What Is a Lutino Lovebird?

lutino-lovebird Credit: Syafiq Khairan/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

A lutino lovebird is a color mutation of Agapornis roseicollis, the peach-faced or rosy-faced lovebird. Lutino lovebirds have bright yellow feathers, whereas the standard coloration of lovebirds is green feathers.

Lutino, in general, is a term for birds with more yellow in their plumage than is usually seen for the species. Lutino in lovebirds is caused by a lack of melanin, resulting in the underlying yellow coloration of the feathers showing through. The lutino gene is linked to the sex of the birds; males have only one copy of the gene, while females have two. Sometimes, females have one copy of the lutino gene and one copy of another pigmentation gene, resulting in striking color combinations.