Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finding Your Love Bird’s Mr. (or Mrs.) Right

By Eduardo Gonzalez

Love birds are like people.  In the wild they live alongside other groups of Love Birds, like a neighborhood.  They are mindful of and devoted to their mates, and will stick with them to the end.  Unlike people, they have no divorce rate.

Love Birds are vigorous and require an activity regimen.  They need time to exercise, stretch and fly outside of their cages and around the safe parts of the house.  They like to investigate everything around them.  And they need recognition from their humans.  They need your constant eye contact, especially when they are happily dancing around their cages.

If they are lonely they will destroy things around them, pluck out their feathers and scrape themselves.  Not unlike people having tantrums, and desperate people who cut themselves.  These actions are their cry for attention and interaction with their humans.  If you don’t respond they may get an infection from their self inflicted wounds.

In the wild, male Love Birds are hunters.  On their way back from their sojourns they make the “Love Bird’s call”, a chirping sound.  Their hearing sense is so keen that the females hear from afar and chirp back—a flock’s call—to guide the male back to their nest.

A solo Love Bird won’t have the energy to make calls, much less respond to them.  With no companion, they will even avoid eye-to-eye contact with their human.  They need a mate.

Finding the Right Mate

Finding the right companion for your Love Bird takes some work, but unless you exert the effort, your Love Bird’s health will deteriorate and they will die.  First, learn how to differentiate the male from the female.  Females are stronger and bigger than males.  Observe them on their perches—the female’s feet are separated by a little distance.  The male’s feet are as close as they can be.  Females also have a higher pitch than the males, but new owners will not notice this right away.

Once you have chosen a mate, give them time to know each other.
1. 1.  Keep them in separate cages for the first two weeks.  Otherwise, the female may become enraged and kill the male if she senses that they are competing for the attention of their human.  (Perhaps this is where the expression “hen pecked” came from).

2.2.  After two weeks, they can play with each other outside their cages, but their human must be present to see that no untoward incident occurs.

3.3.  By the third week they can spend time in one cage, but only during daylight.

If everything works out well, they will become partners forever.  Give them a routine that keeps the Love Birds busy and constantly interacting together.  Now, your once-single Love Bird
will be healthier and live longer.

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