sarahalabbadi

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Nov 16, 2020
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Hello! I have looked all over for more information on love birds and while a lot of it has been helpful I would love to hear from real people about a concern I have.

I have two young lovebird siblings named Zuko and Azula. I'm not exactly sure of their age (or gender) but I was told they were a few months old when I got them three months ago. Right away I could tell that their personalities are the polar opposite. Zuko is the quiet and very gentle one while Azula is the louder more aggressive one.

At this moment, they both are moderately comfortable with me - but it's more so on their terms than mine. I can pet them, mostly when they are in their cage. They will fly onto my head now while they are outside of their cage but fly away when I try to get them to step up without food in my hand.

Zuko has never bitten me, but will sometimes LIGHTLY nibble my finger (even nibble sounds like too strong of a word). Azula bites sometimes but I've been trying to teach her not to. Lately she has been responding to my commands of "no" or "be gentle/be nice" (and "ouch") whenever she's playing with me.

I assumed that one of the reasons that this familiarity process was taking a while was because they are more bonded to each other than to me, but I noticed that, despite our progress, Azula has been acting a bit more aggressively towards Zuko than usual.

I know that birds can be aggressive sometimes and that it can also be related to their hormones, but yesterday I noticed a little scab on Zuko's foot and now every time Azula goes near him he runs away. I'm worried these are signs of a potentially dangerous situation between the two.

I am not a bird behavioural expert by any means but I'm trying to understand my own birds but it's hard with such a specific situation and it feels like I'm just guessing based on general information I get online. If ANYONE has had a similar situation with their birds, please give me some insight as to what might be going on.

Is this normal sibling rivalry?
 

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LaManuka

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Hello sarahalabbadi, welcome to the Forums to you and Zuko and Azula!

The changes in behaviour that you are observing could well be related to your birds reaching sexual maturity, which occurs around 10 months of age or so with lovebirds. From what you have written, it would appear they are currently sharing the one cage. If one is exhibiting aggression towards the other inside the cage, you are probably best advised to house them in separate cages for their own safety. They may be perfectly fine towards each other outside the confines of a cage where there is easy means of escape, but if aggression is becoming an issue, serious injury (or worse) could result. Just because two birds are of the same species doesn’t guarantee they’ll get along. Plus you then virtually eliminate any complications that may arise from a potential unwanted pregnancy - the fact that they are siblings does not mean that mating behaviours won't take place if indeed they are of opposite genders.

I hope some of our lovebird-loving members will weigh in soon with some more advice for you, but in the meantime I think providing each of your birdies with their own safe space they can retreat to is your best bet.
 

Littleredbeak

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I have two lovebirds as well! They are both amazing and have different personalities too. I got them at different times. In the beginning I had two flight cages together (I connected the side little doors ) this way they could easily get away from each other if there was a disagreement or wanted alone time. Right now they are in one flight cage.
How attached are your bird to each other?how big is their current cage?
Wishing you the best of luck!
 
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sarahalabbadi

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Hello!

Thank you so much for your informative response, it took me a couple days to notice because I'm still getting used to the format of this website. You may be right about them starting to reach sexual maturity as I think they are approaching 10 months so I will definitely look more into that. I will also look into getting another cage should there by any more problems!
However, I have been keeping a closer eye on them over these past few days and there has not been any more concerning fights between them so that is a relief!

Although, Azula will still push Zuko out of a spot if she wants to sit there haha.
 
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sarahalabbadi

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Getting connecting cages has not even occurred to me!! I think this is a great idea! I have been wanting to get a larger cage and have been browsing around for the right one, but maybe I should get two instead and try that out.

The cage I have is fairly large and they each have a side for themselves but there are a couple spots that they both like to be in and Azula does not always like to share. There is a perch at the top that they bicker over sometimes, as well as the corner spot.

Did you find that separating them that way helped them get along better? They seemed a lot more affectionate with each other a few weeks ago than they do now, but they still end up sleeping together every night.
 

Littleredbeak

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Hi! I got my flight cages from chewy - they were a little less than a 100 dollars each without tax. My lovebirds get along well. They share one flight cage now, Pearl gets upset when I take Luvy out without her. Pearl is very attached to Luvy. I had Luvy before I brought Pearl home. Luvy is very affectionate and gregarious while Pearl is a little bit stand-offish. She just started to eat of my hand land on my ankles to bother my toes with Luvy before that she only would land on me for a little bit and fly off.

One flight cage would probably be fine in your case.
In the lovebirds cage I lime the bottom with Timothy Hay - I use the stuff for rabbits, and they love playing in it. I put the Timothy hay at the bottom of the pen :) . Neither of my Loverbirds were a fan of fruit and veggies until I got the Lafeber fruit and veggie balls. Now they’ll both will eat the apples and try and steal nibbles of my house plants!

Both of your lovebirds sound adorable!

Pearl is probably a boy I just initially thought Pearl was a girl
 

Laurasea

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I don't have advice. But wanted say yiur love birds are soooo beautiful!!!
 
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sarahalabbadi

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Thank you so much! Perhaps they are toooo adorable - it makes it hard for me to do anything in my room because I just want to play with them or stare at them all day lol
 
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sarahalabbadi

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Oh my gosh thank you for all of this advice because one of the next things I was planning on asking about was how to get your lovebirds to eat fruits and veggies. I tried a few different ways but they literally leave them in the bowl however I try and feed it to them - I've tried shredding some carrots, cutting fruits/veggies in tiny pieces, mixing them in with their seeds, hiding their seeds under them etc.

Both Zuko and Azula will land on me but fly away as soon as I move. I think they want to play with me but they're also scared. How long does this process usually take? I want to love them already LOL, but I know that sometimes it takes longer when birds are bonded to each other first.

Also, I am 100% going to look into all the resources you listed and post an update when I do!
 

Littleredbeak

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Luvy came to me confident and affectionate. Pearl was never taken out of the cage and wasn’t physically interacted with. She had lots of toys though and is very materialistic. While she wasn’t physically handled - I know her previous owner loved her- he cried when he was saying goof bye to her. The first day I had her she would fly on my head. And after that she’d land on me to kind to look and see what I was doing and then fly away if I made a sudden movement or breathed loudly🤷*♀️. I still haven’t been able to give her scratches and cuddles like I do Luvy but now she’ll eat of my hand and play with me! This took several months -I just let her do her own thing. Coincidentally Luvy and Pearl I was told they were both 3.5 years old.

With your Lovebirds, in my opinion, isn’t the same as Pearl. I think you will be buddies soon! Millet is a favorite in my little flock. I haven’t been able to find an organic millet so they don’t get it often and Luvy has a liver issue so we do not really do unsprouted seeds too much.

Food wise I tried everything too! Lafeber really helped branch out their taste buds! Lafeber doesn’t have the healthiest ingredients because they add corn syrup. Whole Foods has micro greens that I give my birdies too.

Your Lovebirds are adorable!
 

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