Orange-Chinned Parakeet

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(4 Reviews)

Ron Knight

Is the Orange-Chinned Parakeet right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Bee-bee Parrot;Tovi Parakeet

Scientific name: Brotogeris jugularis

The basics:
The Orange-chinned Parakeet, once affectionately known as the Bee-bee Parrot, seems to be one of those forgotten Brotogeris species. In the days of legal imports, locals from Honduras apparently took the babies from the nest and hand-fed them before exporting them. Therefore, pet buyers got the idea that this species was “naturally” tame. If you start young, you will still get a playful, adaptable, and intelligent little parrot, but there are relatively few breeders who work with this species. Since they are still highly admired pets, you may have difficulty finding one that's available.

There are two subspecies of Orange-chinned Parakeets that range from Mexico, through Central America, and into northern South America. They can adapt to a wide variety of wooded or partly cleared habitats, and they are not afraid to visit urban parks or gardens, so they seem to be doing fairly well.

A small green parakeet, rather unremarkable on the basis of looks alone. Sometimes a tiny orange spot under the chin is visible. Often it isn't without inspecting the bird closely.

58 grams (2 oz.)

Average size:
18 centimeters (7 in.)

10 years

Behavior / temperament:
Don't rely on old myths about how the Orange-chinned Parakeet is naturally tame. They should be hand-fed and played with from an early age, and you should be prepared to regularly give them the loving attention that they demand. They can be nervous or squawky if they don't get the proper time and attention. But they can be adorable hand, shoulder, and pocket pets if you treat them right.

Orange-chinned Parakeets are active little birds with chewy beaks for their size but small, slender feet. A powder-coated metal large cockatiel cage, with dimensions around 24”wide by 18” deep by 24” tall will give your pet room to move around, but make it easier on its feet by providing perches sized for a budgie instead of for a cockatiel. You should have perches or a play area in parts of the house where you spend a lot of time, but be aware that you could be be a single pet's favorite perch. You can and should offer some toys, as pet owners report that Orange-chins may play with their toys more often than Grey-cheeks do.

Because the pet Orange-chin spends so much time walking on, perching on, tumbling on, and poking around on their favorite person, you need to make special care that you don't accidentally injure your bird. A surprising number of people have lost their pets to accidents, often because they didn't realize that the bird was getting into a pocket or underfoot. If you are distracted and can't focus on playing with your pet, return it to its cage until you can pay better attention. Try to teach your Orange-chin to snuggle into a shirt pocket, never a trouser pocket. Too many tragedies have occurred when someone got absent-minded and sat on their bird.

The Orange-chinned Parakeet is an adaptable bird that isn't particularly difficult to feed. Many people prefer to offer a high quality seed mix with a generous selection of fresh, chopped fruits and vegetables on the side. You will probably want to learn how to make a good “chop” salad to keep lots of variety in your pet's diet. You can offer a good pellet or monkey biscuit from time to time as a treat. Just don't become over-reliant on high protein pellets. Never allow any parrot to eat avocado or chocolate.

Written by Elaine Radford

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