Parrotlets are one of the smallest parrot species, these adorable birds have a stocky build and short tails. They form lifelong pair bonds with their chosen mates and have been referred to as the “South American lovebird” but they are not actually related to lovebirds (Wikipedia, n.d.).
Born nibblers, Parrotlets love to be held and will nibble on your clothes, hair, ears, and jewelry. This is perfectly normal behavior. These bold little birds can learn to talk just like their bigger cousins Parrots, repeating words and simple phrases. In the wild, Parrotlets are green and resemble small parakeets. There are several species of Parrotlets, the most common being the Green-Rump- Parrotlet (Forpus Passerinus) and the Pacific Parrotlet (Forpus Coelestis) (Wikipedia, n.d.). These birds are naturally aggressive in nature but when handled correctly as we do at the Friendly Bird Aviary, they can be trained to be sweet companions. Parrotlets that remain aggressive after our training, thrive as breeders. Forcing a bird to behave against its nature is not something we desire or encourage.
Our friendly Parrotlets are affectionate but still feisty and at times willful. As such, we do not recommend them as pets for children but rather for adults. They have a tendency to pair bond with each other and enjoy the company of other Parrotlets but like many birds are territorial and need to be kept separate from other species. Parrotlets, like other small animals, do not seem to recognize that they are tiny, having enormous personalities. Handfeeding them starting when they are young, trains them to be very sociable and friendly. They could have a lifespan of up to twenty years, but many factors can determine their lifespan (I will talk about this in a different blog). Parrotelts today come in a variety of colors due to breeding in captivity. The females differ in color from the males making them easy to identify.
The Friendly Difference
At Friendly Bird Aviary baby birds are pulled out of the nest at two weeks for hand feeding. They are never grabbed but rather gently scooped up from the bottom of their chest and then invited to hop into a hand or on a finger. Our birds have several flight wings clipped so that the maximum height they can fly is five feet. If your bird was ever to fly away you could simply let them reach their height and then glide down, scooping them up on the ground.
When you buy from Friendly Bird Aviary, we send you home with detailed instructions so that you can be confident in caring for your new sweet friend. Instructions are given in a lecture format, paper or telephone conversation. Friendly Bird Aviary, encourages the customers to stay in touch for up to two weeks after the adoption is complete to make sure that there are no unanswered questions regarding the care of the bird and that everything is fine.
Handle With Care
While Parrotlets love to be handled they also love to nibble. They will nibble on everything including soft spots on your neck, so it is very important to watch your reactions. Never yell or jerk the bird, but it is super important to remain calm. Yelling, squeezing, grabbing, or jerking can result in the bird losing trust in you and they will start biting harder as a result. This is the number one reason why Parrotlets are not recommended for children.
If you are introducing your bird to a child or a sensitive adult, explain the importance of being gentle if a nibble becomes painful. It is a great idea to wear a scarf or a towel close to the neck when putting the parrotlet on a shoulder or giving it a cuddle.
Parrotlets are tiny but they will need a comfortable cage. Minimum size required is 18″x 18″. Be aware that they don’t like cages with too much plastic around them. Based on the personality of your Parrotlet, you can decide on a larger cage or playpens. Interact with the Friendly Parrotlet at least 2-3 times a day. Call his name, get him excited to come out of the cage on its own. Keep the cage always new by rotating toys and perches. Do not put in the cage anything that resembles a nest, like tents or peek-a-boo toys (I will explain why in a different blog).
At Friendly Bird Aviary birds’ wings are clipped but sometimes not if the customer requests them fully flighted. If we clip, we only clip the first 5 to 7 flight wings so that they can still fly up to 5 feet and glide down gently. Clipping too many flight wings can make the bird handicapped and it is very dangerous for it to fall unto the ground and break the bone on its chest. So, clipping is done in respect to the anatomy of the bird.
Can Parrotlets Talk?
Since Parrotlets originate from the Amazon forest and are small parrots, they are also able to mimic sounds and repeat human words. Patient repetitions of words associated with certain experiences can make Parrotlets talk. However, the sound of a parrot talking is not as clear as a larger parrot species or like in the movies but more muffled and unclear like in the small parakeet species. Also, it has been documented that only males have this ability and not females and that even if the males have this ability, it is not always put to use. In other words, even if they have the ability to talk, they might never talk in their lifetime. (Based on my experience only 50% of the male Parrotlets I sold ended up talking and most of the time their success was related to the bird’s personality and the owner’s perseverance in repeating words.)