Fischer's lovebirds are a delightful treat for birders planning a Tanzania wildlife safari. These colorful birds are typically seen in pairs, as they mate for life and stay close by the side of their partner. You will not likely see lovebirds mingling with other parrot species. While they have much love for one another, lovebirds tend to get into trouble with other parrots.
You'll be able to distinguish Fischer's lovebirds from other parrots by their coloration and diminutive size as well as their propensity to pair off. Fischer's lovebirds are only about six inches tall and have vibrant green bodies with splashes of blue feathers in the wings and tail. The yellow collar and olive green head offset the brilliant red beak, which is surrounded by orange feathers. The eyes pop as well, as the skin around them is white and featherless.
These birds tend to spend their time in higher elevation grasslands and savannahs of northern Tanzania. This is the only place where this particular species of lovebird occurs naturally, but there have been sightings of Fischer's lovebirds in other areas of Africa. They tend to travel in small groups, but the size of their flocks can be bigger when they live near a more widespread food supply. Lovebirds eat seeds, fruits and grains and never stray far from the safety of thorny bushes when they are feeding. During breeding season, these lovebirds take to the trees, finding hollows in which to build their nests. They have also been known to nest in cliffs and buildings. A lovebird will lay between three and eight eggs at a time and the chicks will be born about three weeks later. It takes another five weeks before the babies are ready to leave the nest.
IUCN Redlist categorizes this bird species as critically endangered mainly because the birds were hunted and captured to be exported around the world as pets. While this practice has been put to a stop, the wild population is still small enough to be threatened. Fischer's lovebirds are most commonly spotted at the Ndutu and Serengeti National Parks in Tanzania.
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|Image courtesy of Takashi(aes256) & Creative Commons|