Fischer's Lovebirds

African Savanna

Location

In the Zoo
Size
Male
Female
Height:
Length:
Weight
42-58 grams
42-58 grams
Maturity:
1 year
1 year

Geographic Range

Endemic to north-central Tanzania

Scientific Information

Scientific Name:
Agapornis fischeri
Class:
Aves
Order:
Psittaciformes
Family:
Psittacidae
Genus:
Agapornis

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet:
Herbivorous
Activity Time Frame:
Diurnal
Interactivity:
Social
Sexual Dimorphism:
No
Gestation:
21-23 days
Lifespan in the Wild:
12.5 years, largely unknown
Lifespan in Captivity:
15-25 years

Conservation

Status:
Near Threatened
Threats:
Over Consumption

Characteristics

Fischer’s lovebirds can be distinguished by their bright, rainbow colored plumage. They have a red beak and an orange and red face, with an olive color on the rest of the head. They have a yellow neck, green chest and back, with blue or purple feathers highlighting the tail, and white rings around their eyes. Their beautiful appearance explains why they have been so popular in the pet trade.

Species Specifics

Fischer’s lovebirds get their name from the strong, lifelong bond they share with their mate.

Physical Characteristics

Like most parrots, Fischer’s lovebirds have zygodactyl feet, which help them to grip onto branches.

Ecology

Habitat

Dry woodland, scrubland, and savanna, 1100-2000 feet in elevation. They are also frequently found in agricultural areas. Fischer’s lovebirds are heavy drinkers, and must live near a source of water.

Distribution

Habitats: Found mostly in the Eastern United States, Box Turtles occur as far north as Michigan and Maine, South to Florida, and as far West as Texas and Kansas. Found rarely above 1,000 feet in elevation, preferring low land habitats where water collects. Commonly associated with deciduous forests having high leaf litter and moisture these turtles are often located near rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and other bodies of fresh water, however, they are not good swimmers.

Diet

seeds, grains, fruits, nuts. They are sometimes considered pests to farmers.

Ecological Web

Fischer's lovebirds play a big role in seed dispersal by eating fruits and seeds. They also serve as an important food source for predatory birds such as lanner falcons.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

Like most reptiles, activity is temperature dependent, preferring conditions that are moist, humid, and warm. Ideal temperature is 80-95°F and they are more active during rainy periods and immediately after it has rained. During drought, turtles may spend time in burrows and in excessive heat turtles will seek out shallow pools of water to soak in. In fall months turtles are observed basking in the sunlight for energy. In Northern climates turtles will enter hibernation in late October. In places like Florida, turtles are active year around.

Behavior

Fischer’s lovebirds are cavity nesters, meaning they take advantage of cavities in trees, rocks, or buildings to build their nests. They typically use straw, grass, and tree bark to construct their nests.

Social Behavior

Flocks range in size from 10-20, to hundreds when gathered around a food source.

Reproductive Behavior

These birds have 2 breeding seasons, with the first taking place in January through April and the second occurring in June through July. The eggs are white, and typically number three to eight in a clutch. Males feed their mates while the female incubates the eggs, and both parents feed the hatchlings.

Offspring

3-8 eggs, fledge after 5 weeks, colored similarly to adults but their plumage is less vibrant. Juveniles also have a brown markings around their mandible, which fades as they mature.

Conservation

Status

Currently listed as Near Threatened by IUCN. Their population has decreased drastically since the 1970's due to the pet trade.

Historical

In 1987, Fischer’s lovebirds were the most commonly traded wild bird in the world. In 1995, trapping these birds became illegal due to the drastic decline in their wild population. However, many are still bred in captivity and are common throughout the pet trade.

Current Threats

Over Consumption

Our Role

If you are interested in having a parrot as a pet, do extensive research before deciding. Parrots are long-lived birds, and may outlive many humans. They require lots of stimulation, enrichment, and attention. If you are determined in getting a parrot, please consider getting a rescued parrot as opposed to a young/baby parrot to avoid the risk of getting a parrot that was smuggled from the wild (a very traumatic experience for birds) and supporting the illegal pet trade. The Oakland Zoo is a conservation partner to Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue, a good organization to adopt from.

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How You Can Help

Please be aware of the pets you choose to buy. Never get a pet that has been taken from the wild and never return a pet to the wild. Be aware of pesticide applications so as to not poison native animals that benefit your ecosystem. Finally, be conscious of your trash and waste so as to not attract unwanted animals such as ravens.

Fascinating Facts

Lovebirds are aptly named for the strong, monogamous bond they form with their mate. If separated, the physical health of both birds will suffer.

The Iriquois and other Native Americans used them for food, medical, ceremonial, burial and hunting purposes.

Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated lizards) they are the most armored.

References

“Agapornis fischeri .” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, www.iucnredlist.org/details/22685346/0. Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.

Blazek, Leah. “Agapornis fischeri (Fischer's lovebird).” Animal Diversity Web, animaldiversity.org/accounts/Agapornis_fischeri/. Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.

“Fischer's lovebird videos, photos and facts.” Arkive, www.arkive.org/fischers-lovebird/agapornis-fischeri/. Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.