Have you ‘oohed’ and ‘awwed’ at the brightly colored parrots from content online, at the zoo, or even the pet store? I’m not surprised. Parrots are colorful, curious, and intelligent creatures that naturally demand the attention of anyone around them. Perhaps you have considered owning one of these beauties for yourself, but the large size of many of these birds has caused you hesitation. Today, I will introduce you to a parrot that might be the perfect size pet for you, the Lovebird.
So, how big do Lovebirds get? Lovebirds have a head-to-tail tip length that ranges from 4-6 inches (10-16 cm) and a typical wingspan (length from wing-tip to wing-tip when outstretched) of 9.5 inches (24 cm). They tend to weigh between 1.5 – 2.25 ounces (43 – 63 grams) when fully grown.
Giving exact and precise measurements are particularly tricky for this bird.
Because length and weights vary slightly among the different Lovebird species.
As we will soon see, there is not just 1 ‘type’ of Lovebird; and subtle variances exist between them.
So, let us now take a closer look before moving onto other aspects of their development, such as maturity and what you need to house them!
How Big Can A Lovebird Grow?
Lovebirds can grow to a length of 4-6 inches (10-16 cm) from head to tail and will have a wingspan of about 9.5 inches (24 cm) when their wings are fully extended. They are light-weight birds who mature to a weight of around 1.5 – 2.25 ounces.
These birds are big personalities in little packages.
There are nine total known sub-species of Lovebirds, and two of these sub-species are commonly seen as pets.
The most common pet Lovebird is the Peach Face Lovebird, which, as its name suggests, has a peachy orange coloring on its face and cheeks that provides a beautiful contrast to its body’s green feathers.
The other common pet sub-species of Lovebird is the Fischer’s Lovebird which has a bright orange head that fades to yellow and then transitions to green through the body.
These two species have some differences in size that may be useful when determining which could be right for you.
Fischer’s Lovebirds are smaller in size than Peach-Faced Lovebirds in both length and weight.
The Fischer’s Lovebird will be closer to 4 inches in length, and the Peach Face will be at least 5 inches and up to 6 inches when fully grown.
The Peach-Faced Lovebird is also a bit heftier with a fuller body and slightly heavier weight.
Even with their slight difference in size, their cage and care needs will be similar.
Still, if you want the most petite parrot, then a Fischer’s Lovebird may be of interest to you.
What Age Is A Lovebird Full Grown?
Lovebirds are usually close to full-grown by around 8 months of age. The age at which a Lovebird will be fully grown often varies due to things such as sub-species, age of weaning from their parent, and overall diet. You may notice your Lovebird grows all the way up until its first birthday, but it should be at close to its final size well before then.
Lovebirds are incubated within their egg for 22-25 days.
Newborn Lovebirds are blind, mostly featherless, and completely dependent on their parent bird for survival.
Within a few days, their eyes begin to open, and pin feathers start to take shape.
By 20 days old, the Lovebird is beginning to show some feather colors while gaining the strength it will need to become independent, and by 40 days post-hatching, the new bird has a body full of beautiful feathers.
The baby bird will need to stay under the care of its mother until it is 8 weeks old.
After 8 weeks, the baby can be weaned from its mother and given a diet of food to eat on its own.
When provided with proper care and nutrition, the bird will grow to a full, healthy size at 8-10 months old.
Even though they reach full size in less than a year, well cared for Lovebirds can keep you company for 15-20 years.
How Long Does It Take For A Lovebird to Mature?
Lovebirds reach sexual maturity around 9 months – 1 year old. At this time, female Lovebirds will begin laying their first eggs. A female Lovebird will lay eggs even if it does not have a partner and its eggs are unfertilized.
A female Lovebird in captivity will lay a clutch (small group) of 3-6 eggs up to five times per year.
Even though a Lovebird may be sexually mature and laying eggs before one year old, it is often best for the bird not to be bred until it has reached at least 18 months of age.
A male Lovebird reaches maturity around the same time as a female but will not produce eggs.
A male Lovebird may take part in the courtship of a female Lovebird by strutting and bobbing his beautiful head and trying to feed the female Lovebird that has his interest.
Lovebirds are known to bond closely with each other and breed in matched pairs for life.
Lovebirds, as their name suggests, can enjoy living in the same species pairs.
This does not mean that you must keep both a male and female Lovebird.
Lovebirds have been known to bond in same-sex female and male pairs.
What this does mean is that you can potentially have two birds together who get along without worry about an unwanted nest of hatchlings to raise.
Your Lovebird may be happiest with a cagemate but can be happy as a solo bird, provided you have plenty of time to spend one-on-one with your pet.
What Type Of Cage Is Best For A Lovebird?
The best cage for a Lovebird is at least 32″ x 20″ x 20″ inches and is made of a simple metal such as stainless steel. Lovebirds are very active and like to have room to move, so this is a minimum cage size requirement.
Your cage must be large enough for your Lovebird to stretch and move its wings without hurting and breaking off feathers.
Be mindful not to buy any metal cage that may have been coated in lead-based paint, as this would be toxic to your bird.
Keeping in mind that Lovebirds live in trees and enjoy flying, the ideal cage will not rest on the floor but be situated in a sturdy stand that lifts the cage up for a top height of close to six feet.
Your Lovebird will thank you for being placed high enough to have a good view of its territory and not feel like it may fall victim to predators close to the ground.
A cage with plenty of horizontal space to allow your Lovebird to fly will also help keep them moving and happy.
Your Lovebird will need bowls for both food and water, as well as a nesting box that can attach to the side of its cage.
Bowls that are stainless steel are typically visually appealing and very easy to clean.
A nesting box with solid sides and a sturdy bottom will allow your Lovebird to have a quiet place to be when it wants to be alone, or it is time to lay eggs.
The bottom of the Lovebird’s cage will need regular cleaning, which is why many birdcages have removable bottom trays that can be slid in and out to allow for bedding or lining changes on a frequent basis.
The other thing your Lovebird will appreciate in its cage is multiple perches at varying heights, angles, and thickness.
Having perches of different thicknesses gives your bird chances to move and stretch his feet.
Just like people prefer not to be in the exact same position hour after hour, neither do our sweet Lovebird friends.
Perches are often constructed of solid wood and, by being spaced at different angles and heights, give your Lovebird a chance to view its surrounding area from many new and interesting angles.
Like most parrots, Lovebirds enjoy mentally engaging toys and tasks.
Having safe, non-toxic toys that make noise or move when your Lovebird interacts with them will keep your Lovebird from being bored.
Of course, nothing will beat time out of the cage interacting with you in a safe space.
Many owners choose to let their Lovebirds explore the outsides of their cages and even place toys on the tops of cages for their birds to interact with.
This can be great exercise for your bird but remember that any time your bird is not securely shut within their cage, they need to be closely monitored.
Also, just because they are small does not mean that Lovebirds are not strong flyers.
If your Lovebird does not have its wings trimmed to prevent full flight, you will not want to take your bird anywhere that it could injure itself or be unable to be caught if it decided to enjoy some air time.
At night it is often recommended that you cover your Lovebird’s cage with a medium-weight cloth.
This signals to your Lovebird that it is time to rest and be quiet while also preventing the cage from getting drafty or having any major temperature changes as nighttime arrives.
Lovebirds: Small Parrots, Premium Personality
If you want a parrot’s playful, peppy personality in a small package, then a Lovebird is likely the perfect companion for you.
With bright colors and cute round beaks, they are an attractive bird that is a joy to look at it.
They bond closely with their owners and love to explore and play.
A Lovebird makes for a great first parrot, and if you do proceed to get one, it could keep you company for many years to come.
Just consider the cost. Besides, you need to finance them after all!
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.