Peach-faced Lovebird Census Project


Saturday, 27 February – Morning commitment only

Primary census areas will be within the core of known populations in the cities of Apache Junction, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix. However, if sufficient numbers of folks participate, we would welcome other areas with lovebirds to be surveyed as well.

Goal is to determine general numbers to estimate the total population and distribution within the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  This baseline information will be used to track future population change and will be included in an upcoming lovebird status article to be published on the AZFO web site.

Basic activity: Participants will be assigned specific sections of a city which they can easily survey between 0630 and 1000 AM, where they will visit known and likely neighborhoods listening for lovebirds. Click here to hear what a Peach-faced Lovebird Sounds Like. Survey will likely include both walking and some driving, but biking would also be an excellent way to census. For each lovebird detection participants will document the closest street intersection and the number of individuals detected on census form provided.

If interested in participating, please forward your name, email address and general area of a specific city you would like to census to Kurt Radamaker kurtrad@mexicobirding.com

Major Population area of Peach-faced Lovebirds

The Peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) is native to southwestern Africa, where it is found up to an elevation of 1,500 m (Collar 1997). The range is poorly known, but it is generally found in Angola, southwards along the coast through Namibia to Northern Cape Province, South Africa (Juniper and Parr 1998). It is found in arid woodland, scrubby hillsides and tree-lined watercourses including river canyons, rocky terrain where area rainfall exceeds 100 mm, and where water is accessible (Collar 1997). It is a colonial breeder with natural breeding sites in the inaccessible and often vertical cracks found in steep rock-faces on exfoliating granite or sandstone koppies (Simmons 1997). However, it is highly adaptable and it nests and roosts in sociable weaver (Philetairus socius) nests, as well as artificial structures and junction boxes on telephone poles, and in otherwise inappropriate habitats (Simmons 1997).

It is widely bred in captivity for commercial purposes. Only 3 of over 500,000 specimens exported from 1992 through 2001 were reported as specimens of wild origin. In captivity, they breed easily. A pair can breed and rear three clutches (4-5 eggs per clutch) in a season. There 16 or more color mutations of this species produced in captivity, of which 8 are common, 7 are established, and 1 is considered rare (Martin 2002). Most color mutations are bred worldwide.

In Phoenix the Peach-faced Lovebird was first noted breeding in the wild in 1987, and in recent years it has become a familiar and delightful part of the local avifauna. 

Why should we census Peach-faced Lovebirds?

In any environment it is important to understand the population and life history of non-native species and how they interact with the native avifauna. In addition, the Peach-faced Lovebird is likely not established as an introduced exotic anywhere else in world. Providing a unique opportunity to study and understand how the Peach-faced Lovebird has adapted to a foreign environment continents away!.

Other Resources:

Greg Clark's Excellent Mirro Pole site where you can track your lovebird sightings.

The Peach-faced Lovebird Team

Kurt Radamaker
Fountain Hills AZ

Troy Corman
Phoenix AZ

Marceline VandeWater

Michael C. Moore
Tempe AZ

Location Team
Mesa Kurt Radamaker
Phoenix Troy Corman
Scottsdale Marceline Vandewater

Updated Sunday, March 14, 2010