The Parrotlet is really just a tiny parrot with a BIG personality.
Read stories that owners of Parrotlets have written, see pictures and avoid behavior problems.
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 adopted our little wonder 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.
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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.
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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 80 percent of the Parrotlets diet with top-quality pellets. We like the Totally Organics Pellets because they are 100% organic and they don't even have artificial vitamins in them. This is important if you have a bird with allergies. We also like Harrison's Organic 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.
Switching Birds To Pellets article
The other 20 - 30 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. The Totally Organics All In One Seed Mix is a great choice!
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. (Our avian vet that has had a practice for 30 years and teaches at a university says that people feeding cheap pellets have this problem but not those that feed Harrison's)
They end up having liver and kidney failure. Parrotlet breeders and experts recommend a diet of mostly and fresh foods such as veggies, fruit, birdy bread, cooked beans and grains, and sprouts and seeds.
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.
My little guy died suddenly one day, and we only fed him pellets from a large pet store chain. He was my first parrot so I didn’t know any better. Now that we have switched to Totally Organics pellets and give our birds fresh organic food, the vet has said we all are doing great.
Get some high quality organic pellets and dehydrated veggie, fruit and nut mixes here.
When fresh fruits and vegetables are not possible, dehydrated fruits and vegetables are great! Many birds love to crunch on dried fruits and veggies.
The best thing about them is that they don't spoil, so you can leave them in the cage for hours or even days. This is handy when you are trying to get them to accept fruits and veggies.
One of our Parrot Food Mixes is even formulated specifically for Parrotlets!
When you are going to be home with them, you can moisten them with warm water to provide fresh-like fruits and veggies. Boy does this come in handy when you are traveling or on an outing!
See the Lixit Bottles at competitive prices here!
We provide bath water in the morning and sometimes in the evening on warm days, but we only leave it in there one to two hours so that they don’t drink nasty water all day.
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.)
The Parrotlet Ranch suggests the minimum requirements for a Parrotlet is 18 x 18 inches, with the bar spacing no larger than 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch. In my opinion, a bigger cage is better because you can provide more toys without it being crowded.
You might give some thought to how you are going to retrieve the bird from the cage when necessary. Some cages have little doors and tall roofs that are impossible to get to the top of, especially when filled with perches and toys.
Think about your tolerance for cleaning the cage before purchasing one. Some cages have slanted sides down to the tray that will get covered in poop. Others don’t have proper fitting drawers that will allow poop and debris to get underneath it. Also, don’t buy some cheap cage at the flea market that has toxic paint!
As mentioned earlier, provide lots of stimulating toys and healthy things to chew. Buy a cage that has a safe coating on it, because these birds will use their beak to climb around the cage a lot.
Cages for Vet Visits and Outings
You need to consider what type of carrier you will use for transporting your Parrotlet in. You never know if you might break down or may decide to take your parrot with you on a trip. Purchase a comfortable cage for these occasions.
Look at Discount Travel Bird Cages now
Parrotlet Stories written by their owners
Below is a list of Parrotlet pictures and some have short informational stories written by their owners. You will want to read all of them! Have fun.