Types Of Parrotlets

What on earth are parrotlets and how many different types of parrotlets are there?

Well, as the name suggests, parrotlets are miniature parrots. There are many recognized species of parrotlets and they are all predominantly green in color.

They have short square tails and originally come from Mexico and South America.

types of parrotlets

Most of the different types of parrotlets are ideal for back garden aviaries but are aggressive and must be kept in separate pairs. They usually nest very well if the nest is not smaller than 13cm (5 in) square and at least 20 cm (8 in) tall and it should be lined with wood shavings.

The parrotlet is the second smallest species of the parrot family and is in fact the smallest parrot available in pet shops.

This cheerful, but territorial bird is an excellent housepet, with a wide variety of subspecies and colorful plumages.

They are popular pets as they are one of the quietest bird species and can be trained. They are little parrots with big personalities and are also very energetic. If they are kept in a cage, make sure it is in the busiest part of the house so that they don’t get bored. Also, make sure to give them lots of toys to keep them amused.

Despite their small size, parrotlets cannot be bred satisfactorily in flight cages as cock birds are often aggressive in these surroundings, particularly to their own male offspring. They can inflict fatal injuries on the male chicks prior to fledging.

They are normally double-brooded which means that the adult birds will be keen to nest a second time after the chicks are hatched.

Feeding Parrotlets is straightforward as they enjoy a seed mixture with mixed millets, plain canary seed, groats, some sunflower, small pine nuts, and a little hemp, as well as some greenstuff and fruit.

Seeding grasses are a favorite and a supplement should be given regularly as well as grit and cuttlefish bone or a calcium supplement.

They can live to around 20 years or more and can breed well into their teens.

Types Of Parrotlets

Pacific Parrotlet

The most popular pet parrotlet species is the Pacific Parrotlet, and they are distinct because of their bright green feathers. The bulky bird is recognizable for its colorful feathers and short, tapered tail.

The Pacific parrotlet is one of the most common parrotlets you can find. They are often used in breeding to create lots of exciting mutations and they sport quite interesting looks themselves.

Most pacific parrotlets are green, but they can take on yellow and blue colors, too.

Green-Rumped Parrotlet

The hen is more colorful than the cock in this species and there are some color mutations in this type of parrotlet (F.passerinus). The green-rumped parrotlet includes four types of species named: the Columbian, Riohacha, Trinidad, and Venezuelan parrotlet.

The hen has a yellow area around the bill and colors in this species have been blue, lutino, and cinnamon forms.

These birds are popular with bird-keepers in South America. In spite of their small size, these parrotlets are hardy once acclimatized.

The green-rumped parrotlet is 13 cm long and the incubation period is 23 days. The fledging period is 28 days and the clutch size is 5 to 6 eggs.

Blue Pastel Parrotlet

The blue pastel parrotlet is a mutation that has beautiful aqua hues, collaborating in a medley of colors. These parrotlets range quite a bit in looks, as some of them can even sport lime-green patches. On the contrary, they can also be quite diluted with softer powdery blues.

Mexican Parrotlet

The Mexican parrotlet comes from the western region of Mexico – from Colima up to Sinaloa and Durango. They are found in plantations, forests, and open spaces in tall trees in and around towns and villages, particularly around fig trees.

On the rump and wings, you can find lovely turquoise-blue markings. Because they are plentiful and prime for breeding, they make quite interesting mutations.

Celestial Parrotlets

The celestial (Forpus coelestis), is the most widely kept and bred of the parrotlet family. It originates from parts of Ecuador and Peru in north-western South America.

It is one of the most attractively colored members of the group.

It is easily sexed as the cock bird is silvery-green and the sides of the face are bright apple green with blue behind the eyes and on the edges of the wings. The rump feathering is also blue.

The hen has a less silvery tone to their plumage and a smaller blue area on the face.

These little parrots make good pets if trained at an early age and will even learn to say a few words, but they are not talented when it comes to learning to talk.

The celestial parrotlet is 13 cm long and has an incubation period of 23 days. The fledging period is 28 days and the clutch size is 4 to 6 eggs.

Lutino Parrotlet

The lutino parrotlet is a vibrant character with lovely colors ranging from electric yellow to lime green. Their distinct coloration makes them quite attractive candidates for breeding since it’s possible to create so many interesting colors.

Spectacled Parrotlet

Originally from Columbia, the spectacled parrotlet is another mutated parrotlet species. The males are darker-toned green than their lighter female counterparts.

However, both genders have a less vibrant color than many other parrotlets, focusing on neutral greens.

Yellow-faced Parrotlets

The yellow-faced parrotlet (F.xanthops) is found in a very restricted area of Peru. It is closely related to the celestial but at nearly 15cm in length, it is a little larger.

Distinctive facial coloring extending down to the throat sets it apart from the other species.

Sexing the bird is straightforward, as the feathering over the rump is light blue in the hen and a deeper blue in the cock. The yellow-face parrotlet has been bred successfully in captivity and so chicks are often available.

The yellow-faced parrotlet is 15 cm in length and has an incubation period of 23 days. The fledging period is 28 days and the clutch size is 4 to 6 eggs.

Sclater’s Parrotlet

The Sclater’s Parrotlet, otherwise known as the dusky-billed parrotlet, is a bright green cutie. These birds have a dark bills, making them stand out over their other green cousins.

Their feathering is also more muddied than the other tropical-looking parrotlets.

Pied Parrotlet

The pied parrotlet is probably the rarest one on this list. It looks like a multi-colored surprise. These birds have interchanging patches of white, turquoise, aqua, blue, gray, and all sorts of greens. They are a mutation, combining several parrotlet types for a tie-dye finish.

Albino Parrotlet

The albino parrotlet is entirely white with glowing red eyes. These rare beauties are a mutation achieved from breeding blue splits and lutinos.

Unlike many other parrotlets, albinos look the same regardless of if they are male or female.

This is not an exhaustive list of different types of parrotlets by a long shot. There are so many different kinds of mutations that just keep growing every day. Breeders work diligently to create favorable personalities as well as incredible color structures.

types of parrotlets

Hope you found this article on the various types of parrotlets interesting and that you now feel that you have learned something more about these fascinating little creatures.


  1. I had a lot of parrotlets when I was a child. My sister loved birds and so did I and we had many at our old house. They are beautiful but unfortunately very sensitive to weather and sicknesses. They need very good care all the time and pay attention for any abnormal behavior. There are so many breeds and kinds out there that many of them are completely unknown to most people. It’s amazing how wonderful these little creatures are.

    1. I have never actually owned a parrotlet, although I have owned many other types of birds from the parrot family. I didn’t realize that they got sick so easily. Thanks for that.

  2. Your post on parrotlets has given me an appreciation for the variety of species available. I was reminded of my childhood pet and how much joy it brought to our home. 

    After reading your article, I looked up some information about it. Parrotlets are small members of the parrot family that stand out from other parrots with their bold and sassy personalities. Throughout Central and South America, six distinct species of parrotlets vary in size, habitat habits, and color patterns. Due to their social nature, these petite birds love to show off their chirping and singing habits.

    Thanks for providing this article. I so enjoyed the read and learning some new information. 

    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment Molllie, and I agree that parrotlets are fascinating little creatures.

  3. Oh wow! I never knew Parrotlets had so many varieties! I love how you say that these are small birds with big personalities – it’s so true – my own experience with these birds tells me how they may look so much alike, but they each have a unique, distinguishable personality! I definitely didn’t know they could live up to 20 years – I think that would make them a great pet bird choice! Thanks for sharing this, Michel!

  4. I remember my childhood days when our family had parrotlets as pets. But at that time, I thought there was just one kind (Pacific Parrotlet) because even our neighbors had the same variety. 

    This post is very informative, especially since I am considering getting a couple of parrotlets for my nephew. But I am torn between Albino and Lutino. I like Albino because it’s white in color; very different from the common parrotlets that we know which are green. But Lutino sounds like a nice one too because of its distinct coloration that makes them unique and stand out 

    I guess I’m just gonna have to decide according to the ease and convenience of taking care of them. So, may I ask which one you recommend if I want a parrotlet that is very easy to care for?

    1. I have never owned a parrotlet, but if I can judge from experience, with the other birds that I have owned, the more mutated the species is, the more easily they get sick.  For instance, my grey cockatiels have lived far longer than my lutino cockatiels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *