The Blue Masked Lovebirds are very popular lovebirds among all varieties of masked lovebirds. This mutation of masked lovebirds is also found in the wild but in a very few numbers. In captivity they are easy breeders and are quite hardy birds and can live and breed well in both hot and cold climates. Similar to other lovebirds, they are very social birds and like to live in pairs and colonies.
These pretty little parrots are called lovebirds because of a strong relationship between the sexes. Most of the time you will see them sitting together in pairs and are preening each other. Because of their small size and beautiful coloration they are delight to watch. They can easily adjust and breed in both separate cages and colonies. The are very energetic and active birds, always flying and chattering inside their cages.
Blue Masked Lovebirds are easily available in pet shops at a very reasonable price. Young Blue Masked Lovebirds have slightly different plumage color than adults. You can easily recognize a young bird which has a light mask color with a black patch on their beaks. After their first molt the color on their feathers become more darker. They mature at one year of age.
The Blue Masked Lovebirds have a black mask on their head with white rings around their eyes. These are one of the many varieties of eye ringed lovebirds. They have white color around their collar and on the chest area. Their feathers and abdomen area are blue in color. Their beaks have a color similar to a human nail color. Feet are grey in color.
The Blue Masked Lovebirds grow to approximately 6″ in length from head to tail. They weigh between 40-55 grams.
Taming and Training
Hand raised Blue Masked Lovebirds can become very good pets. But they need more of your time if kept in single. They get along well in pairs because they have a tendency to easily get bored. Males have proved to become better pets than females. Pick a young bird and hand feed it until it is fully weaned. Clip the wings (4-6 primary feathers) so that it can be easily handled.
First teach it to step up on your finger. Put your hand inside its cage and press its chest slightly with your index finger until the bird becomes out of balance. The bird will sit on your finger to balance himself. Now bring him out of its cage and teach it to fly to your finger from a distance by holding a treat in your hand. Repeat the steps several times until it becomes its second nature.
Now teach him to fly to your hand from longer distances. With repetition you can teach him to fly to you and take a treat from your hand. Conduct the training sessions in small intervals of 10-15 minutes each day consistently. With patience and persistence you can tame your Blue Masked Lovebird and teach it to fly to your hand on command. They are difficult to teach to talk and their voice is not very clear.
Blue Masked Lovebirds eat a variety of mixed seeds, vegetable, fruits and greens. Seed only diet do not provide them enough nutrition. They should be fed with a balanced diet which constitute a variety of foods. They should also be given some food supplements like vitamins and minerals. A cuttlebone fish should be made available inside their cages at all times. Also provide them fresh drinking water every day.
The males and female identification is difficult because both sexes have somewhat similar physical appearance. They can be identified to some extent from their pelvic bones. Females have wider pelvic bones than males and are less pointed. Females are slightly bigger in size and are heavier than males. The most reliable method of their sexing is through a DNA test.
Because they are very active birds and love to fly and move around a lot, they should be provided a spacious cage. The minimum cages size for a single pair should be at least two feet square with at least two perches placed inside the cage at a minimum distance of six inches apart so that they can fly from one perch to another and have some exercise to remain healthy and fit for life.
If you have a proven pair and they are adult birds then breeding Blue Masked Lovebirds is easy. They can breed well in both individual cages as well as in colonies. A wooden nest box can be placed inside or outside of the cage and some nesting material should be provided so that they can make a nest inside the box before laying eggs. The female usually lays between 4-6 eggs on alternative days.
The hen starts brooding after she has laid her second or third egg. The incubation period is 23 days after which the first chick is hatched. Both male and female take part in feeding the chicks. The chicks fledge at six weeks of age and are fully weaned after they are 8 weeks old. Provide a variety of foods at this stage so that babies become healthy and strong.