What Do Different Parrotlet Chirps Mean?

By Naomi Millburn

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If friendly, spirited and compact birds are up your alley, then a parrotlet might just be the pet of your dreams. While these diminutive parrots indeed make their share of chattering and chirping sounds, they're far from being overly noisy creatures. "Pocket parrot" is another commonly used moniker for these little guys.

Subtle Chirps

A soft chirp from a parrotlet is often as simple as a friendly "hello." If your parrotlet chirps at you the minute you walk through the door after a long day at the office, it could mean that he's happy to see you -- it's been awhile. It could even mean that he wants a little interaction from you, perhaps a little time spent out of his enclosure getting petted by yours truly.

Noisy Chirps

If a parrotlet produces a chirp that is markedly noisier than usual, it could indicate something a little more than a sweet hello. If a parrotlet is used to getting exactly what he wants, whenever he wants from his owner, he might try to use that to his advantage. If he chirps noisily at the sight of you, it could mean that he knows that vocalizing is the most efficient path to his goal, whether a tasty piece of cut-up fruit or even a play session with you.

Communicating Amongst Themselves

Chattering, tweeting and chirping sounds are all common and normal vocalizations for parrotlets. They often employ these vocalizations to communicate amongst themselves, whether they're simply calling out to each other or socializing while busily looking for sustenance out in the wild.

General Noisiness of Parrotlets

As far as overall noise goes, chirping or otherwise, parrotlets are mostly silent creatures. They're not even capable of shrieking or screaming, unlike many of their fellow parrots. Parrotlets aren't even usually as noisy as the majority of canaries out there. Talking skills in the parrotlet world depend on the specific species. Copying words comes naturally to certain species of parrotlets, even if the people in their lives make no attempts to instruct them. Spectacled parrots (Forpus conspicillatus), for one, are often stronger talkers. Some parrotlets can learn to copy words, but only with the diligent guidance of their owners. Pacific parrotlets (Forpus coelestis) usually aren't as strong in the talking department when compared to some other parrotlets. Note that parrotlets that receive ample human interaction also tend to be stronger talkers.

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