The Parrotlet is a fairly small bird, but it has plenty of character.
These birds make for great companions that you will cherish for years to come.
The average Parrotlet measures about five inches long, which is a little small when compared to other types of parakeets. These birds can weigh anywhere from 0.9 ounces to 1.2 ounces. They are often characterized by their bright green head, muted green belly, and sometimes blue streaks on the edge of their wings.
The Parrotlet has an average of around 20 years, but it can easily make it to 30 years with a nutritious diet and regular activity.
Types of Parrotlets
There are actually quite a few species of Parrotlets, but some of the more common ones include:
- Pacific Parrotlet: This species is naturally found in Peru and Ecuador. It measures anywhere from 4 to 4.8 inches long with a weight of around 31 grams. Males have a bright green forehead, crown and cheeks with some blue around the eyes. The blue in males in replaced by green in the females.
- Green-rumped Parrotlet: The green-rumped species has light green cheeks, rump, and forehead. You can sometimes spot a little bit of blue on the very edge of the wings.
- Spectacled Parrotlet: This type of Parrotlet is mostly green with a blue and black streak going down its wings. There is also a bluish-green coloration around the eyes.
- Mexican Parrotlet: The Mexican Parrotlet measures around 5 inches fully grown. Males have a yellow-green coloration, while females have distinct areas of blue on them.
Parrotlets have a reputation for being high energy birds with a lot of character. It doesn’t take long for them to bond with their owner, especially after some direct contact.
You’ll want to keep in mind that these birds are happiest when they are in the company of their own kind. You should therefore consider getting a pair of these birds and keep them together in the same enclosure. Keeping one of these birds in isolation for long enough could result in a less affable demeanor.
Pacific Parrotlets are native to warm tropical regions with dry forests. They can also be found in subtropical climates amidst the dense forestlands and shrubland. These birds tend to spend much of their time in South America as well as Central America.
Caring for Parrotlets
It is crucial that you always have food in your Parrotlet’s cage, as they have a fast moving metabolism and need to eat a lot. They do well on a balanced diet with a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and small seeds.
Nearly half of all the food that you give your bird should consist of high-quality, nutritious pellets. You need to make sure that they are getting plenty of protein and calcium. Giving your bird cuttlebone is a good way to prevent a calcium deficiency.
Low-fat seed mix can make up as much as 25% of your bird’s diet. They also like legumes and grains, which help keep them healthy.
As discussed above, Parrotlets tend to do best when they are paired with another bird of the same species. This will provide your pet with its own companion to keep it company.
The cage that you put your bird in should be large enough so they can comfortably stretch their wings and climb. They also need plenty of space for playing, which they tend to do quite a bit. If you are going to keep multiple Parrotlets, you will need an even bigger cage.
A cage for a single Parrotlet should measure at least 18 by 18 inches with bars that are half an inch apart at most. Make sure that the cage has a tray that can be pulled out with grates that will prevent the bird from reaching the floor.
It is a good idea to get natural wood perches for these birds, as they are effective at keeping their nails trimmed down. Always keep the cage out of direct sunlight so your bird stays happy and healthy.
The bird’s cage should have a few toys for them to play with. If they become bored, there is a good chance that they’ll end up manifesting destructive behaviors. You might also want to put in some ladders for them to climb on.
3. Common Health Problems
Fortunately, these birds are not prone to a lot of serious health issues. You will, however, want to keep a lookout for signs of illness.
- Flaky skin
- Changes in their vocalization
- Beak overgrowth
- Sores on the bottom of the feet
- Crusty areas around the nostrils
One of the major dangers this bird faces is being stepped on due to its small size. It is therefore important that you keep a close eye on it when it is out of the cage. If you have any children in the house, you need to emphasize the importance of being careful around the bird.
You should put a shallow bowl of lukewarm water in your bird’s cage every couple of days. They will use this water to bathe in. You also have the option of just giving it a light misting with a spray bottle filled with water.
The overall cost of a Parrotlet largely depends on the species you decide to buy. There are some species that cost more than others. Even the cheapest of these birds will cost you a little over $100 on average. Some species will run you as much as $300, so be prepared to pay a decent amount.
- Parrotlets are very energetic and have a lot of character.
- It is best to keep these birds in pairs, as they tend to thrive with their own kind.
- Almost half of all the food you give your Parrotlet should consist of high-quality pellets.
- You can also give your bird a small amount of fruits, vegetables, and seeds on a regular basis.
- The cage you keep your bird in should be at least 18 by 18 inches.
- Make sure your bird has plenty of toys in its enclosure to keep itself busy.
- A bowl of lukewarm water in their cage every other day will let them bathe to stay clean.