Fischers Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)

Fischers Lovebird

[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Psittacidae | [latin] Agapornis fischeri | [authority] Reichenow, 1887 | [UK] Fischers Lovebird | [FR] Inseparable de Fischer | [DE] Pfirsichkopfchen | [ES] Inseparable de Fischer | [NL] Fischers Agapornis | [copyright picture] Pierre Bannon


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Agapornis fischeri AF Tanzania


Agapornis, an African genus of parrots allied to Loriculus of Asia, has usually been classified in nine species. Five species in the African lovebird genus Agapornis are the only parrots, other than Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), that construct nests. Four species (A. personata, A. fischeri, A. lilianae, and A. nigrigenis) build domed nests within cavities, and a fifth (A. roseicollis) builds a cup-shaped nest within a cavity. The other members of the genus have nesting behavior that is more typical of other parrots: A. cana and A. taranta nest in cavities that are lined with nesting material, and A. pullaria excavates burrows in arboreal ant or termite nests. Eight species are native to the African continent, while the Grey-headed Lovebird is native to Madagascar. Their name stems from the parrots’ strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods which paired birds spend sitting together. Lovebirds live in small flocks and eat fruit, vegetables, grasses and seed. Black-winged Lovebirds also eat insects and figs, and the Black-collared Lovebirds have a special dietary requirement for native figs.

Physical charateristics

The Fischer’s Lovebird has a green back, chest, and wings. Their necks are a golden yellow and as it progresses upward it becomes darker orange. The top of the head is olive green, and the beak is bright red. The upper surface of the tail has some purple or blue feathers. It has a white circle of bare skin (eyering) around its eyes. Young birds are very similar to the adults, except for the fact that they are duller and the base of their mandible has brown markings. They are one of the smaller lovebirds, about 14 cm in length.

Listen to the sound of Fischers Lovebird

[audio: Lovebird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 8 cm wingspan max.: 10 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 21 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 36 days fledging max.: 40 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 8  


Africa : Tanzania. The species is endemic to north-central Tanzania, where its historical range includes 14 locations (including three National Parks). Records from Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya apparently refer to feral birds and not to wild populations.


Inhabits semi-arid thorn woodland, deforested grassland or cultivation with remnant baobabs Adansonia, and Borassus palm savanna.


Fischer’s lovebirds, like other lovebirds in the genus Agapornis, mate for life. The term lovebird arose from the strong bonds that mates make with one another. When separated, the physical health of each individual will suffer. Mates like to be in physical contact as much as possible. They affectionately preen one another and bite each other?s beak (this action looks like the pair is kissing which is where to common name “lovebird” arose).
The mating ritual takes place when a male bird approaches a female, sidling back and forth, while bobbing his head up and down and twittering. The male will repeat this behavior, then approach the female to regurgitate into her mouth. There are viable, wild hybrids of A. fischeri and a close relative, A. personatus, where they co-occur.
Fischer’s lovebirds are cavity nesters. They seek out natural cavities in rocks, trees, buildings, or even deserted nests. Then the female collects vegetation in her beak such as grass, stalks, and strips of bark to line the cavity and create the nest. When finished, the nest is a bulky roofed structure which has a tunnel that leads to an enclosed chamber where the female will lay and sit on the eggs. The female becomes very aggressive, vicious and protective when nesting. Agapornis fischeri breed January to April and June to July during the dry season. The female lays 3 to 8 eggs per clutch. The eggs are small, round, and white. The eggs hatch after 21 to 23 days of incubation. Young fledge in approximately 38 days and become independent 4 1/2 weeks after hatching. Only females incubate the eggs. While the female incubates the eggs, her mate feeds her through regurgitation. Baby birds hatch naked and helpless approximately 21 to 23 days after the females first lays the eggs. As soon as baby lovebirds hatch, both parents begin to feed their young through the process of regurgitation.

Feeding habits

Fischer’s Lovebirds eat a wide variety of foods, including seeds and fruit. They sometimes are pests to farmers, as they eat their crops such as maize and millet.

Video Fischers Lovebird


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species is listed as Near Threatened because it has experienced a moderately rapid population reduction in its restricted range owing to trapping for export. Although this has been halted, it could re-start, and any evidence of a greater population decline could qualify the species for a higher threat category.
It was the most commonly traded wild bird in the world in 1987 and was the most popular wild-caught parrot imported into the then European Economic Community, accounting for c.80% of the psittacine exports from Tanzania. Legal trapping for export has now been halted, but the population is still much lower than it was.
Fischers Lovebird status Near Threatened


Sedentary with some local movements in the dry season.

Distribution map

Fischers Lovebird distribution range map

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