The Pacific Parrotlets
Pacific Parrotlets are a somewhat uncommon species. While they are actually the most common of their genera, they are not the everyday pet. The Pacifics are the friendliest of them all, although feisty and occasionally nippy, and make great companions.
They are 5 inches long at full maturity. The males have light blue streaks behind their eyes and darker streaks on the wings and rump. The female is plain green and may or may not have the light blue streak behind the eye. While they are not recommended for young children because their occasional nips can be painful, they are noted for being good at tricks, such as flying to the owner on command, the ‘wave’, and going through a hoop on command. They are also good talkers and may speak in complete sentences, although the voice is not as clear as some other parrots. They are very cute, but are known for eating as much as the larger cockatiels.
They are not recommended for aviaries as they may kill their mate or cagemate. If you put a Pacific in an aviary be sure they have lots of room to fly and do not put them with other birds as they will attack other birds regardless of size. They cannot be housed in a small finch or budgie cage and need a very large cage with about ½ inch bar sizing. They need at least 3 toys and 3-4 perches (more is always better!). Though they are small their nutrition should not be overlooked and they should be fed at least three vegetables and 2 fruits every day. They are good apartment birds because they are relatively quiet.
Pacific Parrotlets come in several color mutations such as blue, white, albino, American yellow, and gray-green. They are rarely obtained at pet stores and usually have to be bought from a professional breeder. They are good show birds as they are generally comfortable with traveling, and like all the attention they will obtain from the attendants and the judge.
Parrotlets may be small, but they are very messy. Just as the large parrots typically do, they will fling fruit and such on everything in their paths, including walls, the cage, cagemates, and the owner! They love to be with you and are very affectionate. They will (somewhat begrudgingly) let you softly stroke them in most cases. Most will gladly step onto your hand if you prompt them. Pacific Parrotlets make great pets. If you would like a parrotlet find a local breeder in your area or check a nearby shelter – you may find the right parrot for you.
Article contributed by: Eliza Kuklinski.