One of the most interesting things in the animal kingdom is that sometimes, “mini-versions” of well-known species actually exist. One of the best examples is the bird species called parrotlets, which is obviously a smaller version of parrots. These tiny yet colorful feathered birds are known to have originated from Peru and Ecuador. The presence of these birds in places such as the South America, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Africa suggest clearly that they thrive well in warm to semi-arid environments.
Among scientists, these birds are known as Forpus coelestis. On an average, an adult attains a body length of 5 inches with a wing span of 6 inches. The characteristic color is olive green. Currently, there are seven existing species that are scattered all over the regions mentioned above. These include the Blue Wings, Pacific (Celestial), Yellow Face, Mexicans, Spectacled, Green Rumps, and Sclaters. The most common one is the Pacific parrotlet. Most pet owners and hobbyists prefer this specie. The Blue Wings and Mexican species are difficult to find and it is highly unlikely that pet stores will sell them.
Several things made these birds popular among people. First of all, they are highly intelligent and can learn to speak like their parrot counterparts. They can form close bonds with their owners and are perfect as companion birds. Females, as an example, are dedicated to only one owner and will exhibit aggressive behavior towards others. Males have been proven to choose their favorite person, but will tolerate the presence and touch of others.
Secondly, their colorful feathers and petite size are good to look at. Color patterns in the body easily reveal whether a bird is a male or a female. The presence of a blue-cobalt hue or pattern on the head, eyes and wings indicate that the bird is male. A solid yellow hue on the parts mentioned indicates a female bird. There are also albino Pacific parrotlets that are popular at present.
Next, these birds are easy to keep and maintain as pets. They aren’t as noisy as parrots and canaries. This means that it is okay to keep them even in apartments or condominiums. Their diet isn’t that complicated to figure out, too. Pellets, sunflower seeds (oiled), fruits, and vegetables will keep them healthy and contented. Of course, food that will be fed to these birds should be cut in small portions whenever possible. Large portions will discourage them from feeding.
One of the most important things to remember when caging these birds is that you should avoid mixing them with other bird species. This is because they are territorial and will act immediately on those who will violate their claim for space. They bite but with proper training, it is possible to correct this behavior.
With current knowledge about parrotlets, breeding them even at home has become possible. There are local breeders and pet shops that can supply interested individuals all year round. With proper care and attention to health and nutrition, owners can expect these birds to live for 15 to 20 years.