Parrots have been a part of my life for a long time. I know them. I know their squawks, whistles, and intense curiosity. I failed in my job to find Kathie the Peach Faced lovebirds that have gone wild in Phoenix. In fact, they have been colonizing and extending their range every year. While they're not as invasive as say the European Starlings, they have not shown signs of decline. When Kathie and I arrived at Gilbert Ranch, I had known that several of the lovebirds lived here in this area. But I never heard their sounds.
While Kathie was filling up the gas tank, I heard them. They were loud and up in the trees around this wildlife refuge house! But something even more unusual happened that I wasn't expecting.....an African Grey sounded from on top of an abandoned building. There was a sexy whistle and I knew right away among all the Quaker/Monk chatter.......that we were dealing with something different. Grabbing my camera bursting with rapid whistles back to the bird, I got this extremely intelligent parrot to come out into the open.....and that's when I saw not one but TWO different parrots!
|Red tail=Congo variety|
And a little extra bit, the African Grey was sporting it's pretty red tail feathers(meaning that this was one happy parrot:) So while we didn't spot the Peach Faced Lovebirds. We did find some incredibly dazzling parrots! My theory? Here it goes. Kathie and I both drove around the perimeter to establish the high parrot chatter and perhaps see several monk parrots in the Aleppo pines. But by this point, it had gotten too dark to investigate further and the Monks were settling down. The parrots were all located near a wildlife refuge and my guess is that they had escaped or that these wild parrots were being fed by this refuge and living in the trees taking advantage of the free food and shelter. Many parrots have incredible intelligence. The African Grey, for example, possesses the knowledge of a 5 year old kid. But I'm thinking we are underestimating that intelligence factor for this bird. But being opportunistic birds, they are able to figure out their situations and survive them. This was a weird find but it was still cool. The best part of the night? Kathie and I ran to a golf course to count birds right at sunset. Coyotes were howling near a wash and we were able to watch them find one another. Birding/wildlife is rewarding in many ways. I've lost so much weight walking and running to new destinations. Plus I witness such incredible things. I'll say it again....much better than TV:) More tomorrow....