As a proud parrot-owner, I’m always excited to talk with other bird lovers.
I’ve owned parrots for years so I get plenty of questions from newcomers who want to get a bird but aren’t sure if they’re ready.
One question I’ve been getting more often is about parrotlets.
I thought we should explore these lovely creatures and answer the question: do parrotlets make good pets?
The answer is a resounding yes. Parrotlets make excellent pets. They are the smallest members of the parrot family, but are said to make up for it with their big personalities. Parrotlets are friendly and fun and, if properly cared for, can be very loving.
Parrotlets are often called big birds in small bodies because of their bold personalities.
They are smart and can learn tricks easily, including learning to talk.
The two most common parrotlet species are the Pacific parrotlet and the green-rumped parrotlet.
Parrotlets are original to Mexico and Central and South America
This article will outline all you need to know about parrotlets including their behavior as pets, what is needed to care for them, if you should get more than one, and how much they cost.
What do parrotlets look like?
Parrotlets are small – about five to six inches long with more stout bodies.
Male Pacific parrotlets are green with a blue streak near their eye and blue on their back and wings.
Female Pacific parrotlets have all green coloring, though sometimes they have a faint blue streak behind the eye.
Male green-rumped parrotlets are green with some blue coloring on their wings while the female green-rumped parrotlets also have no blue coloring.
Are parrotlets friendly?
Parrotlets can be very friendly and they enjoy interaction.
It’s important to incorporate regular handling and socializing into each day with your parrotlet – sometimes a Pacific parrotlet can become aggressive if it goes too long without any interaction.
The green-rumped parrotlet is said to be a little gentler and less active.
With regular handling and interaction, parrotlets can be very affectionate with their owners.
Parrotlets are known to enjoy play and have a lot of personality, but they are not noisy.
One reason they are considered a good bird for newcomers is because they are relatively quiet birds and are a good option for people living in apartments.
Parrotlets are also quite intelligent and can learn to repeat words and simple phrases, but they aren’t overly talkative.
What kind of care do parrotlets need?
Parrotlets enjoy play and, despite their small size, need more space.
It’s recommended that you get them a larger cage and give them plenty of toys to keep them occupied.
They love to chew on things so make sure you provide them with shreddable toys made of natural material like rope or soft wood.
They also enjoy swings and places to perch.
Parrotlets often need their own space separate from other birds.
They can become territorial – even with their own mate – so it’s likely best that you get them a larger cage to have their own space.
Daily handling, like playing with them, teaching them tricks, or hand-feeding them are all important ways to maintain parrotlets’ good attitude.
Keeping them in a high-traffic area in your home is also a good idea – it allows them to be in the middle of the action, but make sure you don’t keep them near the kitchen as the fumes can be toxic.
What do parrotlets eat?
Parrotlets should predominantly eat a pellet-based diet, but much like parrots they also love fresh fruits and vegetables – just make sure those fruits and vegetables are finely chopped.
Parrotlets also need a source of calcium like a cuttlebone and a fresh water dish for drinking and bathing.
Hand-feeding your parrotlet is a great way to socialize with them.
Should I get more than one parrotlet?
Many people get parrotlets in pairs to give them a companion, however, because of parrotlets’ friendly and playful nature, they tend to bond very closely with their companion.
In the wild, parrotlets develop life-long bonds with their chosen mates.
Keep this in mind as they are likely to bond more closely with their companion than their owner and this could affect their interaction with you.
If you don’t have the time to interact daily with your parrotlet, giving them a companion could be the best option to ensure they get the regular interaction they need.
Will parrotlets get along with other animals?
Parrotlets have been found to do well in pairs, but not necessarily with other species of birds as they can be territorial.
Even if you purchase a pair of parrotlets it’s recommended that they be kept in separate cages.
Parrotlets’ big personality makes them unaware of their small size and they will attack larger pets – like a dog or a cat – if they feel threatened.
Can I train my parrotlet?
Yes. Parrotlets can learn to speak basic words and phrases and they can learn commands, including their own name.
They can also learn basic tricks like hanging from a finger.
It’s recommended you begin training your parrotlet as soon as possible and keep the training fun and playful.
Are parrotlets expensive?
The Pacific parrotlet and the green-rump parrotlet are the most common species and they are relatively easy to find at pet stores and are reasonably priced.
You can often find them for $150-$350.
There are several other species of parrotlet that are much harder to find, including the blue-winged parrotlet, the Mexican parrotlet, the tiny spectacled parrotlet, and the yellow-faced parrotlet.
Parrotlets’ playfulness, quiet nature, and small size make them an excellent option for new bird owners.
If handled regularly and treated well, parrotlets can be very loving birds.
As long as owners can set aside time each day to interact with their parrotlet they will be a great companion.
Hopefully, this article provided you with the information you need to determine if a parrotlet is right for you.
With time and care, parrotlets can be a wonderful addition to your home.