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A photo of a Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)
Fischer's Lovebird

Fischer's Lovebird

Agapornis fischeri

The Fischer's Lovebird, Agapornis fischeri, is a vibrant small parrot with a predominantly green plumage. Its back, chest, and wings are a lush green, transitioning to a golden yellow at the neck, which deepens to a darker orange hue as it ascends. The head is crowned with olive green, while the beak stands out in a striking bright red. A distinctive white eye-ring encircles the eyes, and the tail feathers boast hints of purple or blue. Juveniles resemble adults but have a duller appearance and brown markings at the base of their mandibles. These diminutive lovebirds measure about 14 cm in length and weigh between 43-58 grams.

Identification Tips

To identify Fischer's Lovebird, look for the bright red beak, white eye-ring, and the color gradient from yellow to orange on the neck. The blue rump and purple or blue tail feathers are also key characteristics. Color variations exist due to selective breeding, with the blue mutation being predominant, characterized by a bright blue back, tail, and chest, a white neck, a pale grey head, and a pale pink beak.

Habitat

Fischer's Lovebirds inhabit isolated clumps of trees interspersed with grass plains, thriving at elevations of 1,100-2,200 meters.

Distribution

Native to east-central Africa, particularly south and southeast of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania, these birds may venture to Rwanda and Burundi during droughts. While sightings have occurred in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, these are likely escapees from captivity, with no evidence of breeding in these areas.

Behaviour

Fischer's Lovebirds are known for their fast flight, accompanied by an audible fluttering of wings. They are highly social and vocal, with a high-pitched chirp that can be quite loud. These birds enjoy sunbathing after a bath and exhibit strong pair bonds, often suffering physically when separated from their mates.

Song & Calls

Their vocalizations are characterized by high-pitched chirps, which can be incessant and noisy, particularly during pre-mating rituals.

Breeding

These lovebirds are monogamous, forming lifelong bonds with their partners. Breeding seasons occur from January to April and June to July. Nests are built in tree cavities, with clutches typically containing four to five white eggs. Incubation lasts for 23 days, and fledglings leave the nest after 38-42 days.

Similar Species

While there are no similar species mentioned, it is important to differentiate Fischer's Lovebird from other lovebird species by its unique coloration and the presence of the white eye-ring.

Diet and Feeding

Their diet consists of seeds and fruit, and they can become agricultural pests by feeding on crops like maize and millet.

Conservation Status

The IUCN lists Fischer's Lovebird as Near Threatened, with population estimates ranging from 290,000 to 1,000,000 individuals. The species has experienced declines due to the pet trade, leading to a suspension of export licenses in 1992 to prevent further population drops.

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