Do you plan on adopting a colorful companion as a pet? If the answer is yes, you should look for a beautiful pair of lovebirds. Lovebirds are monogamous creatures that can help uplift the mood in your home. Belonging to the genus Agapornis, lovebirds are available in various color combinations.
The genus Agapornis features nine lovebird species that are native to Africa. But have you ever wondered why there are several color variants of lovebirds? You can own the same species of lovebirds but with different colors. Several color combinations are available, so you can get the right lovebird colors that match your interior décor. For more details on lovebird colors, please read on.
Anyone can adopt thousands of color combinations thanks to the lovebird colors mutation. The genus lovebird features nine beautiful species that can bring your home to life. Therefore, we will elaborate more on the several lovebird species and their unique colors, not forgetting the number of mutations. So we’ll focus on the following:
- The most common lovebird species that have undergone thousands of mutations are the peach-faced lovebird, Fischer’s lovebird, and black-masked lovebirds.
- The rarest lovebird colors that very few breeders have successfully managed to breed.
- The unique lovebird colors that you can only find in nature
Generally, there are thousands of lovebird colors to choose from, so instead of settling for the first option you get at the local breeder’s aviary, you should do more research and get lovebirds with some rare color combinations.
Lovebirds are available in several colors, from green and orange to yellow and blue. Fortunately, they have undergone several mutations resulting in several lovebird colors. Some popular breeders still breed these variants using selective breeding.
Lovebirds are colorful creatures that can bring life to your home. They’re lively creatures that can guarantee bliss, even after a busy day. So in this article, we’ll elaborate on the different lovebird colors. We’ll also show you the different color mutant varieties available per species.
What are Lovebirds?
Lovebirds are some of the world’s most beautiful parrots that make great companions. And the fact that they have a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years means that when well-taken care of, they will cheer you up for over two decades.
Unlike most birds, lovebirds get their name from their sweet personalities and monogamous behavior. They’re affectionate and social creatures known for creating strong monogamous relationships. These birds spend long periods perched together for several hours. (source)
They live in small groups in the wild and consume seeds, grasses, veggies, and fruit. Therefore, you should try as much as possible to mimic their natural meal while in captivity. For instance, black-winged lovebirds consume figs and insects, while black-collared parrots have a special diet.
Unfortunately, breeding some lovebird species in captivity can be pretty challenging. For example, black-collared lovebirds are extremely hard to keep in captivity. And that is because of their love for consuming native figs.
The Different Lovebird Colors
Generally, wild-type lovebirds are green in color with a wide range of colors on the upper part of the body. Plus, the numerous variants are bred in the local aviaries so that you can get a pair of violet lovebirds.
Even a single lovebird can be available in various colors thanks to mutation and selective breeding. For instance, the original colors of the masked lovebirds were a black head and green body, with some yellowish highlights.
But did you know that there are some yellow or blue mutations of masked lovebirds? Thanks to selective breeding, you can consider the lovebird colors when looking for the right pair to adopt. You can even try selective breeding and see what you can come up with for new color mutations.
Therefore, in this article, we’ll examine the lovebird colors of different species and the possibility of mutation. So here are some of the most popular lovebird colors on the planet:
- Perch-Faced Lovebirds
The famous peach-faced parrot exudes a big personality in its tiny body. These amazing lovebirds love their playtime and interact positively with their human family members. They are known for their busy beaks and can tear up anything near them. But they still are great companions with a beautiful lovebird color pattern.
Like most parrots, these lovebirds get their unique name from their distinct facial color. Unlike most parrot species, these lovebirds have a perch or rosy pink throat and face. Their color darkens as their plumage reaches their forehead, where it changes to red or orange color.
Generally, the plumage of most perch-faced parrots is dark green, while some have yellowish chests. So if you’re looking for a pair of lovebirds to match your backyard or aviary, then you should try the different color combinations of the rosy-faced lovebirds. But did you know that the different lovebird colors result from mutation?
This lovebird has undergone several color mutations, particularly in captivity. There are over a thousand lovebird color variations. No parrot, even the budgies, has a broader array of lovebird colors than the perch-faced parrots.
Therefore, rosy-faced lovebirds are the most popular option in the pet market. The most popular colors include violet, lutino, orange, and white-faced lovebirds.
Mutation of Perch-Faced Lovebird Colors
Compared to the Agapornis species, the perch-faced lovebirds have experienced several mutations and selective breeding. In fact, this lovebird species has the most color combinations split into four genetic categories.
These mutation categories include X-linked recessive, recessive, co-dominant, and dominant. These mutation categories and how the alleles from both parents align with each other play a vital role in the overall color of your rosy-faced lovebird.
For instance, these lovebirds belong to two base colors. Many consider the blue series recessive, while the green series is a dominant trait. The blue series include other variants like the white-faced, blue and Dutch blue.
Generally, the recessive traits of the Dutch blue and white-faced are alleles. Therefore when these alleles mix, they produce a variant known as the Seagreen. Since blue-series alleles are recessive, a bird has to receive the two from their parents for it to be bluish. (source)
On the other hand, a bird that receives the green-series allele from one parent and the blue-series from the other is technically a wild green lovebird.
- Fischer’s Lovebirds
Another popular small-sized parrot loved by parrot lovers worldwide is the Fischer lovebird. Named after Gustav Fischer, these lovebird colors include a combination of orange, yellow and green. Plus, both sexes have a similar color combination.
These birds have green wings, chests, and back. Their neck is golden yellowish, and the color becomes dark orange as it progresses upwards. They have a bright red beak, and the top of their heads is olive green. The top part of their tails features bluish or purplish feathers, making them one of the most beautiful lovebirds on the planet.
But one thing that stands out the most is the white circles around its eyes. These circles are bare white skin with no feathers. The young ones resemble the adults in color patterns, but they are a tad dull; plus, the lower part of their mandible has some brown markings. (source)
Fischer’s Lovebird Mutations
While a considerable percentage of the world’s Fischer’s lovebirds are green in color, several variations are currently bred throughout the United States. In fact, one of the most popular variations is the blue Fischer’s lovebird. The blue variation is a unique mutation first bred in 1957 in South Africa by R. Horsham.
The blue variation doesn’t have a yellow marking; instead, it has a pale-gray head, white neck, bright blue chest, tail, and back. You can also find a yellow lutino mutation first sighted in France. The yellow lutino mutation is yellowish with a red beak and orange face. Other prevalent mutations are white, cinnamon, dark or black-eyed white, and pied mutations.
You can also find a hybrid between the Masked and Fischer’s lovebirds which are common in captivity. But they can also be found in feral populations. The hybrid resembles the masked lovebird with an orange chest and reddish-brown head. Other mutations include:
The Blue Variant
Unlike the other lovebird color mutations, this mutation alters the color of every part of the bird, including its primary body. These Fischer’s lovebirds come with:
- Their beaks are pale pink
- The top part of their heads is pale gray, while the rest is white
- They have bright blue chests, tails, and back
Lutino is a unique mutation that occurs when the bird’s melanin pigment is suppressed, creating a yellow bird. Generally, lutino resembles the albino mutation, but with lutino, only the green series lovebirds are affected. Melanin suppression results in a lovebird that won’t develop gray, brown, or black colors, resulting in the following:
- Red beaks
- Bright yellow chest, tail, and back
- Orange head
- Reddish face
Generally, dark-eyed white is a term used to describe lovebirds with blue and dark-eyed clear mutations. The dark-eyed white lovebirds have the following characteristics:
- Pale pink beaks
- White bodies
- Pale violet or blue tail and abdomen
- Pale pink feet
Unfortunately, most folks mistake the dark-eyed white for the albino mutation. The main difference between the two is the eyes; the non-albino will have dark eyes.
Generally, the pied features patches on their feathers with no melanin. These birds are the outcome of a wide range of colors, and you can determine if this is the case by the dominant color. For instance, if it’s pied blue, it will result in white splotches. On the other hand, pied green will leave your lovebirds with yellow spots.
Albino mutation always results in a condition that suppresses melanin production. It functions just like lutino mutation since it affects blue series lovebirds. Unfortunately, they do come with bright red eyes. Albino mutation aviculturists classify by the following:
- Bright red eyes
- Pale pink beaks
- White body
Fischer’s Masked Hybrid
A hybrid between the masked and Fischer’s lovebirds is ubiquitous. Unfortunately, they are commonly mistaken for pure Fischer’s, but to differentiate the two; you have to focus on their head, cheeks, and forehead. These hybrids have the following characteristics:
- Grey feet
- Grayish blue rump
- Red beak
- The yellow band on the outer tail feathers
- Brown irises with white rings surrounding their eyes
- Bright green body
- Orange neck and chest
- The upper part of their head is dull olive
- Black-Masked Lovebirds
The black-masked lovebirds, also known as the yellow-collared eye ring or masked lovebirds, get their name from their unique masked face with some white eye rings. Some of these lovebirds get the name yellow-collared birds thanks to their yellow plumage. But the rest of their small bodies are green.
The upper part of these lovebirds is a darker green than their lower side. They have a dark heads with white eyerings and bright reddish beaks. On top of that, they have a yellow collar, breast, and neck nape. And like most lovebirds, the female and male are identical. (source)
Like the other lovebirds, the Black-masked lovebirds have undergone several mutations resulting in several lovebirds’ color variants. The blue mutation is the most popular one that can trace its origin to the 1920s.
The other mutations have been a product of selective breeding over the last few decades. Some of the most common mutations include slate, mauve, cobalt, blue, lutino, albino, and violet. The latest color variant is the Albino, a perfect combination of blue and lutino.
- Lilian’s Lovebird
Generally, most lovebirds are usually mainly green, and Lilian’s lovebird is no exception. Lilian’s lovebird is one of the smallest species that are primarily green with some unique whitish eyerings. On top of that, they come with a green rump and orange upper chest, neck, and head. And like most lovebirds, the females and males are identical.
This lovebird is mainly mistaken for a huge Fischer’s lovebird with a blue rump and olive-green hood. It also closely resembles the Rosy-faced lovebird, which has a beautiful orange color demarcation minus the white eyerings. (source)
- Black-Cheeked Lovebirds
As their name suggests, the black-cheeked lovebirds don’t have black cheeks; instead, they come with brownish-black cheeks. Endemic to southwest Zambia, the black-cheeked lovebirds are primarily green with brown heads. They have a green plumage, orange bib beneath their throats that fade to yellowish-green, brownish-black throat and cheeks, and reddish-brown forecrown and forehead.
They also come with gray feet and white eyerings. Compared to the juveniles, the adults come with bright red beaks. On the other hand, the juveniles have an orange bill. Unfortunately, breeders were not interested in breeding them during the twentieth century, so they’re less popular than pets in the United States. (source)
- Grey-Headed Lovebirds
Another lovebird that’s hard to breed in captivity is the gray-headed lovebird, also known as the Madagascar lovebird. Therefore, you won’t find them in most aviculture due to their inability to breed successfully in captivity, so you may have to pay more for this lovebird. And that is because only a few breeders have managed to produce two generations of gray-headed lovebirds.
Plus, they’re timid and very nervous about making great pets. So if you’re lucky enough to see one, you should consider yourself blessed. But how would you differentiate it from the other green parrots?
Well, like most parrots, the Gray-headed lovebirds are primarily green. The females have a bright green rump, dark green wings and back, and pale gray feet and beaks. On the other hand, the male adults have the same color, except for their upper chest and heads, which are entirely gray. (source)
- Black-Winged Lovebirds
Despite not being quite popular as a pet, the black-winged lovebirds are the largest species in the lovebird genus. Native to Ethiopia and Eritrea, the adult male black-winged lovebird comes with a red forehead, while the females have a green head.
On the other hand, the adults are primarily green, with the males having a ring of reddish feathers surrounding their eyes.
Their tail feathers are black-tipped with some yellowing color. The feathers above their tail and rump are light green. Another critical difference between the males and the females is the fact that the feathers under the male’s wings are black, while that on the females are either brownish or greenish. But they do have gray feet and red beaks. (source)
- Red-Headed Lovebird
You won’t be surprised by red-headed lovebirds if you love gray-headed lovebirds. Like the other lovebirds, the red-headed lovebird is primarily green with a well-demarcated red region on its head. The reddish part of its body extends from the right and left side of the eyelid margins, over its forehead to its mid-crown, and over its beak.
The red-headed lovebirds have gray feet. Plus, the underside of their wings is light green. The adult males have red beaks, while female counterparts are paler red. The females have an orange head coloring that’s less demarcated than the redheads on the males. (source)
- Black-Collared Lovebirds
Like the other lovebirds on our list, the black-collared lovebirds are primarily green with a unique black band. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few parrots rarely kept in captivity thanks to its strict dietary requirement. But it’s always a good idea to know how to differentiate it from the other popular lovebirds.
Other than the black-collared nape, the black-collared parrots also come with gray feet, yellow iris, graying black bills, and brownish-red chests. (source)
Other Popular Lovebird Colors
The violet lovebirds may not be widespread in nature, but they’re pretty popular in aviaries. Many breeders have managed to breed these parrots with plumage that varies in color from deep purple to lavender. They also come with a white plumage surrounding their upper chest and neck.
Since you can find them in several species, mutations determine the final color. Some may have a black mast, while others have a white face. They can also come with peach-colored beaks.
Australian Cinnamon and Orange Lovebirds
These birds have a unique color pattern resembling Fischer’s parrot. Most of them come with dark orange or red plumage on their faces. Their plumage changes their color around the upper chest and neck to yellow. But their primary lovebird color is a vibrant green.
Which Color Is Best for Lovebirds?
As aforementioned, there is a wide range of lovebird colors; therefore, what you select will depend on your preference. But most lovebirds have a base green color while others have violet or blue. But the right combination will be determined by what the breeders have in their aviaries.
But some of the most popular lovebird colors include green, orange, yellow, white, and dark brown or black. So you just need to look for a perfect combination that can fit perfectly in your home. Most importantly, it should have the right characteristics of a great companion. Remember, not every lovebird species can make a great pet.
On the other hand, other rare lovebirds can be a great addition to your home. For instance, the black-collared lovebird has a strict diet that has made it hard for the local breeders to breed them. On the other hand, only a few breeders have managed to breed gray-headed lovebirds. So if you’re working with a considerable budget and love a green and gray parrot, you should get a gray-headed lovebird.
Several lovebird colors are available for parrot lovers; unfortunately, some birds are rare. Some of the lovebirds in our list, like the Rosy-faced lovebird and Fischer’s lovebirds, can be easily domesticated, and breeders have been rearing them for centuries. For instance, you can get a wide range of lovebird color mutations of Rosy-faced birds.
On the other hand, some exotic options can make a great addition to your aviary. Unfortunately, they’re almost impossible to breed, thanks to their strict dietary requirements.
But irrespective of your pet’s lovebird colors, it will be vibrant and beautiful. Their affection and fun-loving nature make them the best pets to adopt.
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