Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adopting a Parrotlet

Good morning! We are vacationing 20 minutes north of your ranch and we have been looking for a parrotlet to adopt for a number of months now. Imagine our surprise to find your ranch is just down the road! :) Do you have any parrotlets available for immediate adoption? Thank you in advance, Dan and Cheralyn Dear Dan and Charalyn: Thank you for your email. I know people like to use the term 'adoption' when they are purchasing a bird because it is becoming a member of the family. However, as both a professional breeder that breeds and sells parrotlets as well as the founder of a non-profit organization that also runs a parrotlet adoption program, I must clarify that the difference. Legally, my business, The Parrotlet Ranch, does not offer adoptions but I do sell birds. I am very proud of my skills and professionalism as a parrotlet breeder of almost 30 years. The International Parrotlet Society, the non-profit organization, does run an adoption program and while we will attempt to adopt a parrotlet from anyone only members may adopt. All that being said, I have no parrotlets available at this time. I always have a waiting list for birds and currently it is 6 months or longer in length. Also, the International Parrotlet Society does not have any birds currently available for placement. I am so sorry. Best of luck to you. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Chronic Egg-Laying in Female Pacific Parrotlet

Hi Sandee, I sent you an email before Christmas respecting my female parrotlet, Skye. She has now laid her fourth clutch since September 2011. She has laid a total of 19 infertile eggs! I have an appointment with the vet on Thursday, and she is going to administer Luperon in order to try to shut down the egg laying process. But, I do have a concern. Skye has started laying another clutch and laid her first egg yesterday morning. She usually lays 5 eggs. I’m afraid that if she gets an injection there may be an egg forming in her body and, Skye may become egg bound. Should I delay the hormone shot until she has finished laying all her eggs? I did everything you suggested in your previous email. But I think I may be the problem. Skye thinks I am her mate and absolutely loves me. I love to kiss her little head. Should I stop handling her? Thanks for your help. It is sincerely appreciated. By the way, will there be a parrot show in Victoria this year? Kind regards, Sylvia Dear Sylvia: Thank you for your email. I can’t answer your question because I have never had a bird get Lupron shots. I would make sure you do all the research you can but in all actuality, no one knows what the answer is. Unfortunately, most avian medicine (and certainly Lupron administration is right up there) is more of an art than a science and most of the time, they really don’t know what the outcome is going to be. If you read my article on Lupron, even vets that are pro-Lupron admit it is at best a ‘bandaide’ and not something that can be reasonably relied upon to manage the issues for which it is usually prescribed. However, 19 eggs is a lot and I would certainly, under these circumstances, give the shot if everything I had tried (reducing daylight hours to less than 10, removing all nest-like structures and providing extra calcium in her diet) didn’t work. I would ask your question of your vet – I would think it might be a problem but again I’m not a vet nor do I have any experience using Lupron in my birds. As for bonding, bonding isn’t what makes birds lay eggs. All birds think their owners are their ‘mates’. Kissing the bird on the head I wouldn’t think would stimulate egg laying at all. Generally, in large birds such as Amazons, petting them on their backs can trigger a hormonal response but I have no idea in parrotlets. After all, they may be parrots but they are all different species. I will say that in 30 years, this is only the 3rd or 4th parrotlet I’ve ever heard of that couldn’t be managed with environmental changes to stop egg laying. It simply is not a common problem in parrotlets. I know that doesn’t make it easier for you but I am a honest breeder and don’t make up things or rely on what I’ve read online and repeat it. If I don’t have experience with something, I say so and this is a very unusual problem in parrotlets. As for a bird ‘show’ not sure what you mean. I don’t believe the Parrot Symposium is going on this year, haven’t heard anything about it. As for bird shows, i.e., sanction competitions, I haven’t heard anything and as for bird marts, those things go on all the time. I’m sure if you look online, you can find one. Best of luck and let me know how it turns out. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase I will keep you posted. Have a wonderful weekend. Sylvia Thanks. Yes, please let me know. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase Dear Sandee, Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to answer my questions. The vet also said that the underlying problem has to be resolved, as Lupron may not resolve the problem. I decided to forego the Lupron until Skye has finished her clutch. She has now laid two eggs. Thank you for advising me that this is an unusual problem because I have never owned a female parrotlet before. I have all boys (3). I got Skye from a rescue organization in Vancouver and the rescuer told me that the girl gave up Skye because she didn’t have time for her. I did email the rescuer and tell her about Skye’s egg laying problem, but she didn’t respond. I’m starting to think she knew Skye had a problem laying eggs. I feel so sorry for this little bird because I know that it is very stressful for her when she is laying an egg. I ensure she has lots of calcium on her food and water. Thank you for being honest with me. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, if she doesn’t stop laying the eggs. I will try restricting the light situation for more hours. I will make the bottom of her cage uncomfortable for her, as I have paper towels on the bottom right now. Last time, I had a little hut in her cage and she laid eggs in it. That has now gone. I’m glad that kissing her head is ok because I love this little bird. She is so sweet. Yes, I was referring to the Parrot Symposium. I hope the Parrot Symposium comes back again. I will let you know what transpires with Skye. Many thanks again for your kindness. I have the highest respect for you as a breeder. Kind regards, Sylvia Thank you Sylvia for your very kind words. Best of luck. Please keep me posted. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase Hello Sandee, I hope you, your family and little parrolets are all keeping well. I would like to give you an update on Skye, my female rescue parrotlet, who was laying unfertile eggs non-stop. Skye finished laying another clutch of 6 eggs in March. I took her to a vet for a check-up, and he recommended the Luperon shot, if I wanted it. He also told me that the parrotlets are up and coming prolific egg layers! He gave me various suggestions (same as you suggested), in order to help her stop laying eggs. I decided to forgo the Luperon shot. I remember you telling me that these little birds are hardwired, and it is best to leave the eggs; so that is what I did. Skye has been sitting on the eggs since March. She even pecked two eggs, in order to make small holes (interesting). I took all the eggs away, except two, three weeks ago. She is finally fed up with sitting on the eggs and is now interacting with me, grooming herself and sleeping on her highest perch (thank goodness). I am still leaving the two eggs in the bottom of the cage just in case. She is such an intelligent little bird and very loving. Thanks again for your advice; I thought you would like to know the outcome of the chronic egg laying. Best, Sylvia Thanks so much Sylvia for letting me know. Glad to have been of help! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Does My Parrotlet Bite When I'm Changing Her Food and Water

why does my parrotlet bite whenI change her water and food? Because parrotlets are aggressive and territorial especially when it comes to their cage. You should get water tubes/drinkers as well as food dishes that can be accessed from outside the cage without you needing to stick your hand in the cage. If you do have to put your hand in the cage, you have remove the parrotlet. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase ________________________________________

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Importing Lovebirds

Hello, in October I will be flying from Athens greece to boston logan airport. I have 2 lovebirds. can I bring these with me on the plane ? i do not know yet what airlines i will be flying on . what would i need for these birds if i can bring them with me? iam worried about quarentine policies. iam affraid even with proper documents i will have trouble at the airport and have to leave them behind. also this trip is a one way trip. I will be moving to the state of massachusets and not returning to greece Dear Olga: Thank you for your email. It is against international law to fly with pets in the cabin other than service animals. They will have to be shipped in the cargo hold - which is pressurized and climatized. I've been shipping parrotlets for two decades and it is completely safe if you following the directions I have published in my books and online (they are too lengthy to put into an email). You will need export permits from Greece as well as CITES (international documents regarding rarity status), veterinary certification, import permits and licenses and other documents as required by the US. You will have to prove that you have owned this bird for more than a year and the process usually takes months. You need to check with US Fish & Wildlife on all the licensing and permits; US Dept. of Agriculture for quarantine and testing. The birds will have to be placed in quarantine and tested at your expense. The process is neither easy nor inexpensive and this is because the United States does not allow the import of birds except under extremely limited circumstances. However, since these birds are a pet and while you did not say what kind of lovebird, if they are Peach Faced, then it will be much easier to get them into the country than one of the rarer species. You are correct however, if there are any problems or discrepancies in the documentation you will not be able to bring the birds with you so you will need to make absolutely 100% sure you follow every rule and requirement to the letter. Best of luck to you. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Monday, July 16, 2012

Questions on Pair Feeding Chicks

Sandee, I have a pair of green pacific parrotlets. They have 3 newly hatched young, about 4 days old. In checking on the young over the past few days, their crops have been full. Yesterday I noticed that the male was in the nest box. I didn’t see him out of the nest box yesterday and he is still in there today, huddled over the hen. The babies’ crops look empty. It has been extremely hot in our house and I have kept fans going but the house has been over 80 degrees during the day but it did cool off yesterday. Should I intervene? Maybe give the hen some electrolytes? Take the male out of the box? Handfeed the babies? I have handfed before but not such tiny ones. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Kathy B. Dear Kathleen: Its best to leave them alone. The more you disturb them and that means looking at them, the more likely they are to abandon the nest or even kill the chicks. This is especially true in a first clutch. They are nervous and inexperienced but your interference will bring up their predator/prey reaction and they will most likely just abandon the chicks. I know we humans like to think that we things go better when we are involved, but that isn’t true when it comes to raising parrotlets. Handling the chicks or the parents will almost certainly result in them abandoning or killing the offspring. That is how they survive in Nature. Better to abandon the nest if it is disturbed than get eaten by a predator. Eating offspring will give the parents the energy needed to lay another clutch. I know this seems barbaric to humans but that’s why they are animals. Nature guides them by instincts that have evolved over millions of years and keeping them in our homes, doesn’t change that. They are still very much wild animals that react on instinct – they are not domesticated like cockatiels or budgies to accept human interference. Also, with a first clutch you do not want to stress them out and have them possibly never be good parents. As for the heat, these birds originate near the equator – unless its over 100 degrees I sincerely doubt they will be affected by it. Remember, sometimes the hardest thing to do, is nothing. Best of luck. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Spraddle Leg Parrotlet

Good morning, I have 3 babies that I have been hand feeding for about 2 1/2 weeks. This is my first time. They are all doing well except for one that I'm concerned about, maybe overly concerned. One of them his legs splay out to the sides as if it can't get it's legs under him to walk. The other 2 seem all right. Is this something to be concerned about or will it eventually learn to get them under him? I'm the only one that handles them and I have never dropped or squeezed so i don't understand. He eats very good like the others and doesn't seem to be in any pain. He can move it good and there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with either of the legs. thank you for your time. Patti Dear Patti: Thank you for your email. What you are describing is called ‘spraddle leg’ and it is something that is extremely serious as it severely handicaps the bird and it will be deformed for the rest of its life. It is almost always caused by not having enough porous nesting material in the nest box or in containers provided by the hand-feeder. It is for this reason that I have written in my 3 books as well as hundreds of articles on breeding parrotlets that it is vital to keep copious amounts of nesting material (and untreated wood shavings are the best – after all, it was what birds have been evolved to use for millions of years) in the nest box and replace it if the parents knock it out. Also, you must keep the chicks on these wood shavings in order to properly develop their hips, legs, feet and joints. I’m not sure if at this point this can be corrected but you will need to bring that bird into a vet immediately. Sometimes, if it is caught early enough, it can be treated by hobbling the legs together or placing them in certain kinds of restraints but it is simply better to avoid the problem all together by providing the correct amount and type of nesting material. But I would get that bird to a vet who specializes in birds immediately. If it cannot be corrected, the bird will be crippled and unable to walk for the rest of its life. Please let me know how this works out and best of luck. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Determing Age by Iris Color

Hello, I rescued a female Parrotlet , this past March, she was flown to a lady that was suppose to get a male, the breeder did send the male , the next day and told her to keep the female. The lady didn't want to keep the female, so I offered to take her. She was suppose to be a baby and her iris show and around that is gray, so her eye's are not all black like my male, when I got him as a baby. Is there any way you can tell a Parrotlet's age? She isn't real friendly, and also was suppose to be hand fed. I do know she is not a baby. Thank you, Evelyn Dear Evelyn: Thank you for your email. Once a parrotlet has reached the age of 6 months, you cannot determine age by visual inspection. Also, parrotlets have different colored iris’ – some are light, some are dark and they are often different colors. This is especially true in color mutations including splits. You say you got this bird in March? It had to be at least 6 to 7 weeks old at that time as that is when they wean. Therefore, the bird absolutely could have been a baby when you got it in March. It would now be around 6 months old so the iris would have changed color. And while it is not a ‘baby’ it certainly could be a young bird. Also, just because a bird ‘isn’t friendly’ doesn’t mean it wasn’t handfed. In fact, unless the bird is screaming, flinging itself around the cage and biting so hard it draws blood and doesn’t let go, you can be assured it was hand-fed. Hand-fed doesn’t mean the bird is a good pet; it only means it was hand-fed and therefore isn’t afraid of people. Doesn’t’ mean it likes people or wants to be around people or that it would be a good pet. It only means that it was fed by a human. That is why I always tell people to evaluate the breeder and make sure it is one who not only hand-feeds but imprints their birds and is honest enough to sell a human-friendly bird as a pet. Not one that was just hand-fed. Its never fair to the bird to sell it as a pet when it prefers the company of other birds and not people. Hope this helps! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's a Split Tail Parrotlet? Why Do Pet Shops Charge More Than Breeders?

Sandee, I found your website (very informative) recently while looking for some info on Parrotlets. I found a sweet girl (not sure if it's a girl ;) ) accidentally at the local pet shop. I found out she is about 4 years old and has been there two years!!! I don't relish the idea of buying from a pet store however, she is SO sweet. She seems to have so much personality. She's quick to "chat" with me and comes right to the side of the cage. She does not seem to bite and just wants to play! She grabbed my heart. They are asking $300 for her! She appears to be a green Pacific. They say the high price is because she is a "split tail". However, when I did some research for a split tail, I couldn't find anything! Is she rare or has a genetic irregularity? Advice? Sidenote, I asked the same question of Debbie at ___________ and she actually directed me to you. She had never heard of a "split tail" and felt as though the pet store was simply uninformed. Thanks for your time! -- Heather Dear Heather: Thank you for your email. I'm sure what the pet shop means is that the bird is 'split' i.e., carries a color mutation gene. If you are not going to breed the bird, it is really irrelevant as to the bird's personality or pet quality. However, as a breeder, the bird, when paired with the correct corresponding color mutation, would produce color mutation offspring. For example, if the bird was split to blue, if it were bred with another parrotlet that carried the same blue gene, they would produce visual blue offspring. As for the price, $300 is a very reasonable amount for a parrotlet being sold in a pet store. When you buy from a breeder, you are paying a 'wholesale' price and therefore the price is much lower. After all, breeders do not have the expenses that pet shops do. Pet shops have to hire people, train them, have a lease and store front to pay for, plus overhead, insurance, taxes, licensing, etc., so of course whenever you buy from a pet shop you would be paying about twice the price of what that bird would cost from a breeder. It's no different than buying anything else wholesale. Hope this answers your questions. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Breeding Age?

I am wondering what is the max age for a P'let and with that how old is to old to breed any p'let? Dear Leah: Thank you for your email. I'm not sure what exactly you are asking. I have no idea the age of the oldest parrotlet and even if I did, it really is irrelevant when it comes to the 'average' lifespan. I believe the oldest human is 120 years old but that is not the 'average' lifespan of humans. Also, which species to which you are referring? There are 7 different species of parrotlets but I am assuming you are talking about Pacifics, which are about the only species left in the US and even most of those are not normal, 'wild-type' birds but color mutations. As someone who has kept them for 3 decades I can tell you that wild caught Pacific parrotlets often lived 20 years or more in my aviary. Obviously, since they were wild-caught adult birds no one knew how old they were when they were imported. Also, as with most animals that are going through the 'domestication' process, their 'average' life spans have been substantially shortened. At one time, as I said, it was not unusual for these birds to live 20 years or more. Now, a bird over the age of 10 is considered 'old'. And, of course, just like with humans, the lifespan of any one individual bird depends on how it was kept, what it was fed, how it was housed, whether it was a pet or breeder, how many birds to which it was exposed, etc. Again, like humans, someone who has a healthy lifestyle is probably going to live longer than someone who does not. As for breeding lifespan, again it depends on the species, how they were managed, the age the birds bred, how many clutches they have produced, what they were fed and sex. Males can breed longer than females; most hens (again if properly managed) can breed 5-8 years; however, I have seen this shorted again because they were bred too early, bred to often, are color mutations or did not receive proper husbandry and management. Males can produce for much longer and I often had males producing into their teens. However, since their lifespans have been shortened, I would say that that timeline has been reduced as well. Hope this answers your questions. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

What to do With a Surviving Parrotlet?

Hello, I have a problem I'm not sure what to do I was hopping you could help. I have tried to find anything that would tell or not but to no luck. what I'm trying to find out is up until 2 nights ago I had 2 parrolets but one was killed. I did keep them in different cages, however at play time I'd let them out together the female always seemed to bet up on my male. then they would get along. I'd really like to keep just the one bird. but I also want to do what's best for my little boy. so do I need to replace the female? my little guy dose seem happier now that she's gone. but he's still calling her name and seems to be calling for her. I played canarys singing for him today and he seem'd to like that alot. I hope you can Help Thank You, Louise Dear Louise: Thank you for your email. I would not run out and try and replace this bird. Your surviving bird will not look at the new bird as a new friend or companion but as a rival and competitor. Unfortunately, we humans tend to put a lot of our emotions into animals. Your male may be calling for her but that is because he is exhibiting instinctive flock behavior. After all, in the wild, if a member of the flock disappears it usually is because they were preyed upon by a predator. This is bad for the remaining flock members and will often cause them to call at first for their lost member and then become quiet, sometimes not eating or playing as much. Again, people often mistake this for ‘grief’ when it really is just a survival instinct. After all, one should not be out flinting around having a good time chattering and chirping if something is going to eat you. I’d leave him alone and let him adjust. Most pet parrotlets are happier as being a single pet bird with no one to compete for their owner’s attentions. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Friday, June 8, 2012

Parent Raised Parrotlet Questions

When should I remove chicks from there parents? They are over a month old they seem to get along well. They sleep together in there nest. Should I leave them housed together or seperate by pairs ? Ty Gary Dear Gary: Thank you for your email. I've written an entire book on breeding parrotlets called The Parrotlet Handbook that has chapters on breeding parrotlets so I'll just answer this very briefly. Remove the male once the chicks fledge otherwise he may attack and even kill his male offspring. Leave the female in the cage to teach them how to eat and keep them fed until they are weaned. Generally, it takes parent-raised birds longer to wean than hand-fed birds so they should be left with the hen until they are at least 8 weeks old. Then you can move them into another cage but separate them by sex. All females together, all males together. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pocket Parrot or Lovebird?

How do I tell if my bird is a pocket parrot, or a love bird? I just found this one the other day. It is so sweet and it looks like a pocket parrot but I am just not sure. It has peach on its head, blue on it's rump and wings, a very beautiful blue and the peach above his beak is so pretty. He is just the sweetest little bird. Your help will be much appreciated. I will try to get a photo for you. Thank you so much and GOD bless you and your family Sheila Dear Sheila: Thank you for your email. There is no species of bird called a ‘pocket parrot’. The term is descriptive and is used for a variety of small parrots including lovebirds, parrotlets, grey cheeks, canary wings and other small ‘pocket-sized’ parrots. That being said, your description sounds like a lovebird – probably a Peach Faced but I can’t tell without a photograph. If you can send me a photograph, I will see what I can do. Thanks! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How Do I Find Parrot Shows?

Subject: I have parrots and would love to go to a bird show,but have no idea when and where they r!! Plz let me know,I live close to ft.wayne,Indiana,thank u " Di" Dear Di: Thank you for your email. The International Parrotlet Society lists bird shows that have Parrot Divisions on our website a But you can also go to and These two organizations are the ones that coordinate parrot shows around the country. They list their various shows on their websites with dates and locations. Hope this helps! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CD of Parrotlet Sounds

Hello I was wanting to know if there is a difference in the sounds on the cd's the one for a cd player and the one for the computer? I can see that one is a hour long and the other is two hours. Do they have any sounds of babies on them I would like to use the sounds to try to help my single pair of parrotlets breed. Any suggestions would be helpful... Thank you for your time. Hillary :) Dear Hillary: Thank you for your email. I'm not really sure what you are asking so I will simply explain. I've bred parrotlets for more than 30 years and it has been my experience that they breed better when they can hear one another but not see each other. This is part of their instinctual nature in that they are part of a flock but because of their aggressive and territorial natures, which will result in attacking other parrotlets or even their partners, my CD's offer the best option for breeders of single pairs to promote this breeding instinct. Yes, one CD is an hour and the other is two but they are on continuous loops so they just play over and over. This is the only difference. After all, these are recorded sounds of over 100 pairs of parrotlets - various species, various ages, males, females, pairs and offspring. This is exactly what these birds would be hearing in the wild. As for suggestions on breeding parrotlets, I have written 3 books (the most recent is The Parrotlet Handbook by Barron's and is available on my website at Parrotlet Ranch, I also have a lot of information on my website. I also write a blog, have a FB page for Parrotlet Ranch, give speaking engagements all over the country as well as internationally and am a co-founder of the International Parrotlet Society and their journal editor which has the most up to date information on parrotlets that can be found anywhere particularly with regard to newsgroups and chat rooms. I hope this helps! Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Tips on Converting a "Seed Junkie"

Hi Sandee, I would like to know if this issue with my parrotlet is something to be concerned about or not. I have read in your book and blogs about parrotlets that they require fresh vegetables and fruit everyday to maintain a healthy diet. I have tried offering almost every possible vegetable and fruit to him, both chopped up in tiny pieces and whole, and he doesn't want to have anything to do with them! I have tried mixing them with his favorite seed mix, but he just flicks the veggies and fruit out of his food bowl with his beak! I have noticed that he particularly likes sunflower seeds and millet, so I add vitamins to his water daily to compensate for the lack of nutrients. He obviously wasn't exposed to fresh food while he was being weaned; is it possible to get him to like them now? I have thought of removing the seed mix for one day, and just offering a bowl of mixed veggies, but I don't want him to starve to death if he refuses to eat it? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. He seems to be a healthy boy, but I am wondering if he will have health issues later on from being on a strictly seed diet? Thanks Sandee! Sincerely, Monica Dear Monica: Thank you for your email. I have been writing on this subject for more than two decades – ever since we first imported wild-caught adult parrotlets that needed to be converted to food they had never seen before. While the first article I wrote was on identification of species, the second was diet and how to get them to eat healthier. I have included various tips in all three of my books, in my blog and on my website. Basically, it takes time, patience and a little ingenuity. First, parrotlets do learn to eat things by playing with foods before they consume them. They are Nature’s ‘reforesters” and have a symbiotic relationship to be wasteful with food. The grabbing, biting, chewing and flinging of food allows them to taste the various foods along with the textures and this is how they learn what to eat. Flinging it about helps redistribute seeds and plant material which is required in Nature to keep a health environment. As for getting your bird to eat a better diet, which is vital for a healthy, long life, let him eat and play with his food. Offer thawed frozen peas and carrots with a little millet or other seed sprinkled on top. When you see him starting to eat that, then you can add more healthy foods such as carrots and broccoli. Also, feeding foods with seeds in it such as kiwi, strawberries, melon, zucchini and peppers will also encourage him to eat the plant material as well as the seeds. Sometimes the form in which the food is presented such as shredding or mashing it can help. Stringing chunks of fruit and vegetables on things like Birdy Kabobs or baking it into bread can all be offered. Cooked fresh foods such as Beak Appetite also can be fed. So try various things. Eventually you will figure out what your bird likes. Best of luck and I hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase ________________________________________

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Do All Species of Parrotlets Breed All Year Round?

Hi, im a BIG parrotlet fan, and I was searching on the internet for info about them, and I ran up on you all.My name is Deronn. I was wondering do you all breed parrotlets year round? Dear Deronn: Thank you for your email. No, not all species of parrotlets breed all year round. Mexican parrotlets have a set breeding season, which is spring and summer. They also do not double-clutch. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Parrotlet Available in CO Springs

Dear Kris: Hi Sandee, I found your Blog, I'm looking for a good home for my Parrotlet. If you have any followers in the Colorado Springs Area. I got my Bird from a breeder at a bird show in Denver. Her Name was Sue Pollan I believe. I may have the last name a little wrong. I've had him for 7 years. I paid $300 for him he is a nice powder blue color, she said he is rare, but I can't remember his exact kind. I just got him cuz he was different from the rest. I'm only asking $125 for him, just to make sure he gets a good home. He is difficult to get out of the cage but once he is out, he steps up and gives kisses. Also mimics my sneeze and laugh. He likes a soft hut to tuck into at night. Might take a little time to warm up to a new person. He sings pretty and is content with little attention. However I have horses and just got horse property and have found that I no longer have any time to spend with my bird. I named him Valentino. I also have a custom made plexi glass cage I also bought for around $300 a few years ago. I would like to sell it for $150. OR sell both the bird and cage for $250 together. They can have the Zerk auto feeder, natural looking tree branches and all his toys for free with purchase of his cage. I can send a photos to anyone interested. I even have another cage if they rather have it. A typical wire cage they can have for free. Let me know if you think you can help me out. Thanks Kris Thank you for your email. The International Parrotlet Society does have a Parrotlet Placement Program for parrotlets. They will attempt to place a bird, once it has been put for adoption, with one of our members who has agreed to care for it. You can find more information at the International Parrotlet Society's website at IPS does not charge either for placement or adoption but we are not a shelter or rescue so there is no guarantee that the bird will be able to be placed but IPS will make every effort. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mold on Parrotlet's Feathers

We have a female parrotlet who has developed what looks like mold on her feathers on her upper chest. She seems to be active and very alert. We have cleaned her cage and changed out her food but it doesn’t seem to be going away. Is there something we else we need to do to help our little Kewwi? Thanks, John and Deborah Holland Camden, SC Dear Deborah: Thank you for your email. I’ve been breeding birds for almost 30 years and I have never heard of a live bird, of any species, developing ‘mold’ on its feathers. If you believe the bird has mold or, more likely some kind of parasite like mites, then you need to bring it to a veterinarian experienced in avian medicine. If it IS mold, mold and fungus are deadly to birds and if she ingests it, she could very well die. If the problem is mites, they must be treated with ivermectin or other pesticides prescribed by a vet. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Appropriate Temperatures for Parrotlets

What is the low and hi temp that is safe for my parrotlet. She loves my enclosed sunroom, where she climbs around the jungle gym I have created for her.....but need to know how warm or cool it can become before it is unsafe for her. Thanks, Dorothy Dear Dorothy: Thank you for your email. Generally, any temperature that you are comfortable in, your parrotlet will be comfortable in. Optimal temperatures are between 60-80 degrees, although they can withstand much lower temperatures if they are acclimated. Believe it or not, higher temperatures are much more of a threat - I would not subject them to temperatures higher than 85 degrees. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Parrotlet Adoption. Life Span

Hello! My name is Joanna. I am a student that very much misses having animals around. My roommate feels the same way and we are looking for an animal that we could have at this stage in our lives. Neither of us has ever had birds before, but we have been doing a lot of research and we are intrigued by parrotlets. We like everything we have read about them and are quite certain we could be good owners. Our only problem is that their lifespan is very long. We would like to be able to say that we will be able to adapt our lives to anything to keep the bird, but we are not sure if we can definitively make this statement. We are more interested in adopting an older bird then and are wondering if you might have any available for adoption. Or if you don't, we would be greatly appreciative if you could point us in the direction of someone that might. Thanks so much!! Joanna Dear Joanna: Thank you for your email. As someone who has bred parrotlets for 30 years, I can tell you they don’t live as long as they used too. The average lifespans of most parrotlets these days is less than 10 years. 15 is considered quite old these days. I can’t think of any other parrot that has a lifespan of that length – all other ‘parrots’ (not cockatiels or budgies or even lovebirds) live at least 20 years or more. As for me, I don’t adopt birds. I know people like to use that term but legally I am not a non-profit shelter that adopts, I am a proud breeder that raises high quality birds that have been conditioned and adapted to be excellent pets. Only non-profit organizations such as the International Parrotlet Society offer an adoption or placement program. With IPS, you must be a member in order to adopt and must agree, sign and adhere to the terms and conditions by which you adopt a bird. I always have a waiting list for birds so I never have older birds available for sale. Hope this helps. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase ________________________________________

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Loss of Baby Parrotlet

Hello Sandee, I came across your blog tonight and really found your information very useful. A little bit about my story...we purchased our baby parrotlet on April 8th of this yr. He was just over 6 weeks old when we took him home. My 8 year old son purchased him with his own saved up money ($250). We had a beautiful cage set up for him with perches, a swing and lots of toys. We were feeding him a seed mix for "small parrots" and everything seemed great. He was becoming much more comfortable with all of us (my husband, myself and 3 kids). He loved being taken out and thoroughly enjoyed scratches on the head. This past Monday (may 7th) we took him to our local petstore to get his wings clipped because he would fly around too much in our house and I was scared he would fly into the window which he did once before. While we were there, the lady suggested we feed him this all fruit pellet food. She said they would normally be eating mainly fruit in the wild. We also purchased a little carrier for him so we could transport him with us if we needed to. After the pet store we took him with us to the park. I was careful to keep him out of any wind (it was a fairly mild day) and we were maybe gone for an hour and a half in total. The rest of the day he was fine. I spent almost an hour with him that night talking to him, petting him, scratching him etc... On Tuesday he was normal. The only thing was he was not used to not being able to fly around in his cage, so he had to crawl around the cage to get to a perch. He spent sometime at the bottom of the cage too. Tuesday night I went to bed at midnight and I saw him perched and fast asleep with his head tucked in his feathers. Wednesday morning he was lying dead on the bottom of the cage. I am so shocked??? We are all so devastated! My kids are crying and asking what happened to Billy bird. I don't know what to tell them...I cannot stop crying myself. He was so adorable and I feel such extreme guilt over this. What did I do wrong??? How could a seemingly healthy bird drop dead at 2 and a half months old? Was it the clipped wings, trip to the park 2 days prior, food change (seeds to fruit)? I also changed his water system a week prior. Maybe he wasn't used to it. Maybe he wasn't drinking enough? I have been wracking my brain for 2 days. I can't get his image of him lying at the bottom of the cage out of my mind. Any insight as to what u think might of happened would be greatly appreciated. We miss him horribly and need some closure to this. Many thanks, Clara Dear Clara: I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your son's bird. I'm sure the whole family is heartbroken by this and I am so sorry. Unfortunately, there is no way to definitively determine what caused the death of this bird without a necropsy (animal autopsy) done by a vet within 24 hours of the bird's death. However, it has been my 30 year experience that the sudden change in the diet is what happened. My website has a page called "Bringing Baby Home" on it and it specifically states that it is never a good idea to switch a bird's diet when it comes home especially if it is a baby. I feel so strongly about this that I send all of my babies home with enough seed (at no extra charge) to last at least a week. However, my page and my books all state if you are going to convert a bird from a seed diet to a pelleted diet it be done over the course of weeks or months not hours. I am sure the bird had no idea that was food and starved. However, that wasn't your fault, it was the person who gave you that advice. Parrotlets are not big fruit eaters in the first place. They like vegetables better. Of the fruit they do eat, they usually contain a lot of seeds such as strawberries, kiwi, melon, etc. For someone to say that is what they eat in the wild is wrong a) because they don't eat a lot fruit b) in the wild, the fruit they have there is not the same as in the US and c) the United States hasn't allowed the importation of wild caught birds in 20 years. Also, pellets are NOT fruit. There are no pellet trees in the jungle. Even if parrotlets were big fruit eaters, they are still not going suddenly start eating pellets. Pellets are simply processed seeds with fruit flavorings and colors which are usually artificial. I always compare them to Ensure for humans. Ensure is nutritionally balanced but a can of it doesn't look like an apple or a carrot and that is how birds determine what is food, by what it looks like. I prefer that my birds diet is the same as mine. I don't eat processed foods and I don't feed them to my birds. My birds get a high quality seed mix but the bulk of their diet are fresh vegetables, greens, fruit, cooked legumes, grains, millet and sprouts. In fact, my books have entire chapters written on diet and what to feed. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your bird but this was not your fault. You received terrible advice and I am very sorry for that. You only wanted to do what was best for the little guy and for that I am very sorry for you and your family. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Are Parrotlets Legal in My State? What Licenses Do I Need?

Hello! I would like to learn more about possibly breeding parrotlets and how to go about finding out if it's legal where I'm located. I don't want to become a big time breeder, but keep things small, maybe one or two breeding pairs. I just want to do it as a hobby. Is it necessary to apply for a license? Kind regards, Jen Dear Jen: Thank you for your email. Unless you live in the state of Hawaii or the territory of Puerto Rico, parrotlets are legal to keep and breed. Certain states do require permits to breed - CO, NY, FL, NJ and GA come to mind immediately but you should check with your state's Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Fish and Game to be sure. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Egg Yolk Perionitis, Egg Laying Hens, Lupron, Diet

Hi Sandee:

I have a Pacific Parrotlet who is just over one year of age. She had a medical crisis on Wednesday that we fortunately caught in time that turned out to be egg yolk perionitis. She's going to be fine now ($500.00 and a lot of worry later!) but the vet says that it's unusual for this to happen in a younger bird. I am of course concerned that this is going to become a regular occurrence now that she's clearly sexually mature. We do cover her cage so that she only gets 12 hours of light a day, and there is no nest box or anything like that in her cage. The vet thinks that one thing that may help is to get her on pellets instead of the Volkman's parrotlet blend she's currently on, as he says the seeds are too high in fat and that can trigger ovulation. But he doesn't see many parrotlets and he's been on me to put her on pellets since the first time we went there even though from what I read a high quality seed blend and lots of fresh food (which she gets and eats) is better for the bird.

What do you think? Will pellets help? Was the egg yolk perionitis just a fluke? Is there any thing I can do more than I'm already doing to ensure that she doesn't lay another egg - she had one lupron shot and gets another in a few weeks to stop it for now but what about next year?



Dear Monica:

Thank you for your email. I tried calling you this AM as you have requested a lot of info and I felt it would be better communicating by phone rather than email. I will tell you have several articles on my website about pellets, Lupron and I even think egg laying pet hens that have no males with them. I do know all of these subjects are thoroughly covered in my books, especially the latest one, The Parrotlet Handbook published by Barron’s.

It is unusual for a hen to have egg yolk peritonitis at a young age but I sincerely doubt that has anything to do with diet. First, ovulation is a natural process in birds and doesn’t need ‘fat’ to trigger it. Second, seeds are a natural part of a bird’s diet – there are no pellet trees in the wild. Also, pellets are simply processed seeds with artificial colors and flavors. I don’t eat processed foods and no one will ever convince me that feeding processed foods to our birds is better than feeding fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, legumes and sprouts. Even pellet manufacturers, the honest ones anyway, will tell you they can’t MAKE a pellet more nutritious than a diet rich in whole foods.

No one can tell you whether or not this was a ‘fluke’ with your bird or if it has some kind of congenital issue or if was triggered by environmental changes. Only time will tell. As for lupron, well, I have an article about it on my site that is based on dozens of vets opinion’s not just one. If the bird is a color mutation, it is more likely this is a birth defect or even genetic abnormality but only time will tell. I will say that reducing daylight hours to less than 12, keeping nest like structures out of the cage and feeding a diet rich in fresh, whole foods is a much better preventive measure than lupron shots or pellets, in my opinion, which is based on 30 years of keeping parrotlets.

Hope this helps and if you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,
Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization
A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feather Destructive Behavior, Feeding Nuts

Thanks Sandee for your great parrotlet work and your blog
I know myself and others look forward to new issues being brought up, and your articulate response to all questions.
Also is there a blog connected with yours for parrotlet fans to discuss parrotlet
tales and experiences ..?
On to the good feisty chattie pac. parrotlet named Odie....our special friend here ...
We waited for months for odies' beautiful tail feathers to grow back in after moulting and radiate
their shape and coloration.....well they grew in nicely but in the last few weeks he has
been nibbling and chewing on them....corncobbing' I call it ......picking off the sides and leaving
the center stem or rachis....he is healthy, gets oodles of attention he wants,
and has a good and balanced diet....attention parrrotlet fans....snow peas have
become a favorite of with prizes in every pod.
So, my question for you this morning is does his picking at Those particular feathers only
indicate emotion stress or dietary absence...?
Your answer would be greatly appreciated
As Odie is aging and being male energized he has become nippy only on occasion
usually around his cage and food which you have always told your readers is quite
normal...acceptance of his moods and having patience is always essential.

I'll be doing an experiment nxt week that I'll send you and the ranch' readers
the result of.....Odie gets a nut bowl daily usually in the afternoon...consisting of
three cashews two almonds and five shelled pistachios...of course he doesn't
and isn't capable of eating all of it....a large amount of nut flour I call it is left in the bowl.
So, I'm planning to weigh the nuts combo before I place it in his bowl, then I will
weigh the nut flour that is left and report the amount of actual consumption to you
And your readers....should be an interesting experiment and eventual result

Thanks again for being there for us all with your tremendous knowledge and answers to
our parrotlet questions

Warm regards

Dear Mark:

Thank you for your kind note. Unfortunately, until we get bird psychiatrists no one can say why animals do anything. I have friends who chew their fingernails - who knows why? Same with birds. I am not one who believes that animals have emotions like people - their behavior is guided by instinct and it has been my experience over the last 30 years that there are as many reasons for feather destructive behavior in birds as there are birds who engage in it. We humans are always looking for a rational explanation and with animals, sometimes there are none or at least none that sense to us highly evolved humans. I sincerely doubt your bird is malnourished or not receiving an adequate diet but that is based on your behavior not the bird's. As for 'emotion' it could be stress or hormones as those are usually the two culprits when it comes to parrotlets. Sometimes you can figure it out and resolve it, sometimes you can't.

As for the nuts you are feeding, please be careful. That is so much fat that bird is receiving that alone could cause heart problems. Of course, he isn't going to eat it all - again, Nature designed birds to cohabitate in their environment and that includes spreading pollen, seeds and nuts to help disburse plants in the wild. Therefore, birds are very wasteful and both play with their food by tossing and carrying it around as well as only eating small amounts from each bite. If you ever have seen a flock of cockatoos in Australia land in a corn field and pick up each ear, take a bite and throw it on the ground or flick the corn out of their mouths, you can see Nature in action and how the symbiotic relationship between birds and their environment. To me a much more conclusive experiment would be to see how much weight that bird gains over the course of 6-12 months eating that many high fat nuts. Both in the wild and in zoos, studies are done to see both what birds are eating and how much but they do it by checking crop contents. That, or analyzing droppings' contents, are the only scientific ways of determining what birds eat as well as how much.

Best of luck with your bird. Please keep me posted.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,

Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization

A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Can a Shelter Import Birds?

Thanks for your letter Sandee,

Yes, the situation is intolerable. I understand that the only way to import new birds is to become a bird sanctuary. Have you any input on this? I have been breeding birds for a long time, poultry mostly, and I know that it is very important to bring in new genetics regularly to keep the flock healthy. If there is a way to become a bird sanctuary and import more specs, would you see that as a benefit to the national flock?

Sincere warm regards,


Dear Cailin:

No, that is not how you import birds. A sanctuary is a shelter for abused animals and they are ALWAYS against breeding. The entire purposed of the WBCA importation exceptions is to breed for conservation purposes only. NOT sell into the pet trade.

The ONLY way to import is to be a bona fide 501(c)(3) educational and/or conservation organization as is IPS. In fact, IPS was recognized as the ONLY organization able to import parrotlets and one that worked directly with USF & W. In fact, the ONLY reason there are ANY mutation parrotlets (or other parrots for that matter)is because IPS petitioned USF&W at the time of passage of the WBCA to include them because biologically, mutations can only be sustained in captivity. In the wild, Nature culls them out.

But people these days do not want to support organizations. Its so much easier to just get online and ask people. No one has to do any work, pay any money or support the avian community. In fact, I am writing an article, as well as submitting a paper to two national avian conventions, about how the loss of bird clubs will eventually lead to the loss of pretty much all of our birds eventually. This is a very real and distinct possibility and one that is largely being ignored by the avian community. Everyone is so caught up with animal rights and other 'red herrings' that by the time people realize, it will be too late.

For almost all the species of parrotlets, it already is. So, no. If you want to import parrotlets, you should join IPS and support it because once the bird clubs are gone there will be NO WAY to import anything unless you are a zoo or looking for color mutations. Normal birds will not be imported.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,

Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization

A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

Spectacle Parrotlets

Hi Sandy,

You may remember me. My name is Cailin Callahan and we have spoken on the phone a few times back when I was looking for breeder pairs of spectacled parrotlets. Presently I have two pairs -- only one of which has begun reproducing. This pair is unrelated and have produced 4 babies, presently fledging and appearing to be made up of 3 hens and a male. They are 4 weeks old having hatched all in the first week of December. I have another breeding pair which has yet to do anything. The male of this pair is the brother to the male of the reproducing pair and the hen of this pair is the sister of the hen of the reproducing pair. Offspiring from this couple will be double first cousins to the offspring of the first pair and so they would be a little too closely related to take the progeny of these two pairs and breed them.

I am writing to find out if you are still breeding spectacled parrotlets and if you know of an aviary called "three sisters" in North Carolina. I understand she was looking for specs to trade recently but I have been unable to find her. Also, I will soon be looking to sell these babies which have all been regularly handled and hand fed intermittantly. None of them bite but one does shout at you a bit at first when you handle him. They would all make great pets or breeder birds.

Thanks for any help you may be able to give and best of luck to you in 2012!


Dear Cailin:

Thank you for your email. If you have read any of my materials you would know that Spectacles didn’t come into the US until 1992, right before the Wild Bird Conservation Act was passed. This prohibited the importation of all the species of parrotlets except for color mutation Pacifics. The birds that were imported in 1992 came from Europe so they were not wild caught birds and there were less than 20 pairs imported. This means that pretty much all of the birds around today are all related in some way – many of whom are very closely related. Just because you get birds from someone else, is no assurance that the birds are not related. I love to tell the story of a friend who bought WILD CAUGHT macaws – one from TX, one from FL and one from CA. He had them DNA’ed and ALL of them were related. And if that happened with wild caught birds, you can be assured that the original pairs that came in the country in 1992 were probably all related because they all came from one breeder in Belgium. The only reason the birds are still around today is because a) the International Parrotlet Society created a breeding cooperative and a managed studbook so that the original pairs’ offspring were as widely distributed as possible and b) the birds that came in were very healthy and were excellent founder stock. Unfortunately, each generation brings the inbreeding quotient higher and higher until eventually the birds will all be sterile or have incapacitating genetic abnormalities. There is no way to prevent this since the Federal government will not allow the importation of new stock. Very sad and as someone who was one of the first people in this country to breed Spectacles and is a co-founder of the International Parrotlet Society who worked for 2 decades to preserve these species, it is incredibly sad. But, people wanted to make money breeding color mutation Pacifics, as well as feeding their own ego’s to make pretty new colors, so the other species – Mexicans, Blue Wings, Yellow Face and even the more common ones such as Green Rumps and Spectacles are pretty much genetically, if not literally, extinct in this country. Another 10 years, and they will all be gone. Very sad.

3 Sisters Aviary used to be members of the International Parrotlet Society but no longer are so I have no idea if they are still around or not. All of my birds are in breeding cooperatives and are traded with zoos and biological parks. I do not sell them into the pet trade.

I wish I had better news for you but unfortunately, that is the state of birds these days. Best of luck to you in your endeavors and if you would like to get more detail, I have a blog as well as an article in the July/August 2011 IPS journal on genetically extinct species of parrotlets and how they came to be that way. It is sad but an interesting read and I am one of the few people in this country that can accurately report it since I was there.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,
Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization
A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

Pacific or Green Rump?

I was wondering if a Pacific Parrotlet can be just as nice and gentle as a Green Rumped? Or if a Green Rumped will like to come out of it's cage and be with me just as much as a Pacific would. I am having a hard time deciding on which type and not really sure of the real differences in temperment. Is it true the Green Rumped won't nip? And how can you tell if it is a good baby or not in temperment? Or is that not possible...
Thank you,

Dear Apryl:

Thank you for your email. All birds are individuals and you cannot determine an individual bird’s personality or pet quality based solely on its species or even sex. A bird’s individual personality, how it was imprinted (socialized and handled as a young chick) and the training it receives from its owner are the biggest determining factors in how a bird is going to behave. Pacific parrotlets are the most popular pet parrotlets in the world. There are literally tens of thousands of them kept as pets and that includes being owned by children, older adults and the handicapped. Green Rumps, like all birds (or all animals for that matter) certainly DO bite any anyone who claims otherwise clearly doesn’t know what they are talking about. Parrotlets are not domesticated animals like puppies or even cockatiels or budgies and they will not act in their normal manner around strangers. This is a survival instinct ingrained in them by Nature in order to help them survive. Therefore, the judgment about which particular bird is right for you is best left to the breeder, which is why it is SO important to find one that a) has enough experience to be able to judge a parrotlet’s personality and b) is honest enough to match each bird’s personality with the appropriate owner.

Best of luck and I hope this helps!

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,
Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization
A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase