These were two black-masked blue lovebirds, and were born in Dec.
2002. They have been together since hatching, and it seems that one
was male and one was female. In their year and a half together, they
were the closest of friends, always cuddling or playing and following
each other around the cage, never more than a few inches from each
other. They were quite opposite from a pair of green black-masked
lovebirds I have had for several years that remain seperate from one
another at all times. While loving to each other, they were extremely
aggressive towards humans and I could not get near them without them
trying to bite me. Feeding time is always a joy since its a race to
the food bowl and a distraction of a finger somewhere else in the cage
Anyway, all has been well with them and they have been healthy since
we have had them. Tonight, around 7:15pm I left the house for 2
hours. My wife remained at home and heard the lovebirds making a
terrific racket around 8:30pm (we have a "bird room" for both sets
with window, lights, etc.), but thought nothing of it since the birds
are constantly squaking, fluttering about, and making a general
commotion. I returned home around 9:15 and went to the bird room to
change their water/food. I found the male blue lovebird on his back
on the bottom of the cage, twitching and barely alive. He had been
severly mauled by the other bird, which had taken a few small hits to
its own head above the eyse. The hurt male was bitten from his beak
area to the middle of his head, clear down to his skull bone, the
feathers were ripped out of the back of his head, and he was a bloody
pulp all along his back with several injuries to his legs as well. We
rushed him to the ER (along with the female who required no treatment
for her minor injuries), but he died on the way.
I am in total shock right now and don't know what to think. I am
horrified that the female did this to the mate she had always
"adored", yet I am saddened at the same time that she will spend the
rest of her long life alone. She is already looking around the cage
for him, and yet it is difficult for me to fully pity her since she
killed him so brutally.
Anybody have any experience with lovebirds doing this or know why such
a thing could happen with no previous problems? The only clue that I
may have is that the female started laying one egg every two weeks or
so about 2 months ago. They fell out of the hanging nest and I
removed them before they matured not wanting to have baby lovebirds on
my hands. Could it be hormones? The emergency vet had no idea, and
in fact thought at first that a cat had killed the male, but we have
no cats and the birds are always in their cage. They of course then
tried to blame us for spraying something or cooking, but nothing of
the sort had been done today and the birds had never had a problem
with smells before anyway. We were devestated enough without the vet
trying to place blame on us.
I truly do not know what to do with the female now. Will she die of
lonliness? She can see the other pair of lovebirds from her cage,
they are about 4 inches apart so she will have that much contact with
other birds, but I really don't know what to do.
Thank you in advance for any advice.
I don't think she will die of loneliness, since she has 2 other birds to keep
her company. Since you have a bird room, instead keeping them caged all the
time, maybe you should let them out and let them interact with each other
(under your supervision, to make sure they don't fight). Maybe they will end
up becoming more friendly towards each other that way.
Some birds can be quite aggressive and territorial when inside their cage,
but they may become more friendly when outside. Good luck.