Parrotlets are the smallest members of the parrot family. Boasting a maximum size of just five inches, these tiny parrots pack a lot of personality into their diminutive bodies.
Parrotlets are playful and welcome human contact, but they must be socialized regularly. If a parrotlet spends too much time alone, it’s likely to become more aggressive toward owners or other birds.
Parrotlets combine fearlessness with these belligerent tendencies. A parrotlet won’t think twice about attacking a budgie, despite the latter being larger. As budgies tend to be more docile, a parrotlet may become a bully if sharing a cage with a budgie.
The best solution for budgies and parrotlets in the same home is to live in separate cages in the same room. This way, the two birds can interact through verbalization and play separately.
Think of these two birds as warring siblings. They may love each other, but they’re also capable of falling out at a moment’s notice. The less enforced proximity they share, the less likely this becomes.
What Is A Parrotlet?
Parrotlets, like budgies, are part of the Psittacidae family of birds.
Essentially, a parrotlet is a tiny parrot. The same could be said of budgies, but parrotlets are even smaller. Parrotlets also resemble traditional parrots more, especially the Amazon parrot.
There are multiple breeds of parrotlet, most of which are native to Latin America. Coupled with their small size, this has earned parrotlets the nickname “South American lovebirds,” although parrotlets have little in common with the African lovebird.
Parrotlets are popular as pets in the U.S. While parrotlets are less complex to care for than traditional parrots, they’re still living birds with needs, including regular attention.
In this regard, adopting a parrotlet is similar to caring for a budgie.
What is the Difference Between Parrotlets and Budgies?
Parrotlets and budgies are part of the same family, but family members do not always share the same characteristics. It’s important to know that a parrotlet isn’t a budgie and vice versa.
Here are some of the differences between parrotlets and budgies:
|9 inches for an American budgie or 12 inches for an English budgie.
|Rarely larger than 5 inches.
|30-40 g for an American budgie, or up to 65 g for an English budgie.
|About 33 g, which is similar to a healthy American budgie.
|10–12 years for American budgies, closer to 7 years for English budgies.
|Anywhere from 15-20 years.
|American budgies are usually loud, energetic, and skittish, at least initially.
|Parrotlets are quiet, only speaking a few words, but are energetic and playful.
|Relationship with Humans
|Budgies need time to adjust but quickly come to bond with and love owners.
|Parrotlets rarely fear humans and can be trained, but they can show unprovoked aggression.
|Relationship with Other Birds
|Budgies like the company of their own kind, although females can be territorial.
|Parrotlets pick fights with larger birds when riled.
When it comes to budgie vs. parrotlet personality, there’s a clear difference.
Both love companionship and company, but budgies are tamed and calmed by spending time with humans. Parrotlets can remain hostile, though long-term training makes this less likely.
Do Budgies and Parrotlets Get Along?
Parrotlets and budgies share similarities. Behavior explains how parrotlets form strong bonds with other birds, much like budgies.
The main challenge anybody will face when pairing a parrotlet with another bird, regardless of the species, is the parrotlet’s predilection for unpredictable behavior.
However, the more time a parrotlet spends alone, the less socialized it becomes.
Budgies defend themselves if attacked but are rarely antagonistic. However, budgies can become defensive if they feel their territory is under threat or other food is being taken.
Can Parrotlets Live with Budgies?
You have two choices if you wish to keep both budgies and parrotlets.
You can attempt to house the birds in the same cage, which could lead to conflict. Alternatively, keep both birds in the same room but individual cages.
Only experienced handlers that have socialized the parrotlet from a young age and remain confident in their training should attempt to keep both birds in the same cage. Parrotlets are loving but can grow aggressive in an instant if social training lapses.
A parrotlet and budgie will get along much better from a safe distance. By keeping the birds in separate cages, they can exchange songs and trills and play together during scheduled exercise.
Introducing Parrotlets to Budgies
Introductions between budgies and parrotlets must be handled slowly. If you put a budgie and parrotlet together, conflict is likely.
Keep both birds in separate cages but within sight of each other. Let them familiarize themselves with the other’s scents and calls, growing in confidence while not feeling that the other bird is a threat.
If you plan to keep the two birds living separately – which is recommended – introduce them outside the cage slowly. Have a friend or family member handle one bird while you look after the other.
Eventually, they’ll need to interact up close and personal. Budgies and parrotlets need exercise outside the cage, and unless you release them in shifts, they’ll cross paths.
If the parrotlet doesn’t attack the budgie, and the budgie doesn’t grow hyperactive or skittish and start pestering the parrotlet, consider it a success and return both birds to their cages.
You can keep introducing the birds in longer sessions over the coming days.
How To House Parrotlets with Budgies
Budgies and parrotlets are better and safer if housed in separate cages. However, if you decide to keep both birds in one cage, you must obey some strict parameters:
- The cage needs to be oversized – bigger than one that would house two budgies or two parrotlets.
- Introduce stimulation and toys. Focus on keeping the budgie entertained, or it may pester and aggravate the parrotlet.
- Ensure both birds have their own food and water source. A parrotlet may hoard and protect a shared food bowl, forcing a budgie to go hungry.
- Learn the warning signs that the birds are fighting or that the parrotlet is showing aggression. If this happens, be ready to separate them immediately.
As the latter rule means that you’ll need two cages anyway, it’s considerably easier to house parrotlets and budgies in their own cages and keep them separated.
Will Parrotlets and Budgies Breed?
If your parrotlet and budgie manage to bond, you may be worried about breeding. While the two birds are part of the same family, they’re still too different to successfully breed or hybridize.