Fischer's Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) Species Profile: Diet, Grooming, and Personality

Agapornis fischeri

Parrots are gaining popularity as pets. A favorite species in this group is the Lovebirds of which there are 9 different species. The Fischer's Lovebird is a very pretty and intelligent bird, and a good choice for a beginner. The Fischer's Lovebird becomes very loving and affectionate, especially when kept alone. First imported in 1926, the Fischer's Lovebird originates from central western Africa in Northern Tanzania, Lake Victoria and the Nzega regions, an area called the Rift Valley. The Fischer's Lovebird is considered a monomorphic variety because the male and female have similar coloration. With an entertaining personality, these birds are relatively easy to keep and have a life span of 10-15 years. They are also very creative escape artists and have even been known to escape by squeezing through the cage bars. With this degree of curiosity and exuberance, they are fairly easy to train to do simple tricks.

The beak of the Fischer's Lovebird is hard and used as a tool for feeding, fighting, and exploring. These birds will work at whittling down any object available; be sure perches, dishes, toys etc. are "parrot proof," along with any areas in the house to which they have access. Offer twigs and branches of aspen or ash as an alternative to furniture. Fischer's Lovebirds do very well when kept singly. In fact, a Fischer's kept alone will be more affectionate and make less noise than when kept in pairs or colonies. This may be an important consideration, as they can be noisy and vocalize using a shrill whistle or high-pitched twitter. Fischer's do not do well when wintered outdoors without nesting boxes.

The average cost for a Fischer's Lovebird is $75-$100

Quick Stats: Fischer's Lovebird

Family: Psittacidae
Origin: Inland plateaus of Northern Tanzania in Eastern Africa.
Size: 6 inches
Coloration: Adults: green body, bright orange-red forehead; cheeks and throat pale orange, yellow-green breast, violet blue rump, green tail feathers tipped in blue, white ring around eye, bright red beak, gray feet.
Diet: 65-80% quality pelleted diet, 15-30% vegetables (e.g., greens, legumes, corn-on-the-cob), and 5% fruits. Use many varieties of fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly. See Basic Nutrition for Psittacines (Parrot Family) for more information. Provide large amounts of water.
Cage Size: Single: minimum 15" H x 15" L x 12" W; pair: minimum 30" H x 30" L x 18" W
Grooming: Trim toenails; beak may need periodic trimming; trim flight feathers only if necessary.
Compatibility/Disposition: Generally compatible with other Fischers; agressive toward other species of lovebirds; active and curious; affectionate, especially when kept singly; easily trained for simple tricks.
Vocalization: A noisy bird with a shrill whistle and/or high-pitched twitter. Quieter when kept alone.
Playfulness: Intelligent birds. Require large amounts of stimulation to avoid boredom and destructive behaviors. Provide plenty of toys and interaction.
Life Span: 10-15 years
Nesting Sites in the Wild: Holes in trees, buildings, or at base of palm fronds.
Breeding Season: May-July
Sexing: Difficult without DNA testing; coloration of females is only slightly less brilliant.
Special: Great escape artists. Very swift in flight. Difficult or impossible to tame if raised by parents and/or obtained as an adult.

Article by: Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith