Pet's Corner: Lovebirds might be romantic, but are they practical?

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My girlfriend has always liked birds, so I was thinking about getting her a pair of lovebirds for Valentines day. Are they easy to keep? Harry White, Romford

As a young woman with many admirers, mostly of them from the four-legged and waggy-tailed variety, I am aware of Valentine's Day. Though lovebirds sound romantic, in practice they can have ear-piercing shrieking when they want your attention. If you live in a flat you will be able to hear them no matter where you are in your home, as I know when I got to stay with friends that own some. Birds are pets for enthusiasts and they are a long term commitment. Lovebirds live up to 20 years so you better be sure that the relationship is going to last that long before buying these pets. Being the second smallest type of parrots does not make them any easier to train. If you are going to keep them indoors they need daily exercise out of their cages, which most people are reluctant to do because they will want to poo all over their furniture. The most time-consuming part of caring for lovebirds is the effort you have to put in to get them tamed. It is a delicate process that you need to fulfill so you and your lovebirds have a long and happy life together. If your girlfriend really likes birds, why not give a donation to a bird charity and take her to a bird sanctuary for Valentine's Day?

Send your queries to The Independent Magazine, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail petscorner@independent.co.uk

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