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
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).
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.
ability: Fairly poor. The best talkers, spectacles, have high raspy
lifespan: 30 years.