Species group: Lovebirds
Other common names:
Scientific name: Agapornis fischeri
Easy to feed and easy to breed, Fischer's Lovebirds have always attracted attention from fanciers working to develop a whole rainbow of gorgeous color mutations. Since the 1980s, when more breeders began to hand-feed their babies, these birds have attracted a second wave of interest, as pet lovers have discovered the charm and sass of a tame lovebird who lives to be its person's “pocket parrot.”
If you're looking for a single pet, pick the youngest and best-socialized hand-fed baby Fischer's Lovebird you can get. The youngster should still have blackish color at the base of the upper mandible. If you're looking for an aviary pair or colony, you have the choice of a truly mind-boggling selection of colors. Even the names are magical – Cobalt, Violet Spangle, Violet, Pastel Blue, and many more. And that's just mentioning a few of the shades of blue!
The Fischer's Lovebird is a highland species, found mostly in north-central Tanzania, in highland grasslands, agricultural lands, and otherwise open country at elevations ranging from 1,100 to 2,000 meters. It is a beloved cagebird in Africa, as elsewhere, and there are many feral populations in different parts of Tanzania and Kenya.
The feral birds are adaptable and curious, and they are known to hybridize with feral Masked Lovebirds (Agapornis personatas). However, if you choose to breed them in captivity, please take the time to provide your bird with a partner of its own species. Fischer's Lovebird females will bring nesting material to line their nest, and they can create quite an intricate structure, full of hiding places for eggs and babies.
Alas, this beautiful bird is irresistible to trappers, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has rated this species as near-threatened.
The normal Fischer's Lovebird could be considered the most colorful of the top three lovebird species, with its lipstick red bill and white eye-ring contrasting with its vivid deep orange face.There are also many colorful mutations. There is a rare lookalike species, the Nyasa Lovebird. The natural Fischer's Lovebird will have a bright blue rump. The Nyasa Lovebird's rump is green.
42 - 58 grams (1.5 - 2 oz.)
15 centimeters (6 in.)
10 - 5 years
Behavior / temperament:
Although some people rank the Fischer's Lovebird as a gentler alternative to the Peach-faced Lovebird, other people report just the opposite. Every Fischer's Lovebird is an individual, and you need to be alert to your own bird's personality.
Perhaps because they invest so much energy in creating their tunnel of nesting material, Fischer's Lovebirds are rated as highly territorial. Your pair of lovebirds must have its own territory, with no other birds or pets kept in the cage or even allowed to touch the cage. Their size is deceptive, because they have killed much bigger birds. Even the most loving pet Fischer's is likely to take exception to anyone putting their hands near or in the cage. Therefore, stick-training your pet so that it can ride in and out of the cage in style is essential.
Because of their spunk and sass, a single handfed Fischer's can make an excellent pet for someone who has time to devote to them every day. They will become tightly bonded to you, and it can be an amazing experience to be able to carry this tiny gem around on a shoulder or in a shirt pocket. However, you do have to maintain the relationship, or the bird can lose its tameness very quickly. A neglected lovebird can develop the typical behavior problems of any parrot, including biting, shrieking, or feather plucking.
A single pet that you want to remain tame should have a powder-coated metal cage, perhaps 24”w by 18”d by 24” h with ½ “ bar spacing, but it shouldn't be too awkward or too big for you to place a stick in the cage so the bird can “step up” on request and ride out into the open. You don't want the bird to become cage-bound, because you need to take your Fischer's Lovebird out every single day for at least an hour. If it's a hassle to remove your pet from the cage, and you let it go, your pet will probably lose its tameness rather quickly.
If you are worried about egg-binding and excessive broody behavior in a female Fischer's Lovebird, you may have to withhold a roost box and access to nesting materials, including twigs. Try more puzzle and foraging toys, and fewer hiding places or tree branches.
If you have a pair of Fischer's Lovebirds, who are bonded to each other, then you should absolutely get or build the largest flight you can manage. They need to exercise, to play, and to fly, but they will prefer to do it with each other, on their own territory, so be very generous. If you cannot find a large flight with sufficiently small bar spacing, you may have to have something custom-made, but it will be worth it.
The popular lovebirds, including the Fischer's Lovebird, are highly gifted escape artists that understand how to lift doors or food and water access windows. Secure those doors and windows with hardware clips.
Fischer's Lovebirds, reportedly first bred in North America in 1926, first rose to popularity in the days before modern pelleted diets. They come from an arid landscape, and they may not accept the rich diet beloved by many other pet parrots. While some experts advise that you choose a pelleted diet, the reality may be that your lovebirds never accept it, unless they were raised to eat pellets or crumbles from the very beginning. A more realistic diet, for many individuals, will be a high-quality small seed mix, along with an excellent chopped salad containing lots of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables.
Here's a trick: Soak or actually sprout the seeds to create green, healthy salad with more nutritional value than just the plain seed. You can also offer a mixed cooked legume, grains, and rice dish. Never offer chocolate or avocado to the Fischer's Lovebird, as these foods are toxic to all parrots.
Check with your breeder, pet store, or vet about vitamin supplements, especially if your Fischer's is a picky eater. There are reports of females dying of egg-binding, a condition sometimes linked to a vitamin A deficiency. Grated carrot or cooked yam or sweet potato may be an important ingredient in your bird's food bowl. Calcium deficiency may be another cause. In order to use dietary calcium, lovebirds need to be exposed to natural sunlight or full spectrum lighting, or some alternate source of vitamin D3.
Written by Elaine Radford
Personallity, little mini acrobats, Playful Beauties, frendliest type, best lovebirds
JailBirds, messy birds, cage shut, Toxicity PTFE Toxicosis
supervised freedom, tissue paper rolls, flight cage, spectrum heat lamp
Fabulous Lovebird Loves Company/Affection
The time spent with Branwell, a Lovebird, was a remarkable and enjoyable experience.
When Branwell became my animal companion, he was just a cute little green bird, with hardly any beautiful colors. However, within months, he developed deep yellow and orange feathers on his neck and head. At first, the color came in splotches, and I didn't know what to make of the change! Then I realized, he was developing his coat as he progressed in age.
As a single lovebird, Branwell required constant attention. He would perch on my shoulder and snuggle close to my neck. At times, he would nibble on my ear, and sometimes he'd try to nibble on earrings. Ouch!
While Branwell had a particular chirp, and sometimes he'd get a bit squeaky, he wasn't constantly vocal. I suppose this happened because I played a lot with him or showered him with lots of attention.
Now, I will add that one time I decided to clip his wing feathers because he began flying to places inside that were inappropriate for him. I will never clip a bird's wing feathers again! Branwell suffered because of this and I regretted the decision.
While I enjoyed Branwell's company for a short time, because of a move, I found a loving forever home with a family who had recently lost a lovebird companion. He was quite the bird!
The image is "Fisher's Lovebird" by leighmcmahon - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
From esteebeck Jun 30 2015 8:42PM
Lovely love birds
I was given a pair of Fischer lovebirds by my uncle. They were a breeding pair, and did produce eggs several times but failed to hatch them.
I never trained the birds but they were friendly and active, and would land on me in the aviary. From the amount of interaction I had with them I would imagine they would be easy to train.
They were healthy, hardy birds with beautiful plumage.
They loved to eat fresh grass and other greenery, and happily cohabited with other birds such as doves, finches and quail.
Lovebirds nest in a hollow, so it is important to provide a nesting hollow or box with a small entry.
If other birds approached their tree hollow (nest) they could become aggressive and bite. Their beaks are capable of some damage, so it may be best to avoid small birds in the same aviary such as finches, who have delicate little legs and bodies!
Something else to be aware of is that these birds are native to Africa and so are made for warm climates - make sure the birds have adequate shelter in the winter.
Do not feed the birds honey (although they love it!) as this can cause health problems such as tongue fungus..
From TheDuck4 Oct 18 2014 10:02AM
A Lovebird Called Hate-Bird
Gabriel is by far the worst pet I have ever had. He is incredibly aggressive (hence the nickname Hate-Bird), impossible to train, messy, antisocial, and downright mean.
He attacks if he is let out of his cage. Not just with humans, either -- he attacks the dogs every chance he gets.
He was impossible to train, so we eventually gave up.
He is attached to my mother, and no one else. She is the only person who he doesn't attack.
He throws food out of his cage and creates a huge mess. He attacks anyone who puts a hand into his cage to change his food or water. He escapes his cage frequently.
I honestly cannot think of a single positive thing to say about this bird. My mother offered to take him off my hands, and both I and the bird are much happier now..
From jhumes Apr 23 2015 7:52PM