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
Lovebird Loves His Cage!!
We rescued our lovebird when he flew into my friends garage. This was our first lovebird. We realized they needed a larger than normal cage (bigger than the parakeets cages at the local petstore). We ended up at a local unlimited bird store who sold us a cage fit for king... in this case fit for a Parrot or Lovebird, we made sure the space between the bars were less than 1/2 an inch apart (finger tip width). He has lots of plenty of room for flying and playing with all his toys. He loves his swing! But most importantly he loves getting down at the bottom of the cage and foraging for oats!! It is his favorite activity! The cage itself is very versatile. It gives him plenty of room to grow, play, eat, etc. Its easy to move around the room thanks to the wheels attached to the legs. Making it very nice to move him into the sunrays during the day where he chatters all day long (while the sun is out at least). It is very easy to clean up the bottom tray pulls out letting you dump it. Then you can remove the bottom rack and clean the bars. .
From JennaH 67 days ago
Small birds can seriously injure each other if their habitat stresses them
Birds can be aggressive, especially during breeding season. Before you take a new bird home, you need to have a firm idea of where the bird will fit into your household. You can *somewhat* adjust the timing of the breeding system by using little tricks like adjusting the hours of daylight they're exposed to, adding or stopping the sound of rain or running water or other pairs nesting nearby, but you can't usually stop the birds from entering breeding season altogether. Every bird and every pair needs enough territory to feel safe. A mixed species aviary demands a lot of observation and attention from the owner.
Lovebirds are famous for pairing up and harming other species in their enclosure, but many innocent looking finches can count to six and create a pecking order. The top pair may then harass, injure, or even kill the bottom bird. These species demand a separate flight for each pair, or else they demand a large enough aviary that you can keep a flock larger than six individuals.
Too many birds in a too small territory is an incredible stress on birds and almost always will result in some birds being seriously hurt. If you could do only one thing to reduce the amount of stress on your birds, avoid acquiring too many birds for the territory you can supply.
The cockatiel in the picture was a peaceful bird who was chased by the little zebra finch pair in her aviary. I moved her to her own cage, the finches were happy, the 'tiel was happy, and everybody concerned went on to live long, peaceful lives.
I rate this form of stress reduction as not particularly easy because you need to be a good observer and you need to buy or build bigger flights than some people think reasonable, but it's worth the effort..
From peachfront 32 days ago