Pacific Parrotlet

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Is the Pacific Parrotlet right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Lesson's Parrotlet; Celestial Parrotlet

Scientific name: Forpus coelestis

The basics:
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.)

Average size:
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

Helpful Pacific Parrotlet Review

Pacific Parrotlet

From gardenfairy Sep 21 2014 11:28PM


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