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Where Do Lovebirds Come From? Origin & FAQ (With Pictures)


Apr 11, 2023
Love Birds eating some bird food in a birdcage


Love Birds eating some bird food in a birdcage

Lovebirds are popular pets because these small Parrots are friendly and beautiful, and they typically take well to living as a pet. There are nine species of Lovebirds, six of which are commonly kept as pets, and all but one of the nine species come from the continent of Africa. The other species hails from Madagascar. Such is the popularity of this small Parrot species that they are widely available in pet stores and from breeders around the world.


About the Lovebird

The Lovebird is one of the smallest Parrot species. It is a social animal that, in the wild, will live as part of a flock of Lovebirds and it will pair for life with another Lovebird. Although a similar size to Budgies, Lovebirds have shorter tails and tend to be plumper. Their colors can range from peach to blue, and because they have been captive-bred for hundreds of years, the colors available in pet Lovebirds are more varied than in wild examples of the bird.

Opaline Lovebird
Image Credit: Kollawat Somsri, Shutterstock

Where Do They Come From?

8 of the 9 known Lovebird species come from the continent of Africa, and the one remaining species comes from Madagascar. They are especially common in East Africa.


Six of the nine species are not considered vulnerable or under threat in the wild. However, the Fischer’s, Nyasa, and Black-Cheeked Lovebird species are considered to be vulnerable. This means that the population of these birds is low and they are at risk of becoming endangered in the future. Like a lot of wild birds, Lovebird populations are threatened by a loss of habitat. And because Lovebirds are so popular as pets, they may be hunted and removed to be sold on the pet market, although there are many breeders of captive Lovebirds around the world so this should be less of a threat.

Australian Cinnamon & Orange-Faced Lovebird in a cage
Image Credit: M.Gunsyah, Shutterstock

Do Lovebirds Need to Be Kept In Pairs?

Lovebirds pair for life in the wild and they are usually pictured in pairs. This has led to many people mistakenly believing that they need to be kept in pairs when kept as pets. Having two Lovebirds will indeed ensure that they have company and stimulation, but a single captive Lovebird can thrive as long as it gets plenty of attention from its human. In fact, because the Lovebird forms such a close bond with its companion, if you want an affectionate bird, keeping a single Lovebird will help produce a very strong bond between you and your feathered pet.

Do Lovebirds Like to Be Held?

Birds, in general, don’t typically like to be held in the same way that cats, dogs, and even some smaller animals like hamsters like to be held. They have fragile chests and necks and holding them too tight can prevent them from being able to breathe properly. Being held in this way can also make a bird feel trapped. In the wild, Lovebirds are prey and they need to be able to feel as though they would be able to fly away from any threat, to feel safe.

However, Lovebirds are known as affectionate birds, and while you shouldn’t cuddle your bird, you should spend time with it. Many Lovebirds enjoy being petted on the head and the back of the neck and they will enjoy spending time sitting on your hand or shoulder.

young girl kissing her pet lovebird
Image Credit: Dusan Stevic, Shutterstock

Should I Cover My Lovebird’s Cage at Night?

Sleep is important to your bird’s development, and your Lovebird will sleep better and longer in the dark. As long as it is kept in a room that enjoys peace and darkness during the night, though, it shouldn’t be necessary to cover the cage. In some cases, it can be beneficial to place a cover over the cage, especially if you are up watching TV and chatting in the room your Lovebird lives.



Lovebirds are a small Parrot species. They enjoy human company, are commonly kept as pets around the world, and they can become affectionate and sweet with their owners. In the wild, they mate for life, although a single pet Lovebird may thrive on its own. Of the nine total species of Lovebird, 8 of them come from Africa, while the other species comes from the island of Madagascar.

Featured Image Credit: Gemiland Fajar Ibrahim, Shutterstock

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