Agapornis personata (left: black-masked variety; right: blue-masked or cobalt variety)
The Masked Lovebird (Agapornis personata) is native to northeast Tanzania. It is one of the smaller lovebirds, compared to other species.
These parrots come in two varieties: the black-masked and the blue-masked (often called cobalt). They are not solitary birds, but form small nesting colonies in the wild. They are good water drinkers, so they prefer to nest close to bodies of water. The masked lovebirds form strong bonds with their mate, which are maintained throughout their life. Male and female spend a lot of time together and like to groom and feed each other. Unlike other parrots, lovebirds in general construct their nest, rather than use holes in trees.
The word Agapornis is composed from the Greek word agape which means love, and the also Greek word for bird which is ornis. (The latter is wrongly described as of Latin origin in many web pages; the Latin word for bird is avis.)
The above two pictures were taken in the Attica Zoological Park, Athens, Greece, in June 2007.
The following picture of the black-masked variety was taken at the Chicago Brookfield Zoo, in August 2004.
Life on Earth