“Who Are You Calling LITTLE?!”
Whoever came up with the name “parrotlet” was definitely on the right track! The name describes them perfectly! They are, indeed, every bit a parrot in a miniaturized body. It’s amusing to watch big bird antics come from such a little body.
The parrotlet is a small bird with a big love of adventure and, given the opportunity, they will be off exploring every corner of their universe, and chewing on everything along the way. They bond closely with their humans and love attention, as long as you don’t interfere with their plans!
A word of caution for out of cage times, though: parrotlets can be very territorial and are completely unaware of their diminutive stature when it comes to defending the cage or a favorite person. This feisty little bird will not think twice about taking on another bird many times its size, or the family cat or dog. Their big bird attitude sometimes puts them in harm’s way.
They can be domineering and controlling even with another of its species with whom it shares a cage. Like little tyrants, they have been known to cause a cage mate to cower in fear, prevent it from eating, and will on occasion attack for unforeseen reasons.
A parrotlet will also take on a human. Don’t think that their size prevents them from landing a painful bite when they believe the occasion calls for one.
“You’re Not The Boss Of Me!”
The bold little parrotlet is a bird that isn’t afraid to stand up for its “rights”. If it feels that you are being unreasonable in your requests for cooperation, it might take an aggressive stance with you or fly off to an obscure location. While you are looking for your tiny companion, please keep in mind that parrots of all sizes do not respond to punishment.
Unless you are able to catch your parrotlet in the commission of a crime and implement punishment immediately (such as going back to its cage early), your bird will never be able to connect the behavior with the consequences.
If you catch your bird chewing holes in the curtains and you pick him up and place him back in his cage, your bird will associate your picking it up (your FIRST action) with that behavior. He will make the association that when he chews on curtains, you will pick him up because that’s what you did. This could very well reinforce the unwanted behavior. When he lands in is cage unexpectedly, he will certainly not understand why he has been placed there and you will be regarded as mean and unpredictable.
The most sucessful way to break the annoying habits of your outlaw parrotlet is to find a meeting of the minds. Simply put: giving it a reason to want to do things your way. When a favorite treat is on the line as a reward, you’ll be amazed at how interested your little parrotlet will become in letting go of its need to always be the boss!
If you’d like to learn strategies for how to use food rewards to get your parrotlet to be more cooperative, then check out this video: http://www.birdtricks.com/freeclass