Should I Stop My Lovebirds Prolific Masturbation?

Should I Stop My Lovebirds Prolific Masturbation?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

You have received a new ticket from Janet!

Subject: Lovebird super-masterbator


Hi Catherine,

I have been doing a lot of reading trying to find an answer. 

I added a male lovebird to my flock in 2019.

After about a week he started masturbating on anything he found that was soft, rope perches, his tent, etc. So I thought, OK, I’ll get him a friend so he can think about something else. Bad idea, he ignores the (normal) male friend who sits and watches him as he continues his routine.

I asked my Avian Vet about it and he said to first remove the rope perches.

(Duh) So I did that.  Now when I give him free time – a few hours a day out of the cage – he immediately flies to my Pionus’s cage and finds the rope perches there.

I have tried a fine spray water bottle – so he knows immediately when I reach for it to stop, but then he gets sneaky and waits for me to turn my back again.  In his own cage, he shows his frustration by speed-walking back and forth on the bottom of the cage where the paper helps give the patter of little feet a whole new meaning. 

I feed him Zupreem fruit pellets, Kaytee Forti Diet Pro or Vita Smart for lovebirds.  Fruit and veggies a few times a week.  Hope you have some suggestions!  

Catherine Tobsing replied,

Dear Janet

Sorry for your very frisky lovebird. 

We are aware of birds like that, we have a quaker who spends much of his time enjoying himself that way. 

But after a few years, we don’t find it to be harmful to his health and well, they are captive birds and are just trying to pass the time…

I would not remove the rope perches as they are nice and soft and if given a choice between hardwood and soft rope, well, why not let him have them back?

Yes, it is not as appealing to watch as if he was playing with his bells and beads, but it is who he is.

We don’t always like the personalities of every pet we have or even some of our kids, but we love them anyway.

So stop trying to change his behavior and let him have his fun and stop squirting him, he’s doing nothing wrong.


Catherine Tobsing profile pic 082523
Catherine Tobsing

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I help care for a flock of fourteen rescue parrots which include a blue-front with a very active libido. When he is pleasuring himself he makes a loud chuckling sound. These guys are out where tourists can visit with them ( in their cages) all day every day, so it is not uncommon for kids to ask their parents what he is doing. If they ask me or look to me for guidance, I just tell them , “He’s dancing.” He dances a lot. They used to have a male eclectus who would con me into letting him sit on my fingers, inside his cage, then start up, and it was a challenge to get him to end the session! The way I look at it is that we have put them in an artificial environment where they will never get to use most of their natural inclinations, why not let them have what they can, as long as it isn’t creating another parrot who needs a home.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu