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This is a fascinating world
Which gets even more fascinating when you study the different parrotlet breeds. These amazingly small birds come from a family of parrots and their closest relative is the Amazon parrot. One of their nicknames is pocket parrot as the different species exhibit many traits their bigger cousins exhibit.
To find out all about the parrotlet breeds just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about but be careful, it may convince you to go out and buy some for yourself or your family.
The Parrotlet Lifespan
If you want companionship for a very long time, then these parrotlets are the animal to have in your home. Their lifespans can reach 20 years easily but they need to be well taken care of during that time.
Some parrotlet breeds can survive for up to 30 years or more when they have the right care and the right environment.
Types of Parrotlets
There are different types of parrotlets
Seven to be exact and their names are Blue, Green, Yellow, Lutino, Blue Fallow, Spectacled & pied and finally Sclater parrotlets. Each species comes with their on unique coloring and their home base is found throughout South America, with one species native to North America.
All the Details on the Parrotlet Breeds
• Origin and History
These birds originated in South America with one exception being the Mexican arm of the family. They love the tropical forests and their homes are usually in the jungles of Brazil and Ecuador.
For them there is safety in numbers and their flocks number at least 100 or more. Sometimes those flocks get so large that they cast a giant shadow on the ground. Their history has them tied to the Amazon Parrot even though the latter bird species is a lot larger than the 4 to 5 inch parrotlet breeds.
Much of their life is spent in the trees looking for food. Some breeds of these birds have not spent much time in captivity but they do prosper when in cages.
• Parrotlets Breeds & Mutations
These birds are quite interesting as they span three genus levels, the forpus, the touit and the nannopsittaca.This designation tells everyone that term parrotlet is not an actual species of bird even though some people claim that there are 19 parrotlet species across those 3 genus levels.
The colors of these birds are green, yellow, blue and turquoise with the green color being seen as the natural color for these little birds. The yellow, blue and turquoise colors are seen as mutations and are not the original color of these species.
Other mutations include splotches on their feathers giving the birds an almost white look, red eyes, fading colors and grey edging along their wings.
• How to Choose a Parrotlet
One factor in choosing a parrotlet breed is their price. Typically each bird costs between $180 to $250 and it is best to buy just one as they are very territorial birds. Another factor is the parrotlet lifespan. Their long life means they need a younger owner to take care of them.
Then if you want a fearless and feisty pet you go with the Pacific parrotlet species, a green or Mexican species is a lot shyer. Then when you go to buy one of these birds check to make sure there is no discharge coming from their nostrils or eyes and that the eyes are very clear.
You also want a playful, alert bird that has clean feathers and keeps its eyes open. If you want the bird to socialize more, buy a younger one and if you want it to talk, buy a male.
• Parrotlet Colors and Markings
There are a variety of colors these birds come in but their main color is green. The others have appeared over time through breeding etc. The feet of the birds have 2 toes pointing forward and two pointing to the rear.
When you look for parrotlet birds for sell, you will find that many have blue, yellow and turquoise colors on them with a few mutations that change the shade of those colors.
The white parrotlet species is not truly white but just has muted colors that make them appear white. The females usually lay between 4 to 6 eggs but some have been known to lay up to 12.
• Diet and Nutrition
The different types of parrotlet species all have very big appetites. They like to eat all day long and their metabolism is very speedy.They get their nutrition from bird safe fruits and vegetables as well as small seeds, commercial bird pellets and eggs or other high protein food.
Also,the fruits and vegetables should make up about 50% of their diet and the bird pellets should be about 35% with the remaining 15% a mixture of other foods. Then, like the other members of the Parrot family, parrotlets eat clay. This is their source for calcium, a needed mineral to help them produce eggs.
What will amaze you is that these birds eat a lot for their 4 to 5 inch size.
• Speech and Vocalizations
When it comes to talking the different parrotlet breeds are the opposite of humans. It is about 80% of the males that will learn how to talk and about 20% of the females. There is no guarantee on which individual bird will learn a human vocabulary but when they do some learn quite a few words.
The rest may only chirp and screech to let you know what mood they are in. Many people are impressed that such a small bird can learn between 10 and 15 words. The good thing is that these birds are not so loud that they disturb the neighbors.
They are good pets for when you live in an apartment or townhouse and you share a common wall with someone.
• Personality & Behavior
To understand the personality of the parrotlet birds, think small dogs. Those dogs think they are the king of the castle and act like it. So do these small parrotlet breeds. These birds can be fiesty, very sassy and own personalities like those little dogs– very big for the small body size.
In other words, they are not afraid of larger life forms.In addition to that, they need to socialize with their owners or their behavior may turn destructive. These birds need the proper training to make them nice, loving pets who behave.
Their energy levels are around medium to high and these birds become very territorial. They will pick fights with larger birds and even their own mates.
• Natural Habitat
Their natural habitat are the tropical jungles of South America and they also like sub-tropical forests, both dry and moist as well as dry and moist sub-tropical shrub land and deforested areas. They like jungles and forests as that seems to be the best source for their food.
They do not tend to stray very far from this environment except when they are placed into captivity. When this happens these birds adapt well and the captivity does not seem to harm the parrotlet lifespan.
• Different characteristics
When these birds are tamed and hand fed they turn into nice loving pets who attach to their owners very well. Thy also do not back down from a fight and will be so fearless that they will take on your pet cat or dog.
• Health, Exercise & Common Conditions
Generally, these birds remain healthy which is why parrotlet lifespans arre so long. But bacteria, viruses, germs can take their toll and they can come down with rare avian diseases or psittacosis (bacterial respiratory infection), Pacheco’s virus (fatal herpes infection), and aspergillosis (fungal lung disease).
Proper socialization contributes to their lack of getting sick and you should set boundaries for them so that accidents do not happen. They do need lots f exercise and they like to be next to their owners.
• Get a Parrotlet & Price
Depending on the nature of the bird, whether they are new, pre-socialized or already hand fed trained, the prices of these birds vary. They can go for as low as $50 and as high as $600/ Most may fall into that $180 to $250 category mentioned earlier.
• Where to Adopt or Buy
There are numerous places one can go to buy or adopt a parrotlet bird. Adopt a Pet is one main outlet for adoptions and a quick search of the internet or the yellow pages in your local area should turn up more adoption options.
When you just simply want to buy a parrotlet, then there are lots of places that have parrotlet birds for sale. Those pet stores specializing in birds or exotic pets will have some and they will have the contacts to get you one if they are out of stock.
Again, a simple search will turn up more than enough outlets.
Parrotlet Breeds FAQs
#1. How do you tell a male parrotlet from a female?
Parrotlet birds, all species, are very dimorphic. That means that it is quite easy to tell the males from the females. The mmales have cobalt blue coloring on their rear, eyes and their flight feathers. They also have some gray wash color on their backs. The females do not have those colors and are more colorful on their backs. Except for the Lucida species.The males have violet instead of the cobalt blue and the females have some faint blue on them.
#2. What types of toys do parrotlets like?
You will want a variety of toys that are small enough to fit the small size of the birds. However, parrotlets do play with larger toys as well. The key here is to get them soft woods, shreddable, as well as bells and swings. Your pet store should give you more details on this topic.
#3. What cage size should I get for a parrotlet?
These birds are only 4 to 5 inches long that means that they do not need a very large cage to live in. Nor do they need a very small cage. A good sized cage would be about 24 by 18 by 18 inches in size. For the bar, 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter should be enough for the bird to hold onto securely.
#4. How do I prepare my home for a bird?
The first step is to put the cage in an area of your home that gets lots of people walking by or in it. Then make sure the cage is out of direct sunlight and away from sharp items. The best time to bring your new pet home would be on a non-holiday weekend. That way you can help the bird adjust to his or her new surroundings.
#5. Are parrotlet birds noisy?
The amount of noise these birds make is compared to the amount of noise a budgie will make. They may make a little more noise when they are upset, angry or territorial but that level should not get so high that it will disturb the neighbors. When they learn top talk, their ‘voices’ shouldn’t any louder than their chirping.
#6. What are the pros and cons of owning a parrotlet bird?
First, they are good companions, affectionate, quiet and very playful. They love to play and are curious. Then their small size does not require you to give up a lot of living space. Some of the negative qualities are that they think they are a big bird which gets them into trouble, they can be tempermental and destructive as well.
If you want a great pet that doesn’t require midnight walks or do nocturnal excursions then you may want to consider a parrotlet. These birds live longer then dogs and cats and they stay in their cages letting you sleep the whole night through.