Which species: parrots (parrots of Africa and the New World)
What it looks like: male: blue sparrow parrot: male: green with blue stripe behind eyes, and blue on back and wings; female: same, but no blue and possibly faint blue or green stripe behind eyes. 24-35 g
Where it comes from: Mexico, Central and South America
How long it lives: 20 to as old as 30 years
Number of eggs per nest: 4-5, sometimes 7
Did you know: Parrotlets are the smallest parrots, but they have a lot of personality.
Parrotlet: a mini amazon parrot
The parrotlet may look like a green parakeet, but it is indeed a parrot. But it’s a very small one, barely 15 cm long from head to tail. However, the bird has the personality of a large amazon parrot.
Social behaviour and care
A parrotlet behaves very much like its large cousins. The bird is very playful, active, social and interactive. The animal does not sit still for a moment, everything arouses its curiosity. Moreover, it craves interaction with you. You should train the parrotlet daily, connect with it a lot and let it move around as much as possible.
It is a spirited, stubborn, somewhat cheeky and headstrong bird. If you do not engage with it enough, it will also become nippy, moody and aggressive. If you do give it enough attention, however, you will end up with great pet that’s really friendly. If you don’t have enough time, you can keep two, but your bond with them will not be as strong.
The parrotlet can learn to imitate sounds, but it’s not the best talker. But the upside is that the animal isn’t noisy, so it’s ideal for an apartment.
It’s best for your parrotlet to eat specially developed pellets, which contain all the essential nutrients in the right proportions. This prevents the bird from eating selectively. Furthermore, supplement its feed with a small amount of vegetables, such as kale, spinach and carrot tops, as well as fruit: apple, kiwi, mango, pear are great. Serve everything in small cubes.
You can keep a parrotlet either in a cage or aviary. As is often the case, the bigger the cage, the better. For one bird, the cage should measure at least 60 x 60 x 60 cm. You can also keep the birds outside in a group, in an aviary of 2 to 3 m long, 1 m wide and 1 m high for a pair.
Whether you go for a cage or an aviary, place perches for the parrotlet, as well as feeding and drinking bowls, and a bath. Also invest in plenty of toys (preferably hanging) made of string, leather and/or soft wood, which the birds can break. As an FYI: parrotlets love swings.
As for the ground cover you use, shell sand is a good option. You should change this substrate once a week. Also clean the toys and perches weekly. The food and water bowls and the bathwater all need to be changed every day.
Each pair should have its own breeding cage, separated from other cages by a divider. In the cage, place a nesting box for parakeets, with soft wood chips as the bottom. The hen lays an egg every day. As soon as there are two or three eggs, she’ll start incubating. When the oldest chick is fifteen days old, you can raise the chicks by hand.
You can buy a parrotlet from a pet store, breeder or bird sanctuary. But keep in mind that the bird will be more docile if you hand-rear it from an early age.