Love birds! An introduction for beginners!

Love birds!

Let me introduce the new love in my life; Chuckey Babey is a Peach-faced Lovebird. He was my mother’s day gift from my children. He was handfed since day one.

He is just about the sweetest little bird I’ve ever seen. I've had quite a few cockatiels in the past, mainly rescue birds but also a couple hand-raised ones, but they were never as tame and loving as Chuckey Babey. I actually don't know if he's a he yet but I figure if in 10 months or so he decides to lay eggs, he is not a he and I'll drop the Chuckey part of the name and she will be know as Babey only. (As all other small birds I could get him/her DNA tested but I really do not care either way so why bother. I'm getting ahead of myself though.) This little guy/gal would much rather live in my shirt pocket or hood then in his/her cage.

picture by Rebecca/www.sxc.hu
picture by Rebecca/www.sxc.hu
picture by Di/www.sxc.hu
picture by Di/www.sxc.hu

Love birds are small, stocky versions of parrots, with a hooked upper beak. From what I gather the most common lovebird species worldwide is the Peach-faced Lovebird - which come in a wide array of beautiful color mutations.

There are nine species of lovebirds but only eight of them are available as pets. The Masked, Fisher, Lilian or Nyasa, Black-Cheacked, Peach-faced, Abyssinian, Red-headed, Grey-headed, and Black-collard lovebirds all average roughly the same size of 5-7.5” (12.5-19cm) and weigh in at 2 to 2.5 ounces (50-70grams). The life span of these littlest members of the parrot family can vary greatly and range from 15 to 25 years. Mainly depending on how life treats them.

A Love Bird is aptly called so as it is a very sociable little bird. If two love birds are placed together into a cage and they bond with each other, the rest of the world just doesn't matter as long as they can be close together. I was told by the breeder that if I wanted a really sweet little friend to not give him/her a bird companion as I would want him/her to bond with me. Well she, the breeder knows what she is talking about, she was right Chuckey Babey and I are a team now. If it were possible he would hang with me 24/7 and as sweet as can be curled up in my neck, sleeping in the hood of my jacket, playing with my hair, he loves to sit on top of the sewing machine and even helps 'untangle' the thread on my sewing machine (obviously the thread company doesn't know that thread should be bunched together in a big ball instead of on a spool). He loves to drink my coffee, hates beer but keeps going back to test it, just in case the taste has improved in the last couple of minutes. He sits beside my plate and shares my lunch. (his fave is banana on toast--obviously an Elvis fan) But what gets me each time is that whenever he finds a fabulous piece of fruit or a big plump raisin in his food dish he flutters over to me with it and gives it to me to share.

Now don't get me wrong a Love Bird can get out of sorts too...then watch out for that sharp parrot beak of his. He's not at all above giving you a good nip when you've displeased him in any which way or form. ( Like stayed away from home too long, played with the dogs instead of him or forgot to open the cage door when HE thought it was time to come out.) If I'm cooking or vacuuming, when there is company in the house (the ones that do not know how to close the sliding door when they go out on the deck) then Chuckey babey has to be in his cage with the door closed. According to him that is a mortal sin. He goes in and out of his cage all day long and even plays with his toys in there but heaven forbid I close him in. Without a doubt he lets me know that that is unacceptable in his eyes.

A Love bird is a seed, vegetable and fruit eater so with other words a vegetarian. The breeder suggested that I start giving him a mixture of fruit and vegetables from small on so he would get used to it. He loves celery, carrots, broccoli, spinach and parsley. Lettuce and cauliflower do not interest him one bit. The tiny little cubes of dried papaya are the first to get eaten out of his seed mix. He prefers the large Thompson raisins to the sultanas ones, any fresh fruit except oranges. Watermelon, watch out, he takes a dive into it then he needs a bath as he's all sticky . Cantaloupe he loves and honey dew so so, only if there isn't anything else. Now if I want to give Chuckey babey the treat of all treats I give him berries...straw berries, blackberries, raspberries or blueberries.... any of them he'll go absolutely bonkers over.

He likes plain popcorn while we watch TV and sunflower seeds while we read with an occasional piece of the book just to mark how far he read on the page. The sudoku and crossword puzzle booklets are also a favorite treat. (I think that proves Chuckey babey is an intellectual and very smart...wouldn't you agree?)

He even loves to go for car or train rides. When I go visiting overnight he comes along, he just sit on his little swing and watches the world go by with wide open eyes and not a pips of complaining the whole trip. He loves to spend time with my granddaughters and there he can also visit with his sibling Gonzo. (My daughter also got a love bird for 'moms day'... it was quite a trick when she was doing all the arranging for mine and my son-in-law called the breeder and arranged for a second bird).


Everyday life with Chuckey Babey is interesting and full of fun. He loves to be a little ham, he plays peek-a-boo, he jumps and flutters from here to there. Obviously I do not have the ceiling fans on when he is out and about, but he loves nothing more then when momentum makes it rotate slowly. At times I push the ceiling fan paddles with the broom handle and he goes round and round. He is just like a kid on the merry-go-round at the playground. When it slows down to a stop he chirps loud enough until I push it again.

He taunts the dogs, tweaks their noses, plucks at the ears, pulls at their fur and then settles in for a quick siesta snooze in the Shit tzu's soft warm fur. Chuckey Babey sits on the windowsill chatters with the birds outside through the open window. I'm not sure if his dialect is the same as that of the outside birds but they seem to be answering him back .

Love Birds, like cockatiels and budgies are totally messy, messy, messy. The seed hulls get flung around in an at least two foot perimeter from the cage but their companionship is well worth that little inconvenience of 'flung food' (my granddaughter calls it).

Love birds need a good sized cage so they are able to perform their acrobatics. They need a lots of toys so they do not get bored. Keep changing them every day then it's like getting a new toy daily. The parrot toys are great. Make sure you buy them from a reputable store because you do not want your babies to play with items that are painted with lead filled paint. Chuckey Babey even plays with cat toys, he especially loves the ones that have bells in them. His 'sleeping bag' is an out-grown hat from my daughters that I hung in his cage by the ties. A piece of the dryer vent hose (you know the 5 or 6" diameter that has the wire spiral in it and leads from the dryer to the window for heat and dust exhaust) is his favorite. He plays in his tunnel daily.

There is not much more I can tell you about this little friend of mine yet. Except that from now on I'm sold on Love Birds. They are totally lovable little clowns that just love to ham it up, then become mischievous little imps that want to nibble on a beauty spot or two, then they are little cuddle bugs that can't get close enough to snuggle, all within an hour.

Update! 4 Months...

It's been over four months now that the Chuckster has been my 'new love interest'. He now has developed into his/her new personna...

He/she is a total little clown who loves nothing more then to ham it up, then becomes a mischievous little imp that wants to nibble on a beauty spot or two, then he/she bcomes a little cuddle bug who can't get close enough to snuggle, all within an hour...............

Funny that almost feels as if I've said that already...I did...in the last paragraph...well sorry but that's what Chuckey is all about. He is a loving little companion that I would not trade for the world.

UPDATE

Chuckey Babey is a boy.... yup without a doubt. My daughters little friend Gonzo (rechristened Gonzette) as it turned out she's a girl. There is quite a difference between the two... lucky for me the Chuck-meister has stayed his loving self but watch out for the little girl lovebirds.... they can be quite moody and snippy. She's been laying eggs and then sitting on them for hours on end (obviously without any results as she doesn't have a 'beau' in her life.) (I've not been taking Chuckey over as they're both toooooo young for any kind of serious commitment... haha). She shreds every little scrap of paper into tiny little pieces ... for nesting purposes... funny to watch actually. she ripes them into long stripes first in the bottom of the cage... stuffes them under her wing then jumps into her hat (her nest) and uses the strip to build additions onto her nest.

Quite great little birds.

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Comments 43 comments

Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

Beautiful article. I love birds, the young lovebirds are very pretty. My parents had budgies and they bred them, it was always interesting to see what color they would be when their feathers started changing from bird fluff. Thanks.


New baby 2 years ago

Just got a new peach faced baby , I'm smitten as he already accepts hands fingers, loves to snuggle into my chest or neck and be stroked an will even sleep up against my chest.He was energetic and talkative at the place we purchased him however I'm a bit concerned because he seems to stay wherever I put him... I put him on his perch near his water to show him where it was and an hour later he is still in the same spot and snoozing. So I fished him out gave a cuddle and put him back in and in another area of his cage and he is still there . His eyes are bright and he tasted a bit of an apple slice but he hasn't drank or ate other than that. He is just one sleepy bird. I'm not sure if this is normal... The only thing I can say is he did not want off my hand and into his home he was not happy the cuddling was over. So maybe he's just still very young and sleeping alot??? I've no experience with lovebirds. I've only had budgies and finches. Any advice would be great. Thank you in advane


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Joy, thank you for taking a look and for commenting. As for the coffee... well, the Chuck-meister does want his sip every morning. I think just about all of it is splattered away as he shakes his beak quite vigorously. He dunks in three times every morning.

One of my granddaughters gave me a large 'Latte' cup for mothers day. Well Chuckster thought what a great bathtub and had a coffee bath... yuk what a mess he was, a new concept for a 'spa-day' as far as I'm concerned.

regards Zsuzsy


joy 4 years ago

cute. but you shouldn't give your bird coffee. it is very bad for them. if they have too much overtime they'll get very ill.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

edward diprose, thank you for taking a look and for commenting

regards Zsuzsy


edward diprose 4 years ago

A lovely article. I have two love birds, Peachey and Mango. They share their home with 27 budgies, 2 java sparrows and 6 bengalese finches. Peachey at the moment is trying to court one of the budgies called Mrs, named before I realise he was a male.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for reading and commenting Jeannie. Chuckey is beautiful but a stinker... he's in the dog-house at the moment because he again has chewed through the wires of my ear phones. So until I get new ones (this afternoon, but I didn't tell him that) we're not on speaking terms. He has developed an obsession with earphones... the little monster is just toooo smart, he saw me put them away in my purse and when my back was turned jumped in and had a munch fest on the sixth pair of my Ipod earphones. That little varmit is lucky I love him...

regards Zsuzsy


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

What an adorable and beautiful love bird! Thank you for sharing.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

AliciaC, thanks for reading and commenting. With the love birds and actually with most of the smaller birds (so I'm told) unless you get a blood test done you won't know until they mature if they're male of female. As I didn't really care if my new baby was a boy or girl I didn't bother. Well we now know that Chuckey is a boy and my daughter's love bird is a girl. She's laying eggs continuously (as there's no man in her life the eggs are all duds) but then she gets quite possessive about her cage and "nest" and at times she doesn't play nice as she used to... but I guess that's the way it's in nature too.

I would like to get a larger parrot too eventually. I'm not too sure how that would sit with the Chuckster but we'll see.

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

craftybegonia I love my Chuckster. Thanks for for dropping in.

regards Zsuzsy


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I loved reading your hub. I have two birds. The breeder told me that one was a male, but I don’t know whether the other one – a dusky conure called Cece – is a male or a female. Chuckey Babey reminds me of Cece. Cece loves to travel around the house attached to me, on my shoulder or under my clothing. She wants to be stroked regularly and to be a part of everything that I do, and like Chuckey Babey she tells me off and nips me – but never hard enough to make me bleed - if I do something she doesn’t like!


craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 5 years ago from Southwestern, United States

Beautiful birdie! My sister had a pair of lovebirds once, they did everything together (boy and girl), they are sweet birds.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you for taking a look and for commenting.

I never feed avocados to the bird but the strawberries... well actually any type of berry I can't keep him away from. He loves them all. He dives into the bowl and doesn't surface till every last little piece is gone. (He only get a medium sized one at a time)

regards Zsuzsy


Judgement 6 years ago

Google about the strawberries. I read somewhere they are dangerous for peachfaces. Same as Avocados.

Judge


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

John thank you so much for taking a look and for commenting.

My Chuckster sure makes it easy to write about him. He is still the little 'love' of my life. Sweet and a mischief maker at the same time.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


John and a camera profile image

John and a camera 6 years ago from Co. Leitrim Southern Ireland

What good reading that was! Thanks for that. Keep up the good work. I love reading bird related hubs.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Michael Shane for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Great Hub! Thanks


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Maple's New Guy welcome. I never had any trouble with getting Chucky onto my finger. I used to have cockatiels and some of them were rescue cases that were terrified of a hand coming at them into their safe place (cage). For them I used to use a large wooden spoon to use as a 'traveling perch'. It took a lot of patience but eventually most of them got used to it.

Once they got familiar with the wooden spoon I kept placing my hand closer and closer eventually I was able to get them trained to hop onto my finger.

Chucky loves nothing more then sit on my shoulders. He is a little monkey and would love nothing more than to be out of his cage 24/7 but for his own safety I do have to restrict it when I'm cooking ot when company comes who either don't care for birds or are just unfamiliar with the workings of doors, just not smart enough to realize that there is a little nosey bird nearby.

Does Maple like tunnels? Chuckey absolutely adores playing in them. He spends hours and hours in it and has become his favorite toy. I bought a roll of flex-dryer-pipe and cut it into 3 pieces and fastened into Chuckers cage. If I remember right it cost less then 8 dollars. He hasn't made any holes into it yet. It washes out really easy too. It's probably the cheapest and best bird toy ever.

Wishing you both a long-lasting friendship.

Let me know how things work out

regards Zsuzsy


Maple's New Guy 6 years ago

Hi Zsuzsy Bee,

Maple and I really enjoyed reading your stories of Chuck. You have a really great way of writing what you are thinking. Very entertaining. Please keep us up-to-date on Chucker's comings and goings. (Maple just gave her little signature toot.)

Thanks also for the tips on food and toys. I'm trying to learn more about lovebirds and what they like or don't like. I adopted Maple after sadly my Mom tragically passed away and Maple needed someone to bring her in and keep her safe after going through such an ordeal as losing her Mom. Poor little Maple saw the whole thing and she's sticking pretty close to me these days.

Maple won't eat much other than seed, a daily organic almond and the occasional organic corn. I'm trying to provide some alternatives for her, but she let's me know when she doesn't really like something by pooing on it the moment I place the dish in her cage.

She doesn't seem to like the sight of human flesh all that much either. Anything other than her favourite, comfy oven mits coming at her and she bites that human flesh really hard. Any tips on how Chuckey got used to your fingers, neck, forearms and elbows? ;-P

Anyway, we really enjoyed reading your posting(s).

All the best to you and Chuck from,

Maple the little-est lovebird


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tina, naturally the more attention you give a love bird the more 'sucky' he gets but if you can give him at least 15 minutes each day of total attention and maybe another 15 where he can hop around and get into mischief on his own he will be a happy camper, especially if you have his cage in a central location where he is not totally secluded from the rigamarole of the household.

Supposedly kitchens are not the best places for bird cages, remember that teflon coated pots and pans let off a gas that's poisonous to birds as is cigarette smoke. Light weight plastic cat toys with bells in them that can be hung up inside the cage are my Chuckeys favorite toy. (They're not hanging for long because he/she breakes off the elastic then he carries it around with him from one end of the cage to the next, throws it into his drinking water, bathwater etc)

Best of luck with Cayman (by-the-way that's an awesome name for a lovey)

let me know how he/she does

regards Zsuzsy


Tina 7 years ago

Thanks for getting back to me so soon! I guess my main concern is that Cayman (that is what we named him/her) will get lonely. If you think the activity around our house and the attention we can give will be enough than we will just leave things as they are. I am not really a bird person but now I have grown attached to Cayman and I just want to make sure he/she is happy.

Thanks,

Tina


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Tina, your house sounds like mine. Even in the bird world there are no guarantees that two lovebirds will fall in love with each other. However they at least would be company for each other at the very least. But adding another lovebird could get this one estranged from your hubby and then might not like to be handled at all.

Make sure you get a hand-tamed bird though from a reputable place. These little buggers have the parrot beaks and when they bite, boy does it hurt.

Good luck I hope thing work out well for you and your new little friend.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Tina 7 years ago

Help! We found a lovebird in our back yard this summer. We tried to find the owner through Craigs List and through our local exotic pet vet but were unsucessful. We purchased a large cage and incorporated him into our home. We already have a dog, two cats, a snake, a hamster and fish but we love animals so what's one more! Anyway, he is fixated on my husband (which leads me to believe his owner was male) and while my husband liked it in the beginning he is now getting tired of all the attention. Shoud we look into getting another lovebird?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thank you Ahmed but it really doesn't matter to me if Chuckey is a girl or boy. He/She is an absolute delight to have as a friend either way.

regards Zsuzsy


Ahmed Mobeen 7 years ago

I also kept many of these lovely birds. Actually I kept an aviary of 98 birds at a time. Here is a tip for determining sex of your Babey. Hen tend to be broader at shoulders and have broader head than cock. One very common practice is to check width of pelvic bone. Male have narrow pelvic bone opening than Female. Normally hen pelvic opening also moves a little bit with breathing.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Nicko thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Chucky is a real clown. He will do anything to get my attention and wants to be out 24/7 which is not always safe.(when I'm cooking or cleaning etc) one of his favorite games is to play hide...as long as he can't see me he thinks I can't see him either...then he pops up and I have to make a big fuss over him then he will do it again...for hours and hours to distract him I just have to get a piece of banana and then he 'maus' down all happy

Yes my little love bird is a super little pet

regards Zsuzsy


nicko guzman profile image

nicko guzman 7 years ago from Los Angeles,CA

How cute.I love lovebirds.You have a really nice pet.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hello Good Cook, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. What on earth are butcherbirds???? I've never heard of them before. I must research to see if we have them here in Ontario. I couldn't stand it if anything were to frighten the Chuckster.

regards Zsuzsy


The Good Cook profile image

The Good Cook 7 years ago

Many years ago, I knew a guy who had a pair of lovebirds. They were such a delight to watch that when the opportunity arose my husband got a pair as pets for our kids. We kept their cage on our enclosed front verandah but a couple of very persistent butcherbirds attacked it, frightening the male lovebird to death. The female, died for no apparent reason a few weeks later. Enjoy Chuckey Babey and thanks for sharing your story.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

rmr, how are you? and BT? Always glad when you pop in for a visit. Lovebirds are awesome. And Chuckey is one little stinker who's stolen my heart. It is just amazing how much trust these little babies give a person. Chucky loves a tummy rub for this he actually lays in my hand on his back. Then while still on his back he turns his head telling me its time for his neck rub... first one side then the next. (24 hours a day is just fine)

He natters at the dogs and talks to the birds outside the window....sweet that's all I've gotta say

greetings to you and your wife from me and to Drumstick from Chuckers from over the border

Zsuzsy


rmr profile image

rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

Chucky sounds like a real sweetheart, Zsuzsy. You seem to have found a real friend, there. I've always wanted a love bird, but I don't think Drumstick, our house sparrow, would appreciate it one little bit. He's a little spoiled.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Brenda! Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. They are really great little buddies.

have a great weekend

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Dottie, the little stinker was in a crabby mood this aft (I had to go out to get groceries) So tonight he's got the devil up his watoosy. Thanks for taking a look.

have a great weekend

regards Zsuzsy


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

those birds are lovely....


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Great telling of Chuckey, the love bird of your life hahaha how cute. What a great mother's day gift that turned out to be for you.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

CGull, how are you? I've been so busy haven't had much time to read and comment on hubs. I will have to catch up on a lot of them next week. Always glad when you come for a visit. Chuckey Babey is sitting on my shoulder right now twittering in my ear...'stop that you little monster that tickles' He likes to squeeze right under my hair in the nape of my neck and pull... I think everyone should have a love bird they can be so sweet.

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

regards Zsuzsy


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

Nice Hub Zsuszy, I would love to have them some day. We need more pets like it.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

BC, how ironic, I once had a Border Cole until he dumped me...He was from across the border (US) and his name was Cole (His mommy called him Colie) what a total pain in the watoosy he was

Always glad when you come for a visit hope your well and make sure you have a great weekend

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Raven good of you to come by. How's life treating you? Thanks for taking a look and for commenting. Chuckey babey gets a new name like 'whatjyadonowstinker' 'dodogivememythimbleback' or 'quitthe'flungfoodalreadyIswepttwicealready' daily. He/she will do fine and it really doesn't matter to me what his name is he's just a little treasure that i love to bits.

hope your well

regards Zsuzsy


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Gypsy Willow, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. That little stinker is the highlight of my day everyday. He's so much fun and a total hoot. I don't know why I didn't have lovebirds before. Not that I didn't love my cockatiels but Chuckey Babey is just so full of ???? He/she is just fabulous.

regards Zsuzsy


Raven King profile image

Raven King 7 years ago from Cabin Fever

Love birds me too! It is fun to try call back at the wild birds. If Chucky Baby is a girl she can still be Chucky or Charlotte or Carlotta. In the tv show Pushing Daisies one of the main characters was named Chuck and she was brought back to life from the pie maker.

Be boy or girl she or he can keep the name.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

How sweet, have fun with your beautiful birds. What a thoughtful present!

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