While a longer post about Gulf Fritillaries is in progress, please enjoy these images of Rosy-faced Lovebirds (formerly Peach-faced Lovebirds, Agapornis roseicollis) feeding on our sunflowers one gray morning earlier this month.
Rosy-faced Lovebird cling-feeding on sunflowers (photos A.Shock)
Having learned the older name, E and I still refer to them as Peach People (or more portentiously “People of the Peach”), and rush out to try to spot them overhead each time they bomb across the yard, squeaking and gibbering in small family groups.
Accustomed to their dry homeland in southwestern Africa, Lovebirds are a non-native feral species which seems to be establishing itself in apparently self-sustaining populations around the Phoenix area. They are the descendants of escaped or released pet birds — often let go by people because of their noisy domestic ways. Lovebirds are often found in and around Saguaros, where they compete with resident cavity-nesters like Elf owls and woodpeckers for the shelter of snug holes in the giant cactus.
Also, please note the previously discussed effectiveness of plastic birds of prey as seed-snatcher deterrents in the garden >> Actually, it’s an empty complaint — we grow the sunflowers for the birds, and would be crushed if the Desert Snowy Owl and the Birthday Falcon (still sheathed in plastic to mute its awesome aspect) actually worked.