Lovebirds

Lovebirds are monogamous, and continue to mate with the same partner for life. Their courtship behavior varies from species to species. Some feed one another to strengthen their bonds, while others sing or dance. Mating begins with courtship behavior, and can continue throughout their roughly 15-year lifespans. If a mate dies or gets separated from the flock, its companion exhibits erratic behavior that some have likened to depression. Monogamy is essential to the social stability of flocks and underlies much of their social behavior.

Often after a long separation or stressful period of time, breeding pairs of lovebirds feed each other to re-establish their bond. One bird transfers food to the mouth of its mate, a feeding technique reminiscent of affection in humans — hence the inspiration for the bird’s name.

It has been suggested that lovebirds influenced the creation of Valentine’s day as a day to celebrate love because of a poem which combines romantic love with the religious celebration of Saint Valentine’s day. The poem, “Parliament of Foules,” by Geoffrey Chaucer features two birds which exhibit all the markings of human love. (Or was it the example of the devotion of this species of bird observed in nature which inspired the behavior in humans?)

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