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 General Information About the Parrotlet

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Pete
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PostSubject: General Information About the Parrotlet   Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:23 am



Parrotlets are miniature parrots that are endemic to South and Central America. In their natural habitat, these social beings usually travel in flocks which, depending on the species, can range from as low as 4 to over 100 birds.

Their expected lifespan is 20+ years.

Description

At 4½–5 inches long, parrotlets are the second smallest kind of parrot in the world - the smallest being the pygmy parrot species of Australasia (averaging around 3 inches in length). Parrotlets rarely grow bigger than 5 inches or 13 cm. The body is stocky and the tail is short and broad.

They are quite similar in personality to lovebirds. Cuddly and animated, and with a need for daily interaction with their human "mates" for them to stay tame and loving. They can get quite nippy. Handling in addition to a nice personality is going to determine its pet quality.

Since the parrotlet is an intelligent and curious bird, it is important to provide it with plenty of toys and things to investigate in the cage, otherwise it may grow bored and listless. They need suitable things to chew on and tear apart, otherwise they may destroy dishes and similar in the cage. Placing new branches in the cage now and then is a good idea since it will make the environment more natural, give the birds something new to climb on and explore, and provide them with a safe outlet for their chewing urges.

Parrotlets are very social beings and form strong pair bonds. Unfortunately, in captivity, they are often kept as pairs and they may get lonely. If you keep a single parrotlet, it is very important to make sure that enough time is spent with your pet to ensure that its emotional needs are met. Providing a fun and entertaining cage environment (or bird room) helps in keeping a pet busy when you aren't around. Foraging is one way to keep your pet busy and healthy.

Speech / Learning

They have about the same speaking and whistling capabilities of a cockatiel. Some learn to talk, while others never will.

Generally speaking, males are more inclined to speak than females. They may to learn up to 10-15 words, and some of them also learn to whistle tunes and sounds they are exposed to.

Aviculture

The most commonly kept parrotlet in aviculture is by far the Pacific Parrotlet, which now has several color mutations. The Mexican, Spectacled, and Yellow-Faced are also fairly common pets. Their popularity as pets has grown due to their small size and large personalities. Parrotlets are commonly known as playful birds that enjoy the chewing as much as their larger Amazon Parrot counterparts. However, their largest quirk lies in the fact that they don't grow as bored as other species of parrots. Parrotlets keep themselves more than occupied when left alone for several hours, so long as they are provided with an array of chewable and destructible toys to play with. However, when their keepers get home, they often greet them with lovely chirps and whistles to let them know they want attention.

Pacific parrotlets tend to be dedicated parents and are often used as foster parents for less reliable parrotlet species.

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