Acquired: Pet store
Posted Feb 23, 2015
Years ago, a boyfriend gave me two lovebirds (Rhett and Scarlett) for Valentine’s Day. The male was a vibrant green with a bright red face. The female a more muted green. They were about 6 inches tall. Their wings had been clipped so they couldn’t fly, which turned out to not be quite true. It seemed like such a romantic gift until I heard what they sound like. They screech like fingernails on a chalkboard on steroids. Any time there was any kind of light, natural or otherwise, the birds screeched and carried on. They could be deafening when I was on the telephone. The first thing I figured out was how to make them be quiet. Like many birds, you literally throw a blanket over their cage and they immediately fall silent. They think the sun has set and it’s time to go to bed.
Another downside of these birds is that they eat seeds. Scarlett liked to shove her face down into the seeds and jerk her head back and forth so that most of the seeds flew out of the cup and all over the floor. I swept seeds up three or four times a day. She did the same thing in the water cup, which helped make the seeds all over the floor soggy too. These birds need to have water to bathe in. I used to let them play in a square dishpan filled with room temperature water. They loved splashing around and would do it for hours if I let them. One time they dived into the toilet bowl and took a bath.
The birds were very clever. They quickly figured out how to get the cage door open no matter what I did to secure it. I often came home to find them riding around on the ceiling fan with the fan wobbling like crazy because both birds were sitting on one blade. They loved to fly around the house and would sit on the pictures and watch me go about my business. When my boyfriend came over, he trained them to jump onto a stick, or walk on the tightrope (clothesline strung across the room). He flapped his arms and whistled, and they flew to him. He spent hours working with them on various tricks. This is why when we broke up I made him take the birds with him. Lovebirds also live a long time – 20 to 30 years. Don’t get lovebirds unless you are literally willing to make a lifelong commitment to them.