Exotic Birds


The Budgie has to be the smallest parrot there is, right? Think again: The tiniest hook bill in captivity is the feisty Parolett. The green-rump variety (Forpus passerinus) of this South American psittacine measure only 3 1/2 inches long and weighs less than an ounce, about half the size of a budgie. Parrolett’s have streamlined wedge-shaped tails but large beaks for their size. Most birds are olive green, with patches of yellow, grey or blue to differentiate the seven subspecies. Although they make fine pets, parrotlets are not as widely available as the budgie nor as affordable. The normal Pacific (Forpus coelestis), the most popular pet parrotlet. The yellow-face, blue-wing (Forpus xanthopterygius) and Mexican (Forpus cyanopygius) parrotlets are the scarcest, and Sclater's parrotlets (Forpus sclateri) are available only in England. 

Countries of origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Caribbean islands Size: Very small. 3 1/2 inches long and 18 grams (green-rump) to six inches and 45 grams (yellow-face). 

Personality: Boisterous and outgoing, but can be moody and temperamental like its big cousin, the Amazon parrot. Parrotlets enjoy large cages, toys and attention, although they tend to cope better than larger parrots when left alone for extended periods. Green-rumps tend to have the gentlest personalities. Relatively quiet voice. 

Talking ability: Fairly poor. The best talkers, spectacles, have high raspy voices. 

Average lifespan: 30 years. 

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