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For many years, I have been curious about these birds and secretly wanting to have them in my flock, they were very rare on my local pet shops and whenever I had the chance to lay my eyes on them, I was amazed by their shiny bright colours.
Having had budgies for pretty much my entire life, I had a good grasp of the species, I know all of their funny little quirks and fully understand their birdy language. I felt confident and ready to embark on a new and exciting avian adventure.

My journey started in May of 2011, when I finally got my first lovebird, Sindel.
As I started to know Sindel, I began to notice some similarities with the budgies. Just like them, lovebirds are very funny and quite entertaining to watch, they make good use of the toys they have in the cage and are total clowns. Even though they are louder, I found the lovebird’s language exotic and even refreshing. It was nice to have a new birdie language to learn from and to listen to in addition to the budgies.

A few months on, after adding my second lovebird and watching their interactions I began to notice a few changes, again when comparing to budgies.
Unlike most budgies that only take a good bath once in a blue moon, lovebirds really LOVE to bathe!! My Nico holds the record of 2 full baths in just 1 day. I was also quite impressed by the way their brains function and their ability to make an utensil out of a flat surface of a toy or of a wider perch. I see them using a toy or a perch to balance and place food, whether it’s a sunflower seed they are eating or a big chunk of fruit or vegetable.
I have never seen the budgies do this, they just grab, let’s say a piece of veggie with their feet and hold it on the perch in order to not let if fall.
This is something all birds naturally do.

The loyalty and companionship of a truly bonded pair of lovebirds is just beautiful to behold. Many times I see Sindel and Nico sharing a small food dish (the kind that only has a perch long enough for one bird to be in while eating), they somehow manage to fit in this food dish and eat in turns.
They always sleep side by side and glued to each other, no matter if it's Summer time and it's terribly hot, they MUST sleep together.

It was also heartwarming to see them raising their first clutch of chicks. Nico was a very present and dedicated father. Even during incubation, he would tend to all of Sindel’s needs and would be as kind as gently rolling a strayed egg back under Sindel, so it could get warm and develop well. He would take naps with her on the nest and like always would sleep very close to her during the night. The most beautiful thing I saw was Sindel feeding her chicks and Nico gently wiping out the remnants of food off his babies, so that they were all perfectly cleaned up.

It came as a shock to me when things didn’t go well the second time around and the drastic change in behaviour lead me to pull baby Khaleesi out of the nest and raise him myself. These birds are not to be underestimated, they are highly intelligent and their brains do work in quite a complex way.

I believe the culprit to have been Sindel, most likely she was very frustrated with her clutch, given the fact only 1 out of her 8 eggs hatched successfully and as a result she began to neglect her baby’s needs and started to kick the baby Khaleesi out of the nest to possibly give another try on the next clutch. After this event, I never gave her the chance to do so.

The nights of little sleep I had due to the scheduled hand feedings were nothing compared to the blessings I have received and keep on receiving from Khaleesi. He allowed me to have an even better understanding of this amazing species.

I will never forget and will forever cherish those precious moments of when he would immediately dart out of his nest (I had a spare budgie’s nest box that was cosy and just perfect for him) and run to me as soon as he heard the noise made by the stainless steel spoon while I was mixing his formula.

I would very carefully wash his cheek feathers around the beak and remove the bits of formula before they had the chance to dry, so that his feathers were all perfectly clean and soft. Then I would place him under my chin for some cuddles and a little nap. I waited till the feathers were dry and only then put him back on the nest to sleep.

In little time I got to be in tune with baby Khaleesi and to read his body language very well and as a result I inadvertently potty trained him. He has what I call his "pooping box" where we goes to whenever it’s needed. It’s a nice change to have a bird that doesn’t poop on you !

Even though Khaleesi was raised by me, he had contact with the budgies and learnt bird skills from them. I decided to not let Khaleesi have close and regular contact with the lovebird flock because since the beginning they have shunned him and would either ignore or try to hurt him.

Over the course of the now almost 2 years I have had Khaleesi, I have been constantly surprised by the level of intelligence these birds have.
As you all know, my boy loves to play with toys and many times we play games together.

I was amazed when he first threw a plastic coin at me and we naturally started to play the coin tossing game. After the plastic coin, many other toys have followed. More recently I was again pleasantly surprised when I hid two plastic discs from the Connect Four game and he immediately solved the problem by climbing the game grid and taking out one of the discs at the top to play with. I have proof in my video recordings.

Now this week, Khaleesi has broken all the records in my book. I have already mentioned before the clever way my boy communicates with me when he wants something. When he is thirsty, he goes to my night stand where I keep a bottle of water and gently taps his beak on the water bottle and then looks at me. I promptly give him water and all is well (his cage is close by and open at all times, he chooses to not go to his water dish).

This week he did go for my water bottle and I offered him a sip. Less than 5 minutes later he was back at my night stand and tapped his beak a second time on my bottle of water. I looked at him in disbelief and thought to myself I wonder if he wants to take a bath. I will fill the birdie bathtub just in case. It turns out he really wanted to take a bath and promptly did so , the moment I set the birdie bathtub in place.

I can’t quite explain how I felt, it was extreme pride and amazement at the way he was able to tell me exactly what he wanted.
This is why we must never underestimate their intelligence, lovebirds may be one of the smallest species of parrot, but they are high up when it comes to intelligence.

I can now see it so much better due to the way I have raised Khaleesi and continue to interact with him daily, stimulating his brain with new toys and new games to play with. All in a loving, fun, stress free and encouraging environment.

I commend you if you were able to read this long essay.
All I have to say now is this: LOVEBIRDS RULE ! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
So many words on my previous post, I think I few pictures will make up for it!
I had to take a couple of photos of the bath Khaleesi was so adamant in letting me know he wanted to take. ;)



A very content birdie! You can see the famed bottle of water on the bottom left corner of the photo.


All dried up and ready to play!


Who wouldn't love this cute face? He was leaning to give me a birdie kiss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You've been such a devoted lovebird momma, and these special birds surely love you as much as you love them.
Wonderful story, and I have to agree that lovebirds rule! :D
Thanks for reading it all up, StarlingWings! Your words mean a lot! :hug:
 

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This was a really nice story to read of your history with lovebirds, aluz. Thank you for sharing it! I've always wondered about Khaleesi's past because you've mentioned that he doesn't hang out with your lovebirds. I would love to have a lovebird one day, but since we live in a flat, we're a bit restricted in space to devote to the animals. ;)

Thank you again for sharing this! I loved reading it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This was a really nice story to read of your history with lovebirds, aluz. Thank you for sharing it! I've always wondered about Khaleesi's past because you've mentioned that he doesn't hang out with your lovebirds. I would love to have a lovebird one day, but since we live in a flat, we're a bit restricted in space to devote to the animals. ;)

Thank you again for sharing this! I loved reading it.
You're welcome, Bethany and thank you in return for reading my thread!
Maybe one day you will have a little lovebird to have fun with. ;)

Beautiful story! You have an amazing heart, Ana :)
I am so happy for you and your birdies :cool:
Thanks, Dee! I am lucky in the 14 birds I currently have and would do anything for them. :)

Awesome....:)
Thanks for taking the time to read my extremely long post, Randy! :D
 
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Aluz, your story was in the real sense of the word, awesome. I got teary reading it. What a special relationship. I think you are both lucky you have each other.
Good thoughts to you and little Khaleesi.
Also to your budgies... Miss Poppy and my Lemony look like twins in the photo above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Aluz, your story was in the real sense of the word, awesome. I got teary reading it. What a special relationship. I think you are both lucky you have each other.
Good thoughts to you and little Khaleesi.
Also to your budgies... Miss Poppy and my Lemony look like twins in the photo above.
Thanks, Judy! I love all my birdies, but it's true the bond I have with Khaleesi has broken all the records. :)

Yes, you are right! My Peppy and your Lemony could very well be sisters! ;)
 
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That is so touching, Ana. You truly are a birdie mum. Khaleesi and you share such a special bond and now I can understand why. He is so smart. I'm amazed how he 'communicates' with you. Makes you wonder what they think and how much they are capable of that we will never know!

Thanks for sharing. That is really a lovely story and gives me even more respect and wonder for these amazing little birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is so touching, Ana. You truly are a birdie mum. Khaleesi and you share such a special bond and now I can understand why. He is so smart. I'm amazed how he 'communicates' with you. Makes you wonder what they think and how much they are capable of that we will never know!

Thanks for sharing. That is really a lovely story and gives me even more respect and wonder for these amazing little birds.
Thanks Madonna! I hope to learn more about them and to be surprised even more with what they can do.
 
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