Female Lovebird Just Killed Her Mate: WHY???!!!

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Chris D.:
I have just returned from our local emergency vet where my male lovebird died as a result of an attack by his female mate. I am looking for any explanation of why this could have happened, essentially out of the blue.
These were two black-masked blue lovebirds, and were born in Dec.
2002. They have been together since hatching, and it seems that onewas male and one was female. In their year and a half together, they were the closest of friends, always cuddling or playing and following each other around the cage, never more than a few inches from each other. They were quite opposite from a pair of green black-masked lovebirds I have had for several years that remain seperate from one another at all times. While loving to each other, they were extremely aggressive towards humans and I could not get near them without them trying to bite me. Feeding time is always a joy since its a race to the food bowl and a distraction of a finger somewhere else in the cage is needed.Anyway, all has been well with them and they have been healthy since we have had them. Tonight, around 7:15pm I left the house for 2 hours. My wife remained at home and heard the lovebirds making a terrific racket around 8:30pm (we have a "bird room" for both sets with window, lights, etc.), but thought nothing of it since the birds are constantly squaking, fluttering about, and making a general commotion. I returned home around 9:15 and went to the bird room to change their water/food.

I found the male blue lovebird on his back on the bottom of the cage, twitching and barely alive. He had been severly mauled by the other bird, which had taken a few small hits to its own head above the eyse. The hurt male was bitten from his beak area to the middle of his head, clear down to his skull bone, the feathers were ripped out of the back of his head, and he was a bloody pulp all along his back with several injuries to his legs as well. We rushed him to the ER (along with the female who required no treatment for her minor injuries), but he died on the way.
I am in total shock right now and don't know what to think. I am horrified that the female did this to the mate she had always "adored", yet I am saddened at the same time that she will spend the rest of her long life alone. She is already looking around the cage for him, and yet it is difficult for me to fully pity her since she killed him so brutally.Anybody have any experience with lovebirds doing this or know why such a thing could happen with no previous problems? The only clue that I may have is that the female started laying one egg every two weeks or so about 2 months ago. They fell out of the hanging nest and I removed them before they matured not wanting to have baby lovebirds on my hands. Could it be hormones? The emergency vet had no idea, and in fact thought at first that a cat had killed the male, but we have no cats and the birds are always in their cage.

They of course then tried to blame us for spraying something or cooking, but nothing of the sort had been done today and the birds had never had a problem with smells before anyway. We were devestated enough without the vet trying to place blame on us.
I truly do not know what to do with the female now. Will she die of lonliness? She can see the other pair of lovebirds from her cage, they are about 4 inches apart so she will have that much contact with other birds, but I really don't know what to do.
Thank you in advance for any advice.
chris
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Just Molly:
[nq:1]I have just returned from our local emergency vet where my male lovebird died as a result of an attack ... much contact with other birds, but I really don't know what to do. Thank you in advance for any advice.[/nq]
Firstly, no bird should be "always in their cage". All birds need to be able to get out for a fly about. Secondly you are not sure if they were male and female. 2 hens in breeding condition would fight and hens killing other hens is sadly not a rare occurrance especially if they were so closely confined that the underdog was not able to get away from the other one. No doubt the remaining one is missing its companion but it won't pine to death, nor would it be safe to introduce another to it.
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Mongo Sucks:
[nq:1]I truly do not know what to do with the female now. Will she die of lonliness? She can see ... inches apart so she will have that much contact with other birds, but I really don't know what to do.[/nq]
I don't think she will die of loneliness, since she has 2 other birds to keep her company. Since you have a bird room, instead keeping them caged all the time, maybe you should let them out and let them interact with each other (under your supervision, to make sure they don't fight). Maybe they will end up becoming more friendly towards each other that way.

Some birds can be quite aggressive and territorial when inside their cage, but they may become more friendly when outside. Good luck.
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