|Rosy-faced Lovebird Census Project
VOLUNTEERS CONDUCT SURVEY IN GREATER PHOENIX METRO AREA
Saturday, 27 February 2010
A team of volunteers surveyed areas within the core of known Rosy-faced (Peach-faced) Lovebird populations in the cities of Apache Junction, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Chandler.
Goal was 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 it has being included in a lovebird status article of the Arizona Birds Online journal.
Survey approach: Participants were assigned specific sections of a city to survey from dawn till aproximately 2:00 pm, where they visited known and likely neighborhoods listening for lovebirds. Click here to hear what a Rosy-faced Lovebird Sounds Like. Survey included both walking and some driving. For each lovebird detection participants documented the closest street intersection and the number of individuals detected on census form provided.
Major Population area of Rosy-faced Lovebirds
The Rosy-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 Rosy-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 Rosy-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 Rosy-faced Lovebird is likely not established as an introduced exotic anywhere else in world. Providing a unique opportunity to study and understand how the Rosy-faced Lovebird has adapted to a foreign environment continents away!.
Greg Clark's Excellent Mirro Pole site where you can track your lovebird sightings.
The Rosy-faced Lovebird Coordination Team