Fischer's Lovebird


ORDER: Psittaciformes

FAMILY: Psittacidae

GENUS: Agapornis

SPECIES: fischeri

DESCRIPTION:
General plumage green with yellowish underparts; forehead cheeks and throat orange red; remainder of head dull olive green tinged with reddish on occiput; upper breast and collar around neck yellow; upper tail coverts washed with pale blue; under wing coverts blue and green, tail green; white ring around eye; red bill. Sexes alike.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Northwestern Tanzania, south and southeast of Lake Victoria on inland plateau between 3500 and 5500 ft altitude in deciduous woodland and bush where there are long periods of drought.

DIET:
Mostly grass and acacia seeds. Often forage on the ground in small groups of a dozen or so.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Breedingis colonial. Unpaired birds seek out the company of other unpaired birds and attempt to preen them. They quickly discover if they are compatible and, if they are, they establish life-long pairs. When they reach sexual maturity the male courts the female who is often aggressive towards him. Courtship feeding takes place in which the male feeds the female regurgitated food. The nest is a hole in a tree, in a cavity in a building or among the bases of palm fronds. Inside the cavity the birds build a bulky dome-shaped nest entered through a tunnel made of long twigs or strips of bark carried by the female in her bill, one piece at a time She lays 8 to 10 eggs. Incubation is 23 days and the young leave the nest 38 days after hatching.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
Lovebirds have powerful bills which enable them to crack seeds and strip bark for nesting material.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
Lovebirds are noted for their close pair bonds. Some species (not Fischer's) carry nesting material tucked into their feathers. Fischer's Lovebirds are frequently bred in captivity.

OUR ANIMALS:

STATUS IN WILD:
These birds were greatly threatened by the pet trade, but seem to have made a recovery. On Appendix II (threatened) of CITES.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Dilger, William C. 1962. "The Behavior of Lovebirds" in Scientific American, vol. 206, no.1. pp.89-98.

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