This article can be found here. I loved writing this piece because, well, birds are fascinating (they are like tiny dinosaurs!), and it allowed me to spend time with the parrotlet that lives in my home.
Parrotlets – King of the Bird World
A lot of people do not know this but there is a whole world of bird fanatics out there. They love their birds as much as they love their children, and dedicate a significant amount of time and money to the cute creatures.
There is a huge array of birds to be obsessed with – from the huge and colorful macaws to the little pastel parakeets. But one bird rises above them all, in my humble opinion. The parrotlet. Just like the name leads you to believe, a parrotlet looks like a miniature parrot. Brightly colored, a little stocky, and intelligent, this bird is for someone who has plenty of time and love to share.
This bird is a beauty: bright greens, blues and yellows characterize the parrotlet, which basically looks like a parrot that has been shrunk down to six inches so it will fit in your hand. Despite the small size, the parrotlet has a huge personality – loudly singing out praises or yelling when upset – and can be trained to do tricks just like a normal sized parrot. You can even get your parrotlet to talk and repeat phrases for you!A parrotlet looks a bit like a lovebird, and just like lovebirds these little guys choose mates for life. So if you are thinking about getting a parrotlet, you may want to get a pair so that the birds can live happily.
A parrotlet (or pair of parrotlets) needs a pretty big cage in order to thrive. They tend to hang upside down, perch, hop from side to side, and fly around the cage doing tricks and flips if space permits. They’ll also be interested in toys – mineral blocks on rope, things to shred, bars to hop and hang from. They are very smart birds, so they’ll get bored easily and may require a lot of toys throughout their lives.
They’ll also want to be engaged frequently. The parrotlet at our home knows when his owner returns from work and starts yelling for all to hear! A parrotlet can start repeating if their owner talks enough. Ours says “be good!” and “bird brain!” with amazing frequency.Engaging your bird is very important, especially to a smart bird like a parrotlet. They can become depressed if they do not get enough interaction with their human! Parrotlets don’t mind being held, and seem to love sitting on shoulders like their big parrot counterparts. They also fly from finger to finger, if their wings are not clipped.
Parrotlets eat a ton of food! Even more than some of the bigger birds. They love whole, real food – fruit, veggies, cooked grains – but can be happy even with a bagged food diet as long as it is specific to small birds and has a little bit of everything.
Keep your bird’s cage clean (at least once a week), and change out the food and water daily!
This bird makes a great pet. They are loving, recognize the people in their lives, and interact with you.