The Fischer’s can be differentiated from the similar Nyasa Lovebird by it’s larger size and blue, not green, upper tail-coverts. It has a bare white eye-ring and no sexual dimorphism. Adults The face is orange-red the rest of the head is dull olive-green. The upper breast and neck are yellow. The upper tail-coverts are dull blue, the tail green with the lateral feathers at the base black bordered with orange-yellow and subterminally banded black. The bill is red, iris brown and legs pale gray. Juvenilles They are duller than the adults and the bill is blackish at the base. Mutations There are a few mutations available, the most common being the lutino. Other mutations include the dilute yellow, pied, cinnamon, dilute blue, albino and dark-eyed white.
North-central Tanzania. Mostly between 1100 and 2000m. There are feral populations, hybrids and flocks mixed with Masked Lovebirds at Tanga and Dar es Salaam, coastal Tanzania and Nairobi, Mombasa, Athi River, Naivasha and Isiolo in Kenya. In the east they frequent the grasslands that are scattered with Acacia, Commiphora and Balanites trees. In the west they are found in more open country dotted with Adansonia trees. They avoid Brachystegia woodland. Generally they are common, but locally they are scarce due to large scale trapping for the live bird trade. There has been a major decline in this species since the 1970’s and they are now considered near-threatened. Fischer’s are resident birds, but with local nomadic or seasonal movements.
In the wild Fischer’s Lovebirds will feed on or near the ground.
Fisher’s are prolific breeders and make good parents. They build a domed nest so require lots of nest building materials including twigs and leaves. The clutch usually contains 4 to 6 eggs which is incubated for about 23 days. The chicks fledge relatively early for Lovebirds at 4 to 5 weeks, but they will return to the nest to roost until the parents want to start a new brood. They are colony breeders in the wild. These little birds are hardy and reliable breeders and are therefore a good species for beginners.*
* Breeding should not be taken lightly with any parrot species. There are many parrot rescue organisations and charities over-flowing with unwanted, abused and neglected parrots. Please consider this before commencing with the breeding of any parrot species.
The Fisher’s Lovebird first came to Europe in the 1920s. In the wild they are noisy and gregarious, usually being heard before they are seen. Their flocks are made up of 20 birds or less, but flocks will merge at ripening crops and they are fairly tame.
Many thanks to the following people who have supplied the images displayed on this page. Ulla Germer