Home » How Much Attention Do Lovebirds Need?
do lovebirds need a lot of attention?

How Much Attention Do Lovebirds Need?

(Last Updated On: March 17, 2023)

Lovebirds (Agapornis) are popular pet parrots due to their beautiful colors, size, and personalities. However, you must spend several hours socializing and playing together to keep them happy.

A lack of attention puts lovebirds at risk of loneliness, depression, and destructive behaviors. So, a lovebird needs 2-4 hours of one-on-one time with its owner per day.

A pair of bonded lovebirds will meet each other’s social needs. So, if you’re concerned that a pet lovebird will struggle as a lone bird, getting a second lovebird will be highly beneficial.

Do Lovebirds Need a Lot of Attention?

One aspect of keeping lovebirds that may seem daunting is how much attention they need. Lovebirds are social parrots, thriving on interaction with their owner and same-species birds.

The ideal companion for a lovebird is another lovebird, as their deep devotion is how they got their name. Bonded lovebirds will spend their time preening, feeding, and playing together.

Getting a second lovebird will fulfill the existing bird’s social requirements. A pair of lovebirds will keep each other occupied throughout the day while you’re at work or otherwise engaged.

You can still play, pet, and talk to lovebirds as much as you like. However, they won’t need much attention to be happy, provided they have each other’s companionship.

However, a lovebird without a mate can become lonely and depressed, adversely affecting its mental health. So, you must spend ample time together if you have a single lovebird.

how long can lovebirds be left alone?

Do Lovebirds Have to Be in Pairs?

Lovebirds are happiest when they’re part of a bonded pair. They’re social birds that interact with others of their species. So, they’ll call each other to communicate and keep the flock together.

All lovebird species live in small flocks, which can range in number. According to the University of Michigan, Fischer’s lovebirds live in flocks of 10-20 individual birds.

It’s unnatural for a lovebird to be socially isolated from its species. When a wild lovebird’s mate dies, it’ll pine for its mate and show signs of sadness.

The same behaviors are sometimes seen in captive lovebirds that are housed alone. That’s why most owners keep lovebirds in pairs or small same-sex groups.

Keeping its social needs fulfilled is the easiest way to make a lovebird happy.

That’s not to say that you can’t keep a lovebird alone, but you must be willing to devote time and attention to its needs. Lonely lovebirds can develop unhealthy habits, like feather picking.

Do Lovebirds Bond with Their Owners?

Lovebirds can form strong bonds with their owners, like other parrots. However, a lovebird’s bond with a human will never be the same as with another lovebird.

Bonded lovebirds can understand each other’s movements, mannerisms, and vocalizations, so they can communicate in a way that a human and a parrot can’t.

While lovebirds enjoy human company, especially when hand-reared, they’ll always prefer their species. So, spend time together to satisfy a lovebird’s social interaction needs.

How to Entertain Lovebirds

There are various ways to interact with a lovebird, including the following:

  • Flying.
  • Hand-feeding.
  • Talk together.
  • Sing songs.
  • Things to shred.
  • Foraging opportunities.
  • Climbing apparatus.
  • Petting.
  • Puzzle feeders.
  • Shoulder perching.
  • Chew toys.
  • Hide-and-seek.
  • Tricks.

If you’re giving a lovebird attention, it’ll appreciate that interaction.

Do Lovebirds Like to Be Handled?

Most lovebirds enjoy moving around on your shoulder or forearm while you walk around the house. However, the question of “do lovebirds like to be held?” depends on how tame the lovebird is and whether it trusts you.

The more time you spend interacting and socializing with a lovebird, the tamer it’ll become. If a lovebird seems reluctant to perch on you initially, don’t force it to do so.

A good way to earn a lovebird’s trust is to start by feeding them out of your hand. Place some treats onto your palm and flatten your hand on a surface. The lovebird will perch on your wrist while eating.

Once a lovebird is used to perching on your wrist, you can train them to hop from one hand to another. Slowly increase the distance between your hands until they fly from one to the other.

Do Lovebirds Like to Be Petted?

Petting is akin to grooming, which is when lovebirds preen each other with their beaks.

For this reason, it’s important not to pet a lovebird in the wrong places. Otherwise, you may inadvertently stimulate its mating response. You can safely pet a lovebird in the following areas:

  • Cheeks.
  • Head.
  • Neck.
  • Beak.
  • Feet.

Never stroke a lovebird on its back, on or under its wings, or tail region because these areas are only groomed by a lovebird’s mate (sexual partner).

Touching a lovebird in these places may cause it to become sexually frustrated, resulting in behavioral problems. It may result in unwanted egg production and even egg binding in females.

How Much Time Should You Spend with Your Lovebird?

The smallest amount of time you should spend interacting one-on-one with your lovebird is 2 hours per day. Ideally, this figure should be closer to 3-4 hours per day.

Give your lovebird at least 1 hour of one-on-one time in the morning before you leave for work or school. You should be able to fit in another hour before dinnertime and 2-3 hours after dinner.

Ideally, a lovebird should spend at least 4-6 hours of supervised time outside its cage during the day. Many owners let their birds free-roam in a parrot-proofed room.

do lovebirds like to be handled?

How Long Can Lovebirds Be Left Alone?

Work commitments mean we have to leave our homes for several hours at a time. If you’ve got a busy lifestyle, you may wonder how long lovebirds can be left alone.

A pair or group of lovebirds won’t mind being left alone while you’re at work or school. That’s because they’ll have each other for company, entertainment, and social interaction.

To stave off boredom, set the lovebirds up in a large cage. There should be room for your lovebirds to fly around inside. Give them 3 perches, climbing apparatus, foraging opportunities, and toys.

A single lovebird shouldn’t regularly be left alone for longer than a few hours because it’ll get lonely without anyone to interact with, which may result in stress and mental or physical health problems.

Lovebirds shouldn’t be left alone for longer than 12 hours. If you need to leave lovebirds alone longer, ask a friend to look after them. Ideally, choose someone who the lovebirds know and trust.

Do Lovebirds Die When Alone?

Because lovebirds are social birds, being alone for an extended period can be stressful. Prolonged loneliness and stress can trigger depression and anxiety.

These mental health conditions may result in the following:

  • Lethargy.
  • Lack of curiosity or interest.
  • Aggression and biting.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Stereotypical behaviors (e.g., pacing, toe-tapping, head swinging).
  • Self-mutilation. According to Applied Animal Behavior Science, this includes feather picking.

If a lovebird exhibits the above symptoms, it may be lonely. The rumor that lovebirds can die of loneliness or a broken heart is a myth, but it’s not good for them to be alone for long.

Getting a second lovebird is the best way to resolve a parrot’s loneliness. If this isn’t possible, dedicate time to petting, talking, and interacting with the lovebird for at least 2-4 hours per day.