do love birds need a mate

Its Valentines Day. Love is in the air (for some, at least). Humans around the globe will express their love today through chocolate, greeting cards, and a cacophony of stuffed animals.

In the animal kingdom, though, relationships dont often fit with conventional human ideas of love. Female preying mantises feast on their male lovers after sex; red-sided garter snakes mate with multiple partners simultaneously. For most organisms, mating is purely a reproductive strategy to pass on their genetic material to their progeny; in the case of many species, such as voles, even monogamy comes with an evolutionary advantage.

But no animal represents the sentiment of Valentines Day more than the lovebird. The petite, brightly plumed parrot is a favorite among bird enthusiasts and a popular pet. Lovebirds have inspired scientists and poets alike. Without further ado. here are 14 fun facts about lovebirds.

The monogamous birds reach sexual maturity when theyre about ten months old. Mating begins with courtship behavior, and can continue throughout their roughly 15-year lifespans. Monogamy is essential to the social stability of flocks and underlies much of their social behavior.

If a mate dies or gets separated from the flock, its companion exhibits erratic behavior that some have likened to depression. Birds kept as pets often dont like being alone and will exhibit similar behavior in captivity.

Often after a long separation or stressful period of time, breeding pairs of lovebirds feed each other to re-establish their bond. One bird transfers food to the mouth of its mate, a feeding technique reminiscent of affection in humans—hence the inspiration for the parrots name. Love bird couple feeds each other

The nine species classified as lovebirds come all from the genus Agapornis. Most lovebirds have a green body and sport different head feather coloration. Their closest relatives are hanging parrots, found in Asia.

Lovebirds are native to the forests and savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Fossils of ancient lovebird species have been unearthed in South Africa, dating to as far back as 1.9 million years ago.

Thats if you live in the American southwest, San Francisco or cities in Africa. These areas are home to feral populations, flocks that likely either escaped from an aviary or are the remnants of an abandoned aviary.

Lovebirds are cavity dwellers they make their home in holes in trees, rocks or shrubs in the wild. Some species nest in groups, while others pair off to build their nests away from the flock. In urban settings, they might rely on anything from a tree to a crevice in a building. Peach-faced lovebirds in Phoenix, Arizona, often make their homes in cacti.

Fisher’s lovebirds (Agapornis fischeri) carry single strips of tree bark in their beaks. Peach-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis), on the other hand, hide bark in their feathers. Scientists believe that the latters more complex behavior is an ancestral trait, and have used this facet of lovebird nest-building as an example of the intersection of evolved and learned behavior.

In three species of lovebirds, the males and females have defining characteristics that allow you to tell them apart. For example, among Black-winged lovebirds (Agapornis taranta), males have a crown of red feathers, while females have entirely green plumage. But other species dont have the same degree of sexual dimorphism, making it difficult to determine their sex just from looking at them. In some species, males may be slightly larger than females, but a DNA test is necessary to provide conclusive results.

It might seem like common sense, but save your chocolate and give it to a human. Lovebirds survive on a healthy diet of seeds, berries, fruit, and occassionally insect larva in the wild. In Africa, theyre also known as crafty crop pests, as they feast on millet and maize farms.

Aggression isnt uncommon in lovebirds. The parrots are territorial, and are known to get along poorly with birds of another species. Within their own kind, lovebirds can also become jealous or hormonal during mating season. In captivity, theyve been known to attach both other bird species and other lovebirds, with peach-faced lovebirds the most notorious for aggressive behavior.

Some studies suggest that lovebirds can carry yeast bacteria (Cryptococcus neoformans) capable of infecting humans, but they only pick up the bacterial spores if they come into contact with pigeon feces. Other reports find evidence of a parasite called Encephalitozoon hellem in Fishers, peach-faced, and masked lovebirds. The researchers hypothsize that the parasites can spread to humans with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients.

The black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis), native to Zambia and found in parts of Zimbabwe and Botswana, is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red Listing of Threatened Species. The biggest problem is drought (possibly driven by long-term climate change), which is drying up regional water sources that flocks rely on. The latest survey puts the black-cheeked lovebird population at around 10,000 birds in total.

Scholars typically cite a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer as the first evidence of the connection between the religious celebration of Saint Valentines day and romantic love. The poem, “Parliament of Foules,” happens to feature two birds which exhibit all the markings of human love.

2. Don’t let their size fool you: lovebirds are not always the easiest birds to keep.

“They are more manageable than larger parrots, but still a step up from cockatiels and budgies.” If you want to keep babies as pets, weaned hand-fed babies are the best option, according to Oei.

Lovebirds often push boundaries with their domineering and occasionally even violent behavior. They can be nippy and territorial as well. If you are not breeding the birds and would like to discourage this behavior, Oei suggests not giving them a nest box.

Lovebirds are native to the forests and savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Fossils of ancient lovebird species have been unearthed in South Africa, dating to as far back as 1.9 million years ago.

However, relationships in the animal kingdom frequently don’t align with our preconceived notions of what love is. After having sex, female predator mantises feast on their male partners, and red-sided garter snakes mate with multiple partners at once. For the majority of organisms, mating is only a reproductive strategy used to pass on genetic material to offspring; however, for many species, including voles, monogamy even confers an evolutionary advantage.

If a mate dies or gets separated from the flock, its companion exhibits erratic behavior that some have likened to depression. Birds kept as pets often dont like being alone and will exhibit similar behavior in captivity.

The nine species classified as lovebirds come all from the genus Agapornis. Most lovebirds have a green body and sport different head feather coloration. Their closest relatives are hanging parrots, found in Asia.

Its Valentines Day. Love is in the air (for some, at least). People will be showing their love for one another today with chocolate, cards, and a lot of stuffed animals.

3. Lovebirds are very social.

A lone bird will need to spend a lot of time with her human flock even though they do not need to be kept in pairs. A bird that is attached to you can make a very wonderful friend. A significant amount of vocalization is a result of this need for social interaction. Despite not being as noisy as large parrots, lovebirds frequently vocalize in order to stay in touch with their flock, whether it be feathered or human.

FAQ

Can lovebirds live without a pair?

Lovebirds can be kept alone or in pairs. If you decide to keep a single lovebird, you will need to interact with him daily and provide him with plenty of toys to curb boredom. Lovebirds are named for the close bonds they form with each other or their pet parents.

Can you have just one lovebird?

A single lovebird will do well, as long as it gets the social interaction, contact, affection, and attention that it needs from its human family members. If you are short on time to spend with your lovebird, then it is best to get him or her a companion, though.

Do love birds need to be in pairs?

Contrary to popular belief, lovebirds don’t need to come in pairs, but if you buy a single lovebird, be sure to provide it with plenty of social interaction and activities, like playtime with toys.

What happens when one lovebird dies?

When a lovebird loses its mate, the grieving process can be complex and painful. This may be especially true for birds who have been with the same mate for an extended period of time. The loss of their companion can leave them feeling lost and alone as they search for a new way to fill the void.