The Parrotlet

Ultimate Pocket Parrot

When people talk about “pocket parrots” quite a few species come to mind. The Parrotlet, the Budgie( proper name Budgerigar) or the  African Lovebird for instance fall into the “pocket parrot” category.

                                Pictured above: Two Pacific Parrotlets

The Ultimate pocket parrot is the parrotlet however, mainly because they are the smallest domestic parrot in the pet trade. There ARE smaller species of parrots in the wild, but they are not kept in Aviculture, which is why Parrotlets are known among the hobby of keeping birds as the smallest parrot you can own.

In my opinion, they are one of the cutest as well. They are a little teacup of a parrot with a hooked bill, beautiful colors, perky and sassy personalities and some can learn up to 100 words and phrases!

Although they are not known for being the best talkers in the parrot trade, many will learn to talk if conditioned properly at a young age. Plus their size and vocal abilities make them great for apartment dwellers or people looking to own a starter parrot and get their feet wet in the aviculture hobby.

Do not misunderstand me however, if you are looking to own a Cockatoo or a Macaw and want to understand aviculture, these little cuties should not be taken for granted or abandoned when you do get your larger birds. These sassy little characters are filled with a big, bold parrot personality and will win your heart over with their adorable appearance as well.

                       Pacific Pied Parrotlet (pictured above)

The Parrotlet’s popularity has been rising among bird keepers and breeders mainly for their adorable demeanor and the convenience of being an apartment dweller and fairly easy to keep. These birds, although small ARE very active so they will need a lot of out-of-cage time in the form of exercise and mental stimulation.

Their care is VERY similar to a lovebird so if you have any questions or concerns about cage size, diet or accessories you will need, just follow the same principles I have applied to lovebird care. They are all in the same category of pocket parrot care but I will specify that parrotlets love swings more than other breeds, so make sure you provide a SWING for  little Tweety.


There are many sub-species of Parrotlet however the Pacific Parrotlet and Green-Rumped are the most prevalent in the pet trade.These are the two species I will be referring to in this post, and mainly the Pacific Parrotlet as more times than not, that is the species you will come across in the domestic pet trade.

These little cuties hail from Mexico and other parts of South America mainly in tropical or sub-tropical climates. They like a wide variety of food as well, but if you just stick with millet, a vet-approved pellet and seed mix along with fruits and veggies you should be fine. As stated before, their care and diet needs are very similar to lovebirds.

Please refer to my article on DIET needs if you have any questions or concerns.

These birds can become very affectionate toward their favorite person but will need consistent interaction, as they will become independent without it. This can be a plus if you are not looking for a particularly NEEDY bird. They are capable of being independent and entertaining themselves– similar to lovebirds.

The average lifespan of a well cared for Parrotlet is 15 to 25 yrs and they can be somewhat cage territorial. Keep in mind a bite can hurt but they are rather small so certainly not a dangerous bite.

Because they are completely fearless, they will sometimes aggressively go after dogs and larger birds getting themselves in trouble so be aware of this aggressive, feisty nature and take caution. Again, they are similar to the lovebird in that spunky, sassy temperament and should be regarded as similar in nature and care- giving needs.

In Conclusion

Gaining in popularity, these quintessential POCKET PARROTS are absolutely adorable, can learn to talk and make great starter parrots or pet birds for apartment dwellers.

They can be very affectionate but do need to have consistent interaction. They are also very bold and feisty for a small bird so don’t be fooled by the small size, as they can pack quite a punch with attitude and personality.

They love to snuggle in your hair or inside a pocket of your coat. Just be careful not to sit or step on them because they are so tiny. They also come in a myriad of colors and will win your heart over with their comical demeanor and adorable teacup parrot appearance.

For more information on Parrotlets and their care click HERE

Until next time, CHEERS and Happy Parroting!


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