Lovebirds are relatively nondestructive birds that can make entertaining companions for families. They are small colorful parrots with short tails and relatively broad bodies. The species most commonly seen in captivity are peach-faced, masked and Fischer's lovebirds. The peach-faced lovebird is often regarded as the smartest of the three, but the other two have more gentle, pleasant personalities. Although color mutations are highly valued by some aviculturists, the inbreeding required to produce unusual colors has resulted in some genetic disorders, including decreased disease resistance, reduced longevity and hatching defects.
Lovebirds are mischievous birds that like to hide, such as under paper, in shirt pockets or in long hair. They are generally poor talkers, but they can easily learn tricks. Single lovebirds in the home can be relatively quiet and may be affectionate. However, they are very social and enjoy the company of another lovebird. The pair can spend hours preening each other and chattering. Lovebirds can be easily amused with simple toys. Many common disease conditions in lovebirds, including feather picking, respiratory diseases and bacterial and fungal infections, are the result of malnutrition.