The Parrotlet is really just a tiny parrot with a BIG personality.
Personality and Behavior
The Parrotlet (pronounced parrot-let)may look like a tiny helpless bird, but will think it is bigger than you! These birds
have big personalities packed in an adorable tiny body. They are as funny as they are small, add that to their beautiful plumage
and you have a beautiful companion parrot.
The breeder we bought our first baby from said we needed to hold him every day to keep him tame. She was correct.
She also said that everyone needed to hold him so that he wouldn’t become a one-person bird. He had a personal preference
as to which one of us he wanted most, but he did like all of us.
Most Parrotlets are little dynamos, spending hours playing with and swinging from their toys. They entertain themselves
if provided a bunch of toys, but they need to play with their human flock if they are to become a companion parrot.
If you provide out of the cage play time, make sure you clip their wings or shut off the fans and shut the blinds.
Some say they have more behavior problems with parrots that are flighted. I won’t get into that debate here.
Parrotlets are stubborn and very strong willed. You must be sweetly firm while training these characters.
They have a tendency to nip those they love and bite hard those they don’t trust or who are not sensitive to their mood.
Given the opportunity, they will attack other animals that enter their territory. You must be very careful when you bring
your little boss out of its cage. They will not usually be intimidated by the larger size of other pets.
One of the most positive features of these birds is that they don’t scream. They do make noise, but not really loud
noise. The environment they are raised in will determine how often they will make noise to get your attention.
Provide them with about 10 hours of sleep in a dark quiet room, a healthy diet, a clean cage with toys and time out to
cuddle with you and you will have a happy bird.
Commonly Kept Species
Green Rump Parrotlet
The Green Rump is the smallest and the most timid. That is, more timid than others in its species, it does not have a timid
personality! They may take longer to get adjusted to their new home, but they will become outgoing with their human flock.
Green Rumps also have a tendency to have beak problems. Most think it is diet related, so be sure to read up on the proper
diet and if you aren’t willing to supplement their diet with fresh foods then consider another bird.
Pacific Parrotlets are, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful of the species. There are so many color variations available
today that it makes it hard to decide which color you prefer. Pacific Parrotlets are known to be even more moody and stubborn
than the Green Rump, so the owner should be a confident person that will not let the bird be boss.
The Mexican is one of the larger of the species. It is said that they are less active and more docile. The Mexican Parrotlet
makes a great companion parrot.
You should provide no more than 20 - 40 percent of the Parrotlets diet with top-quality pellets.
I suggest that you pick one that is organic and not artificially dyed. Anything artificial has to be cleansed by the kidneys
before it can be used. A lot of pellets are just junk.
The other 60 to 80 percent of their diet should consist of some seed blend along with dehydrated or fresh colorful vegetables,
beans, rice and a little fruit, again preferably organic. Remember that the chemicals sprayed and fed to plants have to be
cleansed by their tiny kidneys.
Stay away from fatty foods because many Parrotlets have problems with fatty liver disease. One indicator of this problem
is a beak that grows to the point that it has to be trimmed often.
CAUTION: Never give your parrot alcohol, avocado or chocolate - these can kill your parrot! Also avoid asparagus, eggplant,
cabbage, caffeine products, junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).
Remember that the chemicals sprayed and fed to plants have to be cleansed by their tiny kidneys. Who knows what has been
fed and sprayed on all that other stuff!
No matter what the pellet manufacturers want you to believe, parrots that have a variety of fresh healthy foods are much
happier and healthier.
Someone sent me this helpful information for you to consider also. She said many parrotlet breeders have found that all-pellet
diets drastically shorten the lives of their parrotlets--particularly the color mutations of Pacific parrotlets.
They end up having liver and kidney failure. Parrotlet breeders and experts recommend a diet of mostly seeds and fresh
foods such as veggies, fruit, birdy bread, cooked beans and grains, and sprouts.
Another expert pointed out that they get bee pollen and nectar in the wild. She feeds her birds a pinch of bee pollen and
some dry Lory nectar every day. Now her birds do not have the beak problems they used to.
Also, invest in a water bottle. You will avoid lots of potential health problems by insuring they have clean water to drink
that hasn’t been bathed and pooped in.
If your parrot has not used a water bottle before, you will need to provide both a water bottle and a dish until you see
that they are drinking from the bottle.
Lixit makes a glass water bottle that has a wire instead of a spring that keeps it on the cage if you are worried about
safety. (Some birds get their foot or beak stuck in the spring attachment on other bottles.)