PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Some couples are settling down in Arizona, and they are thriving. They generally mate for life, and these lovebirds don't appear to be going anywhere, they're actually spreading.
While you will find many birds of a feather flocking together around the Phoenix area, one species, in particular, has put the valley on an unusual list.
"This is the only known population established in the United States," said Troy Corman.
Corman is talking about lovebirds, the rosy-faced variety to be specific.
"We've known they've been breeding in the Phoenix area in certain places since the mid 80's," said Corman.
But why the Phoenix area? Corman says the pet trade is responsible. Lovebirds are small parrots, popular pets in cages or back yard aviaries. They either escaped or some people set them free. Instead of dying in the desert they have been thriving.
"Our climate is similar to where they are originally from, Southwest Africa, a very dry climate like what we have," he said.
Michele took this video of lovebirds in a Saguaro Cactus near her home in the North Valley. Corman estimates there are at least 3500 love birds across the valley probably more. They survive on berries and seeds that grow in our desert climate, and once they find a water source are quite content. Corman says while they do love the Saguaros you will also find the colonies of these birds in Palm Trees.
"They nest in our palm trees; they love to nest in palm trees, especially the date palms. They nest in little colonies in those so you can have several pair nesting in one date palm," said Corman.
The birds weren't seen at the trees at Encanto Park, but Corman mentioned the Arcadia neighborhood has several, and sure enough there were a few.
Some cities in the U.S. may have lovebirds, but the population in Arizona is self-sustaining. They are breeding and expanding in neighborhoods across the Valley.