Sunday, April 15, 2007


Peach-faced lovebirds in "the wild" neighborhoods of Phoenix.

These sweet little parrots are native to southeastern African dry-climate areas but they've taken up residence locally. They hang around up in the palm trees where they use nesting holes made by other birds. It was at Granada Park in the neighborhood south of Piestawa Peak that we first saw them in small flocks.

Until then I'd only seen them in petstores.

During this time of year we spot them daily when we're out walking the dogs, but they don't seem to be attracted to our bird-feeders.

The people who live on the corner have some goats, and we saw coyote scat in the street in front of their house. On a few occasions I've noticed them trotting right down the middle of the street or straight through backyards around here. They like golf courses, because that's where the bunnies are. To a coyote, a golf course is just a great big green smorgasboard.

Coyotes tend to travel in energy-conserving straight lines, unlike domestic dogs who zig-zag all over because they are pretty sure they have food waiting for them at home, unlike their poor relatives Canis latrans who never know where their next meal is coming from.

No recent roof-rat sightings. One of local condo owners reported hearing them at night but they're gone now. In the nearly four years we've had our place here I've seen only one, despite the fruit trees in this area which used to be all orchards, like the Arcadia district. That's where these little out-of-staters first settled when they arrived in The Valley.

Maybe the highway poses a barrier to them and they stay mostly on its east side. Or maybe they just like living in proximity to Alice Cooper.

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