Lovebird is certainly an interesting name for a species of bird. But why were these small parrots named this way? Intrigued, I spent some time researching to find out. I’d love to share my findings with you here today.
So, why are lovebirds called lovebirds? Lovebirds get their name from their natural desire to form and remain in close monogamous bonds (having only one mate at a time). Lovebirds are thus commonly found in pairs in the wild, and do best when kept as pairs in captivity. Paired lovebirds are naturally very social and affectionate with one another.
It’s no surprise that the term ‘lovebirds’ extends to humans.
You may even hear the saying every now and again – specifically to loved up couples who spend a significant amount of time with one another.
Let us now take a closer look at the origin of the name and what this all means for these particular birds.
How Did Lovebirds Get Their Name?
Lovebirds got their name due to their instinctive nature to form close bonds with one another. More specifically, between two birds that form a pair.
While lovebirds live in larger groups or colonies in the wild, they actively look for a partner of the opposing sex to live, mate, and take care of.
And they’re certainly caring.
Pairs will typically mate for life and show a range of affectionate behavior to one another.
They will sit together on perches, preen each others feathers, and huddle together to keep warm.
They are clear demonstrations of affection; and one that is entirely natural to a lovebird.
In captivity, if two lovebirds are housed together in the same cage (specifically a male and a female), they will look to mate. You’ll also likely find that they remain very close to one another and have a keen desire not to be separated apart.
Do Lovebirds Need A Partner?
Lovebirds can live in pairs, although do not necessarily need a partner to live or to thrive. It is essential, however, that they receive sufficient attention from their owners if they are kept alone.
Lovebirds are undoubtedly very social in nature; living in large flocks in the wild.
But we must recognize that lovebirds in the wild are free to move about; they can come and go as they please and find the right mate that they want to pair with.
The same however, cannot always be said for lovebirds kept in captivity.
They are confined to a cage, after all.
This is why it is so essential if you are interested or keen to keep lovebirds that you first consider the lovebird species you want to pair, then you consider the sexes, and lastly you will need to ensure you have a sufficiently large cage.
This is the key to pairing lovebirds together.
Otherwise, it can actually prove very problematic!
For instance, Fischer lovebirds are notoriously aggressive; and these are particularly challenging to house together.
Especially if you were to put two males in the same cage.
But even with other species, such as peach-faced lovebirds, they can become aggressive with each other for all sorts of reasons too.
Even if they are bonded.
For instance, they can become jealous or hormonal during mating season.
Incompatible pairs are also known to have viscous fights that have been known to result in life-threatening injuries, or even death, too.
So, lovebirds do not need a partner. In fact, sometimes they are better off without one.
They do need sufficient attention though; and while another lovebird could offer this, they can also meet their social needs with human interaction.
Can Lovebirds Die Of Loneliness?
Whether or not lovebirds will die of loneliness is open to debate. It’s not scientifically verified, although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that implies that if a lovebird dies, and they were happily paired, the remaining bird can quickly develop depression and stress.
While lovebirds are unlikely to die directly from ‘loneliness’, there is certainly the argument that they can die from complications that arise from the resulting stress.
And signs of stress is actually quite noticeable in these birds.
A lack of appetite, general lethargy, hiding, feather plucking, irritability and a lack of vocalizations being the main ones.
And these are likely to arise in previously happily paired lovebirds, that were long-lived with one another.
But at the same time, so long as an owner intervenes and actively counteracts the natural decline in socialization, there is a good chance the bird can slowly recover from the stress of a lost partner.
For instance, it’s essential that the owner does not leave the lovebird in total silence for too long.
Equally, the lovebird will need to be sufficiently stimulated not to become bored.
Owners should look to routinely visit an isolated lovebird, talk with them, or even whistle with them frequently throughout the day.
Getting a range of interactive toys is generally a good idea too.
One further option is to purchase another lovebird and cage and place this nearby. That way they can interact and communicate with one another without the risk of fighting.
While this may not work for every lovebird, or it may even cause additional stress, it is something to perhaps consider.
Lovebirds got their name for how they behave and socialize; in close pairings that typically involves mating for life.
Its no wonder why humans have adopted this word into their lexicon.
Even if it is quite different from say, the origins of the term bunny or guinea pig.
With all this being said, whether or not multiple lovebirds are kept successfully together in captivity is going to depend a lot on the context.
Not all lovebirds get along together.
Not all pairings prove successful.
It takes a bit of research and planning ahead of time.
Lovebird species, sex pairing and cage size are all essential to get right.
But if you do, you would soon find your birds preening one another, cuddling close together, and making lots of noise!
You might even get an egg or two along the way.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.