Mary Jo DiLonarcarry out has functioned in print, digital, and broadactors journalism for 25 years and also covers nature, wellness, science, and also pets.

You are watching: Why do lovebirds put paper in their feathers


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It's mesmerizing to watch. Peach-confronted lovebirds will certainly closely and specifically tear off perfect strips of paper via their beaks and gently tuck them right into their tail feathers. It looks as if they're adding to their plumage with these paper extensions for their tail feathers.


Why carry out lovebirds make paper tails?

It might look good, yet it's all about housekeeping; the birds are tucking the paper ameans for safemaintaining so they can use it later on as material to build a colony.


Their close relatives Fisher’s lovebirds (Agapornis fischeri) frequently gather the materials for their nests by carrying one spilgrimage of tree bark at a time in their beaks, according to Smithsonian. Peach-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) are a little more effective. They hide bark and other nest-building product in their feathers.

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According to Smithsonian, "Scientists think that the latter’s more complicated actions is an ancestral trait, and have provided this facet of lovebird nest-building as an instance of the intersection of advanced and also learned habits."


"They shred through precision and also each sexpedition is uniform in width through ragged edges. The strips are normally as long as the item of paper. It is not unwidespread for a female lovebird to look favor she is wearing a file skirt after a shredding session," Heidenreich states. "Some lovebirds will take the paper back to a nesting cavity; yet others won’t necessarily carry out anypoint through the paper after tucking it under the wings. In many type of situations they sindicate fly amethod and the paper strips fall to the ground."


Captivating Lovebird Quirk

Commenters on YouTube and also on Reddit (wright here many type of lovebird videos are posted) chime in through stories of watching their own lovebirds produce flouncy tails filled with shredded paper strips. They point out that it's typically the female birds who are skilled at the feather skirts, while the males simply can't obtain the knack of it.


"They try to make every little thing into nesting product, especially publications," shelp Redditor TheNorthRemembers. "It's really cool seeing them in action. It looks like they are automated."


"The obsession to shred paper for some species have the right to at times be problematic. This is because lovebirds will certainly chew whatever before is obtainable," says Heidenreich. "If a treasured book is left open, the peras might come to be the tarobtain of a shredding lovebird. You have the right to proccasion this by making certain paper that is acceptable for shredding is conveniently accessed and items you don’t desire chewed are safely stored away as soon as your bird is out."