If you're a "bird person," you understand how enchanting parrots can be. It's not uncommon to adopt more than just one, nor is it unusual to have two different species. Just because they're both parrots doesn't guarantee harmony in the home, however. Some parrot types are more compatible together than others are. For example, parakeets and lovebirds, both parrots, are intelligent, playful little characters, but that doesn't mean the two specimens are likely to get along.
Size Can Matter
Size doesn't always matter, but in the case of lovebirds and parakeets, an aggressive larger bird could spell trouble for the smaller one. It's true that the tiny parakeet can be confrontational in his own right, but lovebirds are larger and their beaks are stronger. So even if the little budgie was willing to fight the good fight, he'd likely come away injured or worse.
Lovebirds Can Be Belligerent
With a name like "lovebird," you would think that the little guy would be a docile, affectionate pet. They are capable of having those qualities, but they're just as capable of violent behavior toward one another as well as toward other species of parrots. Even if you get a young lovebird and raise him alongside a young parakeet, it's no guarantee that they'll get along all their lives. After reaching adulthood, your lovebird could decide he's had enough of the little parakeet and become violent with him. Trying to house two lovebirds with other birds isn't a wise plan, either. The pair could become territorial and lash out at the other birds in the vicinity. It's best either to keep two lovebirds together or just keep one, but don't cage lovebirds with other birds.
Parakeets Are More Social
Parakeets are easy-going, social and more likely to make friends with other birds than lovebirds are. They do need a spacious cage to allow them the room they need to climb, play and flit about but, as pugnacious as they can be, you shouldn't have any problems keeping a parakeet with another even-tempered bird. Examples of parrots who would make good cage mates for a parakeet are cockatiels, conures, hanging parrots and, of course, other parakeets.
Living With Both Birds
If you find yourself living with both a lovebird and a parakeet, it's not an impossible situation. You just need to give them each their own cage. Don't place the cages close enough that one bird could reach the other from his own space, and don't allow them to perch on one another's cages. You may be tempted to allow them to play together outside their cages, but it should never be unsupervised time. You'll need to be right there to intervene if a scuffle breaks out. The better alternative is to allow them each separate playtimes outside of their cages. You should also make time to interact with each of them and give them their own attention and affection to avoid building jealousy.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.