Rescue / shelter organization
By David Gale
Florida, United States
Posted Nov 04, 2011
Tiny Tim was a Pacific parrotlet that I took in as a rescue. He was hand raised.
Parrotlets are an excellent bird for people with small children and they do not have the strength to cause painful bites and are quite loving when hand raised. If you have just the one bird they will often learn some speech. If you pair them up they will be inseparable from their pal.
It's owner had passed away and I took the bird in while finding a good home for him. I tried to match the bird with a similar situation, an elderly gentleman took him after a some time qualifying potential owners.
Tim was a wonderful pet, All of the parrotlets I have worked with are wonderful little creatures. Tim even spoke some words. He would say Step Up and "Tim is a Stinker".. He also did a lot of mumbling. Tim was flighted which is not usual with the birds I take in, I usually clip their wings for their own safety but Tim seemed to have excellent flight control indoors and never flew into things so I had little worry of injury.
He did not have a cage and instead lived in a hinged coconut with a hole cut in it and a rope which I hung from the ceiling. His favorite things to do were to sit on shoulders and gently nibble on earlobes. He was friendly with all people, also an unusual trait.... Most birds pick one person to bond with and shun most others. Tim loved everyone and gave all humans in the house equal earlobe love. He even liked to spend time with my Blue and Gold macaw. Charley was less accepting of him than he was of her. Charley was actually kind of afraid of this bug-sized bird and Tim used that to his advantage to steal her grapes :) Buzz her head and then steal a grape! (the stinker :))
Male parrotlets are easy to tell from females as they have a large blue spot on their back near the base of their tails.
The reasonably low cost to own makes this bird an excellent choice for those who cannot afford more popular breeds. Typically you can find them from $50 to $150.
You get a lot of parrot in such a tiny package!
Not a good pet if it is sharing a house with a cat or dog. They are easy to catch and I have heard many horror stories about the cat that ate the parrotlet or the dog that ate the parrotlet!
It's a shame I never took a photo of Tim and his unique home. The hinge on the coconut made for easy cleaning. Tim had pulled the hairs on the outside making it look like a fuzzy furry ball more than a coconut.