Why Do Lovebirds Bite Each Other’s Feet?

Birds, mammals and all forms of life tend to communicate their likes or dislikes of another through various means, whether it be physical contact i.e. playfighting, through speech or communicating using body language. Therefore, it only makes sense that lovebirds and birds as whole use their beaks as a go to way to get their points across.

Feet pecking is one such way lovebirds communicate with each other and within this article we’ll be going over the reasons why your lovebird bites the other’s feet.

Why Do Lovebirds Bite Each Other’s Feet?

Loverbirds are terrotorial in nature therefore, in order to ensure dominace over their partners they tend to bite. More often than not pecking feet is reserved for others that they do not share any kind of bond with.

For example female lovebirds are often the more aggressive of the two genders, specifically female on female interactions, where being in the same vincinty could result in a major scuffle, particulary with birds whom don’t have the best of  temperaments.

Other than asserting dominace loverbirds can bite the feet or beak of another bird when fighting over food, toys or when protecting their own baby chicks.

In short, the feet is bitten to inform the other party to back off!

In some cases this can become more severe where the biting could result in apendages being torn off but, this is far from commonplace. In such a scenario the best thing you could do is understand the situation beforehand and take prevantative measures to stop or minimise the biting,

Maybe by sperating and placing each bird in separate cages etc.

Which Gender Tends To Initiate The Biting?

Female lovebirds are often regarded as the more aggresive gender so it makes sense that they’re more normally the biting initiates. This is purely because they are far more territorial in comparison to their male counterparts. I personally have both a male and female lovebird so I’ve got a bit of an understanding. I’ve noticed that the girl in most cases is much firmer when biting me as opposed to the male who only nibbles and doesn’t really clutch on to my fingers.

This is more so based on the average amongst these genders, tempremant and personality also plays a significant part on which gender may initiate the bite so, this isn’t always the case. Nevertheless, on average it’s more likely to be so.

Can You Teach Lovebirds To Stop Biting?


Yes you can!

This might seem somewhat strange but, lovebirds and other birds alike aren’t innately born to bite. Infact the reasons why they would bite you is out of fear. That is why baby birds tend to be more accepting of touch over those who didn’t grow up with human interaction.

Of course the way lovebirds behave with you and I may be completly different from how they act with their own kind and teaching them to bite less in that situation might be a little harder.

Nevertheless, the best way to minimise the biting would be for you to act less fearful when they bite. For example if they chow down on your breadsticks you shouldn’t yell. By yelling you’d be supplying the bird with attention that it craves and this isn’t what you want.

Instead you should calmly place the bird down to a naughty corner of sorts, projecting your unhappiness and stopping any interaction with them.

Much like training other animals if you reward the lovebird with a treat and speak to it in a quote on quote rewarding manner, overtime it’ll begin to understand what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t.

Occasionally, it may be a little aggresive based on its mood, however, as long as you’re patient and can roughly read the lovebirds body language to maybe leave it alone in its moody interludes, the biting should start to decrease.

Do Loverbirds Only Bite Each Other When They’re Fighting?

Although biting is commonly associated with fighting between lovebirds, it isn’t always the case. From time to time one bird may act like a brat on purpose in an attmept to play with the other. So no, fighting isn’t the only reason why lovebirds bite each other’s feet or beak, though I would say it accounts for the majority of cases.

Also do keep in mind that certain lovebird breeds will be more tame than others, like the peach-faced loverbird however, ultimately the agression of the bird will be down to its temprament and personality.

Do 2 Female Lovebirds Bite Each Other More Than 2 Males?

2 lovebirds

Yes, as mentioned above female lovebirds are generally way more aggressive than males therefore, expect there to be far more violence between the girls. Boys in general are more chill although if the interactions aren’t managed carefully, it won’t always be smooth sailing here either.

Furthermore, females will be also become aggresive when they are hormonal.

You definetly wouldn’t want 2 hormonal and extremely terratorial female loverbirds togther cause the final outcome may not turn out pretty.

A scenario that isn’t all to unfamiliar would be where unknowingly an owner may purchase 2 female lovebirds as a result of not DNA testing them beforehand. If you notice both birds being extremely aggressive, it might be because both loverbirds are female.


Loverbirds bite eachother for a variety of reasons whether for hormonal reasons, over food, over toys, baby chicks whilst in other instances it may be just cause they want to be cheeky or mildly annoying to their other half.

That’s why lovebirds and most other birds for that matter bite in order to get a point across, whether they’re scared or in some cases to assert their dominance. With that being said it’s still quite an ordinary thing that’s why unless the behaviour is extremely aggressive between the 2 lovebirds, it should be fine letting the pair get on with their day.




1 thought on “Why Do Lovebirds Bite Each Other’s Feet?”

  1. so they bite each other feet


    i was horrified to see my African Love Birds birds this morning,
    i have a BIG cage with 5 of them. this morning i was shocked to see some of them have blood on their beaks and on the plates. i found out one of the birds is alive but is missing a FOOT. THE WHOLE FOOT with the fingers. what the hell ?
    i think i might have to release them


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