Home | Bird Breeding | Breeding Lovebirds in Captivity: an Introduction

Breeding Lovebirds in Captivity: an Introduction

Despite the “love” part of their name, these tiny parrots (9 species in the genus Agapornis) are actually quite feisty and downright aggressive towards one another at times.  Introducing new birds is not easy, but once a pair forms the birds will be quite devoted to each other, and may well produce eggs.  Small size suits lovebirds well to indoor breeding, and renders them a logical choice for aviculturists with limited space.

Some Cautions

Before embarking on lovebird breeding, please bear in mind that this undertaking is not without its risks.  You may wind up with birds that do not get along, and if you keep more than 1 pair you will likely need separate facilities for the breeders (except perhaps in an outdoor aviary).

Health concerns may also arise – females may become egg bound, or produce too many clutches.  Also, even friendly, long-term pets usually become quite protective of their nests, and will remain aggressive towards you throughout the breeding season.

Distinguishing the Sexes

Unfortunately, males and females of the most commonly kept lovebirds – the peach-faced, Fischer’s and masked – are nearly indistinguishable by eye.  You will need to watch their behavior closely, or submit samples for DNA or feather sexing to be sure.

Abyssinian, Madagascar and red-faced lovebirds are sexually dimorphic, but these species are only infrequently kept as pets in the USA.

The Nest

Wild lovebirds nest in tree hollows or appropriate (sometimes forcibly ejecting the owners!) the nests of swifts and various weavers.  In captivity a specially designed lovebird nest box  will suit them well.  The nest should be positioned as high within the cage as is possible.

Wood shavings  should cover the floor of the box to a depth of 2-3 inches.  This will simplify cleaning and prevent the splay-legged condition that is often seen in chicks raised on hard surfaces.

Wild lovebirds repeatedly carry fresh bark into their nests, a habit which may increase humidity.  Captive lovebirds will readily utilize moistened cypress for this purpose.  Lightly spraying the female lovebird when she is out of the nest will also help in this regard (do not spray within the box itself).  Commercial nesting material should also be available.

Peach-faced and several other lovebirds tuck nesting material within their feathers to transport it to the nest…don’t miss watching this unique behavior if you have the opportunity.

The Eggs and Chicks

Female lovebirds usually lay their first egg 7-10 days after copulation, with an additional egg being produced at intervals of 1-2 days thereafter.  A full clutch consists of 4-7 eggs, and most females do not begin incubating until several eggs have been laid.

Usually, the hen sits and is fed by the male.  Male masked lovebirds, however, often sit near the hen, but it is not clear if they are actually doing anything useful, in terms of incubation!

The eggs hatch in 20-27 days, and the chicks leave the nest after 35-50 days.  They are fed by their parents for an additional 2 weeks after fledging, by which time they are usually completely independent.


Additional Reading

Please see my article on the Masked or Yellow-Collared Lovebird for information on the care and natural history of this and other lovebird species. 

Image referenced from Wikipedia and originally posted by TheAlphaWolf


  1. avatar

    why do they crack there eggs both male and female birds

  2. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. A calcium deficiency may be involved, in which case the eggs shells will be thin, and easily broken as the adults incubate them. Your vet can run a blood test to check calcium levels. Another factor might be stress; birds sometimes crack their eggs if they are startled while on the nest. If the box is not secure or too small, they may continually try to “improve” the site, and crack eggs in the process.

    Please write back with further details and I’ll be happy to offer more specific advice.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  3. avatar

    so last week my LBs were kinda humping, as in she had her wings out and the other was on top gyrating and making small breath sounds lol, and today i found she has 3 eggs in her nesting pouch thing. because they “mated” and she layed eggs does that mean the eggs are fertilized, or will they just be hollow? also one of them just sits on top of the nesting pouch while the other is inside, the one inside periodically comes out for food and water, but all the other one does is chirp loudly and jump around the cage when you try to add more seed, is this normal for a new parent in captivity? as it is usually quite mellow and relaxed. sorry about all the questions id appreciate if you wrote back soon, thanks 😀

  4. avatar

    Hello Jeff, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and for your observations – very useful to other readers.

    Bird copulation is usually a very quick affair – just as you describe.. so your lovebirds might be insulted by the “mating” comment : ). The male transfers sperm by lining up his cloaca/vent with the female’s (sometimes she continues to eat or preen and seems not to notice!). So the eggs may be fertile. Usually they will behave as you have described – the male spends most of his time outside the nest, and may even feed the female during the incubation time (21-26 days). Both will tend to be more aggressive and high strung at this time, so disturb them as little as possible; try to minimize cleaning etc. if possible. Usually they will return to their former selves once the chicks have fledged.

    Please let me know which species you have…most raise the young well if not stressed. Be sure the parents are given a varied, balanced diet. Adding some sprouts and additional greens is useful, and continue with or add a high quality vitamin supplement and a calcium source. Egg Food should also be offered, although not all Lovebirds will accept it.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  5. avatar

    😀 thanks so im gonna have baby lovebirds? im not too sure what kind but they both have orange faces and bright green freathers :/ if that helps any. and so would the best think be to just leave the eggs be or should i check when i can if theyre ok as in not broken etc…i dont want to disturb them so…

  6. avatar

    and when theyre hatched is there anything we can do or will the mother take care of it all? also we moved the cage into a spare room where its quiett and warm so i hope that helps\

  7. avatar

    Hello Jeff,

    Thanks for the feedback. They may be Peach Faced L:ovebirds – please check These Photos.

    Please do not check the eggs, as this will stress the parents,. Possibly cause them to abandon the nest. Nothing you could do in any event if the eggs are broken, If they are not fertile, the female will abandon them at the end of the usual incubation time.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

  8. avatar

    Hello Jeff,

    Thanks for your note…good idea to move them, just make sure you alert them via a whistle that you are approaching if the room’s door is closed – don’t just open the door w/o warning, never put on a room light in an otherwise dark room, etc.

    Lovebird parents usually do very well,….just add the food items I mentioned last time, and please write back anytime.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  9. avatar

    yeah those look just like em thanks and i will keep you posted i bookmarked this you seem to know a lot about birds so ill keep you posted even after they hatch so i can get advice etc. thanks a lot 🙂

  10. avatar

    Hello Jeff,

    Gad you identified them and yes, please check in. I’ve spent most of my career at the Bronx Zoo, still do some field work when the opportunity comes up. I post new articles twice weekly on ThatBirdBlog, should you wish to take a look.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  11. avatar
    Name (required)shanyn

    dear frank, my husband got a pair of love birds for me about 3 years ago from the local pet smart. not sure what sex but, very devoted to each other. the second year they started shredding paper & were trying to weave it in the bars of their cage. we provided a nest box etc. & were rewarded with 12 eggs none of which hatched after the alotted time period. this spring the same behavior appeared so we reinstalled the nest box. no eggs appeared but .after about the 4th day we sadly found what we assumed was the male dead in the bottom of the box at bedtime. could the other bird have caused his death? she is very aggressive keeping him in the box & plucking feathers from the back of his neck. we miss our dear george but, are afraid of getting another. does she need a friend? she has a canary next to her & receives attention from us. sorry for all the questions but, we need help to do whats right for gracie

  12. avatar

    Hello Shanyn, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and sorry for the bad news. Had your bird actually killed the other, you would have seen more evidence of trauma…in any event, this is very rare; stress is not good for any bird, but also would not likely have caused the death. Lovebirds can form same sex pairs, courting and nesting without mating…this can lead to problems in captive birds; mated pairs also may suddenly fight when on eggs – there are lots of hormones affecting birds at this time, and the confines of captivity what might have otherwise been a squabble may turn very serious.

    Lovebirds are misnamed in some ways – they are among the most aggressive of parrots, and very hard to pair up. A new bird at this point would be risky – you would need to be sure of the sexes and to be prepared to house them apart. They are social by nature, but will not expire/pine away w/o a mate as is sometimes suggested. Its better for them to have company, in order to avoid boredom, screaming, plucking and so on, but having a canary nearby will help, as will attention from you – you may find that the bird becomes closer to you in time than it was in the past. Plenty of toys and activities are important – foraging toys and the like are especially useful.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  13. avatar

    ONE OF THE EGGS HATCHED!! its a tiny little pink thing lol but they both seem to be taking care of it. any ideas what the interval is between hatchings we assumed that this is the egg that was layed first. also what are the chances that all 5 eggs will hatch or is it more common for only a couple

  14. avatar

    Hello Jeff,

    Great news, thanks for letting me know! There is usually an interval of 1-2 days between hatching, but this can vary by a day or so. Usually all are fertile. Just try not to check on them too much, keep the room quiet and limit what you do in the cage, cleaning and all, as stress can cause them to abandon the eggs., Lovebirds may also become aggressive toward people at this time, even if usually friendly.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  15. avatar
    Name (required)shanyn

    dearest frank, thank you so very much for your response & great info! we miss our george but, want to do all we can to keep gracie happy! she does indeed love to chew on her wood swings -so we will for sure look into getting her some foraging toys. thanks again for your help & good luck to jeff & his growing family! 🙂

  16. avatar

    Hello Shanyn,

    Thanks for taking the time to write back, I’m glad the info was helpful. Please check in from time to time, and let me know if you need anything in the future,

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  17. avatar

    I live in India during my vacation and I bought 4 love birds from a local store in India. I don’t know really how to care these birds, and so I only fed them with the usual pet food and some mango leaves, they seem to like the leaves than the food. A few days back, one bird escaped while I was filling the bowl of food so I fetched another. I really need help telling the difference in sex apart and I need to know simple steps in taming them. Can you plz help taming and tellin the sex apart?

  18. avatar

    And one more thing, I can’t use a DNA sample cause no proper vet in India and these pets are of unknown age and I bought them 3-4 weeks back(the new one that i Bought was half-week ago).

  19. avatar

    Hello Falvo, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Unfortunately, is nearly impossible to distinguish the sexes of the most commonly-kept species (I don’t believe you mentioned what species you have) by eye…you’ll need to watch their behavior carefully (please see article text for further details). DNA testing is the most reliable method, if that is available to you.

    Taming lovebirds kept in a group is not easy, and their personalities vary a great deal. Please check out this article on Parrot Socialization, which is the first step in taming.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  20. avatar

    First and foremost i find your blog very interesting and informational…. I have a pair of love birds according to the pet store a female peach-face ( peach color face with a dull green body and blue tail, white beak )and a male Fischer ( bright green w/orange face, yellow neck, red beak). My question is will the 2 different species be able to mate? They get along well. I’ve provided them with a box nest with wood shavings, however they have just about threw it all out. Do I put more shavings in the nest? Any info that you may give we will be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,

  21. avatar

    Hello Giovana, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks so much for the kind words.

    The two species can breed – please check out this photo of Peach-faced/ Fischer’s hybrids.

    You will likely tire of adding wood chips before the birds tire of discarding it! Some pairs will use chips, but most prefer to strip bark from fruit tree branches (be sure they are pesticide-free. Dried palm fronds are also favored – florists/greenhouses usually have these on hand and have no real use for them. You can also try dried grasses, especially long, thick-bladed varieties.

    The birds may be difficult to handle when they pair up, but their interesting behavior is a fine trade-off!

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  22. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Thanks for you quick response. I was wondering if it’s normal for the bird (Bonnie and Clyde) to spend just about all day in the nest. If it is, why. I have plenty of toys and treats in their cage for them to keep themselves entertained. They are not as active as they were when I just put them together about 2 weeks ago. Thanks in advance.


  23. avatar

    Hello Giovana,

    My pleasure, thanks for the feedback.

    Perhaps there are eggs?…although in this case usually only 1 would incubate. I wouldn’t disturb them to check, but try to peek in when they both come out. Females also tend to stay in the nest just before laying; also, it’s easy to make a mistake when sexing the birds – sometimes 2 females will bond and lay infertile eggs.

    Please let me know how things progress,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  24. avatar

    Hello Giovana,

    Perhaps there are eggs?…although in this case usually only 1 would incubate. I wouldn’t disturb them to check, but try to peek in when they both come out. Females also tend to stay in the nest just before laying; also, it’s easy to make a mistake when sexing the birds – sometimes 2 females will bond and lay infertile eggs.

    Please let me know how things progress,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  25. avatar

    I have a pair of lovebirds. the male has a green body with an orange face, the female has a yellow body with a red face. ( im sorry i don’t know what they are called). A few days ago, i saw 5 eggs in the nestbox. I was wondering if the gender of the chicks could be known based on the genetics of the parents? Thank you.

  26. avatar

    Hello Anne, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. Check out some online photos of Peach-faced Lovebirds; the green/orange combination is typical, the other bird may be a different color phase that has been developed by breeders.

    There’s no way to predict the chicks’ colors or sexes; but they will likely be a very interesting mix considering the parents. Best to leave them alone as much as possible – don’t look into nest, just do basic cleaning/feeding, keep room quiet, don’t turn lights on suddenly if dark, etc. so that they do not abandon the nest. Let me know if you need more info,

    Good luck and please keep me posted; I look forward to some good news!

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  27. avatar

    hi Frank.

    Thank you for your response. As i checked the nestbox yesterday, I was surprised to find 4 chicks inside. I was wondering if the parents will be able to feed them equally as there is one chick that is really smaller than the others.

  28. avatar

    Hello Anne, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback and congrats on the good news! Lovebirds are usually good parents, but small, weak chicks sometimes do not survive. Unfortunately, it’s best not to intervene…if you try to remove the chick and hand feed (very difficult) the parents may abandon the nest.

    Be sure to provide them with extra greens (sprouts, kale, dandelion, romaine lettuce, etc.) at this time. It’s also useful to add some moistened tree bark (fruit tree bark, willow) if available, or some pine wood chips (as sold for use with small animal pets) as the parents may add this to the nest to raise the humidity. Do not used cedar, as it can be toxic.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  29. avatar

    Hi Frank…
    I recently took my lovebirds to a pet shop to be sexed, as per them both my birds are females. I went and both a male, however when I placed him in the age with the females they nearly killed him. i want to breed my birds but they are so happy with each other I don’t have the heart to separate them. Is there any way that I can introduce a male with out risking any danger to him?

  30. avatar

    Hello Giovana, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. It’s not uncommon for females to bond, act as a pair and become territorial. As you suspect, separating them can cause problems, including screaming, feather plucking etc. Unfortunately, it would be very difficult to introduce a male to 2 females under any circumstances…if he paired with one, both might attack the other when they nest. You can sometimes give the mail a “home advantage” by introducing an aggressive female to his cage, but introducing the 2 would not work. In large outdoor aviaries multiple pairs sometimes work out, but you would need 2 males and plenty of space…sorry, no simple answer to this one.

    Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  31. avatar

    Hello Frank,
    My name is Sheila and I would first of all like to say how wonderful it is to find such an informative and insiteful blog! My question to you is the following, I have a female peachface who has just mated and laid 4 eggs with a blackmasked green dilute male (2 different speicies I know, but this pairing was unexpected). The problem I am having is that the female has finished laying her clutch and is still not sitting on her eggs at all but the male seems to stay in the box all the time with the eggs also a lot of the time the female enters the box and has violent tiffs with the male, so much so that I have recently noticed that she is plucking chunks of feathers out of him as well as drawing blood. I have supplied paper for her to shred as well as nesting material discs and filled the box with carefresh bedding but I am confused as why she is not sitting on her eggs and being violent towards the male for being in the box (blackmasked are known to sit in the box). As of right now I have separated them keeping the female with the nest and put septic powder on the male to aid in healing but I do know that the male is supposed to feed the female while she sits (if she ever does) so will my separating them cause issues? I have a heating pad under the cage and blankets on top to try and keep it warm but I am not sure what else to do. Any advice would be appriciated!
    Sincerely Sheila

  32. avatar

    Hello Sheila, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your kind words and the interesting post.

    While mixed-species pairs can work out, problems such as you describe are very common; added to this is the fact that captivity itself often influences normal nesting behavior. Despite the “love” part of their name, lovebirds are actually among the most difficult birds to pair up – established pairs of the same species, however, are usually good parents.

    It may be that the male is programmed to spend time in the nest, but, as this is not the norm for peach-faced lovebirds, the female is trying to keep him out. Stress, even after he is removed, may prevent her from incubating the eggs. If she does incubate, the clutch may not hatch as, without a male, she’ll need to leave for food and water.

    Unfortunately there’s not much that can be done…they will continue to fight if re-introduced, and the chances of the eggs hatching will be reduced further. I would keep them apart (different rooms may be necessary at this point, in order to reduce stress on both. She’ll abandon the eggs if they do not hatch within the usual incubation period. A same-species mate would be best, but give the female a month or so after she leaves the nest before trying to pair her.

    As for heat, depending upon the size and temperature of the room, you might wish to consider an oil-filled radiator (these provide even heat throughout the room) or, for localized heating, a ceramic heater as is sold for use with reptiles.

    Sorry I do not have brighter news,

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  33. avatar

    I have a pair of Dutch blue lovebirds and they currently have laid 5 eggs, their first clutch! They are both sitting on the eggs but both come out if they hear anything in the room around them, will this cause the eggs to not hatch as they leave the eggs? Most importantly my female has gotten extreamly aggressive, so badly that I cant put my hand in the cage at all (used to be very friendly). Will this get better once the chicks hatch? How can I clean out the cage? Will she return to normal once again? Another wierd question, I bought both of my lovebirds together, and for all I know they came from the same clutch, which would make them brother and sister, the store told me it is fine if so and they mate, is this true or do I have serious problems if they are??? Please help, there are many discrepncies online!

  34. avatar

    I take it no one monitors this site anymore, I guess I will look somewhere else!

  35. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest. I answer all questions promptly – have I missed a post of yours? I look forward to hearing from you,

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  36. avatar

    Yes Post #33 by Smurf! At this point 3 eggs have hatched and they are taking good care of the chicks as far as I can tell, everytime I check on them they come out of the nesting box to see what I am doing? Now I am curious when they will start to develope and have normal eyes! Any other suggestions or anything I should look for?

  37. avatar

    Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the feedback, congrats! Development is fairly slow – they take 6-8 weeks to fledge, so you may not see noticeable changes right away. The parents are very cautious at this point, which is why they are coming out when you are nearby. They can still abandon the nest at this stage, so avoid disturbing them. Provide soaked seeds, sprouts and chopped kale, dandelion and other greens, which they will feed to the chicks, as well as extra food for the adults, as the female especially will need extra calories now.

    Please see this article on sprouting seeds.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  38. avatar

    Hey Frank,
    This question might sound crazy but, is it possible to teach a lovebird how to tolerate other bird species (namely canary)?

    It sounds impossible…
    But some videos (actually quite a lot) in youtube have canaries living with other small hookbills like budgies and lovebirds… (video by “loveoffeathers”)

    Inspiring indeed, maybe someday I’d make a larger spacious aviary so these birds can live together.
    Thanks Frank…

  39. avatar

    Hi Raymond,

    It’s not so much a matter of teaching as good fortune; the personalities of parrots, even among the same species, vary a great deal. In my experience, lovebirds (despite their name!) are among the most intolerant of all parrots when it comes to other birds (they are also hard to pair-up). They have no fear – a group of Fischer’s Lovebirds that I kept routinely bullied the small antelopes that shared their exhibit! (please see this article).

    Budgies or cockatiels may work if there is plenty of room and lots of sight barriers (bushes, etc. Some of the Australian grass parakeets have also been mixed with various finches, and, as you mention, lovebirds on occasion. Hard to predict, however – the parrot’s former history is likely important. Another problem is that mated pairs will likely become aggressive once they nest, even if they co-existed in the past.

    Please keep me posted, enjoy, Frank

  40. avatar

    my peachface love birds keep dicarding there eggs i just need to know why

  41. avatar


    It is most often stress related – noise, unsuitable nesting box, too much time spent cleaning/feeding in cage, people checking the nest, etc. However, some birds seem prone to this, even when all is well, unfortunately.

    Please let me know if you need any further info, Best, Frank

  42. avatar

    Hi Frank, I have four fischers in a large outdoor aviary here in Melbourne with a variety of nest boxes in it. There are two blue series males (cobalts) and two green series females (one double factor yellow face and one single factor yellow face with spangle it seems). The males seem to have bonded together and spend the day preening closely and feeding together. Each of the females has taken a separate nest box but they show no interest in the males, or indeed much interest in each other. One of the females seems to be the most dominant of the four and the others clear off all feeding areas for her. The less dominant female seems more interested in the males and will interact with them sometimes.

    I’m not too fussed if they don’t breed, as they are lovely as they are. And it’s a delight to watch them when I’m out in the garden. But I wonder if it could be that the males will continue to ignore the females and stay in their close bond? I know I can’t force the issue, and they all get along great with no fights. I was just wondering if you could shed light on this for me. I had assumed that natural urges would take over and they would form at least one pair of opposite sexes but nearly a year now, and nothing yet….

    Thanks for your thoughts
    best wishes

  43. avatar

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the interesting post. I’ve observed similar situations among this and other species in large zoo exhibits. Captivity and breeding history (inbreeding and such) changes everything, and it becomes difficult to predict what may happen re pairing off and breeding. Having them outdoors, even if not within the natural range, is the best option, as changing light, temperature and rain cycles often encourage naturalistic behaviors. However, they may continue along as they have been. It is good, as you mention, that they get along, as this can be a real problem. If pairs do form, watch them carefully, as aggression can develop very quickly.

    Sorry I could not offer a more promising reply. I’m very interested to see how all progresses, please keep me posted, Enjoy, Frank

  44. avatar

    Hi Frank!

    I was so happy when I saw your blog…. and I thought you can help me out with my lovebird problem….

    So here the problem goes:

    Just a day or two before yesterday, my female lovebird start to lay eggs, but I never saw them mate. BTW their a pair of lovebirds (male and female). Then the next day the female still spends her time inside the nest, but before the sunset that day I noticed that the male lovebird force her to mate, only a short amount of time. Now that it’s already night at around 11:00, suddenly I heard my female lovebird squeaking without stopping for a long time. I check their cage and I saw that the male is like maybe forcing her to mate or fighting with her. It never comes to my mind that my lovebirds will fight,but seeing their attitude made me crazy. This morning I check the cage and found out that my female lovebird is hurt, because there’s a wound that almost touch her right eye that’s why her right eye is closed all day. And also the part at the back of her neck is bald (featherless). Pls. Help me I don’t know what to do… right now she already have two eggs and already sitting on them (but still wounded). Oh I also noticed that when the female lovebird gets out of the nest the male will force her to mate or fight something like that (I can’t determine) but it’s like the male lovebird wants to mate her but the female doesnt.

    So my questions are:

    *What is the male doing to the female lovebird?
    *Should I seperate them?
    *And oh my female lovebird which is currently inside the nest lays her egg there even though there’s no nesting material I just found little pieces of feathers that is not enough to cover the nest’s floor. Is it alright? BTW I provide nesting materials but they put it in their water bowl..
    *Will my female lovebird die?

    Thanks in advance

  45. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Lovebirds can be very aggressive to one another and to other animals; Please see this article for a note on some I kept at the Bx Zoo, which would chase away antelopes! In some ways, they are mis-named!

    In the wild, the pair’s hormone levels are controlled by weather, daylength etc., and they mate and incubate on schedule w/o problems. Also, the female can get away from the male when when need be. These factors change in captivity, and aggression is not uncommon as a result. Best to separate them. She should lay more eggs and can raise the chicks, or most of them alone. Extra care will be needed..we can discuss that as hatching time nears.

    They don;t make much of a nest…try adding some wood shavings, as are sold for use with snakes or rodent pets. Place a bit in the nest box if you can do so while she is out, without stressing her, or just leave a small bowl available.

    There’s always a chance of infection when wounds are present, but usually the bird heals well if the attacks stop. Bringing her to a vet now will throw of incubation, and she may retain the remaining eggs, which can be fatal. I would say best to leave her alone, but remove the male.

    Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  46. avatar

    Thanks Frank 😀

    If I remove the male, then will the egg she will lay sooner will become infertile?

  47. avatar

    My pleasure; No way to be sure – the egg may be fertile, since mating has already occurred, However, it is common for some infertile eggs to be produced after mating as well. Best, Frank

  48. avatar

    I think my male lovebird is crazy, today I found him preening with the female. And they seem to become friends again. And from then on, I never saw the male lovebird mate with her again. Oh yeah.. and I saw a piece of a feather, but it’s only one and I think it’s from the female because she has the same color with the feather left in the nest. I left a paper box full of paper strips, but they seem not to like it, though.

    So my questions again:

    *Why are my lovebirds Friends again?
    *Why don’t they put the paper strips in their nest?
    *Why do they stop mating?

    Thanks! 🙂 😀 😛

  49. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Very good news! Most likely the male is no longer in breeding condition, meaning that his hormones are no longer stimulating him to mate. This is what should happen once they have mated several times and the female started to lay her eggs. Paper or bark strips are mainly used to build up humidity when nesting in dry habitats. You can leave some available, but no nee to worry if they do not use. I hope all goes well, please keep me posted, Frank

  50. avatar

    Thanks For answering all my questions…..

    I noticed that the female lovebird didn’t sit on her eggs today. And yeah….. she stopped laying egg (her eggs are only two) . But yesterday and the rest of the day before yesterday she is spending all her time in the nest incubating her eggs, now it seems that she’s always outside. For more info….. It’s raining today.

    (sorry for asking too many questions I’m really new to this things)

    Questions Again :

    *Why did my female lovebird stopped laying egg since she laid her 2nd egg?
    *Why did she stop sitting on her eggs today?
    *Will she lay more eggs soon?

  51. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Please don’t hesitate to ask, that’s what I’m here for. A female’s first clutch is often smaller than normal, and she doesn’t always incubate properly. Usually this changes over time. Best to leave her be, she may try to incubate; if they do not hatch, she’ll abandon them and they can be removed; check back with me if she stays off the nest for several days.

    Watch that she is not straining, siting on floor with feathers puffed-out, which may indicate that she is trying to pass an egg but cannot. This would require quick vet attention. Best, Frank

  52. avatar

    Thanks again,

    Today my Female Lovebird is outside again 🙁 but I will be observing her this whole day. I will keep you informed, If I get another info. I’m sure that she is not straining, because she’s sitting in the highest perch. Oh yea! and It’s Raining here again Maybe because of the weather. It’s been two days raining.

  53. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the feedback; you’d notice if she was egg-bound, so all is well. Eggs will not likely hatch if not incubated properly, but best to leave for now. Pulling them right away may cause her to lay another clutch. Best, Frank

  54. avatar

    Oh additional info…..

    The two egg inside the nest, I just noticed as I was changing their water and feeds, The eggs are broken on the cage floor 🙁 :'( . What should I do? And when will be the next time that my lovebird will mate and lay eggs again?

  55. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Sorry for bad news but not unusual, esp. for first-time breeders. Eggs were likely not fertile; in such cases parents usually toss them. Disturbances can cause this as well, but seems like you are careful about that, so probably infertility was involved. They may re-nest again, but this is controlled by hormones, light levels, etc. in nature – in captivity that all changes, so it’s hard to predict. In zoos we manipulate daylength, temperature etc. to induce breeding, but I suggest just letting them settle down; they’ll adjust to the environment and breed when ready. It’s a good sign that they tried, many pairs will not, even if all seems well. Make sure cuttlebone is available, she’ll need to build up Cvalcium stores. A variety of fruits and vegetables, in small amounts are also useful (let me know if you need details). Full spectrum light is impt for them, so tha tVit D can be manufactured…not essential if proper diet is given, but a good idea. Please see this article for more info.
    Pl keep me posted, best, Frank

  56. avatar

    Very informative,

    Thanks Frank. . . . . About the Fruits and Vegetable, they are not used to eat those. When I put some, the fruits or vegetable got rotten. I remember that last month I used to feed them seeds with black color, and other seeds (I don’t know them) . But they are not available yet this time, that’s why I bought them a normal seed (with no black colored seed). Oh they are not tamed, Does the disturbance apply when changing the feeds?

  57. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Their diet should be comprised of a seed mix formulated for lovebirds, such as those linked in this article, under “Feeding”. They have specific needs, it’s not a good idea to choose randomly. Try a variety of fruits, vegetables in small amounts…greens (dandelion, romaine etc. are often taken). You can also try sprouting seeds…most love these. Use a vitamin supplement as well, esp. if they are not eating vegetables. Keep a cuttlebone in the cage, as this will supply calcium; if they do not chew the cuttlebone, add a calcium supplement to the food.

    Even tame birds become often become nervous and aggressive at breeding time (I raised a Barn Owl by hand at the Bx Zoo, extremely tame, but when on the nest she would fly right at my head if I entered the exhibit!) so it’s always best to limit time in and near the cage when they are breeding. Move slowly at other times as well.

    I’m not sure if you mentioned the type of lovebirds you have?…same general rules, but let me know when you have a chance, Best, Frank
    Best, Frank

  58. avatar

    Oh the type of lovebird?

    When I bought them in a pet shop (BTW, they don’t came from the same petshop) The salesman said that they are lovebird, nothing else, just an eight-letter Lovebird 🙁 . You know, I am really curious about the type of bird is my male lovebird. Because he really looks like a Budgie, I can give you the link of his look-alike in google pictures :


    Really looks like him, just like a perfect twins. That’s why I’m wondering if he’s a Budgie. While the female have a plain color yellow except a ( ” ” ) qoutation mark or like a (moustache?) below her eyes. And it’s color white. When I bought them the green male (lovebird?) is already in the cage, because I bought him first, her mate just died 🙁 that’s why. After her mate died, a month after, I bought a female lovebird. So far they don’t have problems, even though they are new to each other. . . even until now (just the problem when the female is laying egg) . They have cuttlebone.

    Thanks again. 🙂

  59. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    The photo is of a budgie, not a lovebird; I’ll get back to you later in the day with some further info, articles and ideas. (PS you may wish to look for another pet store nearby for local advice!). Best, Frank

  60. avatar

    Thanks I’ll be waiting

  61. avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Following are articles on the natural history and care of budgies; please let me know if you have any questions; Best, Frank


  62. avatar

    hi Frank,

    i have 5 lovebirds, 2 males and 3 females, but the 2 females keep their bond as they feed and mate everyday.

    my problem is, how to prevent my 2 female lovebirds in mating and how to pair them with my male lovebirds.

    thank you. kairi

  63. avatar

    Hi Kairi,

    Unfortunately, what you describe is common and difficult to change. Captive conditions, the early history of the individual birds, etc., often leads to same-sexed pairing. Success is sometimes had by splitting the pair and introducing another bird, but more often than not this is stressful to the paired birds and may result in their attacking new comers. Love birds are especially choosy about mates, and once a pair has formed there is not much that can be done.

    Best, Frank

  64. avatar

    Aloha…I have a pair of lovebirds that I rescued. It was never my intention to breed. After having them for just one month the pair started what I later found out was a courtship. I have no history on these birds so I don’t know if they’ve ever produced a healthy clutch before. I witnessed what i thought was the female on top of the male. Only the one time and then it was the other way around. I supplied shavings for them because I noticed her rump becoming rounded and did not want her to lay at the bottom of her outdoor aviary. Last Friday she was breathing heavier than normal and would not come out of her box. The next morning there was an egg in the box. Two days later another egg. When I checked this morning there are now four eggs. Is it possible for a lovebird to lay two eggs in one day or does it sound like I have a female/female pair? And if so when can I remove the infertile eggs? Mahalo 🙂

  65. avatar

    Hi Melissa,

    Congrats..usually people write in for advice on how to get their birds to breed (lovebirds can be very picky when it comes to mate selection)…you’ve obviously made them feel very secure. What species do you have?

    The traditional wisdom is that eggs are deposited very-other-day, and I’ve not run into any exceptions. however, as they are cavity nesters, it’s possible that incidences of 2 eggs being produced on the same day may have gone unnoticed. But even if you have a same sex pair, it’s best to leave the eggs for the full incubation time, after which the female will likely abandon them. if you pull eggs early in the cycle, the birds will often lay a replacement clutch (we use this technique in zoos to obtain 2 clutches from rare birds…the first eggs are put under a foster mom).

    Please keep me posted, I’m interested to hear how all goes, Enjoy, Frank

  66. avatar

    Aloha frank,
    I have a sf violet aqua blue and a normal green peachie. The pair are extremely bonded. I will leave the eggs for the full incubation period and then remove them. I candled the older two this morning and on each one notice a dark circle. No veins yet…ill try again in about a week. I hate disturbing them. They really have been a joy to own. They have such unique personalities. I’ve always had medium to large parrots so this is a new endeavor for me. I don’t believe in breeding outside of a specific program to increase numbers of endangered species. There are so many unwanted or neglected birds. Thank you for answering my questions. I’m sure ill have many more 😉


  67. avatar

    Hi Melissa,

    I wouldn’t bother candling them..stressful, and can cause her to abandon the eggs; even if infertile, bet to leave them.

    Yes…They are so unique; you might enjoy this note on a group I kept at the Bx Zoo; different species than yours, but with similar behaviors.

    Please keep me posted, best, frank

  68. avatar

    Aloha frank,

    I found your article very informative and entertaining at the same time. Here in Hawaii we have a huge problem with the mongoose. I at first feared for my birds being in the outdoor aviary. That is until I saw the pair of them send up a huge alarm and such a loud raucous that they scared the poor mongoose off lol. I no longer fear for their safety. I have had the pleasure of visiting the Bronx zoo and many other zoos around the world. The Bronx zoo is by far my favorite so far. Although I’m planning a trip to the Auckland zoo so ill let you know if that feeling changes 😉 I am thoroughly enjoying observing my birds behaviors. I have another single peachie, part of the same rescue, that I am making huge strides with as far as being able to interact with him/her. Overall a delightful species. Thank you for all of your time in answering my questions.


  69. avatar

    That’s a great story, Melissa, thank you for that and the kind words. I’ve worked on mongoose predation in the Caribbean (sea turtle nests) and have kept them in zoos as well..can’t say i recall any bird scaring one off! The “love” part of their name is a bit misleading..they can be real little terrors! I don’t think they are given enough attention by hobbyists or zoos.

    I enjoy seeing other zoos as well, and have done some work with several in Japan…insect exhibits there are beyond belief, as are the aquariums.; exhibits vary as to larger animals, with some older zoos needing work. Please let me know about Auckland, I’m very interested to hear..

    Best regards, Frank

  70. avatar

    Well, I know for certain now that they are two females laying together at the same time. Last night one of them layed an egg, and then this afternoon another layed an egg. I’ll just leave them be for another few weeks and then remove the eggs. For future reference, is there something I can do to deter egg laying?

  71. avatar

    Hi Melissa,

    The presence of a nest box will stimulate them to lay, so remove it once they have abandoned the eggs. Some continue to lay in food bowls, however, but they usually stop in time.

    The incubation period for the eggs is 22-25 days; leave them for a few days longer than that if the birds do not quit the nest on their own, then remove the eggs and the box.

    be sure that the birds have access to a cuttlebone; adding a calcium supplement to the diet would be useful as well, as egg production will deplete their supply.

    At least you know they are well settled and content! best, Frank

  72. avatar

    Aloha Frank,

    Thank you for your help.

    They have multiple cuttle bones that they always chew on as well as oyster shell that I add to their food. Is that enough or should I add a supplement to their water? I’ve read that it’s not a good method because you can’t control how much they’re getting. Also, should I start the 25 days from the first or last egg? Sorry for all the questions…as I’ve said I never intended to breed.


  73. avatar

    Hi Melissa,

    Glad to be of help.

    No need to add any more Calcium if they are using cuttle and oyster shell. Okay to provide it ad-lib, they generally take what they need and do not have problems.

    Start from last egg, no need to be too specific, some birds sit a little longer than others, but usually an “internal clock” will alert them to abandon the nest.

    Spring had been progressing nicely here in NY, but last night temps dropped to 35 F, and cool today, so I’m jealous of your locale!

    Pl keep me posted, best, frank

  74. avatar

    We’ve had a couple of cool days here this past week. I think it only reached 72 for a high 😉

    I miss the east coast winters sometimes…but it only lasts a few seconds 🙂
    I prefer the exotic and tropical locations because I do not like to be indoors. The Honolulu zoo is not the greatest, but they do have a huge assortment of birds.

    Ill let you know how the birds progress on the nest.


  75. avatar

    Thanks, Melissa,

    A friend worked with brds there long ago…said great things about the collection.

    Good luck, I’ll look for your updates, best, Frank

  76. avatar

    Aloha Frank,
    I am completely confused now. I watched each day to see if the birds layed more eggs. Last Sunday there were still only 6 eggs. All week there were only six eggs. Now this morning there are 7. Is it common to have such a large break between laying? I’m a bit concerned now.


  77. avatar

    Hi Melissa,

    Unusual but as long as you do not see any signs of straining, lethargy etc that might indicate retained eggs or a blockage, no need for concern. Pl keep me posted, Best, Frank

  78. avatar


  79. avatar

    Hello Shanyn,

    Thanks for the update and kind words. Trying another male would be a risk, although with her being so intent on nesting it may work; unfortunately, no way to predict, ..they can be picky.

    Continued laying is a drain…be sure she is getting plenty of Calcium and a good diet. Best to leave the eggs until she abandons them (usually a few days after the entire incubation period ends, 23-28 days). Pulling before then often stimulates production of a replacement clutch (we do this in zoos in order to obtain 2 clutches from rare species); she may still lay again, but it is less likely if she broods and they do not hatch.

    Pl keep me posted, best, Frank

  80. avatar


  81. avatar

    My pleasure..many are like that, they act far “bigger” than their bodies; not sure if I mentioned in past, but a small group I kept at the zoo (peach faced) would chase small antelopes away from food pans! The water dish etc stuff is common also, mainly re-direced energy, etc…in the wild they are always on the go, cover lots of ground, always squabbling with flock members, etc. almost impossible to keep them busy at home. Hope all goes well, Frank

  82. avatar
    manish mulchandani

    i have 6 lovebirds in a big cage but they are not breeding. Please help urgently. Please..

  83. avatar


    There are a great many factors that affect breeding…species, size of cage, number/type of nest boxes, diet, sex ratio, history of the birds (hand-raised, parent-raised, etc), age and so on. Please send some details when you have a chance, Best regards, Frank

  84. avatar

    I have 2 pairs of love birds for almost 6 years now. They have mated very often and laid eggs too. But eggs have never hatched. Some one told me they are from same blood line. Its no matter even if they do not breed, I love them fopr what they are. But was curious to know why eggs do ot hatch.

  85. avatar


    There cab be many reasons for infertility…genetic, reproductive disorders, nutritional factors, etc. Since they are otherwise in good health, long-term inbreeding could, as you suggest, be involved. Please see this article for more info, and let me know if you have any questions or other ideas. Enjoy, Frank

  86. avatar

    Thanks for your reply. One of my birds, a yellow love bird with orange head, is only sleeping since yesterday. It used to be very agile but it has stopped eating and also sitting at the bottom of the cage. and not on the perch. When I patted it as I always do, it opened its eyes for a few seconds, closed them and again went to sleep. Please advise. Thanks once again.

  87. avatar


    Unfortunately loss of appetite and listlessness are common symptoms of a wide variety of ailments…no way to diagnose at home. Illnesses usually progress rapidly in birds, so a vet visit should be arranged ASAP. Please let me know if you need help in locating an avian veterinarian, Best, Frank

  88. avatar

    I brought two australian love birds home one male and othr female.They dont stay with me as i keep travelling i kept them with my mom.Today my mom gave a bad news that the female bird died.She told that it was actin wierd and has grown fat that day.She suspect that female bird may be pregnent.We had no idea if these would even breed as the pet store guy tld they will need special condition to breed,which cannt be availed at home.I seriouly blame myself for the innocent bird death.I shld nt have brought them home in first place. i promise myself not buy any innocents life.I wanted to free or return the male bird back to pet store.Butdont know why the male bird seems to be too happy now and he is playing and enjoying so much ,he and my brother are best friends now.Before the death of female it was very quite not interested in humans or even with other birds.
    Female was very active and always wanted to fly away to be free, bt the male had extreme liking to the cage.
    Can you advice me what will be best for the male now.I dont wanna feel more guilty
    And want to know the reason for death of female.
    Why was she fat before she died?was she pregnent?Can these birds lay eggs without nest?
    did she died because she didnt get nest to lay eggs?

  89. avatar

    Hello Nikita,

    Lovebirds, as that name is commonly used, are native to Africa and Madagascar (9-10 species);none live in Australia. so you may not have been given proper care advice by the seller. Swelling does not occur prior to egg-laying …birds about to lay will try to build nests, become restless etc. Another health problem was likely at work. It’s not possible to diagnose w/o a vet exam, as swelling could indicate a wide variety of problems…tumor, other growth, bacterial infection, etc.

    It’s common for a parrot to become attached to people when kept alone, as they are quite social and often seek the company of people if another bird is not available. Also, not all get along, even when sold as “a pair”, so the remaining bird will be better off if it was being stressed by the former cage mate.

    Try to find out exactly what species of bird you have, and let me know; I’ll be happy to send care info and answer any questions. Best, frank

  90. avatar

    Hello, I have just found you blog and read most of it. I have a pair of peach faces, do not know the sex, but last year a couple of eggs were latex but did not hatch.

    This year there are more eggs, we shall see what happens.

    One thing is very different this year, I have noticed that both birds are now bearing what appear to be wounds/plucked areas on what is best described at their cheeks. Can you tell me what this is. Is it as a result of mating.

  91. avatar

    Hi Michael,

    If they are not fighting and pulling feathers, it would be best to have them checked by a vet…missing feathers can be related to a variety of health problems, although feathers missing from one area only usually indicates plucking/over-grooming. Pl let me know if you need help in locating a vet.

    Two females will pair up and act as a mated couple, producing infertile eggs. Feather sexing is relatively simple (feathers sent to a lab)..let me knpow if you need info. if you do have a male, there can be many reasons that eggs do not hatch; please see this article and let me know if you need anything.

    Enjoy, Frank

  92. avatar

    Hi, I had two lovely black masked lovebirds in a large outside aviary. Both adult. Tons of flying and playing room and great quarters. Recently one of the females died [I believe they were both females for both were excellent at nest building]. The other seems to be almost pining away – calling out. Am I safe in obtaining another bird to keep it company. On reading the blog there seems to be risk involved in this but at the same time I understand they love company.

    Any suggestions and advice welcome.

  93. avatar

    Hi Steve,

    They are complicated little birds, and often work hard to disprove the “love” part of their name! They can be among the toughest birds to pair…your remaining bird may be ready to accept another of either sex, but it’s hard to predict, and the new bird must be ready as well. Company is ideal, for their health and well-being, so its worth trying. Best to place the new one in a separate cage outside bit near the aviary and gauge their reactions. After that, place cage inside for a few days. If all goes well, you’ll still need to watch carefully after introduction,a s all can change quickly, especially if one (either sex) is ready to breed and the other is not. Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  94. avatar

    Thanks Frank, I will wait till after Christmas when I have time to go through this process. The remaining female is certainly not going anywhere! It would seem from what I have read that this remaining female could arc up even if a male or female was introduced so best take good time and care with it. I have a large cage which would be suitable to go into the aviary with the new bird. I will let you know how it all goes in the New Year. Cheers – have a lovely Christmas. Steve

  95. avatar

    My pleasure, Steve, thanks for the feedback. happy and healthy Christmas and New Years to you and yours, frank

  96. avatar

    We had six love birds when my son was alive who passed in June, 2013. Surprisingly 15 days back he asked me to give him promise that I will keep them and will take care of them. However, 2 female birds died and I kept on adding new female to it. One of which died because of fight of two females and other one flew away. Now 3 males and 1 female left. What I should do?

  97. avatar


    I’m sorry to hear of your trouble. Adding new birds is very difficult…lovebirds are often aggressive to newcomers. I would leave the group as they are, but with 3 males and 1 female there’s a chance fighting among the males will occur during the breeding season.

    Another option, if possible, would be to keep the female and 1 male together, in a separate cage, and the 2 other males together.

    If there is a nest box, remove it id you do not want them to breed. (some will still lay eggs in a food cup, etc., but most will not ).

    Sorry, no easy answers unfortunately. Best regards, Frank


  98. avatar

    I have two peach face lovebirds also and about two weeks ago I started hearing some strange noises coming from their cage. I realized that there were more than two bird noises. I believe there are three babies in the nest box but I don’ want to disturb them. I have noticed the last couple days that the female no longer wants the help of the male and will no longer allow him in the nesting box. I keep a close eye on them because I don’t want them to hurt each other. It appears they are more screaming at each other then anything else. Should I put the male in a different cage? What am I going to do with these babies? It was definitely a pleasant surprise 🙂


  99. avatar

    Hi Christine,

    Unfortunately lovebirds are notorious for this type of behavior…the close confines of captivity, differing hormone levels f the pair (due to un-natural day/night cycles, temperatures etc) most likely disrupt normal breeding behavior. It’s very hard to predict, some pairs do well one year, badly the next, some kill chicks then raise others with no problems.

    Yes, good idea not to disturb the hen or chicks. Best to remove the male as the fighting will interfere with her feeding the chicks etc. You can try to reintroduce in the future. You may need to put his cage in another room, so as to lessen stress on the female. Please let me know if you need more info, and please keep me posted…useful to have observations, as each situation is different with these interesting but challenging little guys.

    Best, Frank

  100. avatar

    I recently got what I was told is a male female pairof lutino lovebirds. The young lady i got them from said that they had reciently had babies but they got cold and died. They were given a pop tart box to nest in. I have had them for two weeks or so and yesterday put a nesting box into the cage. I was scared they would have another clutch in the cardboard box. I put ground corn cob and paper towels in the box. Both birds stay in the box all the time. Only come out to eat. Any advice? I’m not sure what I’m doing.

  101. avatar

    Hello Nicole,

    They will also use a nest box as a retreat, so staying inside does not necessarily mean that they are nesting. They could also be spending extra time inside if they are stressed by something in the room…is it possible that noise, another pet etc is causing problems?

    Best, Frank

  102. avatar

    Yes I have a baby and two parakeets

  103. avatar

    Should I just remove the box? I miss seeing them

  104. avatar

    It would be best to leave as is…forcing them to stay out in the open would be stressful, and result in them avoiding contact more; also, if they are nesting, they will need acess to the box; they will come around on their own, in time, best, Frank

  105. avatar

    How can I get them to eat new things? They are seed junkies

  106. avatar

    Hi Nicole,

    Many people have luck with Nutri-berries as a way of introducing pellets; please see this article for more info, best, Frank

  107. avatar

    Hell Again Frank! So today I saw my birds doing the deed. The female was also tucking newspaperiinto her wings and going inside the box. Honestly when I rescued these birds I had no intention of breeding. I have no clue what to do. Can you give me an outline of things to look for or things I should do research on? I’d hate fir the babies to not make it because if something u could have avoided. Thanks in advance.

  108. avatar

    Hi Nicole,

    Well, they are obviously happy with your rescue efforts! Nice that you saw her carrying papers in that way…lovebirds are quite unique in that respect. Try to put in a layer of shavings as described in the article w/o unduly disturbing them, this will be beneficial to the young. Add plenty of the nesting materials described; moistened bark can be offered later on, once they have nested (may be needed to increase humidity. Disturb them as little as possible..clean quickly, quietly etc., as disturbances can ca\use them to abandon nest/eggs. let me knpow how all goes, we can look into diet as well f she lays, best, Frank

  109. avatar

    i have the couple of lovepeach birds
    i saw that they had an egg i touched the 1st one 🙁
    && now they are breaking them its been 3 so far what should i do?

  110. avatar

    Hello Patty,

    It;s often a sign of stress..noise, too much activity near the cage, etc. Best to leave them be for now. Please send me some details as to cage size,nest box and the general environment, and we can go over some ideas that may help for next time, Best, Frank

  111. avatar

    their in a large cage they have the proper nest box their hay/grass in ghe box the have water n food. ihave em in a closet

  112. avatar

    can l introduce a widowed female lovebird with eggs to another male lovebird?

  113. avatar


    If the bird is on eggs you should not introduce a male. She may be able to raise the young on her own, but would not accept a mate at this time.

    I hope all goes well, best, Frank

  114. avatar

    Su checked the box today and there is indeed an egg in there. I have tried to introduce nutri berries by putting a few in the dish everyday but they won’t touch them. How can I help insure healthy patents and babies?

  115. avatar

    Hi Nicole,

    Nice to hear! Cutting back on favorites and gradually introducing new foods can work over time, but I wouldn’t worry about that now; millions have been raised on traditional lovebird diets; good idea to incorporate new findings re diet, but no need to push it. To add variety to the diet, try mixing in a cockatiel or conure food with their regular seed; this one has no sunflower seeds, so you won’t be adding more of their favorites. Any of the seed and nutri-berry foods here can be used of added as well. Also provide parents with vitamins and a mineral block and cuttlebone.. Also offer some egg food now and when the chicks hatch. Once hatched, parents should also be given millet sprays or a cup of millet, as they often feed this to the chicks. Ground nutri berries and avi cakes may also be used as chick food.

    Humidity is important…if too dry, chicks will have trouble hatching. Parents may bathe and then ruffle feathers in the nest…in the wild, they also carry strips of fresh bark to the nest, which may raise humidity. Humidity ranges of 50-80% work well; a small hygrometer is useful to keep track of this. Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

  116. avatar

    Thanks for all your knowledge! Is it strange that she has only laid one egg and is already sitting? I have cuttlebone and vitamin block in cage and they don’t touch it.

  117. avatar

    Glad it was useful; some females sit right away, but do not incubate consistently until entire clutch is produced. A flavored mineral block may be used…or they may use it when needed, i.e. if female’s lacking something after egg-laying. Add vit/mineral powder / liquid to food water as a safety measure. Let me know how all goes, enjoy, Frank

  118. avatar

    My lovebirds laid an egg on the 9th 11th and 13th of April. She was sitting on them. Then one lunch time she came out of the nest box sat on perch to poo and the other one jumped on her back. 5 days later she laid another egg then another, so the second 2 lot were laid about 9 days after the 3rd one. There 5 eggs in total. Its the 25th day since the first egg but no sign of it hatching.

  119. avatar

    Hello Tracy,

    23 days is about average, but incubation can go for a few days longer. The natural breeding cycle is disrupted in captivity, and second matings/more eggs do sometimes occur. best to leave as is for now, as trying to remove infertile eggs may cause her to abandon the nest. Best, Frank

  120. avatar

    Thank you for reply. Still no sign of any pip marks that can see, but she goes straight back if I try to look when she leaves the nest to get water.its day 26 since 1st egg. I will leave alone.

  121. avatar

    Sorry is it 23 days for the start of pip marks or they actually hatch out on 23rd day roughly.

  122. avatar

    Hi Frank… I hope you might be able to help me. I have what I thought was a breeding pair of young LBs.. I have one that has just laid a 2 egg clutch and has been incubating for about a week. Just now I was inspecting the cage and found one egg in the males ‘house’. Now… I know they were ‘doing it’…. and had been non-stop at it for a couple weeks. WHY is there eggs in a separate places in the cage? Each bird has their own house, and each has eggs. The male appears to be brooding too. SO CONFUSED!!!!

  123. avatar

    Hi Michele,

    Same sex pairs do form, but if you saw them mating then you have a true pair. Captive conditions change hormone flow and other aspects of breeding behavior, resulting in situations such as you describe. Best to leave them be, as trying to relocate eggs etc may lead to abandonment. They may both take to 1 house eventually, at which point you can remove the other. Please keep me posted, Frank

  124. avatar

    Thanks Frank, I haven’t gone near the eggs and have respected their privacy. I give them grasses and other materials in which they both actively build their own little nests. But…. swear to god they were mating!!! Can two females act the act ??? I had to youtube breeding love birds to make sure that was indeed what I was seeing. Males can’t lay eggs can they? He has NEVER let her in his house and vice versa! I guess we shall see if any eggs hatch! Then we’ll know for sure! What if I have an hermaphrodite! LMAO!

  125. avatar

    Hi Michele,

    It’s rare for 2 females to “mate”…but it does happen. They will appear to copulate, and then both will produce (infertile) eggs. Or you may have a female that put eggs in 2 nest boxes, with the male brooding one of them. If the eggs are infertile, she’ll abandon them in time. Best, Frank.

  126. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    We’ve had two peach faced love birds for the past 18 months – not sure of age when we bought them at the pet shop (they were in an aviary with 20 other peach faces). They have a hanging nesting area which they have practically lived in for the past 5 months and my daughter and I have seen them mating on many occasions but thought we had two females/males (weren’t sure which)…….they have been very quiet over the past couple of days and when I peered into the nesting box this morning there was an egg……realise you’ve probably answered this question 10 times over (above) but what behaviours indicate that we could indeed have a male and a female – what can I keep an eye open for (as I said, we thought they were just 2 girls have a good time lol so the appearance of an egg was a welcomed surprise this morning).

  127. avatar

    Hello Mel,

    I apologize for the delay…missed your comment due to a system glitch.

    Same sex pairs act as do male/female pairs, and since they look alike externally, it’s very difficult to figure what is going on. If the eggs are infertile (which can happen even if you do have a true pair), they will abandon after the normal incubation period. Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  128. avatar

    Saw my love birds mating two weeks ago , feeding each other, they have a nest box but no eggs. Why? Thnx 🙂

  129. avatar

    Hello Mela,

    This is not unusual…captivity changes the cycling of hormones, etc;…give them some time to synchronize their breeding cycles. Also, same sex pairs sometimes form..since it’s difficult to ID sexes by eye, this can be confusing. Infertility of either bird is also a possibility, but this is not too common..what species do you have? Enjoy, pl keep me posted, Frank

  130. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I have two peach-faced lovebirds and the female layed five in total so far. The colour of the eggs changed a little to a very light beige, and it doesn’t smell bad. Is this okay?

    The questions are:
    Y did the egg colour change?
    When will they hatch?
    If the babies hatch, do you recommend hand feeding them?
    If you do recommend hand feeding, what formula do you recommend?
    Thank you in advance.

  131. avatar

    Hello Ella,

    Some color change is normal…best not to check for fertility (blood vessels visible when egg held to a flashlight) as parents may abandon if stressed. The usual incubation period is 20-27 days; they will leave the nest shortly after if the eggs are infertile.

    I would not recommend hand rearing unless you have an experienced person close at hand to guide you…quite a bit to it. Some folks pull chicks just before they fledge, and rear for a few days to adjust them to people, but this also has its risks.

    Enjoy and pl keep me posted, Frank

  132. avatar

    Hello frank! Well it has been a couple days shy of 6 weeks since I noticed the first egg on the box. There are three eggs. Seems to me like the eggs are duds but she is still sitting on them. How long before either they hatch or she abandons them? Should I look at eggs or leave them alone?

  133. avatar

    Hello Nicole,

    Yes, unfortunately they will not hatch at this point…they are generally abandoned by now, but captive conditions do alter breeding behavior quite a bit. Best to remove them. Hens sometimes re-nest right away; best to give her a break if possible…removing the nest box sometimes inhibits breeding, but if they commonly roost there then it is best not to stress them by removing it. Hope all goes well, Frank

  134. avatar

    I have blue zebra finch love bird (male) and green coloured love bird ( female and different from male species) my female love bird played 1st egg it was broken and after 4 days it had its second egg but it not laid for 2 days and suffered.I took to vet, they said it was due to stress and lack of calcium. They provided some syrup to improve calcium and on the same day it laid a egg but the female broke it and eat it. After that it not yet laid egg. will it lay egg?I continuing the calcium syrub for the birds should i stop it?is I missed the chance of baby bird?

  135. avatar

    Hello Xavier,

    Sorry for the delay, I missed your comment somehow. Calcium deficiency is a common cause of egg-binding. It’s well-understood by avian vets, so continue to follow the doctor’s instructions. Please feel free to write in with further in for re the diet if you need advice; also, the names of the specific species that you keep would be helpful, best,. Frank

  136. avatar
    Prateek Sharma

    I’ve two pairs of lovebirds, i wants them to be mating, laying eggs and hatching. what should i feed them and what else i should do to make them breed….
    actually they laid four eggs but they died due to the cold weather, now they are mating and there are eggs but the hen is not hatching them, what should i do……

  137. avatar

    Hello Prateek,

    Unfortunately, some females refuse to incubate, toss eggs from the nest, etc…this may change as they mature, but there is nothing that you can do other than to provide a secure nest box, keep the bo9rds in a quiet, undisturbed area and so on. When eggs are laid, cleaning/feeding should be done quickly, with as little disturbance as possible. Best, frank

  138. avatar
    Ashley Ingersoll

    Hi there. My husbands friend was moving out of state and could not take her two love birds with her so my husband offered to take them in. We are not bird people lol we had a few perekeets a while back but nothing else. The female had laid eggs before we got them, the old owmer said it was day 22 when we picked them up. That was about 2 weeks ago. We have kept them in our room to limit stress, about 4 days ago the female was attacking the male in the morning, she was being very violent. I watched and eventually they stopped their squabbling but a few hours later we found the male dead. The female doesn’t spend much time if any in the nest with her eggs. Last night she was standing in the nest making some strange noises and had herfeet up on the walls not in the bottom of the nest box. Any idea what mighy be going on? Thank you in advance

  139. avatar


    Unfortunately lovebirds, despite their name, are hard to pair up and can be very aggressive; this generally does not occur after a pair has bonded, and fatalities are rare, but difficulties in nesting, abandoning eggs, attacking chicks happen regularly. The eggs will not likely hatch, given the time that has elapsed…best to remove them. Nest box can stimulate further egg laying, but perhaps best to leave it for now if she uses as a roosting site…security etc important to maintain at this point. Best, Frank

  140. avatar

    i have a confirm pair of love bird they are almost an year old. both of them are almost the same age.
    Female is ready to breed but male donot respond to its mating call .is there any medicine or supplyment that i can give them.
    kindly do answer.

  141. avatar


    Unfortunately there is not; lovebirds can be difficult to pair-up, and captive conditions change the normal hormonal flow…one may be ready while another is not in breeding condition, etc. watch them carefully, as aggression can develop, even among long-term cagemates, if one is ready to breed and the other is not. I hope all goes well, Frank

  142. avatar

    Hi, got a pair of LB here. The female were able to give 5 eggs w/c one them were already hatched. I was worried coz the remaining were not. Its been 3 days now since the first egg was hatched. What should I do? I want all them to be alive. Thanks in advance.

  143. avatar

    Hello Marc,

    The remaining eggs may be infertile; this is not unusual. Do not disturb the nest or she may abandon the chick. They may toss the infertile eggs out f the nest in time. enjoy, Frank

  144. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I bought a mated pair of peach face love birds. I did not encourage breedeing but she laid an egg on the bottom of the cage(June 6).I got her a nest box she accepted the box and I moved the egg to it. Left them undisturbed notice ojune 15 there was 3 eggs noticeed on June 23 there was 4 eggs and on June 25 there was eggs. On the 24 they had been bickering each has small nick on beak and he has a fee frethers gonna from neck. Keep watch over them the next day she allowed him in nest box they were happy and everything seemed fine. On Friday June 27 I had to remove him from the cage she had attached him badly putting a biggash

  145. avatar

    Big gash on his neck. He was luck to be alive so putting him back is not going to happen. He is treated and healing nicely . They are in cages next to each other. I am worried they are not eating enough so I have been giveing them mullet spray (I put hers in the box with her) I know this is not high in nutrition but it is all they have eaten I am not sure if they will survive without each other and if the eggs have a chance. If they don’t hatch and they survive till July 23 (28days after last egg) I can remove them and try put him back with her. I don’t know what elves to do to help ensure there survival and well being.

  146. avatar

    Hello Angela,

    Unfortunately the “love” part of their name is a misnomer..aggression among mated pairs is not uncommon (captive conditions, diet, cage size are all related to this). Leave then apart…she can raise the young alone if provided enough food..move him to another room if his presence causes stress, attacks through cage bars etc.

    Once she’s off the eggs, we should discuss diet, as millet alone will not support good health long-term.Best, Frank

  147. avatar

    Yeah the love in love bird was quickly discovered as false. When I was first given them I thought they could be part of my bird room.. 16’xx12′ that 3 cockatiels and 2 parakeets share. They were vary aggressive so they were moved to another room and caged in a fairly large cage. All birds have a variety of food available at all times mellet is normal just a treat buy I have been giving them extra because I would rather have them eat that then nothing at all. But they do have pallets and and good heathly seed and vitamin seed and fresh fruits veggie and snacks. They seam to be calling to each other missing each other but still worried she can’t do it alone and is not eating enough. I hope for the best. Thanks for your input.

  148. avatar

    A small group (Peachface) I kept in a lg Bx Zoo exhibit would chase duikers (sm antelope) away from food bowls and steal the grain! Prob best to keep apart, hard to judge behavior, very much changed by captivity. They often do fine rearing young alone. good luck, pl keep me posted.

  149. avatar

    Hi sorry to bother you but the question i have is:

    Can one male mate with two females???

    I have 4 lovebirds in a large flight cage and 3 nest boxes and i know i have 1 male 3 females cause i
    was trying to get a pair. However after sometime they all are very settled and one has 5 eggs atm, however recently even though the male continually nest wit that female the other night i saw him mating with another one. Is this common??? And yet there is no fighting after that and he still goes back to the original female. Wife and mistress?

  150. avatar

    Hello Jose,

    They tend to pair off in the wild, and to drive away other females and males, but “mistresses” do occur in captivity, as all is so much different from the natural situation. Females can usually raise chicks alone if they have enough food, but you’ll need to watch carefully for aggression between females or between females and the male…hard to predict , unfortunately,

    best, Frank

  151. avatar

    Hi Sorry to bother you but Im not sure who to ask for help I have an Australian green with orange over the beak love bird since I got her she liked to hide in cardboard boxes even under newspaper she started shredding newspaper and made a nest in a small cardboard box where she laid 3 eggs.I got a male his Yellow with bright orange over his beak she then laid 5 eggs in a nest box I provided I noticed the 3 of .the eggs had hatched about the 19th June 2014 On the first weekend of July my daughter in law picked the babies up out of the nest box will this make the mother abandon them I dont see the parents going in the box very often, the parent are sleeping in the top of the nest box at night and not with the babies is this OK I feed them small amounts of bean shoots, Kale Small parrot .seeds.fruit bread, 9 grain bread, grass,cooked egg ,spinach on different days Any advise you can give me would be appreciated thanks

  152. avatar

    Hello Trish,

    Please write in anytime.

    Lovebirds are restricted to Africa and madagascar, so I’m not sure about the “Australian” part of the name…could be something the pet store applied? In any event, disturbance can cause them to abandon the nest…they should be left alone as much as possible, cleaning/feeding done quickly etc….there’s an instinct not to waste resources raising young if survival is unlikely (due to danger, etc). Leave them for now…if they have abandoned the young there’s nothing to be done anyway, but they may be feeding, etc…you may hear the chicks in time. If they have not survived, the pair will likely nest again once all they have settled down, best, Frank

  153. avatar

    Hey I have two peach faced lovebirds and they have layed 4 eggs and they are doing a great job at sitting on the eggs and keeping them warm but they have been sitting on the eggs about a week over 25 days and they are still siting on them. What should I do? Do I take them or leave them?
    Please get back to me!!

  154. avatar

    Hello Jessie,

    Incubation time can vary a bit, so it’s best to leave them for another week or so; they usually abandon the nest if the eggs are infertile, but may sit a bit longer than otherwise. Removing too soon would be stressful to them. I hope all goes well, Frank

  155. avatar

    Hi …my name is Swedel…I am in a soup…my lady love bird layed 7 eggs fr d first time……out of which 2 hatched out…..due to some unpleasant circumstances she happened to fly away leaving d eggs n d young ones dey r jus 1 day old. Chirping in their mate box way shud I do…. .

  156. avatar


    Unfortunately it is quite difficult to hand-rear chick w/o prior experience; if the male does not feed them, I suggest contacting a local bird club/parrot group to see if you can locate someone who will take them, or spend some time teaching you the techniques. Best regards, Frank

  157. avatar

    Is it OK if I leave another female bird along wid d male

  158. avatar


    That will not usually work out..male will likely attack, and females usually do not accept new chicks unless (sometimes) they are already rearing some of their own. If you have no other option you might try, but be prepared to split them right away. I hope all goes well, Frank

  159. avatar

    Hi frank……d male did help d kids by feeding dem….but I guess it was too late….dey both died…..I had to throw away 4 eggs ….hope smethng bttr comes next time…..can u just guide me about their appetite ….as I gave dem grains n green coriander ….dey enjoy eating it…..wat else can I gave them

  160. avatar

    Sorry to hear the news but it is difficult to raise them when the hen dies. This article has some useful feeding tips…pelleted diets are not essential, although many folks are leaning that way. if you use a standard seed based diet, add lots of variety and include the seeds and greens etc mentioned here. best regards, Frank

  161. avatar

    plz ….. i wanted to know how to differienciate between lovebirds mask male and female ??

  162. avatar


    Unfortunately the sexes cannot be distinguished by appearance, only by behavior during courtship; to further confuse matters, same-sex pairs may form if you do not have a male and female. best regards, Frank

  163. avatar

    Hi frank…..I brought 2 females for my 2 males….my worry is dey ain’t mixing up… Both males sit together n 2 females sit together….how long does it takes fr love birds to mix up. Is der NY thing that I can do to gt dem closer

  164. avatar


    It’s promising that they are not fighting…they can be very tough to introduce. Nothing can be done to influence mate choice etc. Adding nest boxes sometimes encourages breeding behavior, but with 4 in one cage you’ll need to watch carefully for aggression and be prepared to split up any that are being attacked, best, Frank

  165. avatar

    My cage is a divider ….aid one pair to d right n d other to d left…but still d males r far from d females

  166. avatar

    Hi, your info is wonderful. I have lovebirds that keep having babies.. This is the 4 batch.. I usually remove the babies at about 3-4 weeks and then hand feed them. I just find loving homes for them. I want the mama and Papa to rest a little so they do not get sick.. Do you think it would be a good idea to separate them.. Put them in separate cages near each other.? Im worried that if I separate them , it will cause them sadness or stress.. And then they would die. Please advise . Thank you very much.

  167. avatar


    Thanks for the kind words. It is a good idea to give her a break (be sure CA intake is high etc, as egg production is a drain); separating will not kill them, but attempts to get to each other through bars etc can be stressful, and cause injuries via rubbing against bars, etc. very individual, no way to tell other than via a trial, which will do no harm. Removing the nest box inhibits some, but not all, pairs from reproducing . Best, Frank

  168. avatar

    Hi This is Abdul
    We have got 3pairs of love birds 5months ago,2 started laying eggs and 1of them is not laying eggs,so the problem with that love bird is that she is peeping in every nest and throwing all the eggs from the nest and not letting it to hatched,past 5 months they lay around 13 eggs only one was hatched,so would you please help me out.

    Thanks & Regards

  169. avatar

    Hi Frank, ive been reading this blog since this morning until this afternoon, lol! And seriously, its such a great site for all the new breeders who needs help about their feathered friends. And i got a problem aswell with my Fischers.

    A year ago, i bought my fischer from the pet shop, i asked them whats the gender and they said its a Male fisher, i bought him and named him Kiwi, its perfect for me coz other breeders said, male birds is much more easier to tame than female. thats my first plan to tame a bird, thats why i bought him 🙂 after few months, i change my mind and plan to breed, so i bought another from the diff. Petshop, and this time, i asked for female. And theyve been together for almost half a year now, i always seen them fighting.. But not a serious fight. Lol, I tried the female to tame.. And i was surprised coz apple (her name) is much more sweet and very easy to tamed, i taming process with her doesnt took a month.

    And here comes the problem. Last two or three weeks, i witness them mating, and i feel so happy coz ive been waiting this for so long. 🙂 but i noticed that.. Apple act as Male and kiwi act as female, i was so confused. I was thinking that might be petshop made the wrong sexing and ending up.. Kiwi is the female and Apple is the Male. A week later, Kiwi laid eggs and today she lay another one. That explains a lot that Kiwi is female. But my BIG concern is.. What if Apple is female aswell? This is guaranteed that kiwis eggs will be all infertile right?! Read few more blogs about sexing love birds, tjey said you check their sex by their pelvic bones.. Male pelvic bones are close to each other, while for females are a bit wider. I tried this and found out that apple have a wider pelvic bones, it measure 4-6 mm. That really gives me a sad face. But if apple is female, why she keep acting like a Male lovebird? She sits on kiwis top while mating, Shes always outside of the nest box, saw her feeding kiwi once in a while. Is this normal? Wondering if other breeders experience this problem too? I got an idea, My only hope to know if possible Apple is a male, is by candling kiwi’s eggs when they turn 7 days old. I know about DNA sexing but Avian here in my place are so rare. Thats why i tried to do their sexing this way. I really need your opinion regarding this.. And what exactly to do.

    If I find out that apple is female, is it ok if im goin to sepereate her from kiwi and buy kiwi a new Male partner?

    Thanks in Advance 🙂

  170. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Great blog!
    It’s been 33 days since my lovebird have layed 4 eggs for the first time and she is still sitting on the eggs… And yesterday they have started copulating again! What should I do? Do I take the eggs?

  171. avatar


    Unfortunately that is not unusual when several pairs are kept together…best to remove the aggressive bird, as the behavior will not likely change. Best, frank

  172. avatar

    Hi Faye,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Lovebird relationships are quite complex as you see! There’s really no difference in train ability etc, very individual.

    The pelvic bone ID system works, but is very difficult, and individual differences between birds are common, which confuses matters further,. DNA sexing is the only reliable method.

    Same sex pairs commonly form, with each bird taking on difference roles., as may be happening with yours. If eggs are infertile the female will abandon in time.

    They do not always accept a new mate, so be prepared to separate if you try to introduce a new bird…fighting is common, the “love” part of their name not very accurate! If you do wish to breed, DNA sexing is advisable.

    Enjoy, Frank

  173. avatar

    Hello Joana,

    thanks for the kind words.

    They usually abandon infertile eggs …you can remove soon, may stress them, though, so best to wait a bit to see if she will leave nest n her own. Best, Frank

  174. avatar

    Thanks for the quick reply 🙂 Yes i believed every birds has diffirences. What i need to do is wait for the time, when the hen will abandon the eggs if ever the eggs are infertile. I just really wish i have the right pair. 🙂 Thank you so much again Frank for the help, i really do appreciated.

    I will drop by again whenever i have questions 😀
    More power to you and Goodluck in everything.

  175. avatar

    Thanks, I hope all goes well, Frank

  176. avatar

    Hi Frank
    Thanks for replying the last post,One of the lovebird is feeling ill and getting faint so what necessary steps to be taken?

    Thanks and Regards

  177. avatar


    The sick bird should be isolated from the others and kept warm, but a vet exam is necessary to determine the cause of the illness, as many have similar symptoms. I hope all goes well, best, Frank

  178. avatar

    Hi Mr. Frank,
    I have a pair of fischer african lovebirds. At first, they have produced 2 clutches of eggs and successfully hatched and continue to have their 3rd clutch. Now the problem with the 3rd clutch is that they started to throw their eggs out of the nestbox. Is there a possibility that they can go back to their normal incubation or behaviour after what they have done? Thank you..

  179. avatar


    Tossing the eggs is sometimes stress-related, but unfortunately it also can happen for no reason that is apparent to us. Captivity changes hormonal release etc., and this can affect breeding behavior. they may nest successfully in the future, but some birds do develop this as a habit…difficult to predict. Try removing the nest box for awhile…multiple clutches are a drain on the hen, best to give her a break. Some will nest even w/o a box, but removing it may inhibit them. Be sure the female is getting a good diet and plenty of calcium. Best, Frank

  180. avatar


    A previous post mentioned this but I did not see an exact answer so I’d thought I would ask. I bought a pair of lovebirds who the seller said were ready to breed. He assured us there was a male/female but I think it is more due to behavior than really knowing for sure. I understand behavior is not really a way to tell since same sex bonding occurs and so on. Both of the birds (Fischer love birds we were told) look so much alike. I am concerned about mating brother/sister but have no way of knowing if they are. Reading about genetics is a little scary but it sounds like a pretty common practice. I wouldn’t let the them breed with its offspring if we kept any. What are your thoughts on the topic. They are not mutated at all (colorwise). Thanks!

  181. avatar

    Hi Cindy,
    Most in the trade have been crossed with relatives and outcrossed….impossible to track unless you work with a careful private breeder. First and second crosses seem not to be a problem, unless certain mutations are present…I wouldn’t worry about this pair, but yes, safer to send offspring elsewhere. Please let me know if you need anything, enjoy, Frank

  182. avatar

    Hi Frank.
    I have two green love birds in a big cage outside. There is also 3 blue love birds in the cage. There are four breeding nests in the cage. Two blue birds are always together but do not breed ( Maybe same sex?) The green birds had one baby on the first round. Now they have two babies. Can I leave all together or do I need to separate the parents from the off springs? Can I leave the siblings together? They have not been sexed.

  183. avatar


    It’s difficult to give general rules, as captivity changes there behavior and individuals vary. Usually, you’ll have better breeding results if you remove youngsters as they mature; but in large aviaries multiple breeding pairs may do fine. Watch for aggression also..it can crop up suddenly even among birds that have gotten along well, enjoy, best, Frank

  184. avatar

    Hi Frank, I have two peach faced lovebirds, one is almost twice the size of the other, I don’t know their age as re-homed them, the large bird is in lovely condition the small one is feather plucked and chased by the large one, but they cuddle up to sleep, they have started mating first with the small bird on top but now with the big bird on top, does this mean they are two females or two males? they have been feeding each other too, the bigger one tucks branches and paper under its wing, but not the small one, the big one attacks the small one biting at it, they don’t have a nest box but I am getting one, is that a good idea?

  185. avatar

    Hello Judy,

    Same sex pairs can form; unfortunately, it can be hard to keep 2 together even if they are a true pair…captivity changes their behaviors; this is especially true of birds that have been moved about, subjected to past stresses etc. Try adding a nest box but if they continue to fight then they should be separated, as the situation will not likely improve. Best, Frank

  186. avatar

    Hello sir,

    I have two peach colored love birds and two grey love birds. I do not know the sex but the seller said that they are pairs. I doubt whether they have ever seen other love birds breeding or hatching or even taking care of the young.

    I have a small pot with a small hole apart from the open mouth. These love birds paired differently. Like a grey bird paired with a peach faced. Now one peach faced layed 3 eggs in this small pot after she was mated by the grey female. But I notice that most of the time the peach faced bird is not sitting on the egg because whenever I open the door to notice she is sitting on the stick . I am thinking that these birds must not have experience seeing other birds hatching or bringing up their young. Will this be true? Or will the eggs hatch and will theytake care of the young.
    Would like to know from you.

  187. avatar

    Hello John,

    First-time breeders sometimes do not do well, but may improve with time. Others just never become good at rearing the young – captive conditions change their behaviors, so it’s difficult to determine the exact reason. best to leave them, disturb as little as possible. I hope all goes well, frank

  188. avatar

    Hello Frank, Tonight I have noticed the large lovebird has laid an egg on top of the nest box Ive put in their cage, I have not seen either bird go into the nest box, and the large one is sat next to the egg looking like it wants to lay another egg, the smaller bird is looking on, the nest box is a budgie box but I think the hole is large enough if they were to go in, as they were not going in I replaced their cosy hut in the bottom of the cage under the nest box, they have never gone in this either, but the big bird was looking in the end, I don’t think they have any eggs inside it, I did think of wedging the roof of the nest box open and placing the egg inside but I don’t think the bird knows what to do with it, if this is a first egg will it be infertile anyway? I’m not sure what to do for the best.

  189. avatar

    Hi Judy,

    Budgie boxes are usually fine. First time breeders often do not reproduce successfully…others just never get it right…captive conditions, inbreeding etc seems to change their behavior. If they are not sitting on the egg then it should do no harm to move as you mention…If they set, probably best to just leave. I hope all goes well, frank

  190. avatar

    Hi Frank, Ive just had another look and the big bird is sitting on the egg on top of the box, so will wait and see if it stays safe on top or maybe try and put it in the box if the bird gets off, thanks for your advice.

  191. avatar

    Good sign…please keep me posted,. best, frank

  192. avatar

    Hi Frank Today the egg was not being sat on so we decided to wedge the nest box lid open and put the egg inside, the birds have been mating again and now the big bird is going in the nest box via the roof, the smaller bird went in too and came out through the hole, I’m not sure where the egg is but Ive put some kitchen roll in there and they might have hidden it, but it had been left in the cold for a while, I don’t know how long the eggs can be left without warmth, the birds are both sitting outside but the big one goes in every so often so I’m hopeful they might lay more, and they are feeding one another

  193. avatar

    Hi Judy,
    That egg may not hatch, but she should have several more…watch that she is not straining; best to disturb as little as possible – important that she expels all eggs, whether or not they incubate. Best, Frank

  194. avatar

    Hiii…… I am shubham…… I am from india……. I hav a pair of love birds….. They mated and layed eggs……. A male. And a female baby came out of it……. After 3 months that female baby mayed with another male lovebird of mine….. And she started laying eggs though nest box wasn’t provided….. She layed first egg……. The other love birds broke that egg……. Then after 2 days she layed the 2nd one…… Again others broke it…… Afyer 2 days when i peeped into the cage i found an egg over there and my female was died beside the egg…… Why did she died….. It was my first love bird to die……. It was very painful for me……. Why did she died….. Pls answer so that from next time i will avoid if the mistake was mine…..

  195. avatar

    Hello Shubham,

    The birds pictured in the photo you sent are commonly called Budgerigars or parakeets here in the USA. “Lovebird” is generally used for several species of small African Parrots (see here).

    It’s common for parakeets to lay eggs even if a nest is not provided…if they are kept in groups, eggs are likely to be broken. best to separate youngsters if possible. A seed mix prepared especially for parakeets is best as the basis of the diet, but if not available then use a variety of small seeds, along with the other foods you’ve mentioned.

    They will use any type of commercial bird toy, or you can provide cardboard, pine cones, paper towel rolls etc for them to shred.

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to say why the bird has died…they are subject to a wide range of diseases and ailments, as are all birds.

    Please see this article for more information on care , and let me know if you have any questions. best regards, Frank

  196. avatar

    Thank-you so muxh frank….. Earlier i have provided them with cardboard they use to. Torn it onto small small pieces…….. Were they plying or trying to eat it? I was afraid that they would eat that small pieces so i removed it…. And once again thankyou so much…..

  197. avatar


    They shred cardboard for nesting material or just to keep beak in shape, etc..soft fruit tree branches and wooden bird toys are good for the beak as well. They will not swallow wood, etc…shredding is normal behavior, enjoy, Frank

  198. avatar

    Thakyou so much frank….

  199. avatar

    My pleasure, Shubham, I hope all goes well, Enjoy, Frank

  200. avatar

    I have one green lovebird and a yellow. It appears to me they mated and she had 7 eggs but has been dismissing them from the nest as the days pass, she has 2 left. I do not know if the yellow is a male but it did appear that he was making all the actions and sounds and I do think they mated. She sits and he (?) sits by her her appearing to feed her. If this clutch is not fertile does that mean al her future clutches will not be either?

  201. avatar

    Hi Sandra,

    Same sex pairs will form, but usually you don’t see typical male/female behavior, so you may have one of each. First time breeders sometimes toss eggs, or it can be stress related; unfortunately, some just never seem able to incubate. But discarding eggs now does not indicate infertility, as the birds do not seem to access that..or at least not until the incubation period has passed, at which time they just usually abandon the clutch. Fertility is regulated by many factors…please see this article. I hope they incubate the remaining eggs, but if not they may do better next time, best, Frank

  202. avatar

    Hi Frank, This is an update on my lovebirds breeding, they have now laid 5 eggs, the first egg got cracked and they disposed of it, but then laid two more eggs two days apart, the after 5 days two more eggs two days apart, the hen is sitting n them very tightly now and the other bird is also in the box a lot of the time both asleep, they are feeding one another and the hen comes out to feed as well and collect shredded kitchen roll and twigs and pampus grass heads to take in her nest, she will not use the nestbox hole but they both go through the proped up lid of the box, and the nest is well constructed, Ive tried shining a bright torch on the eggs but cannot see any veins in them, if they do hatch will the 5 day break in laying them cause any problems in chick age, and if they dont hatch how long should I wait before cleaning out the box or removing it from the cage? And if the nest is getting smelly will this cause the chicks problems? Also ive read about spraying the box with water to keep the humidity up and help the chicks hatch, is this a good idea as they have two water feeders and a bath in the cage already, thanks for your advice. Regards Judy.

  203. avatar

    Hi, 2 of my love birds one a yellow fischer female and the other a lutino fischer split is showing some peculiar behaviour. They use to preen each other at times but often the female is quite aggressive towards the male whenever she is feeding and he comes near or at times chasing him from one perchto another. By the way the female is around 10 months old and the male is around 8 months. I want them to pair bond as I want chicks from them. But few days back one morning I found the male injured around the ear area, there were some ripped feathers and he had blood around there. So, I seperated them in different cages, considering that the female did it. Now it is around 10 days that I have kept them in a cage which is being seperated by only a wite divider and now again I see that they both are very close to each other, preening themselves, doing their beaking thing not feeding off course and most of the time they remain close to each other but at occassions also fight but that too is quite rare nowadays. I am now really tempted to unite them in a same cage but the same time I am scared that the female can hurt the male considering her size twice big as the male. Also I think that the male is quite a kid and don’t really understand the female’s advance who is nearing her adulthood or I see she is. I am quite in two minds. So, if you can provide me with some advice.

  204. avatar


    Lovebirds can be very difficult to pair, even when both are mature. But the problem may be as you suspect – the male is too young to respond to the female’s behavior. This commonly leads to aggression. I would continue to house them side by side until the male is mature and you see no signs of fighting. Please keep me posted, enjoy, Frank

  205. avatar

    Hi Judy,

    Don’t shine a light…disturbance can cause them to abandon the nest; nothing to be done if they are infertile in any event. They should be able to regulate the humidity as they have a bath and can damped their feathers as needed; same re difference in laying time – they usually raise all, but if not there’s not much to be done on your end. They usually abandon infertile eggs after the typical incubation period – 20-27 days; you can remove after that if they remain incubation. I hope all goes well, enjoy, Frank

  206. avatar

    Hi Sandra,

    Same sex pairs will form, but usually you don’t see typical male/female behavior, so you may have one of each. First time breeders sometimes toss eggs, or it can be stress related; unfortunately, some just never seem able to incubate. But discarding eggs now does not indicate infertility, as the birds do not seem to access that..or at least not until the incubation period has passed, at which time they just usually abandon the clutch. Fertility is regulated by many factors…please see this article. I hope they incubate the remaining eggs, but if not they may do better next time, best, Frank

  207. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I have a darling beloved pair raising their first babies. Izzy and Eddy. 2 babies are hatched and maybe a third and forth about to hatch. She is a year and a half old and the male is just barely a year. She was hatched in my home and was my particular pet and I see her doing everything that her awesome mama does and even more. I wasn’t planning on giving them a nest box for another 6 months since he is young, but her nesting behaviors were so strong, and it seemed to me like they were frantically looking for a place to lay eggs when they were let out one night. The problem is she looks very thin to me and I see her getting a bit impatient with her husband. She has to come out of the nest box, feed on her own, and I see her tugging on Eddy’s tail and opening her mouth at him. Eddy doesn’t seem to be “getting it” about how much he is supposed to eat and regurgitate. He does about as much regurgitation as he did before he was a father. He is his normal fluffy self, while she is thin. I am worried about her health and I’m worried that the babies won’t get enough either. Should I pull them and hand feed them? I have a full time job and my husband a part time job. I’ve never hand fed and they are so young. Should I wait? Maybe Izzy will train Eddy? I’ll get more tempting food for him and more variety, but I hope he starts “getting” it. What do you think? Thank you in advance, and for your blog.


  208. avatar

    Hi Alesha,

    It’s very come for young males/first time breeders to behave in that way. far better to leave all as is. Some birds always seem to do a poor job, but your situation is typical and he will likely improve over time. The female won’t allow herself to starve, although she may lose condition. You can lose chicks, although this is not common..in any event, hand rearing is very difficult even if you have plenty of time to learn and carry it out. I hope all goes well, please keep me posted, Frank

  209. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    So I just had a quick question about a pair of lovebirds I recently was given. They have no nest box but laid four eggs about 3 1/2 weeks ago and the eggs are hatching. Right on the bottom of the cage. The parents haven’t been near them since they started hatching and the babies are just laying there. Is this normal and will the cute little guys survive?

  210. avatar

    Hello Shelly,

    They will not survive if not fed by the parents..lack of a nest box is likely stressing them, etc. You can try moving them into a box; perhaps this will encourage the adults to feed them. Hand rearing is difficult if you’re not experienced…perhaps try contacting a local parrot interest group/club to see if someone will take them…they won’t live very long w/o food. so best to act quickly. Best, Frank

  211. avatar

    Thank you so much I will see if I can contact anyone.

  212. avatar

    I hope all goes well, Happy holidays, Frank

  213. avatar

    Hi Frank
    I enjoy reading the post from other bird lovers. I have a big outdoor cage where i have 3 parakeets, 3 cockatiels and 2 love birds. I put two boxes as nest and the love birst occupied both of them (first one amd then they move to the bigger one) i check yesterday and since us a big cage i usually put food every 2 days (or as needed but usually is 2-3 days) yesterday when i check i noticed there where 3 eggs but as soon as i saw them i closed the box knowing not to dusturb as both birds were ne

  214. avatar


    As both birds were nesting and today I found 4 eggs.
    Its been cold in florida (around 50degrees) but not our usual and since i have them outside i am worry. Does this weather affect them. Since before i notice they are laying eggs i cover them with shower curtains and a big blanket but i still think is not enough. Also how do i know uf she is done laying eggs?
    Thanks in advance

  215. avatar

    Hello Carolina,

    You didn’t mention-the species…but some range fairly far south in Africa and so experiences cool weather. If your birds normally winter outdoors, then they should be fine on the nest…always a chance that extra cold snaps will kill the young, but moving them indoors at this point would likely cause them to abandon the nest. Disturba s little as possible/…if it does not work out again, they should re-nest as the season changes (hopefully they’ll wait!). A happy, healthy holiday., Frank

  216. avatar

    Morning Frank,
    I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the young male father. I took your advice and left the babies to be fed by mom and dad. Two chicks are looking great! The other two eggs must not have hatched. I thought all was going well and mother in better condition. The mother is still trying to teach the father to feed her, but I thought this must be going okay as well since all are in health. What I noticed this morning is that he has a bloody rump! It’s underneath his flight wings and I didn’t notice before. He’s picking at it a bit. She has been tugging at his tail feathers to get his attention was all I had noticed before. The babies are old enough to pull, if needed. What should I do for him? I have been so lucky, I’ve never dealt with bloody birds before. I really appreciate your advice! Thank you very much in advance. Also, happy holidays!

  217. avatar

    Hi Alesha,

    Good news….1st nest often does not produce any chicks; the other 2 eggs were likely infertile, that is common, and prob useful here, as it’s easier for them to rear 2 chicks. It would be best to remove the male at this point…this may make a re-introduction difficult in the future, but she will not likely leave him alone. You can clean the area with hydrogen peroxide (over-the-counter variety) and then re clean 2x daily for several days. Best to use 2 people, as bird will resist. If cut seems deep, more than surface nick, or bleeds, best to see a vet,. Even minor wounds may become infected, so a vet visit is the safest option, but many do heal on their own. Do not use creams, ointments etc. Betadine is safe as well. Thanks for the kind words, a happy, healthy holiday to you and yours, Frank

  218. avatar

    My female lovebird laid 3 eggs and now one egg hatched last night, but my male lovebird died few days ago. I dont see mother feeding her baby yet. She is sitting on the baby instead. What i should do? Why is she not feeding her baby? Or it is normal not to feed the baby for 24 hrs?

  219. avatar


    Females can usually raise the young alone; unfortunately, some seem to lack the proper instincts, or are slow to begin. This is especially common with first-time breeders. Best to leave her alone…not much you can do in any event, as hand rearing is very difficult without experience. Hopefully she will begin soon. I hope all goes well, Frank

  220. avatar

    Thank you Frank for giving a quick response. Im really concerned about the baby because i saw the mother stepping on the neck of the baby n all over it. It was really disturbing. Is the baby going to be OK with that? I hope this behaviour of its mother wont bring any harm to it. N one more question; How long a baby can survive without food?
    Thanks in advance
    Im glad i found ur blog its really helpful.

  221. avatar


    My pleasure; they can take a certain amount of jostling, as that typically happens in the nest. They generally do not live more than a day por so w/o food, but she may be feeding it quickly when you are not nearby. Even long term pets become very secretive, prone to stress when nesting, so it’s best not to check on the nest…not much to be done anyway, so leaving them alone and quiet is the way to go. Best, Frank

  222. avatar

    I am having a pair of Fischer love bird from Nov 2014. The female laid only one egg on 26/12/14. What type of protein calcium should I give them. Are there any other chances of other eggs by them. Should Ibpeep inside the earthern pot where they have laid egg? To be honest I am really new about this. I am not going to sale the chicks when they born. I am giving egg shells cutle bone and small grains what in India we called KAGRI DANA. Some times I am also giving them apples guavas beans cabbage leaf lettuce spinach. Is those foods ok for them.
    Will be waiting for your early helpful response.

  223. avatar

    Hello Partha,

    Cuttlebone and egg shell are good sources of calcium, and the other foods are fine as long as they are getting a good seed mix as well. Females usually deposit eggs every other day, but snmall cluthches are common also. Just watch that she is niot egg bound – straining, sitting on cage bottom, breathing heavy. Best not to check the eggs at all…nothing you can do if they are not fertile (as far as I know!) and checking can cause them to abandon the nest..happens even with long term pets. Please keep me posted, enjoy, Frank; Much of the info in this article is applicable to Fischer’s Lovebirds:

  224. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Just an update. So on all counts you’ve been right. We removed Eddy from the nest and put hydrogen peroxide on his poor rump. He seemed to be okay and although about 1/2 inch bare the bleeding spot was small. Eddy and Izzy were calling to each other so much and I got worried about the babies and well…I put them in the same room but with open cage doors so that he could get away if he needed and went to a family party. I should not have done that. They were all cuddling in the nest box when we got home but his rump was worse. He’s got a square inch bare and most of it bleeding/scabbing. I felt like a monster, and yet it seemed cruel to separate them as well. But i won’t put them back together until the babies are sold and he is completely healed. We are doing hydrogen peroxide twice a day. He’s become a better pet, we are all enjoying hanging out with Eddy on our shoulders. Izzy seems to be handling the babies okay on her own. I bought an iron supplement and am giving it to all of them. What are your feelings on iron? Also I have their cages next to each other’s at night and they call to each other. Any tips to make reintroduction easier later? Thank you for your expertise!–Alesha

  225. avatar

    Hi Alesha…Don’t feel bad, they can be very tricky – devious even. What you describe is common – all seems well, then a fight. As the young mature and hormonal output changes it will be easier to reintroduce…go slow, and put them together only when someone can be home, remove at night for a few days.
    I’ve never used iron…in general, birds are prone to iron-related problems/disorders, even on typical diets in some cases. Unless prescribed by a vet for a specific problem, I would not use; strive for a varied , balanced diet. I hope all goes well, please keep me posted, Frank

  226. avatar

    Thanks for all your advice. I have an urgent request.

    One of my parakeet was pulled by a stray cat from outside the cage and it ripped off one of its wings. It was bleeding but it was not dripping. I have no clue what I should do. I dont have any vet’s near whom I can take it. Is there someway that this bird can be saved. Will the other parakeet alongwith this male bird trouble the injured bird. I want to save him somehow. This happened at such a time when I was packing to go out of station for three to four days. Is there some medicine that I can mix alongwith water an give to him. This is not an hand tamed bird and he is not used to coming close to me. I just keep the birds in the cage and feed and clean the cage. I dont have any close attachment with the bird. It still bites if I hold it.
    Please give some way out to save this bird from death.

  227. avatar

    Hello John,

    You can clean the area with hydrogen peroxide or betadine, but unfortunately an injury like that can only be treated properly by a veterinarian. If none are in your area, try contacting local bird clubs, wildlife rehabilitators or your nearest zoo and ask for a referral to a veterinarian. Sorry I could not be of more help, but major injuries are difficult to treat at home,. Keep the bird warm, isolated from others, calm if possible, but w/o vet attention survival is unlikely. Best, Frank

  228. avatar

    My budgie gave her first egg on 12/12/14. 25 days have gone it has not hatched yet. Is there any problem. The nest in which the eggs are laid are small and made of earthen pots. The love bird have also laid egg but same the eggs have not yet hatched. Total budgie have laid four eggs. Pl help in my writing.

  229. avatar

    I have masked lovebirds pair and they have laid 6 eggs.they are sitting on eggs for one month or so.but none of the eggs have hatched.its their first clutch since they are with me.male is sitting outside the nest box and female only comes out for food. Plz advise.

  230. avatar

    Hello patha,

    Budgie eggs usually hatch within 21 days, but it can take a bit longer. If the eggs are not fertile, the female will abandon the nest soon, at which point you can discard the eggs. I hope all goes well, Frank

  231. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I am from Bangladesh. I have 4 love birds one is Lutino Fisher and other one is Lutino.My problem is lutino fisher lay 8 eggs female birds all the time incubation but after 30 days eggs are not fertile. Other Lutino 1st time they lay 3 eggs but don’t incubation then I remove the eggs and I am checking the eggs not fertile.And now 2nd time lutino lay 2 eggs but female not incubation. Please tell me what can I do?

    Best regards


  232. avatar

    Hi Josi,

    There can be many reasons for infertility in either the male or the female, and pairs sometimes abandon nests if disturbed, stressed etc. Due to inbreeding, captive conditions and other factors, some birds just seem unable to incubate properly, even if the eggs are fertile. Please see this article and feel free to send more details about care, diet, cage etc. best, Frank

  233. avatar

    My love birds layed eggs about a month ago,
    During this time the female spent a lot of time inside the nest and the male just outside of the nest “guarding”.
    As of yesterday they seemed to have abandoned the nest.
    I peeked in there while they were both eating and the eggs look fine. They are white and shiny.
    When someone gets close though they still run back inside, so they still care for them.
    Does this mean those eggs are no longer hatching since the hen doesn’t keep them warm anymore ? Or what do you recommend I do?
    Thanks in advance !

  234. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    I have 3 pairs of peach face Love birds in a large aviary of 4x4x6 Feet dimensions for past 4 months. all three breed and layed eggs one of the pair first layed 2 eggs but after some days eggs were not there few days later pair layed 4 eggs after 3 weeks their left 2 eggs and now no egg, one eggs was thrown out of the box, i inspected egg. their was a tiny hole in it but no sign of egg been incubated because it was empty and some layers of yolk were inside the egg i couldn’t find other three eggs. female birds always stays inside of the box until any other bird come and sit over its box she come out and then quickly gets back in the box. other two pairs layed eggs and incubated them some of them hatch but couldn’t survive i think this is because of harsh winter weather at night it is average of 5 Celsius and at day its 15 to 20 celsius.
    Plz Help!!!!

  235. avatar


    Problems are common when several pairs are housed together…it can be done, but the aviary you describe is very small for 3 pairs. The temperature is likely a factor as well…not sure of your situation, but room or space heaters, lights etc should be installed to raise temps….I always advise consulting an electrition before doing so., Please keep me posted, best , Frank

  236. avatar


    Sorry for the delay, your comment slipped by me. They should abandon the nest soon…if not you can remove the eggs. Problems are common with young breeders…please let me know if yo need more info, best, Frank

  237. avatar

    1 .Few minutes earlier i have again inspected the box of all three birds they have again layed eggs now they are 3 3 4. and plz tell me what should be the minimum size for housing 4 pairs of love birds. is there any problem with infertility of eggs???
    2 .There were no remains of eggs which they last time layed.
    3 .Do they eat their own eggs???

  238. avatar

    Hello Annie,

    Sorry for the delay…I missed your post somehow.

    Yes, they have abandoned the nest as the eggs have not hatched during the normal incubation period; defense is still an instinct, but it would be best to remove the eggs. Best regards, Frank

  239. avatar


    I would recommend at least 8 feet x 6 feet x 8 feet tall. Larger always preferable,. although smaller has worked…much depends on individual birds. Adequate perching, extra nest boxes (8-10), ample feeding stations, live bushes as a screen/cover if possible will help.

    They will eat their own or neighbors eggs on occasion – stress can be involved, or it may start when 1 bird breaks an egg, eats it and develops the habit.

    Infertility an be due to age (too young/old), poor nutrition or inbreeding. Please let me know if you need more info, best, Frank

  240. avatar

    Hi frank.
    Thanks for reply.just two days ago they hatched 5 chick s . some are big and some are weak and small. Female is still sitting on one last egg which i have candled and it has a chick . Now im worried if they would be able to take care of them.cuz six chicks are going to be a hectic job. Should I feed the little older chick to help out?

  241. avatar

    Hello Frank

    My two lovebird babies are now 19 and 18 days old and its their mother who is taking care of them. What i want to ask is that can i remove babies from their nest box for a while. I heard tht lovebirds abandon their babies if a human touches them. And what is the best time to remove them from the nest box to tame them? I really wanna hold them in my hands but im just afrad of their morher because she becomes very defensiveand aggressive even if i touch the cage.

    She does not let us touch herself other than that she is very nice she sits on my finger goes to everyone n enjoy being around us.

  242. avatar

    Frank i am very thankful of this useful information plz tell me what are the symptoms of egg eating and how to stop this.

  243. avatar


    It is best to let them be…6 chicks can be raised; supply the parents with ample food, including nestlig food, and they should do fine. Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  244. avatar


    This is the right age to begin handling them, however the parents are usually very defensive. Handling does not necessarily cause a bird to abandon the young, but if the adults become very stressed they may do a poor job of feeding (always watching for danger etc) and in some cases they become aggressive to the young (not common). Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules…always a judgement call. Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  245. avatar

    Providing a large, well-set up aviary and ensuring that the birds are not stressed would be the first step. Unfortunately, problems like this may still occur when multiple pairs are kept together. Also, some birds seem to be poor parents..do not incubate, eat eggs etc. This may be due to inbreeding, captive conditions, etc…not completely understood. Best regards, Frank

  246. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    please tell what i should note while purchasing a new pair of love bird ( Peach faced ).

  247. avatar


    For a mated pair, info on their history is important…ow long they have been paired, reproduction/rearing record etc. however, all can change if you mix them in with other birds, Best, Frank

  248. avatar

    Frank thank you for the information, it helped me allot now with this information i can make some modifications with the cage and the environment.
    Can i put some plants in the cage? If yes then what kind of plants will be suitable.

  249. avatar


    My pleasure; there’s some useful information on this topic here. Best, Frank

  250. avatar

    Hello Frank

    I took my 25,26 days old baby lovebirds out of their nest box for 15 to 20 mins n today i heandfed,too. Their mother gets so upset and she is not feeding them alot. Two days ago, when i took them out for the first time i noticed that my chicks’ legs are spread out ward n they cant even sit whereas i wtched many 25 days old chicks n they can even walk properly.
    How do i deal with this problem?
    Thank you so much for all your help


  251. avatar


    Unfortunately this is very difficult to correct; there are some home-type remedies – hobbles, braces etc but w/o experience it would be a difficult prospect.; also age is impt, and yours may be past the point where such techniques could work. An avian veterinarian or experienced local bird breeder would be your best option. Best, Frank

  252. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I don’t have words to thank you.
    Very useful information.
    I got my answer from comments and your replies 🙂
    My lovebird is about to give us fantastic gifts. She has laid 3 eggs.
    Will update you with pics. 🙂

  253. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words..very nice to hear.

    I look forward to updates, enjoy, Frank

  254. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    She laid 3 eggs and seems she has more.
    But i think she has some problem, she seems very lazy ,not able to eat, i am feeding her by hand. One more thing..male forced her to mate and they mate 5-6 times after laid 2 eggs within 3 days.
    Please guid me what to do.

  255. avatar


    If she has additional eggs there’s not much that can be done without a vet’s assistance. Generally a female will be straining and breathing heavy if she is egg bound. Experienced breeders can sometimes massage the area and assist the egg in passing, but this is not something to try on your own, as breaking the egg will lead to a fatal. infection. I hope all goes well, Frank

  256. avatar

    She is doing good..flying normally..but still not more interested on seeds

  257. avatar


    She’s not likely egg bound if flying about normally. I’m not sure why she wouldn’t be \feeding..they do become high-strung when breeding…perhaps watch her w/o going near cage if possible; limit work in room and in cage, etc. I hope all goes well, Frank

  258. avatar

    Hi frank, I have a 3 year old love bird that we thought was a male. Yesterday we got him a friend and immediately he held out his wings and lifted his tail as a female would do. The new love bird went to climb on his back but changed its mind and flew off. He keeps following the new love bird and holding out his wings, bending down and lifting his tail. Last night they both slept in a hollowed coconut ( his favourite bed) together and we’re making soft peeping noises. Do males present like females? Or can we be certain from behaviour that he is really a she? I have searched the Internet and can’t find any articles relating to our problem. Thanks

  259. avatar

    By the way, he is a peach face love bird. 🙂

  260. avatar

    Hello Kasandra,

    It’s a common problem, since the sexes are identical in appearance; very experienced breeders can sometimes make an accurate guess, but behavior is the best guide. Same sex pairs do form, but males rarely behave as you describe so it is most likely a female. It’s a good sign that they are getting along, whatever the sex, as they can be aggressive towards newcomers. I just posted this article on common lovebird breeding problems as well. Please keep me posted, frank

  261. avatar

    Mr Frank sir,

    I am from india i have two pair of love birds kept in a two separate cage with nest (clay pot) both the pairs are playing good and frequently entering their nest , i am providing proper foods such as grains, leaves and cuttle bone and etc. my question is how much time it will take to start the breeding (approximately they are one year old) or how i have to improve the breeding quality or behavior.climate condition in india is now 8 to 16 deg.

  262. avatar


    They are of breeding age..it’s a good sign that they get along; they will likely cycle on their own, and may begin breeding as the weather warms. However, the sexes are similar for most species (not sure which you have) and same-sex pairs will form. Please keep me posted, Frank

  263. avatar
    A. N. M. Abdur Rahim

    Hi! Mr. Frank,
    I have a pair of Lovebird Fischer, In December 2014 they laid 4 eggs, but didn’t hatched. In 2nd January they thrown 2 eggs from nest. And start meeting. Also thrown away the bushes. Then I take away all the eggs. I thought after 2/3 months they will lay egg again. On 7th January they lay egg, this time 6 eggs. Days they lays, 7,9,11,13,16 and 18. Today is 7th Feb. No baby came. They start meeting and not sitting on egg properly. What is the problem or what care should I take.
    With best regards,

    A. N. M. Abdur Rahim
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

  264. avatar


    Unfortunately the reasons for infertility can be difficult to discover. Inbreeding is possible, in which case you would not be able to correct the problem. As the birds are nesting and sitting, stress is not likely involved. A poor diet, vitamin/mineral deficiencies can be involved…perhaps review their diet, compare to what successful breeders in your area use, or post some details here and I’ll see if I can detect any possible problems. The linked articles have some additional information as well, best, frank

  265. avatar

    Wohoooo…ONE OF THE EGGS HATCHED!! its a little pink baby.
    Waiting for other 3 🙂

    Thanks Frank.

  266. avatar

    Dear Frank,
    I have a pair of lovebirds and for the last two years the female lays eggs but they don’t hatch. She keeps sitting on them but no babies emerge and the eggs go bad. I bought another pair of which one died. I think the surviving one is a male as it’s features resemble the older male and so far the older male and this one have not cosies up. Any suggestions? I am desperate for the baby love birds from my own pair.

  267. avatar

    I would also like to know if two males or two females can bond and yet lay eggs??

  268. avatar

    Nice! Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

  269. avatar

    Hello Rupesh,

    Same sex pairs do form, and since the sexes in most lovebirds (I don’t believe you mentioned the species?) are difficult to distinguish visually, this can be very confusing.

    Infertility can be a factor also…sometimes this is genetic, and cannot be remedied, other times diet can play a role. Please see this article as well as the one titled “Infertility” under Further Reading and let me know if you need further info, best, Frank

  270. avatar

    Hello Rupesh,

    Yes, same sex pairs do form, and such females often produce infertile eggs. Females kept alone may also lay (infertile) eggs. Best, Frank

  271. avatar

    Got that. What would you recommend now? The pair ( so called) is peach faced and the third bird is rosy faced.

  272. avatar

    Hello Rupesh,

    There only sure way to determine the sex is via genetic testing of a blood feather, or vet exam. Some experienced breeders are able to venture good guesses by examining the spacing between the pelvic bones…perhaps there is someone local who can do that for you. Best, Frank

  273. avatar

    Hello Frank ,
    I saw ur blog yesterday nd read ur conversations ,it s really useful for all !!!
    I m a beginner , so I hve many doubts to have a pet like love birds So plz clear me in this .
    1) cage space for couples
    2) healthy food diet ( before breeding and after breeding)
    3). For love birds breeding pot is best or wooden box is best ?
    4)Where to place the cage
    5) want to fix the light or it should be dark
    6) I hve a pet dog , BT it often shouting , so it cause any problem for birds
    7) does sand affects the birds ??

    Plz let me know this !

  274. avatar

    Hello Rajesh,

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Most lovebirds can be kept as described for the Masked Lovebird in the 2 Part article linked below; there you’ll see details re cage size, etc.

    Place the cage in the quietest part of your home; some adjust well to noisy situations, but individuals vary as to this (same applies to barking dogs).

    Your normal light cycle in the home should be fine.

    An increase in fruits and vegetables is important for breeding pairs, along with additional calcium (cuttlebone, etc) for the female.

    Here are the links, please let me know if you need more info. best, Frank:

  275. avatar
    A. N. M. Abdur Rahim

    Dear Frank,

    My male Lovebird is 3plus years. With the first pair twice get the baby. that lady bird laid 2/3 eggs. One hatch two chick but died. 2nd time one chick came. Unfortunately fly away and scape from my hand. So 100% sure, he is male. The first hen had a problem, when lays she felt sick like eclampsia. she died in July 2014. Then I bought August this hen, normally the first pair lays egg after 3/4 months gap or more and several time didn’t get any result. This pair first time lay on 28th nov ’14 and four eggs, no result 2nd issue on 7th jan’15 lays 1st egg this time six eggs. I was very hopeful, but no result. I check the eggs, they are seem nothing inside the egg but a yellow yolk and egg white. didn’t understand what to do. I feed them with Thailand’s packs with different seeds. This month provide vitamin. I gave them Calcium. From 6th Feb hen stop incubation, on 13th Feb hen lay one egg again, normally 15th expecting another, but not yet. Please suggest me.
    With best regards, Rahim/160215

  276. avatar

    Hello Rahim,
    Unfortunately it is difficult to find the cause of this problem. The female may have fertility problems…only some eggs being fertile, or the male may be infertile. This can be due to genetics (inbreeding, perhaps) , nutrition or other factors that are hard to determine without a veterinary exam. Stress during the breeding season (noise etc) may also contribute. Extra fruits and vegetables along with calcium are useful for breeders, but add these slowly if new to the diet, to avoid digestive upset. Perhaps speak with local successful breeders to see if any specific foods are used as what works will vary by locale. Please keep me posted, Frank

  277. avatar

    Hi, I have a pair of Fischer’s Lovebird(eyering).. lasr December 2014, I noticed it layed about 8 eggs and unfortunately, non has hatched.. some of my friends told me they might be both hen… but early part this January 2015, I saw them feeding each other.. And I even saw them several times mating.. same bird I suspected as cock oftenly I seen on top.. they are doing it for almost 5 consecutive days or maybe more which I might not noticed… My question is, Will both hen really mate? In what way they will mate? I mean, Is it the same mating process as the way male and female pairs do? I have already asked these questions in many bird forums but I dont get the answers.. I myself cant believe if a both hen will mate.. this is why I am asking it here.. thanks…

  278. avatar


    They can be confusing! Same sex pairs do form, and the birds may feed and preen each other, build a nest and produce eggs. However, the eggs will be infertile (amazingly, some species of lizards and snakes are able to reproduce without copulating..female produces “clones”, for lack of a better word! But birds are not able to do this..as far as we know!).

    In same sex pairs, however, the birds do not usually go through the motions of copulating, in the way you describe..generally just feeding, preening etc. It’s not unheard of, but rare.

    You may have a pair, but one or both may be infertile. Watch that the female does not become egg-bound and unable to pass the eggs…she will strain, stay on cage bottom, become weak. Please see this article for more on the causes of infertility and let me know if you need more info, best, Frank

  279. avatar

    Hello Frank ,
    Can u suggest me the name of non- toxic trees nd non-toxic paints

  280. avatar

    why do my love birds keep fighting at first they were cool and now they keep fighting and i dont know what to do can you please help me

  281. avatar


    Lovebirds can be difficult to keep together. I do not know what species you have, but in most it is very hard to tell male from female. Same sex pairs do form, but same sex birds may also fight. If you have a male and female, fighting can break out if one is ready to breed, but the other is not. Hormonal changes in the birds as they enter breeding condition results in fighting among birds that got along well in the past. best to separate them and try re-introducing slowly after 2 weeks or so..put cages near one another before introducing. If they continue to fight, injuries and stress-related health disorders will result. Best, Frank

  282. avatar

    My love birds have 2 times egg,but both time don’t have chicks,i don’t understand why?

  283. avatar


    i have 4 budgies, 2- male and 2- females.
    One of female laid egg on 14th feb, 20th and 21st feb. she was sitting on egg till yesterday. she has thrown away 2 eggs out of nest. she takea bath in bowl kept for drinking water. this is unusal as she has never done that. i hv seen her mating. she is 1st time mother.

    i have put those 2 egg back but she is not sitting on them for long like before. pls help.

  284. avatar


    It is common for first time breeders to discard eggs and produce infertile eggs..most improve over time. It is best not to return discarded eggs, as this will stress her. She’ll likely abandon the others shortly if they do not hatch on time. Best, Frank

  285. avatar


    Infertility is common, and can be related to a number of conditions. Please see this article. Also, lovebirds will form same-sex pairs; the sexes are hard for us to distinguish by appearance, so you may have 2 females. If you see them copulating, then you likely have a male, but either he or the female may be infertile. Please let me know if you need more info., frank

  286. avatar

    We inheritted a breading pair of peach faced lovebirds. They laid 4 eggs and only 2 hatched (almost a week apart). The younger chick died about a week ago. The other chick seemed to be going well but the mother has started plucking feathers out of it. Tonight there were some very distressing noises coming out of the nest box from the baby and alot more feathers seemed to have been pulled. I was concerned for the chicks welfare so removed the mother just leaving the father with the chick. It is only about 3.5 weeks old. Will the father feed and take care of the chick properly, I have never hand fed before.

  287. avatar

    Hello Carson,

    Hard to explain why this happens…sometimes stress, but some females just seem never to raise young. It would be best to let the male try..hand rearing is difficult, even with experience. Let me know how all goes..I can try to find a local bird club that may be able to help if the male does not do well. best. Frank

  288. avatar

    Well the baby survived the night with dad and so I went and got some formula and instructions for feeding (from a experienced breeder) just in case. After about 16hrs from when I pulled mum out the baby was looking very lethagic and the crop looked empty so I decided to feed chick. It fed really easily using a dropper and seemed very hungry. I then put it back into nesting box but I have not seen dad go back in box since so it looks like this little one will now be hand fed. Mum and dad also seem to be fretting for each other quite a bit so I think I will remove baby to look after and put mum and dad back together (without a nesting box). Thanks for the advice, please know I am only doing this as I feel it is best for the baby. I was hoping that the parents would be doing all the hard work.

    Can I ask, in a couple of weeks when the baby would normally fledge can I put baby back in with mum and dad, I plan to place baby in cage next to them for periods during the day, I was hoping this way it will still learn from them about other foods.

  289. avatar

    Hello Carson,

    Sounds like your off to a good start…having a breeder to rely upon is ideal.

    Captive conditions change much about their behavior, so it’s very hard to predict what will happen if you re-introduce. Most likely they will not accept the young bird, Housing nearby may be useful, although if it stresses parents or chick you’ll need to move the cages apart, or even to another room . Hand-reared birds can make good pets for the right person, so that may be an option. Good luck and please keep me posted, frank

  290. avatar

    My black move birds are throwing their eggs from the nest since long time. what should i do????

  291. avatar


    This is sometimes due to stress…noisy environment, improper nest box; eggs that are infertile will also be tossed ,, usually after the incubation periods has passed. Unfortunately, some captive-born birds just seem never to be able to incubate or raise young..the reasons are not clear, inbreeding has been suggested as one possibility. Best, Frank

  292. avatar

    Hello! Thank you so much for all of the valuable information you provide. Your posts have helped us so much over the last year. Here’s my question: I have a male/female pair of peach faced lovebirds, year and a half old, recently laid 5 eggs and 4 hatched. The babies are growing nicely, with the first two hatching on Feb. 19th and the others following two days and four days later. All has been fine with mother and father taking care of babies. One morning about a week ago, i noticed some blood in the nesting box, but could not find the source of it. This morning, however, we awakened to find our male with a bloody hole on his side, clearly from an attack of the female. What should we do? Remove the male, remove the female, or try something else? We are so sad…they have been such a bonded pair that this attack has just come out of the blue. I know I’ve read some of your posts that talk about hormones and aggression. I’m just not sure which bird to remove from the babies. Thank you so much for any advice you can give.

  293. avatar

    Hi Camille,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    It’s best to remove the male; captivity changes their normal behavior…limited living space, hormonal changes as you mentioned, etc. Females usually do fine alone, just be sure to provide plenty of extra food, calcium. Enjoy and pl keep me posted, Frank

  294. avatar

    Thanks, Frank. You are an amazing help, and I appreciate the fact that you’re willing to share your many years of learning so freely to those of us who have questions. You are a blessing!

  295. avatar

    Much thanks!…my pleasure, I hope all goes well, frank

  296. avatar

    thanks for your kind response…:) there is no noisy environment. there is one parent pair with their kids, kids are also on breeding. both pairs are laying eggs regularly but have been throwing eggs for 1 year. Their cage size is 3 ft wide and 2.5 feet high and they have separate incubation boxes. i am giving them sunflower seeds and millet. what should i do now??? what are symptoms of infertility??? how can infertility be treated???

  297. avatar

    thanks for your kind response. There is no noise. i have two pairs, parents and their kids. Both are breeding. Their cage size is 3 feet wide and 2.5 feet high.they have separate incubation boxes. they have been laying eggs for 1 year and throwing. i am giving them sunflower seeds, calcium and mullet. sunlight is good, air is good but temperature is 13 to 1 degree Celsius in my area during winter.i observed the yolk of egg which has brown spot, sometime i thought that it is blastoderm, and egg has been incubated for 4 days and then thrown, what may be the reason????

  298. avatar


    Cage size may be the problem…you can keep 2 pairs together, sometimes, but a very large area with plenty of branches, extra nest boxes and flying space is needed. The birds sometimes attack others nests, or the parents themselves may throw the eggs as a reaction to overcrowding, etc.

    Infertility can be due to many reasons, most often genetic, and is very hard to diagnose even with a veterinarian’s assistance. Reproductive diseases/disorders may also be involved. Please see this article.

    In cases of infertility, the eggs are usually incubated for the full term, then the eggs are tossed or the nest is abandoned. if they are destroyed quickly, it is likely due to stress, aggression, etc.

    I would vary the diet as well, but that is not likely the cause of this problem. best, frank

  299. avatar

    Hello I have a question about my love birds.
    My lovebird laid her first egg about 23 days ago. The male and female were going into the nest for the whole incubation period. However, today they have stopped going in the nest. I have not seen them in their nest all day. I am worried the eggs may die because of this. Is it normal for them to stop going into the nest towards the end of the incubation period? Because of this I have checked the eggs for the first time as some say that if you hold a light towards the egg you can see if the egg is fertile.
    I noticed that 3 of the 4 eggs were fertile as they have the veins and the egg is completely full of the mass.
    If the birds have abandoned their eggs ..is it too late for me to save them?

  300. avatar


    They usually abandon if the eggs do not hatch on time…23 days would be the hatch date expected for the first egg, others after that, so it is a little early for them to be abandoning the nest. But first time breeders often experience problems, which are generally corrected over time. I would leave them for several more days, as it’s difficult to hatch in an incubator and hand rear. Stress will also cause them to leave the nest…best not to look in on eggs or handle them. best, frank

  301. avatar

    Hi Frank, I’ve been trying to find someone for some advise. I got my male lovebird back in July(2014). A young girl owned him for about 8 months he was roughly 1.5 yr old. I then bought him a gf in December. She was roughly 10months old. They seemed to have bonded well and although I haven’t had their DNA tested the each exhibit all characteristics of their sexes. I got them a nesting box towards the end of January. Nothing as of yet for eggs but I have in the past few days caught the male trying to breed her. So my questions are has she not produced eggs as of yet because she wasn’t ready age wise? I’m hoping it’s not because she’s male also because I’m pretty certain she’s not. How long does it usually take a newly bonded pair to start to produce eggs? I’m going to keep closer watch now that I have seen him trying to breed her. They are in a warm room and I make sure to get as much sunlight in as I can. I read that helps promote spring as well as fruit but they have no interest in fruit I’ve tried to provide them. Any tips would help thanks! 🙂

  302. avatar

    Hi Kim,

    Female should be sexually mature but some take a bit longer, and first attempts often do not work out…sometimes you see nest abandonment etc also. Manipulating light cycles can be useful, but once ready they usually will nest regardless. New foods take time, may need to cut back on favs. Same sex pairs will form, and it can be difficult to sex them via behavior…the individual trying to copulate would be a male, though. best, Frank

  303. avatar


    I have a pair of loverbirds who have successfully bred. She lay 8 eggs and so far 4 have hatched. I was wondering how long can they all live together in one cage (I realise that will depend on the size of the cage) and is it appropriate to house siblings together or should they be separated once old enough, and what would that age be.

    Thank you in advance.

  304. avatar

    Hi frank my lady love bird layed 3 eggs..but within 2..3 dayz ..d eggs r out from the breeding box n d lady bird isbuzy in d other breeding box pecking the wood wat shud I do about the eggs

  305. avatar

    Hello Gordana,

    They can be left with the parents for 2 weeks after fledging, at which time they are usually eating on their own. Some get along after that, but often 1 or both parents will try to drive them off. Watch them even prior to the 2 week period, as captivity changes natural behavior.

    The young usually get along well, but will start breeding by age 1 year, and sometime earlier – 8 months or so. Enjoy, Best, frank

  306. avatar


    Best to discard the eggs as she will not re-incubate them. Young females often have trouble with their first nesting attempts. Birds may also toss eggs if they are stressed (noise, nest-egg checking by owner etc) or if the box or cage does not suit them, Unfortunately, some females never seem to raise young. Please let me know if you need more info, best, Frank

  307. avatar

    Hi frank I have a proven breeding pair and my female laid one egg Saturday and one Monday she laid on them for about a day and and a half then came out and goes back in on occasion, I felt the eggs today and they we’re cold, my question is will they still hatch and is this normal? Is there anything I should do?

  308. avatar

    Hello Miranda,

    Captivity changes their behavior, and some females, especially first time breeders, do not incubate properly. Stress (noise, owner checking nest etc) can also cause nest abandonment). Best to leave the pair alone, limit cleaning and time in the room..perhaps she has more eggs to deposit. Please keep me posted, frank

  309. avatar

    Thanks for your help, I do have a follow up question though, when you state “The young usually get along well, but will start breeding by age 1 year, and sometime earlier – 8 month” are the siblings allowed to breed with each other or should they be separated and found a mate with a bird that is from a different nest/parents? We are not interesting in breeding really just want to know what is best for the birds as we are more than likely going to find a new home for them and don’t know whether to send them away singly or as pairs.

    Thanks again for your time and help.

  310. avatar


    My pleasure…best to separate them and to pair with an un-related bird. First crosses (between relatives) are usually not a problem but many pet trade lineages are already inbred, so it’s a good idea to find homes for them soon after they are independent, and before they reach sexual maturity. Enjoy and please keep me posted, frank

  311. avatar

    I love your site!! Iwas given 2 pairs of LB 2 years ago but one of each pair died so for about a year a blue onr &a peach face lived together inthe usual fiesty love way !!The green one was almost completely bald for 6 months but is now as handsome as ever it was always perky when bald so we carried on as normal! they free fly in my sunroom where they use their cage as base I never feed them anywhere elseand the same when they go outside in the summer months.They are delinquents! and wreckers and very clever at letting themselves out they fly down to the village pub where they to have LB but come home quickly and go into their cage thank goodness !i do not encourage this ang their quarters are very secure normally.
    this week for a bit enrichment I put awooden nestbox in their cage the green bird made the hole much bigger and today the blue one has been taking little twigs in from around the sunroom which she soaks and washes in ther large bath bowl before hand . sorry this so long but my little vandles are such a hoot !x

  312. avatar

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for the kind words! Quite amazing that they fly off and return…I’ve read of such with other birds, but have only once seen it first hand, and thi was with a hand-reared crow given semi-liberty. Very nice to read your unique story.

    Females sometimes soak bark and branches and they use these to raise nest humidity…I wonder if what you see is related?

    Enjoy, Frank

  313. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    I just have a couple questions. Will same sex lovebirds have sex? Also, we noticed an egg in the nest box this morning, but we need to add padding under the nest, because the egg is sitting on the wood. Is it OK to remove the egg and nest, add the 3 inches of padding and then put the nest and egg back? I thought this would be better to do before more eggs are laid. Please advise, best regards, Alan

  314. avatar

    Hi Alan,

    They can be confusing in captivity…same sex pairs will form, and you’ll see preening, feeding/begging etc but actual copulation is rare.

    Best not to disturb the egg, even if infertile..stresses female, causes her to toss the egg and may lead to retention of other eggs. They do not make much of a nest, just some shredded bark as a platform. Provide some dry and slightly moist wood chips or bark..collect or use any sold for reptiles, along with some shredded paper towels; they will carry into box if needed. Avoid looking in box, etc, and please keep me posted, enjoy, frank

  315. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    We have two 9 month old lovebirds . They are my daughter’s.They have laid eggs twice so far . 1st batch didn’t hatch,but we didn’t check the eggs after.
    Now the second batch didn’t hatch after a month starting from the last laid egg. We candled and opened them and there was dead chicks with green material around them.
    One of the blogs said this can happen if they are related. Is this true?
    We are not into breeding but we don’t want to keep them from their natural life.I am concerned for the female’s health as well.
    Is she going to keep laying eggs or is it seasonal?Is feeding seeds and sprouts enough?
    We are all so sad.

    Thank you,

  316. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the quick response and the advice. Since we have observed them copulating several times, I’m gonna assume that they are not a same sex pair. Their behavior and physical characteristics suggest one is a male and the other is female, but we weren’t quite sure because the one who we think is the male tucks the nesting material in his feathers and carries them to the box, which I thought was a female role. Other than that, all other signs suggest he is a male, so I guess we will find out for sure if we see more than one clutch of eggs or if they don’t hatch. Anyhow, I did as you advised and placed more nesting material in the cage, and they are carrying it into the box. I didn’t think they would continue building the nest with an egg in it, but apparently they know what to do better than I. Thanks again for your advice, and I will post an update in the near future.

  317. avatar

    Hi Alan,

    My pleasure. Females generally carry, but hybrids exhibit “confused” building techniques, as behavior appears genetically controlled. Many pet trade lines of various species have been hybridized in the past..this may not be evident in birds’ appearances. Hope all goes well, frank

  318. avatar

    Hello Sepideh,

    Inbreeding, esp. long term, can lead to infertility or hatch failures, but there are many other possibilities; a good avain vet can check for some but not all.

    “i’m not sure what species you keep, but most can be fed as described in the 2 part article linked below.

    They sometimes will continually breed, which drains the female. be sure she is getting plenty of calcium (cuttlebone, supplements); removing the nest box sometimes inhibits breeding.

    Please let me know if you need more info, frank

  319. avatar

    G’day Frank,

    We have recently purchased 2 sets of lovebirds. One couple is a bit aggressive towards the other but they are in a cage with plenty of space and no bird looks agitated by the arrangement.

    What’s caught my attention though, is within one couple, one of the birds will not let its partner into the nest box. Ive begun checking up on them every night before bed and this one bird sleeps outside the box all on its own. Also today I witnessed it go into the box and its partner pushed it out biting at it and they had a bit of an argument with no injuries.

    I’m unsure of which bird is female and which male but they seem quite happy during the day together going about their activities.

    I’m hoping for a little insight if you can please, I feel bad for the little fella!


  320. avatar

    Hi Cassie,

    You didn’t mention the species but captivity changes the behavior of all – females or males may come into breeding condition before a potential mate, which results in fights, same sex pairs form and nesting/rearing behavior may be “off”…some never seem to get it right. As long as they are not fighting, no need to worry about them now…a female may be getting ready to nest, at which time some keep the male out of the box. Keep a close eye on them, though, especially if a pair does show signs of breeding. Multiple pairs can be kept in large aviaries with plenty of space, extra nest boxes etc, but if they are in a standard cage aggression is almost sure to follow; best to have another cage ready. Please keep me posted, enjoy, frank

  321. avatar

    Hi frank I live in Ireland. I have a mixed aviary containing both fisher and peach faced lovebirds..unfortunately a peach and fisher have paired and produced four chicks.the chicks resemble fisher in appearance.my question is are these young birds sterile.i intend to separate both species after chicks are independent.i must say that the blog is very informative….regards Brian

  322. avatar

    Hello Brian,

    Sorry for the delay, your comment slipped past me somehow. They are usually fertile, as the species are fairly closely related. However, inbreeding within each line (of either or both species) can reduce fertility…hard to predict unless there are detailed records re each birds origin. Are lovebirds popular in Ireland in general?…what other species of cage birds are commonly kept. Let me know if you need anything, best regards, frank

  323. avatar

    Hey frank..thanks for the reply..yes lovebirds are very poplar pets as are budgies,canaries and the various finches.i keep budgies,canaries,cockatiels and zebra finches also.all one needs is plenty of time especially at this time of year..best wishes..brian

  324. avatar

    Dear Brian,
    I am John from Delhi, India. I have two love birds that are grey in color with white on its beak. I dont know which breed it is? I would like to know which is the best homely kind of love bird which will mingle with the people. These birds I have are so scared. Even after being with me for more than a year they are so. These birds are big enough but they dont breed. I had another pair of birds which someone stole (this happens in India) and once I saw one of the grey mating those yellow colored birds. The female laid eggs but never sat on it. I am not able to understand how to know if the present grey ones are male or female. Do you sell love birds to India? I feel that most of the love birds that we get here are ones that are not looked after well and so remain scared for life. Kindly advise. Thanks Brian as this blog is very informative.

  325. avatar

    Hello John,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Unfortunately there is no one species of lovebird more likely to become accustomed to people than others. Much depends on early history..as you suspect, thse raised under bad conditions almost never calm down as adults, The best wat=y is to find a private breeder who hand rears the birds or else handles chicks while they are still in the nest…takes a great deal of work.

    Lovebird sexes are almost impossible to differentiate by sight. Some experienced breeders can venture good guesses, based on space between hip bones, but mistakes are common. To complicate matters, same sex pairs may form in captivity, with one acting like a male and the other a female. Sorry I could not be of more help, best, frank

  326. avatar

    Thanks, Brian, I don’t have many contacts in Ireland, good to know. During my early years at the Bronx Zoo, 2 of the best old time bird keepers were from Ireland; both had bred canaries since childhood, I learned a great deal from them, and enjoyed their amusing but true insights into all sorts of matters as well! Best regards, Frank

  327. avatar

    hello frank.
    i have a pair of Fischer’s lovebird and they give 4 eggs 30 days ago and they are not lay their egg what should i do please help me

  328. avatar

    Hello Abid,

    If 30 days have passed since the eggs were deposited, they are most likely infertile. Usually the birds will abandon the nest on their own, or you can leave for a few more days and then remove the eggs, Best to let the birds leave on their own if possible though, as removing can be stressful. Best, frank

  329. avatar

    thank you so much frank i was worry about my birds and you solve my problem and last thing i would like to tell you that we adopt our lovebird when they already give eggs and we adopt them with eggs.and again thank you so much Frank sir 🙂

  330. avatar

    My pleasure, Abid…the move may have caused them to stop incubating for awhile, which can cause eggs to stop developing. Hopefully when they settle in they will breed again, please keep me posted, enjoy, frank

  331. avatar

    so what i’ll do next remove eggs or leave them thank you so much sir Frank and last thing i would ask that i build very beautiful and big cage so i want to change their home where already i pair living and 2 nest box extra cage size is 6ft ×6ft so can i mov them with their nest box or wait for few days for eggs.

  332. avatar

    Hello Abid,

    Glad the info was useful. It would be best to move them after they abandon the eggs or you remove the eggs. They do nest near others of their kind in the wild, but in captivity pairs do not always get along…especially if 1 pair is already resident, as they become territorial. It sometimes works in very large aviaries with plenty of bushes, etc to break up the area, and at least 2-3 boxes provided per pair. So watch them carefully, and be aware that they may get along until 1 female lays eggs again. Please keep me posted, I hope all goes well, frank

  333. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    I found your blog very interesting and useful, thank you for posting your information.
    I had one serious question I was hoping you could answer about my lovebirds. I got two, a male and female, some years ago and they tried to breed several times. The first time they did it was last year where the female produced a brood of about 5 eggs. We were overjoyed and waited for the little chicks to hatch but after the first little chick did come out of the shell, when we next went to see how the couple were getting on, we found the chick dead and removed from the nest by the mother, with apparent bite marks near its beak. We thought it just a one off, maybe the chick died soon after hatching so the mother removed it, but the same thing happened with the second that hatched. After that we decided to remove the three other chicks immediately after they hatched and incubate/hand rear them to avoid the risk that the mother killed them as well. I was wondering if it were possible that the mother did kill the chicks? Is it that she’s inexperienced in how to feed young lovebirds or should she know due to instinct? This year she’s laid another brood and i’m worried whether I should let her try to rear them or if the same thing will happen? I’d hate to see the little chicks leave this world after only so recently coming into it.

    Thank you
    Sincerely, Mani

  334. avatar

    Hello Mani,

    Thanks for the kind words. Inexperienced females may kill the young, usually if they are stressed by nest checks, noise, etc. Some females always seem to kill or abandon the young…not well understood, but captive conditions, inbreeding etc likely plays a role. best to let her try again…service cage quickly, quietly, limit noise /activity near the area if possible. I hope all goes well, frank

  335. avatar

    Hi Frank!
    How long do the parents stay in the nest to feed and keep the baby warm?
    Cause I have a pair of lovebirds with a baby of 2 weeks, and since yesterday they have started mating again, and they’re almost never in the nest…
    Is this normal? What should I do?

  336. avatar

    Hello Joana,

    The parents will spend less time in the nest as the chick grows, but they should still be feeding it at this point, as the chick does not leave the nest and begin feeding on its own until it is 35-50 days old, on average. best, Frank

  337. avatar

    Thank you for your quick anwser!
    And how do I know if they’re feeding the baby? The parents seems to eat a lot less, but the chick doesn’t make noises… Does he cry when he’s hungry??

    Thanks again!

  338. avatar


    Your welcome..the chick should be making noises…perhaps it did not survive; it may be best to take a quick look inside at some point—this usually upsets the parents, so it is a bit of a gamble; – so you may prefer to wait a few more days before checking, best, frank

  339. avatar

    Dear Frank,
    My lovebird that I had hand fed and raised (its a year old now) laid an egg. I have been reading the horror stories about egg binding etc and have been fearful since i pretty much identified the wing raised thing that female lovebirds in heat do. I had raised it with a older male budgie, when suddenly it became hormonal and started to bite it. So i had to buy a cage and separate them.

    Question: How do i make it stop laying? Do I move the budgie far away?

    I am aware that the budgie do tend to feed it but then it had always done that since it was a baby (they pretty much spent all their time together other than the time i had the lovebird with me.) I had always been so careful when i fed it as a baby by reading forums about bad crops etc and experiencing many sleepless nights, i want my lovie to be okay and there are no proper vets in the Maldives.

    Also I am currently raising a flighted fledgeling cocktiel so I might not be as attentive as I used to be. But everyone do get about 12 hours of sunlight except the cocktiel. And plenty of flight time as everyone is fully flighted (I dont believe in wings clipping). My lovie is fed seed mix with dried fruit bits and occasional apple/corn/brocolli. Also I have switched the cages and toys of the budgie and Lovie ,as well have been checking for any eggs every now then.

    Sorry for the long essay, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  340. avatar

    Hello Marsa,

    Females will develop and lay eggs even without the presence of a male, so it is not definite that the presence of the parakeet is causing her to produce eggs…it can be a factor, but not necessarily. The presence of a nest box can also stimulate breeding behavior. You might try removing the other bird from the room, but a good diet and long sunny days will play a role in bringing her into breeding condition, probably to a greater extent than does the keet’s presence.

    Be sure she gets plenty of calcium and stay alert for signs of straining, etc…but egg binding is generally not related to the lack of a mate.

    I hope all goes well, frank

  341. avatar

    I have one baby lovebird and 2 unhatched eggs. My question is do I need to supply the mommy and daddy birds with any special seed or formula to feed their hatchlings or is the regular lovebird food fine for them to regurgitate, any advice soon would be helpful as it is Sunday and the pet stores are closed.

  342. avatar

    Hi Teresa,

    They will provide the bulk of the chicks’ diet via seed, but should also be given hard-boiled egg, ground with the shell if possible. If you cannot grind the shells, mix some finely crushed cuttlebone and/or powdered calcium in with the eggs. Enjoy, please keep me posted, frank

  343. avatar

    Yes I have just ground up a hard boiled egg and shell in my ninja grinder and set it on top of their regular feed so they know what to do also put some grapes in there. Wondering also how old should the baby’s be before we clean the cage we change paper in bottom lately but that is all. I know I probably need to get some bedding so the baby does not get flat feet, hoping to get one more birth soon…one egg has been moved but there is still one right close to the new baby.

  344. avatar

    Hello Teresa,

    Best to disturb as little as possible, some lovebirds become stressed, abandon nests otherwise. Provide some wood chips etc, but let parents take it into nest themselves, enjoy, frank

  345. avatar

    Thanks Frank, will keep you updated.

  346. avatar

    Hi .
    i have 10 pairs in my colony breeding, in that 5 r confirm pair. and remaining pairs r semi adult. i could see my birds mating but still its collecting neem sticks to the breeding box. my question is i heard after successful breeding it lays egg in 10 days but even mating its collecting sticks to the next box. i wanna know how long it will collect sticks and when it will lay eggs.

  347. avatar

    Hello Lawrence,

    It’s not possible to give an accurate time period, as captivity changes their natural behavior and many factors affect the nesting process…availability of nest sites, disturbance by other pairs stealing nest material, etc….they generally sort things out well in large aviaries, just watch for aggression once eggs are produced. Enjoy, Frank

  348. avatar

    Hello Frank it has been a week since my one lovebird was born there is one more egg she is sitting on right by the one hatched he is growing. My question is when should I remove the egg to candle it, or if I don’t will it rot in there or will they eat it. And what should I do? I don’t want to disturb them if its fertile they both seem to have hope, but there were only three eggs laid in the first place. I do live in Southern Illinois, wondering about a brooder if the other one hatches do to size, 1st baby growing fast. And when should I get the baby out to interact with me? Also this is there second attempt they are only a little over a year old the first attempt produced an infertile egg. What month would be the best here to try for my 3rd and last attempt this year for more babies?

  349. avatar

    Hello Teresa,

    The eggs are generally deposited every other day, and hatch in that order..this should give you an idea as to whether they are fertile or not. If infertile, they can be removed when parents are out of the nest and if this can be done without undue stress…disturbing them too much at this point may cause nest abandonment. I’d see how they do rearing the chick before planning on future broods; (they may nest again once chick fledges); best, frank

  350. avatar

    Dear Frank,
    I have two pair of peach faced love birds, one pair is mating for an year and they never lay eggs.

    Other pair laid 5 eggs last time and none of them hatched, and i never saw them mating. Please help me.


  351. avatar

    Hello George,

    There can be many reasons behind birds failing to mate, or producing infertile eggs…in some cases, a same sex pair will form, or there may be a physical problem. Please see the 2 articles below and let me know if you need more info, best, frank:


  352. avatar


    I have a blue dutch lovebird and a peach faced lovebird. They seem to bond very well. Today i came back home from my vacation and i found 3 eggs in the cage. 2 in the nest and 1 at the bottom. I don’t know if i should pick the egg up and put it in the nest or leave it as it is . Could you please help me with some advise????????

  353. avatar


    Best to discard the egg..returning to the nest may disturb the pair, causing them to toss other eggs or abandon altogether. I hope all goes well, please keep me posted, frank

  354. avatar

    Thanks for replying so quickly! But as I was going to take the egg out of the cage I found it all broken up. I think my lovebirds (Starly and Zapdos) broke the egg. I don’t know if it’s something that happens regularly when a egg is out of the nest. But I will take the broken egg out and let them continue to nurse the 2 good egg.

  355. avatar

    My pleasure…they sometimes toss eggs if nest site is too small, they are disturbed or perhaps egg was deposited outside nest originally..captivity changes their behaviors, and some young birds fail at first attempts..enjoy, frank

  356. avatar

    Hi again Frank,

    I just have a few questions to ask about lovebirds when it comes to breeding time. My female lovebird is laying eggs but i don’t think she is finished laying as yet. She is very moody and she is not as energetic as before. I was just wondering if it’s normal for a female lovebird too be out of the nest while it’s still laying eggs. And another question, how do male lovebirds fertilize the eggs ??? Can you please help me ?


  357. avatar


    She may be in and out before the clutch is complete, and then settle down to incubate for longer periods.

    Copulation is extremely rapid, just a few seconds. The male mounts the female and presses his cloaca to hers (the sex organs are internal..externally, the 2 sexes appear identical). Sperm is transferred directly from the male’s cloaca to the females. I hope all goes well, frank

  358. avatar

    I need some advise.
    I have a problem with one of my lovebird pairs; she is blue (hybrid) and he is peach faced lovebird. She lays eggs (about 4) and stay on them for a month but she has a lower hatch rate (Just a pair last year); she tries every month and nothing; someone recommended to replace the male for one of her children and I did it; that person told me that the new embryos are expected to be stronger. is this true? is this right? any recommendation?


  359. avatar

    Hi Adrian,

    Low fertility is common in pets…inbred lines, diet, etc.; no effective way to trace reason w/o history of the birds, and lab tests. In general, crossing with a relative would increase the chances of a harmful mutation, and should be avoided…I’m not sure why someone would recommend this, especially as most captive lovebirds are already highly-inbred…best, Frank

  360. avatar

    Well she laid three eggs, one hatched. Baby “Piper” is 2 1/2 weeks old now, I have taken him out since he was 12 days old for 30 min at a time each day. We cleaned the nesting box and nest out at 15 days old and replaced nest with a bottom layer of felt. He seems healthy is not standing yet much and his talons don’t appear strong. Should I put wood shavings in or is my husband right and just leave the felt in?

  361. avatar

    Hi Teresa,

    Good to hear…please let me know how it goes with the daily handling – a very promising technique.

    Shavings are all I’ve had experience with…important in preventing splay-leg; I’m not sure about felt. Best, Frank

  362. avatar

    Thanks Frank,

    Following my question… is it ok to unbound that pair, replace the male by another male with no relation to the female? will she bound to the new male?


  363. avatar

    Hi Adrian,

    No way to predict the outcome, unfortunately…it would be risky, so if you try be prepared to split the birds and return original. Best to try this after all signs of breeding behavior have passed,. best, frank

  364. avatar

    Hey Frank,

    It’s been like 4 days since my lovebird laid her first 2 eggs. I still havent seen her in her nest incubating the eggs. She just stands right in the front of the nest sitting there. She only goes inside the nest to sleep at night but, she did that since she was little. Do you have any idea what is happening ???


  365. avatar


    Young or first-time breeders sometimes fail to incubate or rear the young…in most cases, this changes over time. Leave the eggs for awhile, she may still try. Watch that she does not have a retained egg…if so, she will become listless, strain, breath heavy and usually stay on the cage bottom. I hope all goes, well, let me know if you need more info, frank

  366. avatar

    Hello sir,
    Sir I’m confused that what my lovebird pair doing !female give 3 egg and then she start mating with another male and a father of that 3 egg regularly going in the next and mother make new nest with new male.what happened next father lay his egg it will hatch or not and last time thet also give egg and they don’t lay it.

  367. avatar

    It is difficult to breed them in group situations unless you have a huge aviary…better results if single pairs are kept. I hope all goes well, let me know if you need more info, frank

  368. avatar

    So what should i do? and male regularly going to the nest for egg and they are 2nd time breeder parents and now female start mating with new male so i should separate both in new small cage and last thing i wanna ask what will happened to my egg and old male. Male can lay the egg and he is not allow anyone to come near the nest and most time male in his nest with egg and my bird home size is 5ft by 5ft and for 2 pair i add 5 nest box.

  369. avatar


    Hard to say, but pair with eggs should not be moved…not sure I understand about the other, but if male is not letting female in box, it will probably not hatch. best, frank

  370. avatar

    My baby piper will be 4 weeks old on Saturday, have replaced felt with pine shavings seems to be walking better, my first question is when should he start to fledge or fly and should I move the nesting box lower to the bottom for this safety? I have continued the daily handling of him for short periods during the day his parents seem okay with me handling him and putting him back in his nesting box. I have also made a playpen for him with wood chips and a clear box around the size of 2 shoe boxes and about just 10″ high in which he gets some exercise. Has taken to me well and seems really tame. And what kind of toys should I get for his playpen?

  371. avatar

    Sounds like you’re doing a great job.

    Best not to move the nest box, could stress the adults.

    There’s a wide range of possible fledging times…usually given as age 35-50 days, but can be shorter or longer due to influence of many aspects of care, captive conditions.

    Any commercial bird toy, fruit tree branches with leaves/buds etc will be fine.

    Enjoy, frank

  372. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading as much as I could from your great responses to all of those questions! I have two if you would be so kind. My first question is, I have three lovebirds. They all seem to get along. The yellow lovie shares her time between the two green. She recently laid two eggs on the bottom of the cage and she and the lighter green Lovie have been cuddling a lot more and he’s been feeding her and preening her while she sits on the eggs. Now that they are a “couple ” the other green lovie seems to be left out and “lonely”. Is that possible? The second question is, I ordered a nesting box, can I move the eggs From the floor into the box Without her abandoning them? Thank you! !

  373. avatar

    Hello Jennifer,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    It can be difficult to keep a trio – aggression is common, or odd bird out may interfere with rearing young. Best to have cage handy in case you need to separate.

    Same sex pairs do form (sexes are hard to distinguish visually) and females will lay infertile eggs, so be aware of this possibility.

    Hard to say re moving the eggs…most will become stressed, some will adjust. But it will be hard for them to hatch and raise young on ground..chicks often become splay-legged if not in a nest box, pair is usually always ill at ease in open. I’d say move the eggs…if they are a true pair, she;ll produce another clutch if this one is abandoned. best, frank

  374. avatar

    Greetings, sir,
    I have some problems and difficulties with the pair of lovebirds right now.. They had four eggs, one was broken, the other unfertile and the two hatched. However one hatchling died and the other survived. Before this, the male father used to try and attack the only hatchling, whereas the mother wouldn’t. But now, both are trying to attack him/her. Is there any way to fix this?

  375. avatar


    Unfortunately, this is common and difficult to understand..affected by stress, inbreeding , cage size and other factors. There’;s no way to change their behavior now..in future, pairing with different mates, a larger cage, can be useful, but not always. hand rearing is difficult..best to contact a local parrot club/interest group etc for help if you’re not experienced…they often have adoption services or folks who can provide training,. best, frank

  376. avatar

    Please I really need your help. I had two lovely lavendar love birds. I watched the female go into the nest and noticed she layed two eggs this was 10 days ago. Today is sunday. This past friday i changed their water and fed them fresh food, but it was raining and i covered them so they wouldnt be cold. This morning I noticed my male love bird seemed stressed(his little leg was bitten, and his hair was messy). So i thought i better check on the female and its eggs. I had not opened the nest only would see the little eggs through the hole. I opened the nest the female bird was dead and her wing covering the eggs. I want to SAVE the eggs. I forgot to mention that i had the pair of lavendar love birds and one female yellow red lovebird. I’m noticing that the female yellow bird goes in and out of the nest, but doesn’t stay in the nest how could i HELP them. thank you

  377. avatar

    Hello Susana,

    You dind’t mention the species, but unfortunately this is common, especially when several are kept together…stress, cage size etc are all factors; inbreeding may be involved as well. It ‘s best to house pairs separately unless you have a very large aviary. The eggs would not likely survive, even if you had access to a commercial incubator and could hand rear the chicks (this requires a great deal of experience). In captivity, same sex pairs often form, so in any event eggs may be infertile. Please let me know if you need more info, best. frank

  378. avatar

    So right now my baby Piper is sticking his head out of the nesting box, a behavior that has not happend till today 29 days old and you said they should fledge at 35-50 days. I think he may try and he, I dont think has enough feathers to carry him, still alot of downey fuzz, few feathers on wings and tail. He is around 3 ft. up in his nesting box from the bottom of the cage, what should I do, I just gave fresh food and water LuLu his mom is eating and drinking but not yet, okay she’s in the box now hope she is regurgitating…I just don’t know if he is trying to fledge to early and if he will crash…??? The nesting hole is about 4″ up from his bedding, he must have a long neck, his head was totally out the hole.

  379. avatar


    It may do so soon…lots of variability re fledge time in captives.; they usually do just fine, but you can provide a soft landing site just to be on safe side. I hope all goes well, frank

  380. avatar

    Thanks, will put wood shavings in bottom atleast, I was really getting concerned.

  381. avatar

    That may help, maybe a piece of foam padding, seat cushion etc if this does not stress adults…they may of course shred it….

  382. avatar

    Hi Frank I wrote some time ago for advice, since then my lovebirds have laid 2 clutches of eggs of about 4 eggs each time, of these none have hatched and were eaten one at a time, with all appearing to be infertile, the female does all the nest building consisting of tree branches chewed up and kitchen roll chewed up, they feed one another and the bigger female gets quite aggressive to the smaller male ! bird and specks him, he has lost a lot of feathers, and looks half the size of the bigger female, but they still cuddle up, the nest now has no eggs but they still are in there asleep a lot of the time, as the bigger bird would not get or go through the hole in the nest box I had to prop the lid open, they both go in the top fine, and the nest is now nearly up to the top inside past the hole with a hollow they sleep in, I do think it must be getting smelly and should I clean it out and let them start again or maybe remove the nest box completely to give them a break, but they look so cosy in there they still mate but I’m still not sure if the smaller bird is male though he has a slimmer head shape, could it be because he is hen pecked and looks quite bald that the eggs are infertile? There cage is not very big and they are not hand tame so do not come out to fly around but both stretch their wings and flap in the cage. Regards Judy

  383. avatar

    Hi Judy,

    Unfortunately many captives do not pair up well or rear young, and infertility is common – stress, small cage, diet, inbreeding all play a role. If male is being attacked on and off they will likely not breed successfully, and situation re him will worsen. A larger cage may help, but you should consider separating them and re-pairing or re-homing one if possible if the new cage does not work. Cleaning out nest would be fine…may stress them, however. Please see this article and let me know if you need more info, best, frank

  384. avatar

    Hi Frank!!, I had a pair of lovebirds, not sure if they were female and male, but I saw them mating twice I think. Four weeks ago I checked their house cage and saw 2 eggs, then became 4 eggs until yesterday saw its total of 6. But never hatched the first 2 eggs and its been a month. I never checked it frequently to prevent the female to be disturbed. And doesn’t look female abandoned the eggs because she’s always at her cage house. The cage, never smells like the egg was rotten and still looks fresh, but why does the first 4 eggs haven’t hatched and female bird continues to lay eggs? Thanks for your help.

  385. avatar


    Best to remove appx. 30 days after the last egg was produced; she may re-nest, however; removing the nest box may discourage her. Infertility can be linked to many factors, or it may be that you have a same-sex pair, which is common in captivity (they do not usually attempt to copulate, however). Please see the 2 articles linked below and let me know if you need more info, best, frank

  386. avatar

    Hi frank, I know that this website is about lovebirds but I have two female budgerigars and my younger budgerigar in the past two days has had blood underneath her wing, I’m quite concerned because a few week back she had blood on her other wing but it went, now I’m worried because this one look more bloody. If you know anything about this please let me know. She tweets a lot and is very alive and happy but sometimes she fluffs up more than usual. Should I take her to my vet for a check up. And there’s another thing I found on her forehead a few black tiny spots? Could this be a sign of mites?

  387. avatar

    I now I see that my budgerigar is fluffing up and falling asleep often and allowing me to hold her, she is tame but she doesn’t like me holding her in my two hands and often struggles to get out but now she doesn’t do much. I’m very worried.

  388. avatar


    A vet exam would be your best option, as the same symptoms can be shown for a variety of diseases and injuries. There are many articles concerning budgies on the blog as well…please see here and let me know if you need anything;please keep me posted, frank

  389. avatar

    Hi frank, I took her to the vet along with the other one and the vet said she has an infection and that I must keep them there for a week for daily antibiotic injections to stop the infection. He also said the my other budgerigar is a male and was positive about it. Although he has a dark brown crusty cere but hasn’t laid a egg all his/her life and is already 2 years. He is a good vet with birds. So could he be right?

  390. avatar

    Hello Georgie,

    Glad to hear it s being treated.

    Yes, I would go by what the vet has said – Cere color is not a fool-proof ID; works well for wild or “wild type” color phases, but there’s been so much breeding for various colors in captivity that the sexes can be difficult to distinguish by cere color alone. I hope all goes well, frank

  391. avatar

    And the bloody wing was actually a new feather growing. The one that the vet though was a male actually makes a big noise more than my female, and he does always want my attention, so could he be a male or was the vet wrong. If he is a male then will my budgies lay eggs some day?

  392. avatar

    Not all pairs breed, but if provided enough space and a nest box, most do in time. Sorry if I wasn;t clear earlier…yes, could be a male, cere color varies.

    However, in captivity, same-sex pairs will also form…birds will nest, female may produce eggs, but they will of course be infertile. The best way to be absolutely sure of the sexes is via genetic feather testing…check online for labs in your area if you wish to follow up on that. Best, frank

  393. avatar

    Hi Frank, thanks for you response! Really a big help. Another question if ever I have same-sex pair, do they really mate? I mean I saw them mating twice though didn’t disturb their intimate moment 🙂

    Thanks again Frank!

  394. avatar


    My pleasure.

    I don’t believe that 2 females will try to copulate, male-male pairs may “go through the motion”. Best regards, frank

  395. avatar

    Hi I wonder if you can help me I have lovebirds a she had 5 eggs one hatched and was making a noise checked the next day and the baby was ok then the chick stoped making a noise checked the nest again and the chick is nowhere to be seen I checked the bottom of the cage and nothing could she have eaten it and now she has abandoned the nest.what do I do with the other egg.

  396. avatar

    I must say this is the most informative site I have come across. Thank you for sharing. What is the best measure for me to prevent my love birds from having babies? We don’t have the facility to house young. Currently the female is incubating two eggs and has been for the last 3 days. I would like to nip this in the bud as soon as possible.

  397. avatar

    Hello frank sir.
    Sir my zebra finch out his 1 day baby to the nest and they and maybe 8 baby died because of this and today i adopt his 1 day baby to hand feeding so i wanna ask you how to hand feed and how much time to hand feed him in a day thanks

  398. avatar
    Genesis Alvarez

    Hi Frank! Your blog is very interesting! I wanted to know, my LB laid 4 eggs about 2 weeks ago, what are the chances of all of them being fertile? Also like I said she laid 4 eggs but recently I checked and now there’s only 3?? What does that mean? Thank you for your time! 🙂

  399. avatar

    Hi Frank
    I read your blog, its really good,has a lot of comment ,but i was hoping for a urgent advice.
    I have 2 pairs of love birds. One of the 2 pairs laid a egg, she has been in her nest of most of the time, but today noon she left the nest and went to the other nest. I noticed that she or her male partner wasnot saying anything as the other pair approached their egg. When i went closer, i discovered that the other pair was trying to break the egg with their beak, i poked them away with a stick for a while then left them be, but then when i went i saw the egg broken in the nest. The only that laid the egg will soon lay another egg soon so should i keep the 2 pairs seperate?? Please answere as soon as possible because she may lay the egg today and i dont want another egg broken.

  400. avatar

    Hi there,

    I would definitely separate the 2 pairs. No matter how large of a cage we provide for them in captivity, nothing will ever compare to the open skies of the wild. Sometimes If the birds feel that there is not enough space for more birds in their enclosure, they will destroy the eggs. It is also possible that the eggs are infertile, and upon realizing this the parents abandoned the eggs. Unfortunately this is a pretty common occurrence. Frank focuses on instances like this in his post here if you would like to read more about situations like yours.


  401. avatar

    Hello, I will soon be taking in a family of 3 lovebirds from a friend who can no longer care for them. She has told be that there is a mother who is about 3 and her two babies one boy & one girl about a year old. I am informed that the mother is kept in a different cage due to some aggression towards the female baby. I am not aware if they are interacted with or hand held. What do you suggest in regards of introducing them to my new family of 4 with constant relatives visiting? I have read about the birds but I would like some more advice on introducing them to my family and their new home.

  402. avatar

    Is this blog still active?

  403. avatar

    hi frank,
    I have 2 peach faced love birds and they have been a pair for three years, They have only started to lay eggs and the pet shop i bought them from clarified that they were male and female, anyway they have started to breed but thy only layed one egg, its been 2 weeks and a half and the egg has started to crack, i have put my flashlight p to it but i havent touched it because i’m afraid the may abandon the egg. What do i do?

    Can they tell if their eggs are fertile?

    Please answer it will help me out alot!

About Frank Indiviglio

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I believe that I was born with an intense interest in animals, as neither I nor any of my family can recall a time when I was not fascinated by creatures large and small. One might imagine this to be an unfortunate set of circumstances for a person born and raised in the Bronx, but, in actuality, quite the opposite was true. Most importantly, my family encouraged both my interest and the extensive menagerie that sprung from it. My mother and grandmother somehow found ways to cope with the skunks, flying squirrels, octopus, caimans and countless other odd creatures that routinely arrived un-announced at our front door. Assisting in hand-feeding hatchling praying mantises and in eradicating hoards of mosquitoes (I once thought I had discovered “fresh-water brine shrimp” and stocked my tanks with thousands of mosquito larvae!) became second nature to them. My mother went on to become a serious naturalist, and has helped thousands learn about wildlife in her 16 years as a volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. My grandfather actively conspired in my zoo-buildings efforts, regularly appearing with chipmunks, boa constrictors, turtles rescued from the Fulton Fish Market and, especially, unusual marine creatures. It was his passion for seahorses that led me to write a book about them years later. Thank you very much, for a complete biography of my experience click here.
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