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Parrots in Arizona?

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Moving every few years has provided a broad spectrum of life around the country, including spotting Parrots in our Phoenix backyard.

Love Bird setting in an orange tree in the West Valley of Phoenix

Love Bird setting in an orange tree in the West Valley of Phoenix

Beautiful, Colorful Parrots

Parrots are among some of the best loved birds in the world. Known for their colorful and talkative contribution on the Africa and South American continents, these brightly colored and often talkative birds are mesmerizing. Each continent has their own unique and brightly colored variety of birds, but the African parrot is one that catches the imagination of millions.

Once tourists came back from Africa or South America boosting of a close up sighting of the beautiful birds. Now North America has parrots of their own. Many who didn't see the birds in the wild have brought them home as pets. Parrots have been caged for hundreds of years in different areas of the world as pets.

Home of the Parrot

Parrots are native to Namibia in Southwestern Africa. Brought to the United States as pets, some have escaped from their homes and found new homes in the deserts of Arizona. South Western cities such as Phoenix boast a climate similar to the parrots' native country.

America had two species of parrots which were hunted to extinction or left due to development. There have been some species of parrots spotted throughout the U.S., but only a few areas able to provide climates that allow the parrots to flourish.

There are flocks of the small, peach-faced Lovebird birds, which are a small version of the parrot. These are the parrots that have found a permanent home in San Francisco and now in Phoenix.

Where can you find Parrots?

There are palm trees in Phoenix that provide shelter for the birds. Often they are seen in the holes of Saguaro cactus which provides shade and shelter. Although, parrots can range from 4 inches to 40 inches, the peach faced variety of Lovebirds are in the smaller range of parrots. This fascinating variety will come close to onlookers . Often there are not only pairs of Lovebirds, but flocks which provide hours of entertainment.

In the Phoenix area, the birds are often mistaken for pets that have escaped from homes as they are small and often thought to be parakeets. Now the species can be seen in palm trees by the vigilant observer.

Since Lovebirds are not native to Phoenix there is fear that they may carry diseases which will effect native inhabitants. This often happens when new species are introduced into a non-native environment.

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Why Phoenix

Monsoons are responsible in part for the parrot population in Phoenix. An aviary was severely damaged doing a monsoon releasing many of the birds into the wild. Another owner of a sanctuary decided he no longer wanted the birds and released them. They have been finding mates and breeding since. They can produce offspring two to three times a year.

Lovebirds mate at about ten months old and mate for life which on average is 15 years. This behavior makes for a stable group of Lovebirds. If a bird loses its partner the survivor may show signs of depressive or behavior that is not the norm.

Hanging out on a windy day.

Hanging out on a windy day.

Surviving in Phoenix

The climate of Phoenix is extremely hot in the summer months. The area does provide food and water for the Lovebirds, and they can have two to three sets of chicks per year. The population of these parrots are sure to grow.

Often they are well hidden in trees, but if food is available they may appear in large groups providing great entertainment. Western Arizona offers a habitat that allows the birds to survive and thrive.

Love Birds as Pets

Lovebirds are a popular breed for pets. It is normally better to buy a pair, but one will survive without company. The peach-faced birds are playful and noisy. They enjoy toys and may even dance on their owners' shoulders. While making sounds is a possibility, the smallest of the parrots usually aren't as talkative as other larger species of parrots.

If there is a disruption in their lives or routine, one of the lovebirds may feed the other to reestablish the bond between them. They usually do better with a partner if kept as household pets, especially if alone for long periods of time.

Visiting the Phoenix area? Look up. You may see a beautifully colored Lovebird.

Waiting for Supper

Waiting for Supper


Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 03, 2019:

This was interesting news for me. I didn't know that lovebirds were living in the wild in the United States. Thanks for sharing your photos of the birds.

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