At the Gilbert Water Ranch I saw at least eight Peach-faced Lovebirds--a bird which has become established in the Greater Phoenix area. These small South African parrots were pretty easy to find feeding on the ground with Red-winged Blackbirds. They've been in the area for more than 15 years, and their breeding documented in the Arizona breeding bird atlas. Once the Arizona bird records committee votes to accept them on the Arizona state list, the American Birding Association will vote on whether they should be added to the ABA bird checklist for North America. If they are added to the list, birders from all over will be coming to Phoenix to see these birds and add them to their lists.
Officially listable or not, I'm more interested in these birds as another example of exotic birds that have become established in North American cities. While they do nest in cavities and may potentially interfere with other native birds, so far they are restricted to urban habitats and seem to get along well with other wildlife. Our cities create new environments full of exotic vegetation that many foreign birds find inviting. So, stay posted for news on these lovebirds--you may be hearing more about them if they are added to the ABA list. Meanwhile, if you are in the Phoenix area, keep your eyes peeled for these small green, orange, and blue parrots. (photo:about.com)
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