If you want a parrot, but getting a large, talkative bird seems like too much of a challenge for you, then you should take a look at parrotlets. They are small in size compared to their siblings, but they are as fun and smart as parrots. While finding cages for birds that can accommodate these small parrots is not tricky, learning a few things about them will prepare for the type of commitment expected from raising such a pet.
Parrotlet is just a generic term
There are many different breeds of parrotlets out there, and, if you want a particular type, you should get adequately informed on the matter before making a purchase. The most commonly known breed is the Pacific parrotlet. This species is also named the Celestial parrotlet, and many breeds are just mutations of this one. Another thing you should bear in mind as someone who would like to get such a pet is that they are not that common in pet stores, at this point.
They can be little tyrants
Anyone on the lookout for a parrotlet should be well aware of some essential personality traits these birds come along with. For instance, you should be prepared to deal with a bird that is more used to living in the wild than other tiny parrots, like cockatiels.
In other words, parrotlets have prominent personalities, and they’re not afraid to use them. If you act like you are intimidated by birds, they will readily catch on it and use it to their advantage. That said, these birds are not easy to train and you might want to get a little bit more experienced in how to deal with them before making a commitment.
Parrotlets are quiet
Compared to a canary, a parrotlet produces even less noise, so if you are looking for a companion who doesn’t disturb the peace of your household, this tiny bird should be it. Their quiet nature doesn’t mean that they don’t make any sound at all, but they use only chirps, and low noise sounds to communicate, and they do not shriek as larger birds do.
Parrotlets are dimorphic, which means that you can tell the difference between males and females. A difference between the genders you might like to know is that females are quieter than males.
They like being the only bird
Do not let yourself fooled by the tiny size of these birds. They can be very aggressive, as they are territorial by nature. This instinct leads them to be dominant toward other birds, and they are not tolerant even of another of their own species. Therefore, if you decide to become a parrotlet parent, make sure that there is only one in the cage.
Mix fresh foods with seeds for their diet
Parrotlets are big eaters, and you don’t have to worry about the dangers of overfeeding them because there cannot be such a thing. As they have a fast metabolism, they can eat a lot and much more than other birds when considering their size.
Do not settle for regular foods for birds, either, as they need a particular diet. Make sure that you feed them plenty of fresh foods, like pieces of fruit, vegetables, sprouts, grains, and even cooked legumes. They don’t do well on pellets, but seed mix products carried by pet stores can serve as excellent supplements for their regular diet.
They might learn to talk
It is not a guarantee, but there have been plenty of cases of parrotlets that have learned to speak. However, you must be prepared for your bird to do nothing else but its regular screeches and chirps. If you want to teach your bird how to talk, you will need plenty of patience and time so that you can invest both in such an endeavor.
Parrotlets are close siblings to the Amazon parrot
There might be a clear explanation of why parrotlets seem to behave like big birds. Their closest relative in the family of parrots is no other than the majestic Amazon parrot. Parrotlets look very much like their bigger sibling, only that they come in the tiny version. Some people love calling them ‘pocket parrots’, and this description is quite close to the truth.
They live long lives
Part of the commitment challenge these birds present is the fact that they have quite a long lifespan. Typically, they can reach the age of 20 comfortably in the wild, and, in captivity, due to optimal care and lack of predators and other natural dangers, they can live up to 30 years old. Make sure that you are prepared to take care of your little parrotlet for a long time.
They are very active birds
In the wild, parrotlets lead quite active lives, and that is something you should bear in mind as the owner of such a bird. You will have to ensure that your bird gets enough exercise. A good idea would be to populate the cage with some bird toys, to incite their interest. Seeing that in the wild, these birds spend a lot of time foraging for nourishment and they are always on the move, be prepared for the type of challenge they will present when kept in captivity.
Parrotlets need to socialize on a regular basis
Parrotlet lovers know another thing about these birds that future owners should be well aware of. These pocket parrots thrive on social contact, so you must be ready to spend quite a great deal of time with your bird on a regular basis.
This is part of the commitment you will take once you bring home a parrotlet. If you are not sure that you can spend up to three hours daily to play and communicate with your bird, you might want to look for another type of pet. However, if you want a companion that will fill your hours with joy, the tiny parrotlet will make sure you will never be bored again.