No, this isn't a post about kissy,kissy people in Phoenix (gag) but rather the peach-faced or rosy-faced lovebirds that populate Phoenix.
At various times while running on the canals, I'll see the wild love bird parrots flying from tree to tree. After visiting Peru, I realized I can recognize the lovebirds call and know these birds are close by. I've seen them settling into palm trees at dusk and just recently I've heard them outside my back door hanging out on my sunflowers. I'm now obsessed with learning more about them and trying to capture pictures of them as they annihilate my sunflowers.
According to Birdwatcher.com, the peach faced love birds originally were part of an aviary and the owners set the birds free in the 1980's. These 15-20 birds, started a population of birds that although previously lived in captivity, thrived in the warm area and were able to survive in the wild and reproduce quite well in the Phoenix area. One website estimated the current population to be 2,500 birds.
Outside of eating my sunflowers, they also eats cactus fruit, apples, palm fruit and seed pods from mesquite and palo verde trees. I'm quite happy to participate in the feeding of the birds unless they start in on my real garden. John says be careful of what I wish for because loving the birds now may not be a good thing if they eat everything I'm trying to grow.
In 2010 there was a love bird census where computers were hooked up on trees and lines and based on the weight and pressure of the bird, it registered as a love bird or not. Wouldn't that be a great April Fools Day story? Actually people walked and rode bikes from Apache Junction to Scottsdale to Phoenix to count 948 lovebirds. There is an awesome chart showing where and how many birds they found in each area.
These love birds are keeping me entertained and I was thrilled this morning to go out and see four lined up on a sunflower and another four on other flowers. Eight love birds tearing the crap out of my sunflowers. It was awesome.