Agapornis personatus - Yellow-collared Lovebird

Yellow-collared Lovebird – Agapornis personatus (Reichenow, 1887) – are very popular as a pet. They are easy to breed and not as noicy as other parrots so they are even suitable for an aviary in a residential neighborhood.

In captivity, the average age is approx. 10 years.

They are not as good at talking as other parrots, but can learn to say individual words.

They are very social birds and require much attention – if they are not stimulated they may start picking their feathers or get other mental problems. It is recommended to keep a single pet Lovebird but instead have a pair – that will ensure they get the company and social stimulation this specie require.

They are listed on CITES Appendix II and EU Annex B.


The Yellow-collared Lovebird has a distinctive black color in the head, which is why they are also called Black-masked Lovebird or Masked Lovebird..

The plumage is mainly green with a yellow chest and light green belly and gump. The beak is bright red. Naked white skin around the eye (eye ring) and black pupils.

The male and female have the same appearance and require scientific gender determination.

The young birds have a more dull plumage and the base of the bead is dark. with a dark rod on the beak. The newly hatched juveniles usually have a reddish down.

Size: 14.5 cm

There are several color mutations – the blue color mutation is probably the most common (see photos below). The blue mutation is very strong and easy to breed and have grown popular due to the beautiful colors. But as a result of cross breeding with the normal green Masked Lovebird many so called “green” are actually not pure green.

There are also hybrids between the Yellow-collared Lovebird and Fischer’s Lovebird – these hybrids often have a brownish or rusty color above the nostrils and behind the ears.



  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittaculidae
  • Genus: Agapornis


  • Danish: Sortkindet Dværgpapegøje
  • English: Black-cheeked Lovebird, Black-faced Lovebird
  • French: Inséparable à joues noires
  • German: Erdbeerköpfchen, Rußköpfchen
  • Portuguese: Inseparável-de-faces-pretas
  • Spanish: Inseparable Cachetón, Inseparable de Cara Negra
  • Scientific: Agapornis nigrigenis

IUCN Red List

BirdLife International 2016. Agapornis nigrigenis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22685360A93069915.
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Africa: The Yellow-collared Lovebird is native to Tanzania but have also been introduced to Burundi and Kenya.


Wild birds feed on various small seeds, sunflower, fruit and vegetables.


Wild birds build nest in a tree cavity – the female will bring nesting materials using her beak. The nest is a piece of craftsmanship with an entry chamber leading down to a lower chamber where the eggs are laid. 

The Yellow-collared Lovebird is very easy to breed. They can be breed in pairs or in a colony. In colonies make sure to place extra nest boxes to reduce risk of fighting for favorite nests.

The birds are resilient as regards to temperature – acclimated birds can be kept outdoors during the wintered outdoors if they are provided a dry, frost-free shelter. They are however sensitive to moisture and should not become damp and chilled. 

The clutch usually consist of 4-5 white eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 23 days. The juveniles leave the nest about 42 days after hatching.

Give them lots of fresh branches to nibble in – they want to flake the bark off and use for nests.

Color Mutations


The blue color mutations is the result of selective breeding and is not seen on wild birds.