There is hardly any living being other than a parrot, who is so much loved by one and all. Courtesy their vivid colors and charming persona, they have earned immense popularity among avian lovers and keepers. Macaw, Cockatoo, African Grey, Amazon, Eclectus, all of them have captivated millions with their unparalleled beauty and unfathomable companionship. And, in return, humans have also showered these lovely creatures with pure and unending love.
And then there are those that have the same level of adulation for these birds but lack the expertise to handle these big birds. But they are in for a surprise: not all parrot species are as big as Macaws or Cockatoos. Neither are they just medium-sized like Indian Ringneck or Amazon.
There are many small species that are God sent for those who love parrots and want to pamper them but are afraid to hurt them by accidentally manhandling them for their unmanageable large size. Let’s discover the smallest parrot species out there that rivals the personality and charm of larger ones but are easy to manage for beginners.
Smallest Parrot Species by Size
Almost the size of the smallest bird in the world, the hummingbird, Buff-faced Pygmy Parrots are a little bigger than the size of an adult human’s thumb. Measuring around 3 inches from beak to tail, they can only be seen in the forests of New Guinea and on the island of New Britain in the Australian continent. They have an overall green plumage with some yellow tinges here and there.
Also known as Blue-crowned Pygmy Parrot due to their blue crown area, the species is a group of four subspecies including the nominate one. Found in abundance in their two home islands, all the subspecies have slight differences in the color tone of their plumage. They display an interesting way of feeding themselves by hanging upside down from the tree trunks while savoring lichens and fungi inside the barks. They majorly survive on this unusual diet.
Buff-faced Pygmy as Pets
However unique and beautiful these little parrots are, it has become impossible to domesticate them. Multiple attempts to captivate them has resulted in these birds succumbing to early deaths. The majority of it is due to the unavailability of their unique diet in captivity. Also, less activity and zero flock members in captivity contribute much to their discomfort. One can domesticate them but tending utmost care to their diet and other needs is a must for their survival.
Smallest Pet Parrots
Deriving their name from the Canary Islands located off the coast of northwestern Africa, Canaries are the descendants of Finches. With a variety of subspecies, their size ranges from 3.7 inches to 9.4 inches with their weights starting from less than an ounce. Andean siskin and lesser goldfinch are the smallest ‘true’ finches in the world. Canaries and finches are commonly kept as pets around the world for their small size and colorful plumage. Many small-sized finches like society finch and zebra finch are good beginner birds as they are easy to keep.
Canaries and Finches as Pets:
Their lively personality and pleasant voice enchant many bird lovers. Though these birds are not known for their talking abilities, they have a very soft and melodious voice that is suitable for an apartment atmosphere. They are usually kept by the bird owners with other bird companions as they enjoy the company of other finches over a human companion. Keeping a single canary or finch might lead to behavioral problems and serious health issues.
Finches do not require much handling as they are generally uncomfortable to human touch. They are best for the bird lovers having a busy lifestyle as these cute little creatures won’t demand any cuddles from them. They do, however, require a spacious enclosure that allows them to fly freely for a good wing exercise session.
Smallest Quiet Parrots
Little olive green parrots, Pacific Parrotlets are famed for their small size and quiet persona. Famed as ‘Pocket Parrots’, they are just 4.5 to 5.5 inches in length, weighing around 30 grams. Though native to tropical forests of South America and Central America, they are widely distributed across the globe. The reason being them being the most famous pet parrotlet species.
With a personality of a large bird in that pint-sized body, these birds have become a favorite of parrot lovers in recent times. Affectionate and loving, Pacifics tend to get attached to their favorite human quickly and stay a loyal companion for the rest of their lives. Living for up to 25 years with dedicated care and a great diet, they are soon becoming a hit as a beginner parrot.
Their new-found status of being everyone’s favorite pet parrot can also be majorly attributed to their quiet demeanor. With those small-sized lungs, they lack the capacity to create a raucous. Their whisper-soft chirps hardly cross the room and this has made them a preferred choice as a pet parrot for apartment dwellers. Their loudest squeaks equal the normal decibels of mid-sized parrots.
But those looking for a talking parrot like a Quaker or African Grey, Pacific Parrotlets might not be the ideal choice. These birds can learn to speak a few words but they are mostly in a raspy tone. However, they can very well learn to whistle environmental sounds. This bird is an ideal pet for all beginners and apartment dwellers. With playful personality and dedicated companionship, they are surely a keeper. And keeping them has become all the more lucrative with numerous mutations to choose from.
Smallest Companion Parrots
Nobody can define companionship better than Lovebirds. They are an epitome of togetherness. Native to Africa and Madagascar, they are spread across the globe for their loyalty as a pet parrot. Around 5 to 7 inches from beak to tail, their size varies in all the nine subspecies. But not all nine species are widely kept as pets owing to their special dietary requirements. That said, with numerous mutations of the nominate and a few main species capable of petting, pet lovers have varied alternatives to choose from Lovebirds’ genus.
An extremely playful and social creature, Lovebirds demand the time and attention of their mate. So, many people bring them in pairs to offer them company. This results in the human being ignored by the bird. If the purpose of adopting these little birds is to have a companion, then one must bring a single bird home and dedicate his time and effort to form a bond with him and be his human mate. These birds reciprocate by offering a loyal and affectionate bond for around the whole 20 years of their lifespan. But unlike many other parrot species, Lovebirds would hardly be able to talk to their owners during their companionship as they are not known to be the talk of the parrot world.
Smallest Talking Parrots
Native to the Australian continent, Budgies are the smallest talking parrots of the kingdom. Their small size of around 6 to 7 inches from beak to tail and less weight of 30 to 40 grams has made them popular among parrot lovers. With an overall green plumage and black scalloped markings on the back, they can be easily spotted in large flocks. The numerous mutations like blue, albino, pied, rainbow, opaline, fallow, turquoise, etc. further added to their already high demand.
Budgies as Pets:
Hands down the most petted bird, Budgies holds the reputation of a great talker. Though their sweet personality besides their tiny size makes them desirable, it is their ability to become adept at the speech that has made them a star parrot. Their vocabulary skills can rival those of the larger parrots. While learning hundreds of words, they make sure to understand the context in which to use them.
Against the less competitive female Budgies, male Budgies are known to be more talented to earn the title of ‘best talkers’ among both. Their speech seems like a hushed up audio recording. Though the raspy voice makes the speech a bit difficult to understand, their talking prowess is undeniable. A budgie holds the record of memorizing as much as 1700 words. And then, there are phrases and whistles in their talent store box to take the entertainment a notch higher. More about budgies here.
Choosing parrot pets over the usual dogs and cats has become more common these days. The reason being that these vivid birds offer the same level of companionship and loyalty to the owner as of the four-legged pets and that too, at lesser effort and time spent. Everyone is aware of the commitment that a dog or a cat demands. And so does a large bird like a Macaw.
Having a small parrot as a pet not only lets the owner dedicate a certain amount of time without having felt burdened, it also takes the pressure off by having an easy to maintain bird at home. Hence, it is always a great idea to choose a small parrot first and then climb up the ladder of owning sizable birds.