Masked Lovebird
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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    photo of masked lovebird
  • Scientific Name:  Agapornis personata                       (Click on photo to enlarge) 
  • Common Name/s:  MASKED LOVEBIRD
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  Nine different species/sub-species of Lovebirds occur in the wild in Africa and Madagascar.  
  • Origin / Distribution:  North-eastern Tanzania, Africa.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Lightly timbered areas on inland plateaus.
  • Status In Wild:  ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  About 4 - 6 months. 
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  For best results, the birds should not be allowed to breed before they reach the age of about 10 - 12 months.  Best breeding years are till about 7 years of age but may be successful for several more years.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx. 8 - 10, but up to 15 years is possible.
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic.  Difficult to accurately sex. DNA or surgical sexing may be required.
  • Colour mutations:  Yes
  • Availability:  Pet shops and bird dealers.
  • Temperament:  Makes a good beginners bird.  Popular aviary bird and are generally prolific breeders and will breed all months of the year.  Can be kept as a colony (provided the numbers of males and females are equal) in a suitable sized aviary but the parent birds can be aggressive to the young birds.  The young birds should be removed to a separate cage or aviary.  Lovebirds should not be housed with other types of birds due to the lovebirds aggressive nature especially at breeding time.  All species of lovebirds will easily hybridize and produce fertile young, so only one species should be kept per cage or aviary.  For best breeding results, or for breeding for specific colour, only keep one pair per aviary or cage . 
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $50 - $60
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 140 - 150 mm (or approx.  5.5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ):  Refer photo top right.  (Click on above photo to enlarge)  
  3. Weight: Approx. 50 - 60 gms (or approx. 2 ozs)

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Lovebirds " web page for general details on the housing of Lovebirds.

These birds are less aggressive than birds like the Peach faced and are more likely to be successfully bred in a colony situation.  Will hybridize with other Lovebirds.  Masked Lovebirds are adaptable birds that can be colony bred in an aviary or bred as a single pair in a cage.

Double wiring between adjoining aviaries is required to prevent injuries such as toes and feet being bitten by a neighbouring bird.

Diet / Feeding:  Refer to " Lovebirds " web page for general details on the feeding of Lovebirds.

Nesting:  As per "Lovebirds" web page.

  • Nesting months:  Will breed year round if conditions are suitable.
  • Nest-box:  Commercially made lovebird breeding boxes can be purchased cheaply form most bird dealers or pet shops.  Refer to "Lovebirds" web page.
  • Nest-box material:  Birds carry the nesting material into the nest box.  The preferred nest material is green fronds of the Christmas Island date palm.  Fresh willow twigs are stripped of the bark and the bark is used in the nest.
  • Who incubates the egg/s:  Hen

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year.. up to 3.  Eggs per nest  4 - 6.  Incubation approx.  23 days.  Fledge approx. 6 weeks.  Independent approx. another 2 - 3 weeks.

All 5 species of Lovebirds will hybridize and produce fertile offspring.  House only one species per cage or aviary.  These birds are less aggressive than birds like the Peach faced and are more likely to be successfully bred in a colony situation.

Young should be removed from the parent birds as soon as they are fully independent so as to avoid possible aggression from a parent.

Hens should not be allowed to raise more than 3 clutches per year.

Birds that are bred to have a particular visual colour or a specific genetic combination are leg rung with numbered, coloured, closed metal leg rings so each bird can be individually identified.  Suitable rings can be purchased from most bird dealers, pet shops & bird clubs and how they are put on the baby birds can be learnt from an experienced breeder or avian veterinarian.  Specialist Lovebird clubs/societies are established in many large cities.

Pure, non colour mutation, breeding birds are hard to find.  Many birds lack good body size probably due to the inbreeding for colour mutations.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues:  Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture 
  • A/A Vol 55 No. 12 Dec 2001 Page 265-267 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 51 No. 1 Jan 1997 Page 16
  • A/A Vol 28 No. 6 Jun 1974 Page 88-90 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 24 No. 4 Apr 1970 Page 55-58.
  • A/A Vol 20 No 5 May 1966 Page 65-66.
  • A/A Vol 14 No. 8 Aug 1960 Page 105 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol 12 No 11 Nov 1958 Page 137-139,143-145 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol 11 No 9 Sept 1957 Page 136-138.
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 15 Issue 3. Jun-Jul 2002 Page 143-145
  • ABK Vol 12 Issue 9. Jun-July 1999 Page 431-435
  • ABK Vol  8 Issue 12. Dec-Jan 1996 Page 591
  • ABK Vol  7 Issue 6. Dec-Jan 1995 Page 301
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 1989 Page 242
  • ABK Vol  1 Issue 2. Dec-Jan 1988 Page 54-55

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