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Interesting Facts about Parrotlets

two parrotlets on a tree

1. See no evil, hear no evil.

Baby parrotlets are practically blind and deaf when they are born. They rely completely on their parents for survival. However, they are not mute—you can hear them begging for food just hours after they are born!

2. Good things start small.

Newly hatched parrotlets are just the size of a bumble. But even when they reach maturity, these birds will still be the “littlest brother” of the parrot family. They are just half the size of a love bird, and about three-fourths the size of a budgie.

3. Friendliest birds on the block.

Parrotlets will make friends with just about anyone. They are not as snobbish as macaws, which are often one-person birds that will ignore or even bite a stranger.

4. Big appetites.

Parrotlets may be small, but they’ve got huge appetites! Gram for gram, they eat more than macaws!

5. David and Goliath.

Don’t let their size fool you! These birds can bravely stand up to a bird that’s three or even four times their size. Some say that they’re as fierce as Amazon parrots, even though they’re about 1/20th their size. (Well, that does make sense. The parrotlets are more closely related to Amazon parrots than any other variety—think of them as the little giants!)

6. Girl or boy?

Male parrotlets have blue markings on their wings, back, and napes. The female parrotlets have light blue markings near their eyes.

7. Mistaken identity.

Parrotlets and love birds have such similar markings that the two species were often confused. In fact, the parrotlets were once called Pacific love birds. So how can you tell the difference? Love birds are larger, and have bigger beaks. They also tend to be much quieter.

8. Quiet companionship (well, most of the time).

One reason why parrotlets make such great pets for apartment dwellers is that they don’t usually scream. They will chirp—and quite incessantly if they need to get your attention—but not so loudly that your neighbors to file a group complaint.

9. Shy but sweet.

Green rump parrotlets are quite shy and timid, at least compared to the other varieties! They are also prone to beak problems, though a good diet can lower their risk significantly.

10. Don’t underestimate bird brains.

Behavioral scientists believe that parrotlets have the IQ of a four year old child. No wonder they’re one of the easiest birds to train!