Scientific Name: Forpus coelestis
Other Common Names: Lesson’s parrotlet or Celestial parrotlet
Native Country: West Ecuador and northwestern Peru
Habitat: Dry areas including the desert and temperate forests, more recently adapted to humid environments due to deforestation
Height (Head to Tail): 10-14cm, Small Size
Lifespan: 15 – 20 years in captivity
Weight: 25 – 32 grams
Pacific Parrotlet – Appearance:
Wild Pacific Parrotlets are green however there can be many mutations including the American White, Blue or the Yellow Fallow. They all possess a light pink beak and pink-grey feet.
Pacific Parrotlets are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females can be visually distinguished. Males will have a shade of blue on their wings whereas females do not.
Parrotlet Color Mutation Image credits:1234parrotletbirds.wordpress.com
Pacific Parrotlet – Diet:
80% Pellet Mix – Pellets should be small in size (less then5mm) so the parrotlet can easily grab and grind their food. The mix should provide a variety of whole grains, wheat, maize, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Popular brands specializing in parrotlet diets include ZuPreem, Harrisons, Volkman, Vetafarm and Roudybush.
20% Fresh Fruit and Vegetables– Best served diced/chopped for digestion – Banana, Oranges, Pomegranates, Kiwifruit, Figs, Apple, Carrot, Peas, Sweet Corn
|Dr. Harvey’s Parakeet Blend, All Natural Daily Food|
|ZuPreem Natural Bird Food for Small Birds (Pack of 2)|
|Higgins Vita Seed Parakeet Food|
Pacific Parrotlet – Essentials:
When bringing your little birdie home for the first time, you will need to ensure you have the basics sorted beforehand.
- Bird Cage – at least 45cm x 45cm x 45cm (W x L x H) – plenty of room for toys and exercise; best to line the cage with newspaper to easily clean their droppings/mess. Bar spacing should be less than 1.cm to avoid the parrotlet from escaping.
- Cage Cover – any cloth that covers 90% of the cage so the bird can sleep in darkness e.g. blanket
- Perch – at least 1 perch (preferably branch shape) for sleeping and general support, may want to add a rope or wooden ladder for entertainment. Treated twigs can also be a cheap alternative.
- Toys – 1 or 2 toys to begin with for mental stimulation/entertainment; highly recommend rattling or ringing toys e.g. bells, pine cones, beads
- Bowls – 3x bowls (one for seeds, one for fresh fruit/vegetables and the other for water); your bird might use the water bowl to bath too, that’s completely fine!
Still not sure? Click here to download our 100% FREE bird care checklist here.
Pacific Parrotlet – Behavior:
- Socialization: Active and Feisty. Parrotlets are aggressive towards other bird species – best to keep them as solitary pets or in separate cages if housing unbonded pairs.
- Vocalization: High pitched but low volume communicators. Love to tweet, chirp and chatter. Minimal capacity to talk or mimic words.
Pacific Parrotlet – Breeding:
Parrotlets reach sexual maturity at 10 months of age. Pacific Parrotlets are dimorphic, so most of the time it will be easy to determine males vs. females. Some blue mutation variants may be a little harder to distinguish, so a DNA test will be required. Other requirements for breeding are mentioned below:
- Rectangle shaped Nest box (min. dimensions 25x20x25cm – HxWxL)
- Nest box filling – non-toxic sawdust or pine shaving
- Ensure a well rounded healthy diet of pellet mix, fruit and vegetables
- Mating Partner: suspected to be monogamous due to their aggression towards other birds
- Breeding Season: All year round in captivity but best conditions during spring and autumn to avoid temperature extremes affecting the young.
- Clutch Frequency: 3-4 clutches per year
- Clutch Quantity: 4-6 eggs per clutch
- Incubation Period: 18 days
- Weaning: Fully weaned at 7-10 weeks
Pacific Parrotlet – Health:
|Psittacosis||Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, vomiting, nasal/ocular discharge, diarrhea or pale green feces, breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, minimal physical movement, tremors||Bacteria: Chlamydia psittaci contracted via infected dried saliva, feathers, mucous and feces|
|Feather Plucking||Form of self mutilation by plucking their own feathers, leaving bald patches of skin||Boredom, lack of mental stimulation, poor diet, illness, stress|
|Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease||Sharp, clubbed or abnormally short feathers, pigment loss in colored feathers, bloody feather shafts||Beak & Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) contracted from other infected birds e.g. oral – parent feeding young or ingestion of virus particles in dust feces|
|Aspergillosis||Weight loss, lethargy, constantly fluffed feathers, difficulty breathing, cloudy eyes, droopy wings||Aspergillus fungus: exposure to spores found in dust, mold, soil – mainly affects malnourished or immunocompromised birds|
|Malnutrition||Overweight, nasal discharge, sneezing, conjunctivitis, poor feather quality, weakness, egg binding, embryonic death,||Vitamin A or Calcium deficiency|
Did You Know?
1. Parrotlets are known as “pocket parrots” – the smallest New World Parrot
2. Parrotlet egg sizes are tiny! Roughly 17mm x 14mm (about the size of a blueberry or human fetus at the age of 7 weeks)
3. Most Pacific Parrotlets have a blue streak at the end of their eye, resembling eyeshadow