Lovebirds are the common name for the Genus Agapornis, a type of small parrot that comes from Africa and Madagascar. They are mainly green in color, with red or sometimes black faces, and the reason why they are called Lovebirds is that mated pairs showcase a lot of affection towards each other.
Lovebird parrots will mate for life, and they will remain bonded to each other until one of them dies. Once that happens, the Lovebird that remains will either remain alone, missing its partner, or it might bond with a new Lovebird of its liking.
But since these parrots are known for their mating habits, and for the amount of affection and love they have to give to each other, does it mean they always need to be in pairs?
The answer is no. Although Lovebirds are very affectionate with their mate, they still follow the same societal structure as most other birds. They mate for life, but they do not necessarily always have to live in pairs. Especially when they haven’t mated!
Many people believe that Lovebirds will die of sadness if they are left alone, but this really is not true. They will be perfectly fine, and although they will indeed miss their mate if it is taken away or dies, they will live on.
In captivity, lovebirds are kept either in pairs or alone. If they are in a pair, it will likely be a bonded pair of mates. This is because lovebirds can otherwise be quite aggressive, and they will not tolerate sharing their space with another lovebird that they do not like!
So most often, the lovebirds that live in pairs are bought as a pair from the very beginning, and they will remain as such until either one of them dies, or they both do. But you can also simply get a single lovebird, and keep it alone without a pair.
So to sum it up, lovebirds do not need to be in pairs. Although they are most often kept in pairs of a mated bond, they can also live single in their own space.
Are male or female lovebirds better?
Male and female lovebirds look very much the same, and so it can be pretty hard to differentiate between one and another, sometimes making it very hard to confirm the sex of the bird you have. This can especially cause problems for those that are purchasing Lovebird parrots for breeding purposes.
But in order to take good care of your Lovebird, it’s important to determine whether it’s male or female, so before we go into which is better, we’ll cover the different ways in which you can tell them apart.
There are three main ways to tell whether you have a female or a male lovebird:
- Using a sample of DNA:
The easiest and most reliable way to determine whether your lovebird is male or female is to take a sample of DNA and analyze it. The DNA doesn’t lie, and it’s an easy and effective way to confirm the sex of the bird.
Nowadays, analyzing a sample of DNA to determine the sex of a lovebird is easy and pretty affordable, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue, and it is the best way to know for sure.
- Physical aspects:
Male and female lovebirds look almost identical, so it can be very difficult to determine their sex on appearance alone, and it is very easy to make a mistake and incorrectly categorize them. However, there are a few slight differences that you might be able to pick up on, that can help you form a conclusion.
> The size:
It is often believed that male lovebirds are slightly larger than their female counterparts. However, this is completely incorrect. What is true, however, is that male lovebirds will often position themselves into a posture that helps them appear larger, so that is what you can look out for.
> The head shape:
Males usually have a slightly less rounded head than female lovebirds.
> The eye ring:
In some of the lovebird species, for example, the Personata, the female lovebird will have a thicker ring around the eye compared to the male.
> The beak:
Usually, female lovebirds have a larger and wider beak than their male counterpart.
> The pelvic bones:
Once a female lovebird has laid eggs for the first time, the pelvic bones will become slightly separated, compared to the male. However, by the time the lovebird has laid eggs, you can pretty much assume it’s the female!
- Behavioral aspects:
Behavioral patterns and habits can be hard to pin down, and it takes a lot of observation to pick up noticeable differences between two lovebirds. Plus, it is very easy to make mistakes when assigning the bird’s gender based on behavior alone.
But here are a few of the main behavioral differences that might help you confirm whether a lovebird is male or female:
> Males tend to be a lot more affable and trusting. Females, on the other hand, tend to be a lot more aggressive, mistrusting, and territorial.
> Males will often focus on finding food, while the females will focus on building a comfortable nest.
> Female lovebirds can be very jealous, and if they are paired with a male, they will not tolerate a third bird being introduced into the same cage.
The most reliable method is to simply analyze a DNA sample, but it’s good to know about possible differences in appearance and behavior, just to confirm.
Now, for the main question: are male or female lovebirds better?
The answer is that neither one is better than the other. They are slightly different in their behavior, but these patterns are very hard to spot, and they don’t make much of a difference when you are getting a lovebird as a pet.
Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference and what you would like to choose.
Can 3 lovebirds live together?
Lovebirds are most often found in pairs, with a mating bond in place, or single and living the life. But what if you have three lovebirds? Could they live together?
The answer depends. Three lovebirds can live together perfectly fine, as long as they like each other, and there isn’t a mated pair in the mix. With a mated pair, introducing a third bird can cause conflicts of jealousy, and the outsider will likely be rejected.
Lovebirds are also picky in general. If they don’t like another particular Lovebird, they will not tolerate their presence, and they can also become pretty aggressive! But if you’re lucky and they end up getting along, then all three lovebirds can live together as friends, in perfect harmony.
It also doesn’t particularly matter what sex the three lovebirds are. In fact, two male lovebirds can bond and mate together, and two female lovebirds can bond and mate together.
The only risk would be if you have one male and two females, and then the male mates with one of the females. As the mated female would then likely become jealous and reject the third lovebird. (In that case, it would be better to have four lovebirds, with two bonded pairs that get along together).
Can I get just one lovebird?
Lovebirds are known for being lovers, and for living their life in a bonded pair, as they mate for life and are wholly faithful to each other. But this doesn’t mean that they cannot remain single!
It is perfectly okay to get just one lovebird by itself, and the lovebird can live a happy life without ever mating or bonding with another lovebird. Instead, the lovebird will likely bond with its owners, forming a strong attachment and friendship.
But as lovebirds are flock animals, it is important to spend enough time with your lone lovebird, and to give it all the attention and interaction it craves and needs!
Why are my lovebirds fighting?
It is never all sunshine in the world of love, and now and then, your lovebirds might need couples counseling, because they can indeed get into fights. But all jokes aside, what can it mean if your lovebirds are fighting?
Two lovebirds that are bonded together as a mating pair will not have any major fighting problems or signs of aggression, although they can still get angry at each other now and then and give one another a warning bite or two.
The real problematic fights and signs of aggression come from lovebirds that do not like each other, and that is obviously therefore not bonded as a pair.
For example, two female lovebirds can very easily begin to fight and become aggressive to one another, as they are prone to becoming jealous and territorial.
A female lovebird can also become highly aggressive during mating season, or when she is hormonal or protecting her eggs or chicks. So if she begins to fight other lovebirds, separate them into another cage to keep the peace.