Blue Peach-faced Lovebird

It's not that uncommon to see escaped exotic birds at bird feeders and in yards here in Tucson and southern Arizona. In July of 2006, I observed this African blue-form Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) perched in a large mesquite tree near a Tucson alley.

Blue Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)

I had been prowling the alley looking for wildflowers when I heard the unmistakable calls of a small parrot coming from a large mesquite tree in a neighboring backyard. I easily spotted this noisy and brilliantly-colored Peach-faced Lovebird on a shady branch.

Wild-type Peach-faced Lovebirds are bright emerald green with a peach-colored face, a yellowish bill, and a bright blue rump. The sexes are similar. These small parrots are very popular as pets, and breeders have developed numerous beautiful color forms, including blue color mutations like this one.

Blue Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis)

While many escaped pet birds will not survive for long in the wild, some Peach-faced Lovebirds have not only managed to survive but even to breed in urban areas here in Arizona. There are breeding flocks of feral Peach-faced Lovebirds in Phoenix and in Scottsdale, and they have been observed breeding here in urban Tucson as well. Most of these feral Peach-faced Lovebirds are the green and peach wild-types, but other color forms have been seen here in Arizona as well.

Peach-faced Lovebirds are from an arid region in southwestern Africa in the countries of Namibia, Angola, and South Africa. Since these birds' natural habitat is at the edge of the desert near permanent water, our desert cities here in Arizona with their many water sources, bird feeders, and exotic plants and trees have allowed these escaped Peach-faced Lovebirds to survive and reproduce.

Here in Arizona, Peach-faced Lovebirds have been observed nesting in palm trees and in woodpecker holes in Saguaro cacti. Here in the wild, these small parrots will eat seeds, berries, fruit, and flowers, and they will happily visit backyard bird feeders and any available water.