Peachface Lovebirds
By Melinda Cox

I recently had the pleasure of hand feeding my first clutch of peachface lovebirds. Pulled from the nest at three weeks of age, I was surprised at their inquisitiveness and gentle nature. Each day as I hand fed these birds, I was awed as I watched their eyes curiously take in their surroundings.

At six inches in length, the peachface lovebird seems bound to make up in personality what it lacks in size to other parrot species. At a young age, these intelligent little birds easily learn how to manipulate the latch on their cage and escape, exploring everything within range. They will sit perched on your finger and chatter as if carrying on a conversation that only they understand. Their expressions are one of wide-eyed wonder as they sit on your shoulder and watch you read your morning paper. But beware, they love to shred paper and you may end up missing a section.

Because they are such curious and playful birds, they need a good supply of toys to keep them entertained. However, don’t be too quick to run out to the pet store and empty your wallet on the many manufactured toys you will find there. All too often, my birds ignore these toys and go for more simple things, such as wooden spools and wheels that I purchase for pennies from a hobby store. For less than $5.00, I can supply my curious little friends with hours of play.

The lovebirds diet consists of pelleted food, a good seed mixture, and fruits and vegetables. The best way to introduce your bird to fruits and vegetables is to share some of what you are eating with them. However, avoid feeding your bird chocolate, caffeine, avocados, or any type of fruit seed.

Peachface lovebirds do not require a lot of space for housing. I recommend a small, inexpensive flight cage (app. 24”X18”X12”) to allow them room to fly about and get exercise they need. It is a good idea to furnish the lovebird’s cage with perches of varying sizes. I use branches that I gather from the yard, after they have been scraped free of their bark and washed in hot water to remove any contaminants. These natural perches are healthy for the birds feet and also helps to eliminate foot stress.

A plus with choosing the peachface lovebird over larger parrots is that their songs are very pleasant and the noise level is quite low, allowing even apartment dwellers to own a parrot.

Hand fed lovebirds, like other parrot species, will remain tame and loyal to their owners as long as you spend some time with them each day. You might also choose a pair of lovebirds, because they are adorable to watch as they cuddle together on their perch. However, keep in mind that pairs may not remain tame as they often choose to bond exclusively to one another.