Selective Breeding / Home Page / Colony Breeding / Hybridization / Excess Birds / Primary Mutations / Combination Mutations / Nestling Attributes /


In my opinion, a number of “breeding” issues seem to be lacking from web pages and magazines in general.  These issues include selective breeding; hybridization; in-breeding and the allocation or disposal of excess offspring. Many people have entrenched opinions regarding captive breeding activities and their aftermath.  However, this site offers an opportunity for those breeders that want to share their breeding success and practices, without recrimination or reprisals, to do so.

How ?

This site provides a medium through which small, medium and large scale breeders can share how they deal with some of their more controversial issues, in an anonymous forum.  By this I mean that e-mails from participants will be vetted for content, information and experiences relevant to the topic. That information will then be copied or typed, and posted on topic specific Question and Answer pages or included in the primary pages.

People are encouraged to send responses whether they agree or disagree with the topic or information posted.  Information and responses will be posted (again anonymously) or paraphrased where a number of respondents express the same thoughts. However, abusive language will not be posted.

Page Topics

Primary Mutations
Combination Mutations
Nestling Attributes
Selective Breeding
Colony Breeding
Question and Answers

Primary Mutations

This page is dedicated to a visual guide of the primary peachfaced lovebird color mutations.  The “color presentation” will hopefully provide those new to the hobby with a ready reference to the most common lovebird mutations.  Rare “crossovers” will also be exhibited on this page, as will (hopefully) pictures of red and orange *suffusion.

A sub-directory will be established to post birds that are unusual in color or form so that the lovebird community can identify or comment on them.

*Note: Suffusion is not perceived as a hereditary color mutation, but rather as a physical manifestation or presentation of an interrupted metabolic pathway ( kidney / liver malfunction) that may negatively impact vision, fertility and longevity

Combination Mutations

Like the color mutation page, the color combination page will be dedicated to all green and blue series birds and the visual color exhibited when primary color mutations are: combined together; combined with dark and double dark factors; combined with normal and violet factors, and combined with violet and dark factors.  ( if you are willing to e-mail a color combination, please identify the bird and what it is split to)

As with the color mutation page, a sub-directory will be established to post birds that are unusual in color or form so that the lovebird community can identify or comment on them.

Nestling Attributes

This page will deal with the development of nestlings or chicks from egg to fletching (weight, feathering and overall size). Many breeders have developed a knack for identifying color mutations in the nest from the color of the primary and secondary down, eye color and /or beak color.  I invite breeders and pet owners of various color mutations and combinations to e-mail their information on these nestling attributes.

I hope to collect the nestling information into a spreadsheet on this site so that both neophyte and experienced lovebird breeders can obtain a better understanding of what their nest may contain when they cross different mutations.

Down, beak and eye color information on Opaline; Australian Yellow; Orangefaced; Yellowfaced; Greywing; Paleface, Fallows and any other color mutations and combinations would be particularly helpful.

Selective Breeding

This is usually a topic with fairly entrenched viewpoints.  However, this page will seek to outline the steps involved in “improving” ones stud and taking ones birds closer to the “STANDARD”, if experienced breeders are willing to participate.

There are a number of items associated with selective breeding, some of which will be discussed peripherally on pages such as: Colony and Cage Breeding.

The Selective Breeding page will attempt to address the pros and cons of in-breeding, line-breeding and family breeding with the aid of the lovebird community.  It will also try and take on the ambitious task of identifying the dominant or recessive inheritance of specific peachfaced lovebird traits such as:

Wing Tip Crossover ( Carriage)
 Poor feet and stance
Eye position and periopthalmic feathers
beak form
skeletal change
Color variation or intensity
broad rounded head (all around)
Gull chest and neck
color delineation and size on mask and forehead, etc...

Quantitative data would be fantastic, but certainly experienced observation could be used in lieu of hard data

The concept of “closed flock” or selective breeding is not a new concept and was indeed pursued most avidly in the past with canaries and other birds.  I am hopeful that--- “more mature”--- breeders who have learned and practiced certain selective breeding techniques will avail themselves of the opportunity to share their knowledge with the next generation, as there are few if any books on this subject for peachfaced lovebirds (perhaps some relative or friend of an experienced breeder could share the breeders knowledge by inputting their thoughts and experiences?).

Colony and Cage Breeding

The Colony and Cage breeding page will address breeding structures, operations, challenges and the benefits of each.  It will also examine how (and if) people rest their birds and numerous other topics as questions and answers start to flow.  At this time the information may be in error, but as corrections and suggestions flow in to the Q & A page, the topic page will be up-dated to reflect more knowledgeable breeder input and sharing of information.  As it stands now, the information on topic pages is there to provoke a dialogue or response.


There seems to be one inescapable conclusion that one can draw from the eye-ring transmutations, and that is that the pursuit of a significant color change or mutation will continue as long as there are captive birds.  The challenge of transferring a color gene from one "species" to another, or selecting for traits is a lifetime pursuit for the dedicated breeder and their success is often measured by the acceptability and purchase of their variety.  I hope that we will be able to discuss how this is done and recognize the arduous task that these individuals have set for themselves.  We know that there are a number of color mutant genes transferred in the eye-ring species, but has anyone done this type of work with the peachfaced ?

Excess Birds

This page is probably the most sensitive topic, but I think this question should be addressed.  People dispose of their birds for a number of reasons.  We would all like to believe that every animal is given a full life and dies in the fullness of time.  We would also like to believe that most animal breeders will have a vet close to hand for such emergencies.

How do large scale breeders deal with their excess or unwanted birds ?  How do you deal with your birds ?

Question and Answer Sub-directories

As an INTERACTIVE site, there will be Question and Answer pages associated with each of the primary topic areas.  It is on these pages that questions and responses from electronic participants will be uploaded.  Please make every effort to keep the questions concise and germane to the topic heading.  Information and answers can be as lengthy as necessary to convey a point (s).

 If quoting a document or research paper, please try to provide the appropriate reference information.  If answers or questions are derived from experience or a “pet theory”, no references are necessary:  It is the exchange of ideas and your participation that are so critical to building a broader awareness and understanding of the peachfaced breeding and selection process.


Thank you for your time and effort in visiting this page and hopefully for your participation in making this page a success (through your e-mailed comments; provision of photographs or expression of discomfort with a page that tries to address some of the topics outlined here) .

I would like to say that there are a number of truly award winning lovebird sites available on the net, some with beautiful, clear shots of various color mutations or with detailed information about hand-feeding, lovebird behavior, color genetics and judging.  Many of the pages are business oriented, and I applaud the effort of those breeders and hobbyists in putting the time and effort into their pages.  However, there were a number of  elements missing for me, and I am hoping that this “electronic” page will help to flesh out those gaps and provide more information about lovebirds for those continuously seeking greater knowledge for knowledge sake.

In the end, this page is all about gathering, aggregating and making available some of the experience that is available globally.  Only time and your participation will determine whether this site and its goals are acceptable to the lovebird community or is too ambitious.  While my reading and experience has generated numerous questions, there are many more that remain unanswered, either because they are so fundamental that no one bothers talking about them; people don't have the time or the desire to be targeted for their opinions, or the answers are not readily available.  Let's see what we can do.

On another note, I would like to express my personal admiration for the African Lovebird Societies Home Page and all of the work that was put into it.  It truly is  a piece of art and something they can be proud of.  I would  recommend that you obtain a copy of their magazine as I hear that it very current on new lovebird standards and color mutations.

As well, Belgium and Denmark are doing amazing things with birds and it seems that the longfeather (a.k.a. standard type roseicollis) was developed over there.

Disclaimer: As a dedicated hobbyist, and not a trained veterinarian, ornithologist, bird behaviorist or aviculturalist, I make no claim to the specific accuracy of the information contained here-in.  I encourage people to talk to those breeders or trained individuals that interact with a large number of birds on a day to day basis, before attempting any of the things identified in these pages: