Species group: Parrotlets
Other common names: Lesson's Parrotlet; Celestial Parrotlet
Scientific name: Forpus coelestis
The Pacific Parrotlet is the most popular pet parrotlet by a long shot. These active little birds chirp or chatter but they can't scream, which makes them an attractive choice for apartment dwellers. This parrotlet has a full-sized parrot's personality inside a tiny package, and they can be aggressive, so be prepared to bring all your parrot-handling skills.
The Pacific Parrotlet has a rather small range on the Pacific slopes of the Andes in western Ecuador and Peru, although apparently they've also been reported from southwestern Colombia. They seem to be highly adaptable little parrots able to tolerate a diversity of habitats, from moist to dry subtropical or tropical forests, degraded cactus scrubland or developed agricultural areas such as banana or mango plantations, even busy urban centers where they may perch conspiciously on telephone wires. As a bird that may benefit from deforestation, they may be expanding their range.
A tiny green parrot in the wild, the Pacific Parrotlet can be found in a wide variety of colorful mutations, including yellow, cinnamon, pied, and shades of blue. The normal adult birds are easy to sex, since like most Forpus species, adult males have bright blue rumps that the females lack.
33 grams (1.2 oz.)
12 - 13 centimeters (5 in.)
20 - 25 years
Behavior / temperament:
The Pacific Parrotlet has an outgoing and feisty personality. They can also be very stubborn and strong-willed, especially if they are allowed to retain the power of flight. They are known for being more pushy or dominating than many parrotlets, and so they need to be taught limits and commands to manage their behavior. They generally have a shrill, high-pitched twitter or screech and are not inclined to much mimicry, so it would be unrealistic to expect most of them to learn to talk. A well-socialized, properly handled Pacific Parrotlet is a colorful loving bird that isn't a bit shy and is happy to exhibit comical behaviors. They are curious and intelligent, and they are one of the better species at being able to entertain themselves. To maintain the pet quality of the bird, keep only one Pacific Parrotlet and focus your undivided attention on that bird.
A pet Pacific Parrotlet should have a powder-coated metal cage of at least 24”w x 18”d x 24”h with a ½ inch bar spacing. Provide a variety of perches from bird-safe wood. Be aware that even though they're small, they can be territorial. You need to have a play area away from the cage where you can remove the bird every day, so that you can play together on neutral territory. Some people have reported that toys like bells or mirrors in the cage could cause the Parrotlet to become angry or aggressive, so watch carefully for that if you choose to supply those toys at all. Train your bird to step up on command on a perch or stick, so that you can easily remove it from the cage without an argument. These little birds don't know their own size, so you must handle them gently, yet somewhat assertively, to prevent them from deciding to stay in the cage and become dictator of their tiny domain. You may also be able to prevent them from becoming aggressive simply by paying attention and keeping the wings neatly clipped.
Like their larger South American relatives, the Pacific Parrotlet requires a nutrient-rich, varied diet, and they cannot be expected to subsist on seed alone. In the wild, Pacific Parrotlets are known to eat grass seeds, buds, flowers, cactus fruits, and berries, and a good diet could be based on a high quality pellet, a limited amount of seed, and a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. They may also enjoy healthy cooked food from time to time like whole grain rice, beans, and whole grain pasta. You might also consider a good commercial or home-created soak and cook diet. There are many healthy fruits and vegetables that can be fed including apples, grapes, garden vegetables such as spinach, watercress, field lettuce, dandelions, carrots, corn on the cob, peas, endive, and well-cooked sweet potatoes. However, never feed avocado or chocolate to any bird, including Parrotlets.
Written by Elaine Radford
apartment life, affectionate, Huge Personalities, excellent first birds, cute little voices, cuddle bird
major hormonal season, mood swings, screaming, nippy, favorite person
little dynamos, high metabolism, excellent shoulder bird, Colours, socialization training
Tiny and energetic companion birds
Parrotlets are supremely adorable tiny parrots. They have a similar body structure to lovebirds and move around in much the same way.
They’re not terribly impressive fliers and seem to enjoy climbing as much as flying, making them suitable for small cages. Parrotlets should still be given as much room as possible because these are incredibly active birds. They adore toys of every kind and hang or swing from just about anything you give them.
These little acrobats go non-stop and are not for those looking for a calm or peaceful bird. Parrotlets are quiet for a parrot, but do have a high pitched chirp and can vocalize quite a bit while they’re playing, especially when attacking a favorite toy.
Parrotlets can make excellent companion birds as long as you keep them entertained. They can’t do any real damage with their tiny beaks, but do have a surprisingly painful bite and these rough birds can be nippy. My parrotlet was a tame companion bird, but still at times got overly excited when playing and thought it was funny to take a nip at my finger.
They do tend towards being one person birds, but mine did fine with letting other people handle him on most days. Some days he would again apparently think it was funnier to take a nip at an offered finger rather than step up onto it.
Despite, or rather because of their wicked sense of humor, parrotlets are one of the most entertaining small parrots you can get. They’re hilarious to watch and obscenely adorable. Mine was even cute when he slept, tucking himself into a little tent at night.
These little trouble makers do require constant supervision when they’re out and about. Their small size makes them both especially vulnerable to physical injury as well as just easy to lose sight of if you turn your back.
This species isn’t as hardy as other similar sized parrots and can be more delicate. They are also a handful for their size, but if you’re looking for a micro parrot to fit into a tight space, the parrotlet is a superb choice..
From gardenfairy Sep 21 2014 11:28PM
A Necessity Item for Any Bird
Cuttlebones help keep your bird's beak in shape. Most also love chewing on the bones because they provide a natural foraging activity. Cuttlebones are also an ideal way to supplement your bird's diet with crucial minerals such as calcium to encourage healthy bones, nails, feathers, and beak. The cuttlebone usually comes with a small attachment so you can quickly snap it to the bars of the bird's cage. Your bird will chip away at it on a daily basis. Once the cuttlebone is gone, your bird will probably anxiously be waiting for the next one. .
From KimberlySharpe 197 days ago
It may Help the Bird Stop Plucking
Clomicalm (clomipramine) treats stress and agitation. Many animal behaviorists believe that some birds pluck their feathers due to stress. The plucking becomes a nervous habit that is difficult to break. The prescription medication may relax the bird enough that the habit ceases. Unfortunately, when the drug is discontinued, many birds again start plucking.
Always discuss the possible side effects of the medication with your veterinarian before administering it to your pet bird. .
From KimberlySharpe 205 days ago