Lovebird Colors (Expert Guide about Mutations)

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Ali Shahid

Lovebirds have a wider range of colors than other parrot species. They are characterized by a wide range of colors and mutations. Lovebird colors can be confusing if you’re considering adopting a pair.

The lovebird’s plumage comes in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, peach, orange, violet, teal, black, or white. Many mutations have resulted in a variety of lovebird colors, which is great news. There are still well-known breeders who use selective breeding to produce these varieties.

Make your house a happier place by adding some lovebirds. Even after a long day, you might find solace in the company of these vivacious animals.

Hence, in this article, we’ll describe in detail different lovebird colors. We’ll also demonstrate the wide range of color mutants that exist within each species.

Lovebird Colors (Expert Guide)

1. Fisher’s Lovebirds

The Fisher’s Lovebird, also known as the eye-ringed lovebird, is a beautiful bird with a tricolor plumage of green, yellow, and orange. Typically, the sexes share the same pattern of colors.

Their bright green feathers are bright on their backs, chests, and wings, fading to yellow and orange before becoming black at the base of their necks.

Fischer’s doves all have a distinctive white eye circle. Some of the feathers near the tip of their tails may be blue or purple.

Fisher’s Lovebird Mutation

While most of Fischer’s lovebirds are green, various color varieties are being produced here in the United States. The blue Fischer’s lovebird is among the most common variants. R. Horsham of South Africa initially bred the blue variant in 1957.

In contrast to the yellow spot on its back, the blue variety is all blue from head to tail. A mutation that causes lutinos to be yellow was also discovered in France. The mutant known as the yellow lutino has a yellow body, a red beak, and an orange face.

Apart from brown eyes, white skin, cinnamon hair, dark or black eyes, and the pied gene are also common.

Captive populations of Masked and Fischer’s Lovebirds often produce hybrids. Nonetheless, wild populations exist as well. The hybrid looks like a cross between an orange-chested lovebird and a masked lovebird with a reddish-brown head. Other popular Fisher lovebird mutations include:

In contrast to the peach coloring of regular lovebirds, those with opaline coloring have bright red or orange heads. Its wings may be a variety of colors, but are most often pale green or yellow.

The opaline lovebird stands out from other varieties due to the sharp contrast between its colors. Depending on their appearance, opaline lovebirds may be classified as pieds or edged dilutes.

Different Color Variations of Opaline Mutation

  • Violet Euwing Opaline
  • Mauve Euwing Parblue Opaline
  • Cobalt Blue Parblue Euwing Opaline
  • Blue Parblue Opaline
  • Cobalt Blue Euwing Opaline
  • Violet Parblue Opaline
  • Green Euwing Opaline
  • Lutino Opaline
  • Green Opaline
  • Olive Green Euwing Opaline
  • Dark Factor Violet Opaline
  • Blue Variety

This mutation completely changes the bird’s color scheme, unlike the other lovebird color variants where just the main body is affected.

  • Lutino

The lutino mutation is very rare, and it makes a bird yellow by stopping melanin from being made.Luteino is a mutation that looks a lot like albino.

However, it only affects the lovebirds of the green series. Since melanin is being suppressed, the lovebird will never become gray, brown, or black.

  • Dark-Eyed White

Birds that have both the blue and dark-eyed clear mutations are sometimes referred to as “dark-eyed whites.”

Most people, however, misidentify the dark-eyed white as an albino. The eyes of a non-albino individual will be a distinguishing feature.

  • Pied

The pied typically has areas on its feathers where no melanin is present. You can tell whether one of these birds is the result of a variety of color combinations by looking at the dominant hue.

If it’s pied blue, for instance, it’ll end up with white spots. Yet, your lovebirds will be spotted yellow after being exposed to pied green.

  • Albino

When melanin formation is inhibited, as it always is in albinos, the condition is called albinism. Since it affects blue-series lovebirds, it acts similarly to the lutino mutation. They have to flash red eyes, which is a bummer.

  • Fischer’s Mask Hybrid

Masked lovebirds and Fischer’s lovebirds have mated extensively, creating a new species. Sadly, they are often confused with pure Fischer’s, but the head, cheeks, and forehead may be used to tell the two apart.

2. Black Masked Lovebirds

Black-masked lovebirds get their name from the distinctive black masking on their faces with prominent white rings around their eyes. The golden feathers on their necks and upper chests also give these birds another name: the yellow-collared lovebird.

Their tails are sometimes blue, but the rest of their bodies are covered in bright green feathers that are unique to them. They have bright red beaks.

Color Variations

The Black-masked Lovebird is one of several color variations of this species of bird that have occurred as a consequence of mutation. The most well-known mutation can be traced back to the 1920s, and it’s blue.

All the rest of the mutations are the result of decades of careful breeding. Slate, mauve, cobalt, blue, lutino, albino, and violet are among the most common color mutations. Albinos, a new color variant that combines blue and lutino, are the latest trend.

3. Abyssinian lovebird or Black-winged lovebird

At about 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in length, the black-winged lovebird is among the longest of the lovebird species. Most of them hail from Eritrea or Ethiopia in East Africa.

The Black-winged Lovebird is similarly mostly green, but its wings include a black beak and a few black feathers.

The male is easy to spot because it has a crown on its head that is a beautiful, bright red color. Seldom seen even in zoos, this lovebird is a true rarity in captivity.

Different Color Mutations

Despite the black-winged lovebird’s scarcity in aviaries, numerous fascinating color variations have occurred.

They include:

  • Olive Green (the most expensive mutation of this species)
  • Wild Green
  • Dark green

Additionally, there are some very rare variations of color:

  • Cinnamon
  • Lutino
  • Yellow

4. Peach-Faced Lovebirds

Peach-faced lovebirds, sometimes known as rosy-faced lovebirds, are so named because of their unique appearance. The cheeks and throats of these pocket parrots are a beautiful shade of pink or peach.

When the feathers reach their foreheads, the color deepens into an orange or crimson. The remainder of their body is covered with green plumage, ranging from bright to dark.

Some of the males in this pair have bright yellow chests. Their beaks are similar in color to bone or horn.

Different Color Mutations

The perch-faced lovebirds have undergone more mutations and selective breeding than the Agapornis species. This species of lovebird has the greatest number of possible color combinations, which fall into four distinct genetic groups.

X-linked recessive, recessive, codominant, and dominant mutations are all types of this phenomenon. The overall shade depends on a combination of mutation types and the alignment of alleles from both parents.

Most of the time, the blue series is seen as less important than the green series. The white-faced blue, the blue, and the Dutch blue are only a few of the variations in the blue series.

5. Grey-headed lovebird or Madagascar lovebird

The Grey-headed lovebird, at just around 5 inches in length, is one of the tiniest of the lovebird species (13 cm). These birds originated on the island nation of Madagascar, which is located off the coast of eastern Africa.

The wings of the Madagascar lovebird are a deeper shade of green than the rest of its body. Males are easily distinguished from females by their lighter green chests and the males’ lighter grey upper bodies.

They are quite difficult to reproduce, and you won’t often see them in zoos or aquariums. Few people have been able to keep a group of Madagascar lovebirds alive for more than two generations.

Different Color Mutations

While it may come as a surprise, this lovebird no longer undergoes color changes.

6. Black-Collared Lovebird

The black-collared lovebird, which hails from the rainforests of Equatorial Africa, is similarly diminutive at just 4-5 inches (13.5 cm) in length.

This species of the lovebird is notoriously hard to reproduce; hence, it is seldom kept as a pet or in captivity.

It is mostly green, yet it does have a yellow breast and a gray, black neck and face with white eye rings.

Different Color Mutation

Even though not much is known about their ability to breed and change colors, the Swindern’s lovebird can be split into two subspecies that can be told apart by their feather patterns:

  • zenkeri (Agapornis): A. zenkeri (Agapornis) These birds originated in the Congo and Cameroon. From the breast to the neck, these birds show a gradual transition of color from brown to red.
  • Agapornis emini: These birds are not only spotted in Uganda but also in the Congo. They resemble Agapornis zenkeri in appearance, though their brown and red hues are more muted.
  • Lilian’s Lovebird  or Nyasa lovebird

Lilian’s lovebird is a much smaller species of lovebird, measuring approximately 5 inches (13 cm) in length. They are endemic to the central-east African countries of Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi and are very uncommon.

The Fisher’s lovebird and the Nyasa lovebird have some of the same colors, but the Nyasa lovebird has a solid green tail. It differs from Fisher’s Lovebird in having a paler beak, a whiter ring around its eyes, and a lighter nape.

Different Color Mutations

Rare mutations in the actual Lilian’s lovebird or Nyasa lovebird exist. The initial wild green mutation, the Lutino mutation, and the Dilute mutation are the only three known color mutations.

But because it’s easy for lovebirds to get together, there are a lot of hybrid colors. Thus, it’s incredibly tough to tell whether a bird of a given hue is a hybrid or a true color mutation.

7. Black-cheeked lovebird

Similar in size to the Fisher’s lovebird, the Zambian Black-cheeked Lovebird measures 14 centimeters in length (approximately 5.5 inches).

The majority of a black-cheeked lovebird’s body is green, but its cheeks range in hue from brown to black (hence the name).

They have white circles around their eyes and a brown to red forehead.

Different Color Mutations

It’s intriguing that no real color mutations have yet been documented in black-cheeked lovebirds.

If you encounter a “black-cheeked color mutation,” proceed with caution. These are hybrids, mostly of Masked Lovebirds and Black-cheeked Lovebirds, and not mutations.

Recently, there were claims that a “genuine” blue mutant had been seen. Yet this has not been verified; therefore, for the time being, we must assume it is false.

8. Violet Lovebirds

The violet lovebirds may not be common in the wild, but they are much sought after in zoos and aquariums. These parrots have been bred by several breeders to have a wide range of plumage colors, from deep purple to lavender.

Moreover, they have white feathering on their top chest and neck. The final color is determined by mutations, and they occur in several species.

It’s possible that some of them have white faces and black masts. They may also have beaks of a peach tint.

9. Australian Cinnamon and Orange Lovebirds

The distinctive coloring of these birds is reminiscent of the pattern on Fischer’s parrots. The majority of them have crimson or orange facial plumage.

They have a golden tinge to their plumage on the upper chest and neck. Nonetheless, vivid green is the lovebirds’ predominant hue.

Conclusion

While other colors of lovebirds do exist, these are the most typical for those who are kept as pets. Many kinds of lovebirds may be found in nature. While fascinating to see, they do not survive well in captivity and hence cannot be kept as pets.

Your lovebird will be beautiful no matter what mutation or coloration it has. The beautiful plumage of lovebirds, in addition to their kind demeanor, makes them a sought-after pet.

Author

  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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