If you are walking down the city streets of Scottsdale or Mesa in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area, you are bound to hear the squeaks of little green peach faced lovebirds as they fly between the trees and cacti.
A lovebird is one of nine species of the genus Agapornis. They are a social and affectionate small parrot. Eight species are native to the African continent, and the grey-headed lovebird is native to Madagascar.
They nest in the holes in the Saguaro cacti that have been made by other birds (mostly woodpeckers and flickers) and they are just as adorable as can be when they peek out of these nesting holes and look down at you.
As mentioned earlier peach faced lovebirds are not native to Arizona. However, over the years escaped pet birds have established themselves in the urban Sonoran Desert, and they have become naturalized citizens of the State. All the flocks in the desert areas here are descendants of escaped pet birds. In contrast to some other invasive species it seems these lovely birds don’t do any harm.
They love the dry desert heat of the Sonoran Desert because it is just like their ancestral home across the ocean in southwestern Africa! They are savvy to bird feeders, and they make the most of whatever offerings they can find in residents’ back yards.
Although we hear the squeaks of the lovebirds almost daily it’s hard to spot them and even harder to capture them with the camera. Luckily I was able to take a few good shots during one of my last visits to the Desert Botanical Garden: