Lovebirds are intelligent, playful, and affectionate and make great pets and companions. Lovebirds in the wild live in flocks and are highly social creatures, so it’s important to form a bond with your lovebird as soon as possible to aid in their mental health and well-being.
Some lovebirds are friendly and easy to bond with right off the bat, while others may take time and patience to form a strong bond with. Luckily, there are a few proven ways to form a bond with your lovebird. Building trust and cultivating a relationship with your lovebird will be good for their mental health and provide you with a unique friendship for years to come too.
Here are seven proven tips to help you bond with your lovebird.
1. Take it slow
Moving to a new home can be stressful for a lovebird, whether it’s simply a new cage or bringing them to a new home altogether. Try to make sure the area around your bird is calm and quiet, and be careful not to make any sudden movements or loud noises around your bird at this vulnerable stage. Keep your voice calm and relaxed, and keep any other pets like dogs or cats or young excited children away for at least a week. This initial period of settling in is vital to forming trust and bonding with your lovebird.
The next step in forming a bond with your lovebird is becoming a part of a flock together, and the simplest way of doing this is sharing meals. In the wild, these birds will eat all their meals with members of their flock, and you’ll want to try to mimic that to help build trust. Grab a plate of fresh fruit, and try to hand-feed it to your lovebird, making sure they can see you eating it too. If they won’t take it from your hand, put a portion in their bowl. Soon enough, they’ll be eating tasty treats from your hand.
This may seem obvious, but you need to dedicate at least an hour a day of one-on-one time with your lovebird. The more time that you spend with your bird, the more they’ll see you as a trusted friend and the quicker that you’ll cement your bond with them. If you have adopted a lovebird, they may have had negative experiences with previous owners, so you’ll need to prove to them that you are someone they can trust. Lovebirds are highly intelligent and social creatures, and they’ll remember every interaction that you have with them.
In the wild, lovebirds are constantly grooming one another, and this is a way that they bond in their small flocks and families. Try to gently rub your bird’s beak, scratch the back of their head, or help them out with a few loose pinfeathers. This grooming will also help get them accustomed to handling and is a great way to build trust.
5. Play sessions
Lovebirds are playful and active animals, and sharing fun play sessions with your lovebird is a great way to bond with them. Offer them treats and interactive toys outside of their habitat, and gently sing to them or play gentle music. It may feel odd at first, but birds respond well to music and can even have their own favorite songs! Some lovebirds will mimic the melodies and even dance to their favorite beat!
As with any pet, offering your lovebird their favorite treat is a sure way to win them over. Offer them fresh fruit, parrot pellets, vegetables, or seed from your hand to entice them out of their cage. This will help your lovebird see you as a parent figure, build trust, and help them feel more comfortable with you overall. Just be careful not to overdo it, because too much fruit or seeds is not good for birds.
7. Talk to your bird
Since lovebirds are such vocal animals in the wild and communicate in large part through their adorable chirps and whistles, it makes sense that you should vocalize with your lovebird several times per day. Speak to them in a low, gentle voice, repeat their name calmly to them, whistle their favorite tune, and even tell them about your day! It may feel strange at first, but this method will help cement a bond and trust with your lovebird, as they’ll soon see you as a fully-fledged talking member of their flock!
Even if your lovebird has come from a less-than-ideal home and seems frightened and suspicious of you in the beginning, there are certainly ways to overcome this lack of trust. With time and dedication, and a great deal of patience, there are many ways to bond with your lovebird, but simply spending dedicated time with them every day is sure to win out in the end.
Featured Image Credit: Dusan Stevic, Shutterstock