There are hundreds of colourful and affectionate pet lovebirds in the UK.Because they’re appropriately named for Valentine’s day we thought we’d look at 5 facts people may not know about them.
Lovebirds received their romantic name because they form strong monogamous bonds and like to cuddle up with their partner. However, it’s a myth that they’ll die if they don’t find a feathered companion. They are sociable birds but a relationship with a doting owner can often be enough to replace their need for a ‘feathered’ friend. And if they do spark a friendship with another lovebird it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s male or female as they can form intense connections with birds of the same sex.
Although lovebirds don’t mind if their partner is male or female, it can be difficult for an owner to establish a bird’s gender. Some experts suggest you can feel a bird’s bone structure to check but it seems the best way to be sure is through a DNA test, which a vet can do by taking a small amount of blood.
Some lovebirds may be fond of Mozart. One owner tried to find their missing bird after it escaped its cage in north London by walking the streets playing the pet’s favourite composer. Although the maestro’s symphonies didn’t tempt Angel the Lovebird back, it was reunited with owner Juliet Nachmias after it flew into a health clinic.
There are 9 species of lovebird and many have colourful names such as the Peach Faced lovebird and Black-collared lovebird. Most species originate from east and central Africa but exotic pet owners around the world have fallen for the vibrant little birds.
“Breast should be deep, broad, and well rounded” and “legs and feet should be straight and strong” are not creepy requests on a dating profile but guidelines for birds being shown at African Love Bird Society events in the USA. The birds are given points on all aspects of their appearance from colour to “deportment”. There are more than half a dozen shows a year across the USA and there’s even another society that runs its own events. We hope there’s no love lost between them.
Insure up to 3 lovebirds for £1,500 of vet fees with ExoticDirect. They can also insure larger collections of birds over the phone. Simply call: 0345 982 5505. Insurance is available in the UK only.
-By Digby Bodenham