Parrotlets may look like little green parakeets, but they are not priced like parakeets, nor do they share the same temperament. At 5 inches in length, they are also a couple of inches smaller than parakeets.
There are several species of parrotlet, but only two are commonly found in the pet trade, the Pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis) and the green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus passerinus), though most of the others are available if you inquire from breeders.
The Pacific Parrotlet (Forpus coelestis) has become one of the more popular small birds in the country, and is the most common of the various parrotlet species. Originating in Mexico and Central and South America, these “pocket parrots” have caught on fast. They have the personality of a “large bird in a small bird’s body,” and are often compared to Amazon parrots, a family of parrots said to be their close cousins. Indeed, they do resemble the Amazons, with short, stout bodies and a somewhat blunt tail. The male is green with a blue streak behind the eye and blue on the rump and wing-coverts. Females lack the blue coloring, and may or may not have a faint blue streak behind the eye.