously, you need to decide if a lovebird will fit in well with your family and living situation in general. I don’t think lovebirds are great for small children because they can and will bite—it HURTS! 


They are fine for apartment living and close quarters but they are by no means a quiet bird. They have a loud, shrill voice and they chatter and sing constantly . My recommendation would be to listen to the sounds of a lovie either on YouTube or visit a local aviary, pet store… or maybe your friend owns one?

See if you can tolerate the noise level, and more importantly, will people that you live with be able to tolerate the noise level? Luckily these little gems are quiet at night or as soon as the lights go out; but by early morning and pretty much all day long they are extremely vocal.


What about room for your birdie? Pet parrots of ALL types need a lot of out-of-cage time. It is simply abusive to lock a bird in a cage all day long. They absolutely need to be free for many hours of the day. Would YOU want to be in a small cage all day long? Imagine if you had the natural ability to fly and someone stuck you in a small cage 24 hrs a day? Hopefully you see my point.

I am very passionate about the subject of giving your bird as much free out-of-cage time as possible. My living situation is unique in the sense that I don’t have any other pets and I am home for the better part of the day. My lovie is  NEVER in her cage but as I stated, I realize this is a rare situation.


Are you aware that lovebirds live an average lifespan of 15 years? Some captive LBs have been known to live up to 25-30 years. They may very well outlive YOU.

Are you willing and able to take on  the responsibility for that amount of time?



Another important consideration is that these birds tend to very feisty and don’t get along well with other birds as a rule. There is a fine line between love and hate as they say.

For instance you cannot just play matchmaker with these birds. They are very particular about how they feel towards other lovebirds and some will fight to the death. That’s right I said it. Particularly, two different species of lovebirds will almost always clash.

They will bully smaller birds such as Budgies and can severely injure them–often to the death. A Fischer’s lovebird cannot be housed with a Peach-faced lovebird or you will have serious problems.

As stated before, two lovebirds of the same species have to bond on their own, it cannot be forced. These are very intelligent creatures and they make their own decisions similar to us humans.


Lovebirds are MESSY! Yes they are small but I keep a vacuum cleaner handy at all times because when they eat, they tend to throw their food around.  You will almost inevitably find feathers here and there even when they are not molting.


Female lovies can have issues with egg-binding. There are also many other diseases that these birds can develop or possibly have already, especially if you are adopting one ( I will be touching on the various diseases in another post)

Allergies tend to be low with lovebirds mainly because they do not posses a dander similar to a Cockatiel or Cockatoo, but if you are prone to allergies you may want to ask your doctor about this. As I am NOT a medical professional, I would never give advice either way on this subject. Just as I am not a veterinarian, I would not be able to diagnose problems with your bird either.

If you have a new lovie, whether you have adopted it or purchased it, I advise you have a full check-up through your Avian vet starting out. This way, you can decide if you want to clip your bird’s wings or keep him/her flighted. I have my own views on this subject in a later post.



Take the time and do your research on lovebird ownership. There are plenty of websites, blogs and literature all over the internet. Visit an aviary, pet store or talk to a breeder. Figure out if your lovebird will fit in well with your living situation and in particular others living with you.

They are little joys to have around IF and only IF they are a good fit for you and your household.










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.


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!


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
  • TOYS
  • FOOD
  • TIME DEVOTED TO YOUR BIRD  (not a product but very important!)




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:


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 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!



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.



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  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.

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.










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!


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 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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


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)


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.



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.




The Grapevine

I highly recommend these grapevine perches to prevent bumblefoot (pododermatitis) which is a condition that negatively affects your bird’s feet over a period of months and/or years. Often bird cages are sold with plastic or wooden dowels, used for perching– however they aren’t the best.

Specifically plastic perches can create problems with your bird’s feet over time and to prevent this, we really need to go with an all natural branch that offers varying widths.

Bird Nerd


Now a little about the lovebird species in general, which is a small genus of parrot. There are nine species within the lovebird category, but we most frequently see Peach-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) or Rosy-faced as some prefer to call them . These are the most commonly bred in captivity for the pet trade and within this genre are many color mutations– for instance Lutino– and more commonly green with a rose colored face.

Fischer’s lovebirds are also common in the pet trade as are the less common Black Masked lovebirds . The only wild birds that does not come from Africa is the Grey Headed lovebird which hails from Madagascar. The remainder of the species originate on the continent of Africa .


There are several known feral populations around the world and in the US (mainly states with warmer climates such as Arizona. Texas and Southern California ) Apparently they burrow into the cacti on cold desert nights.


Lovebirds mate for life and travel in small flocks which is why they are so naturally social. Peach-faced lovebirds are also monomorphic meaning the only way to tell the sex is through DNA testing.

It is a fallacy to think these birds have to be sold in bonded pairs– as long as the owner interacts REGULARLY with the bird, they will bond with the owner. They are prone to depression and self destruction i.e. feather plucking when ignored and it’s not a pretty sight.

Because these birds are both extremely social and intelligent, along with being monogamous, they can become very loyal and form a deep attachment to their owners.


The species make great starter parrots for anyone looking to enter the hobby. Larger parrots can be challenging and given the tragedy of so many castaway birds that end up in rescues, I do NOT recommend that you start off owning a larger parrot such as a Cockatoo or Macaw without prior knowledge of bird ownership.

Besides these little “pocket” parrots as they have come to be known, still pack a punch when it comes to personality AND they can be feisty with other birds. It’s not all Lovey Dovey all the time. (woot woooooo)

Owning a lovebird will be rewarding and entertaining, comical and just plain fun! Some will even talk back to you…


About Me

Hi fellow bird lovers and peeps from all walks of life! I decided to start this blog and share with all of you the joys of owning a lovebird.

I have  been an animal lover since I was a toddler. My first word was not MAMA or DADA but instead KIT-TEE as I pointed to the pet cat we had named Twinkle.

One afternoon my neighbor stopped by the house and asked  if I wanted to care for a baby bird who had fallen from his nest and was in need of some special attention. They were going on vacation and couldn’t take him along, so I opted YES of course and named the little sparrow “Jake”.

I fed him watered down pieces of bread and nursed him intently as he became stronger and yet more reliant on me. I taught him to fly in my backyard by running with him hanging off of my index finger while he flapped his wings frantically.

Eventually he got the hang of it and started flying around, only to land back on my shoulder-we practiced this exercise for weeks until he built up his strength.

He became more wild as the days grew on and eventually flew away one afternoon.  I was sad,  but my intent was to make him self-sufficient. Well the  very next morning at 5am, my brother was pounding on my door yelling “Your bird is out there!”

I walked to the front door to look down and see little Jake standing on the welcome mat with his mouth wide open. I was his mommy no matter what!

Fast forwarding ahead, my love for animals has never ceased…

My wish is to connect future lovebird owners and current lovebird owners with great tips and resources for the best food, supplies and general knowlege of these adorable birds and provide them with the best care possible.

Any questions or comments feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

All the best,