Whoever coined the saying "good things come in small packages" probably had a Parrotlet as a pet. In spite of their small size (around 4 inches long), these little characters have all the personality and character of their larger cousins, the Amazons. Pronounced "Parrot-let" meaning little Parrot. Parrotlets are the smallest of the Amazon Parrots.
Parrotlets are amazing, intelligent, adaptable, energetic and are capable of speaking just like Parrots. (See audio clips below) And because they can not scream, Parrotlets can easily be kept in a small apartment without fear of complaints. Overall, they are one of the quietest hook bills you can keep.
a Devoted Companion
These hand-fed birds become completely devoted companions who enjoy spending time with their owners. Parrotlets are quite comical either playing with toys or hanging by their beaks and toes. Unlike many large Parrots, they have no problem entertaining themselves all day with their toys while their owner is at work or school. But when the owner returns, they will chirp welcome greetings and expect to come out to ride around in a pocket or hide in their owner's hair.
Parrotlets: "A Small Parrot in a Large Body"
looking for a large Parrot personality in a small Parrot
body, need look no further than the Parrotlet. Parrotlets
are delightful little Parrots whose antics can provide hours
as well as many years of devoted companionship.
Parrotlets are a species of the smallest New World parrots,
comprised of three genera. One of these genera: Forpus is
growing in popularity within the world of aviculture, raising
interest in the group as a whole.
Parrotlets are small, with a stocky build and a broad
tail, much like the lovebird species of East Africa
and fig parrot
and pygmy parrot species of Australasia. At 4-5
inches (11-12cm) long, they are the second smallest kind
of parrot in the
One of the most common species kept as pets is the Pacific
Parrotlet. The wild type coloring for this species is green,
but several color mutations have been discovered through
selective breeding. Parrotlets are sexually dimorphic, meaning
males can be distinguished from females. Males have markings
of cobalt blue on their head, wings and tail. Females generally
lack these blue markings.
These miniature parrots in the wild travel in flocks
which, depending on the species can range from as low
to over 100 birds. Most either species travel in flocks
5–40. This species forms strong pair bonds with
With a healthy diet, much exercise and healthy environment,
the Parrotlet has a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.
They can learn more than 10–15 words and can "whistle" songs
well. They have about the same speaking and whistling capabilities
of a cockatiel. They are also very good learners for commands
such as "step up", "kiss-kiss", "step
down", and other small commands. Many can be coaxed
into 'playing dead' over time, and with much practice
lie on their backs on command. Some parrotlets can
tricks, but not as advanced as a Macaw or an African
Grey Parrot. Having the ability to speak does not necessarily
mean a bird will speak; it depends on the specific
These feisty little birds should not be overlooked in favor
of more widely known types of birds; any Parrotlet owner
will tell you that these birds possess all the intelligence
and attitude of the largest of macaws. These birds are fairly
quiet companions, making them ideal for those who live in
apartments or condominiums.
The most commonly kept parrotlet in aviculture is by far
the Pacific Parrotlet, which now has several color mutations
such as yellow, blue, lutino and white. The Green Rumped, Mexican, Spectacled,
and Yellow-Faced are considered to be extremely rare. Parrotlets popularity
as pets has grown due to their small size and large personalities.
Parrotlets are commonly known as playful birds that enjoy
chewing as much as their larger Amazon Parrot counterparts.
Being highly intelligent and active parrots, Parrolets must
have ample opportunities to play and exercise. Environmental
enrichment must be made a part of their lives as to prevent
boredom. Parrotlets keep themselves more than occupied when
left alone for several hours, so long as they are provided
with an array of chewable and destructible toys to play with.
However, when their keepers get home, they often greet them
with lovely chirps and whistles to let them know they want
Forpus, the most well known genus of parrotlet, includes
all species of parrotlet commonly kept as pets including
the Green Rumped (Deliciosus), Pacific Parrotlet (Celestial), Mexican Parrotlet,
and the Spectacled Parrotlet.