Animal-World > Birds > Lovebirds > Black Masked Lovebird

Masked Lovebird

Black Masked Lovebird

Family: Psittacidae Masked Lovebird or Black Masked LovebirdAgapornis personataPhoto Courtesy: Jamie Wertz, The Tweetery
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Hi I just bought a black masked lovebird off of someone from craigslist n he is 7 and never let out of the cage n never touched and Im trying with all my might and... (more)  Lisa Lupia

   The Masked Lovebird is a very popular species, second only to the Peach-faced Lovebirds, and is available in a number of attractive mutations!

   A beautiful bird with clear bright coloration, the Masked Lovebird also referred to as the Black Masked Lovebird, makes every bit as good a pet as the Peach-faced Lovebird. Some even suggest that they may be a bit calmer, though others say they are just as mischievous. Either way, they will make a delightful and enjoyable addition to any household.

   This small parrot is an excellent beginners bird being relatively hardy, easy to care for, a willing breeder, and reasonably priced. It is a most playful, intelligent, and amusing little companion.

   The Masked Lovebird is very social and loves companionship. Their natural behavior is to live closely with a companion so are often kept with another lovebird. Though they make a very fine and affectionate pet when hand-raised, they will need a lot of attention if kept singly. Most are kept in pairs to satisfy their considerable need for constant companionship, mutual preening, and socialization.

For more information and the care of Lovebirds see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Lovebird


Geographic Distribution
Agapornis personata
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Agapornis
  • Species: personata

Scientific Name: Agapornis personata personata    There are a some popular color mutations of the Masked Lovebird, and while this bird is described by its face, the 'mask', the mutations are described by their body color. The most common varieties are the Blue Masked Lovebird and the Green Masked Lovebird; and then there are the more uncommon varieties such as the medium blue (cobalt) and the dark blue (slate).

Distribution:
   The Masked Lovebird is native to northeastern Tanzania in Africa. They inhabit dry areas with shrubs or trees bordering forests, usually near bodies of water. They were originally discovered in the late 1800's but were not imported until the 1920's.

Description:
   The Masked Lovebird is a very small member of the parrot family. They have a general green plumage. The head is brownish-black with a yellow collar around the neck. The throat and upper breast is also yellow, though with a reddish-orange cast. The feathers of the rump and onto the upper tail are bluish, and the tail also has occasional orange and black markings. The eye is dark brown surrounded by a naked white eye ring. The beak is red and the legs are gray. The females in this species are slightly larger than the males. The young are duller especially on the head and they have black markings on the beak.
   The Masked Lovebird belongs to a group of lovebirds called the 'eye-ring' species. There are four eye-ring species, with the other three being the Fischer's Lovebird A. p. fischeri, Black-cheeked Lovebird A. p. nigrigenis, and the Nyasa Lovebird A. p. lilianae. This group can be identified by the obvious strong ring around their eyes. They are closely related and will interbred readily if kept together, even though they are different species. It is strongly urged that you keep these species separate to maintain their natural forms, as breeding within each species itself produces the most beautiful color mutations.

Size - Weight:
   The Masked Lovebird will get up to about 6" (14.5 - 15. 5 cm) in length.

Care and feeding:
   A roomy cage is required as lovebirds are very active. If you have a tame pet that is kept in a small cage, it needs to be let out for extended periods to fly about.
   In the wild the Masked Lovebird eats seeds as well as agricultural crops, especially maize and millets. As a pet they will enjoy a variety of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and commercial pellets.
   See About Lovebirds: Housing and About Lovebirds: Care and Feeding for more information.

Social Behaviors:
   In the wild they are seen in small flocks, and occasionally larger flocks when feeding in ripening crop fields.
   A lovebird is a very social bird with it's companion, and it is generally thought to be essential for their good health and happiness that they be kept in pairs rather than singly. They can, however, be aggressive towards other birds in an aviary setting.

Activities:    Loves to fly, climb, and play. Provide lots of room and lots of toys.

The masked lovebirds are an excellent choice for the beginning breeder. These birds will breed as either single pairs or in colonies. In the wild these birds nest in the holes of trees, in crevices of buildings, or take over the nests of swifts. When you provide them with a nest box be sure to also provide lots of willow twigs, strips of bark, or other nesting materials.
   The hen will lay three to four eggs which are incubated for about 21 to 23 days. The young fledge (leave the nest) in about 44 to 45 days. When they become independent, remove the young to their own housing.
    See About Lovebirds: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.

Potential Problems:    This bird has a high pitched twittering and though not as loud as some parrots, it can be rather noisy for parts of the day.
   See About Lovebirds: Potential Problems for information on illnesses.

Availability:
  The Masked Lovebird is very popular and is readily available.

Author: Clarice Brough. CAS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Black Masked Lovebird

Lisa Lupia - 2014-09-13
Hi I just bought a black masked lovebird off of someone from craigslist n he is 7 and never let out of the cage n never touched and Im trying with all my might and I do know alot about birds have them 30 years n been trying all my might to handle him but boyyy is she vicious. I have done everything possible but he aint going for it what should I do?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-14
    Sounds like he's got a great home, but was never tamed. At 7 years old, you've got a task to in front of you if you want a tame bird. A lot of patience and love will be needed, but hard to say if the lovebird will become like a handfed bird that was socialized as a baby. Good luck.
Reply
John Grimlan - 2005-08-15
My black-masked lovebird was given to me by his previous owner after his mate, a peach-faced female, escaped and flew away. He's adjusted quite well to being by himself, but makes sure I give him lots of attention whenever I'm around! (For such a little bird, they sure can chirp LOUD!) I bought him a little 3-way mirror at Petco that he spends hours in front of, chirping to and pecking at the "other bird" on the other side of the mirror. That and providing him with a variety of other entertaining bird toys keep him busy and happy throughout the day. So key to keeping a single lovebird is to give them lots of love and attention, and a mirror really helps too!

Reply
Mike - 2007-05-28
NO NO NO... Sorry, but don't buy your bird a mirror. If you cannot afford to spend enough time (for a lovebird, at least 2 to 3 hours a day) with him or her, do not buy them! A mirror will make it so that a single lovebird will eventually become anti-social to you, his companion. The birds in the mirror become his companions and you will lose his trust little by little until he becomes just another wild lovebird! This is the same with ANY bird, not just lovebirds. If you want them to love you, keep mirrors away unless you are supervising with it and playing with them!

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Firemoon - 2006-09-25
...people breeding Masked Lovebirds to PeachFaced! For the purity of the line, as a breeder I wouldn't recommend this. In the wild they are not social to each other, but in captivity...nature takes over for procreation. If you love your Lovebirds, get them proper mates. If it has a ring around the eye then its mate should also. Peach Face and Whiteface(also a peachface variety) can be bred together. Fischer's Lovebirds should also be bred among Fischer's only. I wish you all happiness with your pets, but please...keep the lines pure.

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dibya - 2013-03-21
i had pair of black masked love bird but few days before one of them was died and now i want to introduce another black masked with him is it right to do this if yes then how should i do this pls if any one there rply me

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-03-23
    Lovebirds can get lonely and it is usually best to keep them as pairs. However, because your lovebird is an adult, you may want to introduce a new bird slowly. I would start by keeping them in separate cages and putting the cages right next to each other. This way they can get to know each other without the danger of fighting.
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