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Parrotlet Birds

Parrotlets are miniature parrots which are common to Central and South America.

They comprise of several genera - Brotogeris, Bolborhynchus, Nannopsittaca, Forpus and Touit. In the wild, these parrots usually travel in flocks, which depending on the species; can range from 4 - over 100 birds. With a healthy diet, good environment and much exercise, these birds have a life expectancy of 10 - 20 years. Parrotlets are the second smallest kind of bird in the world.

They are only 4 ½ to 5 inches long. They rarely grow bigger than 5 inches. Their bodies are stocky and the tails are broad and short. Personality wise, they are similar to lovebirds.

The most commonly chosen variety as a pet is the Forpus coelestis, which is often referred to as the Pacific parrotlet. The Mexican, Yellow-Faced and Speckled are also fairly common pets. The small size and great personalities have made them popular as pets. The Pacific parrotlet is usually green in color although several mutations of color that have been acquired via selective breeding. The male and female parrotlets are difference in appearance. The males have cobalt blue markings on their heads, tail and wings. The females usually do not have these blue markings.

As these birds are extremely intelligent and curious, it is necessary to provide them with ample opportunities to play and exercise. Place chewable and destructive toys in their cages so they can keep themselves occupied when left alone. Put new branches in the cage, it will encourage them to climb and explore and also make the environment more natural.

They are extremely social beings and form lifelong bonds with their chosen mates. If you decide to keep a single parrotlet, ensure that you spend enough time with your pet so that its emotional needs are met. Foraging is a good way to keep your pet busy when you are away.

Biologically, parrotlets are a vegetarian species. Their diet should include whole cereals and whole grains, various fruit (except avocadoes which are toxic), edible flowers and blossoms, vegetables, legumes and pellets which are specially made for these kinds of parrots.

Parrotlets may be taught to whistle songs or even speak some words and certain commands as well. Males are more likely to talk than female parrotlets.

These birds are fairly quiet and so are ideal for people who live in condominiums or apartments. They are devoted companions who enjoy spending time with their owners.

  Submitted on May 20, 2010