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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone. I'm thinking of getting a parrotlet, but I'm not sure which kind. I'd prefer a bird that is less likely to bite a lot, so I've heard green rumps are a good choice - more docile and shy than the Pacifics. Then I read that spectacled are somewhere in between Pacifics and green rumps. I've also read that green rumps and/or spectacled may have health problems because of in-breeding due to the scarcity of this bird in the U.S.

If I went with a Pacific, are they known to tame down a bit so that they enjoy being handled and bond and don't bite all the time? Or are some of them just beasts through and through? I already have parakeets; my interest in parrotlets is that they have a reputation for being more affectionate.

Thank you very much.
 

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All birds have the potential to bite. When a bird arrives at your home, you are a stranger at first. It takes patience and time to train a new bird, and each bird has its own timeline for this. Most are food motivated, so you can use long stalks of millet or another treat for training and rewards. Pacific parrotlets are a fun bird with an "attitude"
 

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Hi!
Every parrot is an individual, so there are no guarantees about any bird's behavior. One thing to realize with a very small parrot is that they defend themselves from any perceived threat very aggressively, as they are very vulnerable. Some species tend to be less aggressive than others, but no two parrots are alike and there is no way to assure that you have a parrot that is less aggressive.
I think there are three factors when it comes to aggression - personality, how they are raised when they are young, and your handling of the bird and relationship that you have built with them.
Tumi can to me already trained to be handled, and he is not my first parrot (although he is my first parrotlet). After 7 years together, the biting is rare but easy to trigger. If he feels threatened, he bites (my laundry is apparently threatening, as is all sorts of random stuff). If I try to force him to do something, he bites. If a stranger puts their hands towards him, he bites. If he feels jealous of something (my cell phone, for instance), he bites. The good news is that you will not lose a finger (although blood can be drawn), but the bad news is that there is absolutely no way to for sure end up with a bird that doesn't use its beak as a weapon. My parrotlet is very affectionate and has been since the day I met him, but he is also very short-tempered and bites. I only have experience with my one Pacific parrotlet, so I can't speak about green rumps or spectacled parrotlets.
 

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Hi! Glad you are asking!


Rubydoo has it right on cue! Read her suggestions again.


I have had birds in my life since my teens. I am 67 now. I had mostly budgies. The last 2 birds I had were parrotlets. They were Pacific. Although they were very much alike, they had their differences. Both went through biting stages, but then they calmed down right after their terrible twos ( around 6-7 months of age).


They never completely quit biting. If they got upset or felt you invaded their space at the wrong time, they would bite at me. My first, Bogie, rarely ever bit me after the first year. I had him for ten years before he got sick and died of a rare hardening of the lining around his lungs. I had to put him down to stop his suffering. It nearly killed me to do this.



You will become very attached to a p'lett. I lost many budgies and felt really bad about it, but when I lost Bogie, then Ricochet, it hit me harder than I could possibly imagine. There is something about the parrotlet that is....different, somehow. They become a great part of you. They study us as much as we study them. The bond, to me, is like no other.

I have known 4 people who had green rump p'letts. All said they were smaller, quieter and they all didn't bite as much as the Pacifics that they read about. But, you can get one who will be a biter and a talker, too. It all depends. From what I have read, there are very few authentic green rump p'letts in America. Their lineage has been invaded/weakened.


Keep looking and studying all you can about the p'letts. Just beware, do not buy from a broker! (Only a breeder.)


David and Vicki;):rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, all. Great perspectives to hear. I think I know what I would be getting into with a Pacific - and I'm not scared off. But I am still curious about the other varieties. Turns out green rumps and spectacled are hard to find - consistent with your comment, David. I worry that, even if I found one, I might be getting a genetically impaired bird (or simply some kind of hybrid bird I don't know about). I'll update on my search. Thanks again, everyone!
 

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Parrotlets are the best pet ever. Accept no substitute.

I have now been enslaved by 3 pacific parrotlets so far. I suspect I will be enslaved by more in the future. Each was so different from each other as to make species generalization difficult. Some were fierce and brave, others timid and bashful, others mean or loving. Some of those descriptions go for the same bird at different times. The one thing consistent is they are rather mercurial in nature and have an incredible ability to steal your heart and soul.
 

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I have had only pacific.

I did teach my Huey who has since passed not to bite with a command. There is a thread on this technique about Gentle Beak. My Huey loved his beak rubbed. I now have Sunshine and he doe snot care for his beak rubbed but he does seem to respond to no bite, but I have had him only 6 weeks.
 

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There may be some gentle parrotlets out there, but most of them bite to some degree. Green rumps may be generally docile by nature, but as mentioned before, not all are. You will not know what you are getting until you get them home. If you get a parrotlet, one way to get the biting to lessen is by proving to them that you can be trusted. And believe me, they will test you. lol They are super smart - how you react every time they bite you tells them if you can be trusted or not. The more you work with your bird with patience and kindness, the more over time the bites should lessen. They will start using their beaks with less force and will start using them as a way to communicate with you. For instance, with Cleopatra, if I am hand feeding her something, she will very gently bite my finger to let me know that she does not want anymore. It still took two years to get her to this point. Before she would give me a chomp. :eek: She was tame when I got her, but she was still a biter. Now, she really is a sweet bird. Does she still bite me at times? Yes, but with a lot less force. :) She controls her bites more. So, if you get a parrotlet, kindness and patience pays off with these little guys.

Parrotlets are awesome birds, but they can be challenging and may not be for everyone. They are not that far removed from their cousins in the wild, so if you get one, even if it is tame, you must socialize with them every day. According to my breeder, if you do not handle them daily, they can possibly revert to being wild again in as little as three weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the additional insights. I agree, and will assume, that each bird will be different and may not be "typical" - whether more or less bite-y, territorial, aggressive - and more or less affectionate toward its human(s). I'm also not planning to "buy" immediately - and will continue to read about people's experiences. Thanks.
 
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