Classification Order Passeriformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Agapornis personata Other Common Names Masked Lovebird
Species Description The Masked Lovebird is a mainly green small
parrot about 14.5cm (5.5 in) long. It upper parts are a darker green
than its lower surfaces. Its head is black, and it has a bright red
beak and white eyerings. Yellow on the breast is continuous with a
yellow collar and an expansion of yellow over the nape of the neck.
Male and female have identical external appearance.
Masked Lovebird brings nesting material in its beak to a tree cavity
for their nest. The eggs are white and there are usually four to
five in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for about 23 days
and the chicks leave the nest about 42 days after hatching.
Habitat Light brushwood and trees.
Distribution They are native to northeast Tanzania, and they
have been introduced to Burundi and Kenya.
Captivity They are reportedly more shy and reserved in
comparison to the peach-faced lovebird. Their diet is mainly seed
with fresh fruit and vegetables. The best fruit and vegetables to
feed them are green and yellow. Do not feed them anything salted, or
iceberg lettuce, or anything containing caffeine or chocolate.
Avocado and other certain fruits can also harm them.
should place at least three toys in their cage so your bird won't
get bored when you're not with them. If they live in a cage alone
they will be more dependent on their owner, if they live with other
lovebirds they will tend to ignore you more and pay attention to the
other birds. Their cage should be at least 18" x 18"- if it is too
small they will feel crowded. Lovebirds can make great pets if their
owner is willing to spend time with them, especially if they are
acquired and hand fed from a very young age.
Summary The name Lovebird stems from these parrots'
strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods of time in
which paired birds will spend sat beside one another.
Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat mainly fruit,
vegetables, some grasses and seed. Abyssinian Lovebirds also eat
insects and figs, and the Black-collared Lovebirds have a special
dietary requirement for native figs making them almost impossible to
keep in captivity.
Lovebirds (in general) are not known
for their talking ability, although there are some lovebirds that do
learn words - the females are usually the ones that do this. As is
the case when many smaller parrots, the "voice" of lovebirds is
high-pitched and raspy and it may be difficult to understand their
speech. Lovebirds are very vocal birds, making loud, high-pitched
noises that can be a nuisance. They make noise all day, but
especially at certain times of day. They are also extremely active,
and love to chew things. It is wise to observe the birds carefully
when let out of their cage, and to protect any furniture, or
anything they have access to.
Lovebirds are notorious for
attempting to build nests, especially during mating season - for
this reason, loose material such as shredded paper and fabric do not
make suitable toys at certain times of year, as the lovebirds could
see it as nest-making material and attempt to mate. Breeding is not
something that should be attempted by someone without lots of
experience. "Huts" or hiding places and small enclosures are also
not good for the same reason. Female lovebirds are prone to
egg-binding, an often fatal condition in which an egg cannot be laid
as it gets caught in the reproductive tract. It is thought that egg
binding often occurs due to a lack of liquid calcium in the diet,
which causes a softer shell. To prevent this females, particularly
those kept in pairs, should be given calcium supplementation in
their water from a young age. Additionally, egg binding appears more
likely amongst younger birds; to avoid egg binding females in
captivity should be prevented from engaging in mating behaviours
until at least one year of age.
Lovebirds are also known
to be nippy and bossy. Although this can be seen as amusing and
endearing by many owners, some do not like it; a lovebird, while a
nice pet, is not for everyone. They bite very hard and love to test
their limits - if the owner does not set them early on, he or she
will have a bird that bites to get their way.
species of the genus are amongst the most popular parrots kept as
pets, and several color mutations have been selectively breed in
aviculture. Their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years.
Lovebirds vary in size from about 13 to 17 centimeters in
length and from about 40 to 60 grams in weight. They are among the
smallest parrots in the world, and they are characterized by a
stocky build, a short blunt tail, and a relatively large beak for
their overall size. Wild-type lovebirds are mostly green with a
variety of colors on their upper body depending on the species. The
Fischer's Lovebird, Black-cheeked Lovebird, and the Masked Lovebirds
have a white ring around their eyes. The Abyssinian Lovebird, the
Madagascar Lovebird, and the Red-faced Lovebird are sexually
dimorphic. Many color mutations have been produced by selective
breeding in the species that are popular in aviculture.