different types of fischer's lovebirds

Different Types Of Fischer’s Lovebirds [Genetics + Mutations Guide]

Fischer’s lovebirds are native to Africa. Specifically, they can be found south and southeast of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania and a small area of east-central Africa. They are known to migrate into Rwanda and Burundi during droughts.

Fischer’s lovebirds are known for their bright green body, olive-green head, and bright red beak. This breed has complex genetics that can give them blue, lutino, dilute, dark-eyed clear, dark-eyed white, albino, pied, and cinnamon color variations.

You can find these birds in their own flocks, with about 10-15 birds in each. The flock is located within isolated clumps in trees, separated from other clumps in the colony by grass plains.

Agapornis Fischeri

Agapornis fischeri is the scientific name of Fischer’s lovebirds. The term “Agapornis” refers to the genus of the bird, which is a lovebird in general. As a lovebird, Fischers are known for their colorful plumage. In fact, according to Ostrich, the Agapornis boasts of 30 known color variations.

Fischeri refers to explorer Gustav Fischer. He discovered the bird in the late 19th century. Fischeri was a prolific explorer, finding dozens of new plants and animals. His name can also be found in other animals, like Fischer’s starling (Lamprotornis fischeri), and even plants, like Fischer’s ragwort (Ligularia fischeri).

Fischer’s Lovebirds Identification

There are three main species of lovebird. Since they’re part of the same genus, they have similar temperaments and physical characteristics. However, Fischer’s lovebirds are by far the easiest to identify:

Coloration

A Fischer’s lovebird can be separated from other lovebirds by their coloring alone. A Fischer’s is characterized by:

  • Green back, chest, and wings
  • Top of their head is an olive green
  • Face is a bright orange, eventually becoming a golden yellow at the neck
  • Beak is a bright red
  • Broad ring of white around the eyes
  • Tip of the tail can be either blue or purple
  • Legs and feet are a blue grey
fischer lovebirds types

The juveniles are of a similar color as well. However, they have the following distinctions.

  • Colors are duller
  • Base of the mandible has brown markings

Size

Fischer’s lovebirds are small compared to others of their kind. Here are the measurements:

Species ComparisonFischer’s LovebirdMasked LovebirdPeach-Faced Lovebird
Height12.5 to 15.5 cm14.5 to 15.5 cm13 to 19 cm
Weight1.5 to 2 ounces1.5 to 1.75 ounces1.5 to 2.5 ounces
Wingspan9 cm9 cm10 cm

Fischer’s Lovebird Genetics And Mutations

The green-bodied Fischer’s lovebird still remains the typical coloration of the species. However, if you want a more unique bird, you can also opt for:

Blue

As the name implies, it creates a lovebird that is blue. However, this mutation changes all parts of the bird, not just its main body. Sometimes, it can even change the beak color. You’ll find this lovebird with:

  • A bright blue back, tail, and chest
  • Top of its head is a pale grey
  • The rest of its head is white
  • Beak is a pale pink

Lutino

The lutino mutation happens when the melanin pigment in birds is suppressed. This results in a bird that is almost completely yellow.

The lutino mutation is similar to that of the albino mutation. However, lutino is what affects green-series lovebirds. Albino, in contrast, will target blue-series lovebirds.

The suppression of melanin results in a bird that will not develop black, brown, or grey colors. This results in the following coloration:

  • Back, tail and chest is a bright yellow
  • A red beak
  • Solid, orange head
  • A bit of red on the face

Dilute

The dilute mutation reduces the black pigment in the feathers by up to 80-90%. This results in a bird that is very pale.

The dilute mutation is a recessive gene. This means, for a chick to be visibly dilute, both parents must be at least split for dilute. If both parents are, there is a 25% chance that the offspring will be visibly dilute.

There are two main dilute mutations in Fischer’s lovebirds. These depend on whether the bird is green series or blue series. Respectively, these are the green dilute, and the blue dilute.

Green Dilute

A green dilute produces a bird that is more diluted than the wild type, as its name implies. This often results in dark grey-green, unlike the bright green of the wild lovebird.

A green dilute is easier to achieve than a blue dilute. That’s because there is only one recessive gene, namely the dilute gene. The green body gene is dominant, which means that there’s more chance of a pair producing green offspring.

Blue Dilute

The blue Fischer’s lovebird is characterized by a bright blue hue. When the dilute gene is visible, it produces a bird with duller shades, such as grey-blue, sometimes referred to as navy blue.

Note that the green body color is dominant over the blue body color. As such, a bird can be split for blue or hiding a blue gene.

It is possible for two green birds to create blue offspring. This means that both parents were split for blue or hiding a blue gene. Specifically, these parents have a 1 in 4 chance of creating blue offspring.

The dilute gene functions similarly. Dilute is recessive. However, if both parents are carrying it, even if they are both visibly non-dilute, they can still produce dilute offspring.

Dark Eyed Clear

The dark-eyed clear results in a bird that is similar to the lutino mutation. However, melanin is only reduced by 95%. It results in:

  • Yellow-bodied bird
  • Blue rump
  • Grey feet 
  • Bright orange hood, head, and mask
  • Red beak
  • Black eye with white ring

Dark Eyed White

The dark-eyed white is a variant of the dark-eyed clear mutation. It is the term used to describe birds that both have the dark-eyed clear mutation and the blue mutation. Dark-eyed whites are characterized by:

  • White body
  • Pale pink feet and legs
  • Abdomen and tail can be a pale blue or pale violet
  • Pale pink beak

The dark-eyed white is named as such to differentiate itself from the albino mutation, which can sometimes be referred to as white. The most obvious difference between albino and other white mutations is in the eyes. Non-albino whites will always have dark eyes, hence the name.

Albino

An albino coloration results in a mutation that suppresses all the production of melanin. The albino mutation functions similarly to the lutino mutation. The difference is that it affects blue-series birds.

Albinos are different from dark-eyed whites because there is also no melanin in the eyes. This results in a bird with a bright red iris. Dark-eyed white Fischer’s lovebirds also have a diluted color on their tail and abdomen, which is never present in albino mutations. The albino mutation is characterized by:

  • Completely white body
  • Pale pink legs and feet
  • Pale pink beak
  • Bright red eyes

Pied

The pied mutation is characterized by patches of feathers on the body where there is no melanin. Piedness can result in different colors, depending on the dominant color of the bird.

For example, in pied greens, like the non-variant color of Fischer’s lovebirds, the pied mutation will result in yellow spots. For pied blues, piedness will result in white splotches of color.

Any bird can carry the pied mutation on top of other mutations. Depending on its dominant color, you can expect your bird to be either blue with white spots or green with yellow spots.

Cinnamon

The cinnamon is a diluting mutation, affecting dark or dark grey markings on the wild type. The females tend to have a more diluted color than the males. This diluted color is often a light brown, very similar to the shade of white coffee.

Cinnamons tend to have feathers that appear tighter than the normal type. This results in a plumage that looks silky.

Fischer’s Masked Hybrid

Hybrids between Fischer’s lovebirds and masked lovebirds are common. This hybrid is often mislabeled as a pure Fischer’s lovebird, however. To differentiate the two, focus on the:

  • Forehead
  • Cheeks
  • Head

These will be noticeably darker in a Fischer’s/masked hybrid than those that are non-hybrids. You can find them in captivity, but they are also found in wild populations. They are characterized by:

  • A face is reddish-brown, slightly black with a bit of dark orange
  • Top of the head is a dull olive
  • Chest and neck is orange, with a bit of dull yellow
  • The rest of the body is a bright green
  • They have white rings around the eyes, with brown irises
  • Beak is red
  • Top of the wings are a dark green, with a lighter underside
  • Outer tail feathers are edged with a yellow band
  • Rump is greyish blue
  • Legs and feet are grey

Fischer’s Lovebird Male Female Difference

Fischer’s lovebirds have no sexual dimorphism. This means there are no physical characteristics that differentiate females from males.

Because of the sexual morphism, the most reliable way to determine the sex of the bird is through DNA testing. According to Bio Web of Conferences, the polymerase chain reaction test can also be used to determine the sex of a Fischer’s lovebird.