The Fischer's lovebird (Agapornis fischeri, synonym Agapornis personata fischeri) is a species of bird in the parrot family.
They are named after German explorer Gustav Fischer.
They are native to a small area of east-central Africa, south and southeast of Lake Victoria on the inland plateaus of northern Tanzania. In drought years, some birds move west into Rwanda and Burundi seeking moister conditions.
In captivity, they are easy to keep and breed freely. They can be bred in large colonies. They were originally discovered in the late 1800's, and were first bred in the United States in 1926.
They are one of the smaller lovebirds, about 14-15 cm in length and 42-58 g weight.
Fischer's lovebirds have green backs, chests, and wings, their necks are a golden yellow and as it progresses upward it becomes darker orange. The top of the head is olive green, and the beak is bright red. The upper surface of the tail has some purple or blue feathers. A. fischeri has a white circle around its eyes. Young birds are very similar to the adults, except for the fact that they are duller and the base of their beak has brown markings.
The Fischer's Lovebird comes in a wide variety of color mutations, including: Albino, Pied, Black or Dark Eyed White, Dilute Blue, Dilute Yellow, Lutino and Cinnamon.
Hybrids between Fischer's Lovebirds and Masked Lovebirds are also quote common in captivity and have also occurred in feral populations. They are reddish-brown on the head and orange on the upper chest, but otherwise resemble the Masked Lovebird.
Fischers' as Pets
The Fischer's Lovebird are very handsome, and as playful and energetic as the popular Peachface lovebirds.
I only had a few Fischer's lovebirds and they were not as friendly as my Peachfaces -- however, other breeders have produced very friendly Fischers Lovebirds - genetic traits are also involved in shaping a bird's personality.
There are many Fischer's lovebird enthusiasts who report that their lovebird is the most loving around. When considering one as a pet, the level of socialization and suitability can in many cases be assessed by observing a lovebird. Is it scared, skittish, aggressive? Scared lovebirds can sometimes be socialized and turned into good pets. Skittish lovebirds take more time and effort and some may never make good pets. Aggression obviously is not a good sign to start with -- however, one has to understand that any parrot will bite if he isn't bonded with you and doesn't appreciate your handling it or is even scared of you. Understanding a bird's body language is a good way to avoid being bitten. Last but not least, any parrot needs time to bond with you before it is as tame as say the little lovebird featured below that enjoys an affectionate moment with its owner.
Compared to other, larger parrots, Fischers Lovebirds are relatively quiet, easy to house and maintain. Lovebirds are not known for talking ability and the Fischers are no exception. Those who love the Fischer's Lovebird enjoy its clowny personality, its boundless energy and playful nature.
If they are properly cared for, their lifespan ranges from 15 to 20 years. However, some individuals lived 30 years.
Potential Problems / Training and Behavioral Guidance:
Lovebirds are pretty easy to manage for most people. They are not as destructive and noisy as their larger cousins. If not properly socialized, however, they will discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us".
It really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. There are few things to consider ...
Biting: If not properly socialized, however, they will discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us". They can be very aggressive towards other animals (including birds), if they don't know them or are jealous of the attention they are getting from their favorite human.
Noise: Lovebirds are very vocal birds, making loud, high-pitched noises that can be a nuisance. They make noise all day, but especially at certain times of day.
Chewing: As stated above, lovebirds are also very active, and love to chew things. When they are let out of their cage, it would be wise to watch them carefully, and protect any furniture, electrical wiring or anything else that they could possibly chew on. They are not big chewers - as their preferred medium is "paper."
Paper: They love to tear up paper -- especially when they are in the "mating" spirit -- which is all-year-round for birds kept indoors (not exposed to the seasons). I have learned not to keep important papers laying around - and even use it as a way to keep my lovebird busy.
Training and behavioral guidance is recommended ...
AvianWeb Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training. If you found a way to resolve a "parrot behavioral issue" please share it with others.
If you are, as I am, a visual learner and prefer step-by-step instructions to train your pet, I recommend:
the Parrot Training Course to teach your parrot to:
Perform Tricks and
Tame ANY SIZE bird you could possibly own
and/or try the "Teach Your Parrot to Talk" Training Course. (Note: lovebirds rarely learn to talk, but there is a chance they may learn to mimic human speech if taught to at a young age.)
If you are considering a lovebird as a pet, the following web resources might be of interest:
Housing and Caring for Your Lovebird: Lovebirds love to climb and play and need to be provided with a cage that allows them to move around freely and toys to entertain themselves with. Please refer to the following websites for information:
Lovebirds can start breeding when they are as young as ten months of age and may continue until they are five to six years. They are very prolific and may produce several egg clutches within a single year. Due to this, they are usually readily available on the pet market.
During breeding season the behavior between partners will change: the male displays a more aggressive behavior, while the female begins preparing the nest. There are specific nesting boxes for lovebird-size birds, but if not available a cockatiel nesting box will do just fine. Samples of available nest boxes.
The females build the nests and lay three to six eggs. She incubates them for about twenty-three days to hatching. The hatchlings will be cared for by her until they leave the nest at about six weeks of age. The father then takes over the feeding of the fledglings for another two weeks or so until they are completely weaned.
Lovebirds should be fed a quality seed mix, in addition to providing them with vegetables and fruits. It is recommended to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals. Bird-specific vitamins are available at the vets or better pet stores.
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