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Home > Birds > American White Parrotlet: Origin, Facts, Pictures & More!

American White Parrotlet: Origin, Facts, Pictures & More!

American White Parrotlet

Within the large family of pet birds, there is one that is super tiny and not very noisy: meet the American White Parrotlet, which is a color mutation of the Pacific parrotlet species. While this tiny bird lacks the screaming skills of other parrots, it is nonetheless intelligent, funny, curious, and acrobatic. In fact, he is the smallest parrot in the world but has a strong personality, exuding great charisma and a powerful beak for his size. His temperament is that of a large parrot trapped in a small body and eager to show everyone that he deserves attention.

Read on to learn all about the origin, history, colors, and mutations, and where to adopt or buy one of these amazing birds!divider-birdcage

Species Overview

American White Parrotlet
Image By: JTKP, Shutterstock
Common Names: Pacific parrotlet, Lesson’s parrotlet, celestial parrotlet
Scientific Name: Forpus coelestis
Adult Size: 4.3–5.5 inches long ; Weight: 30 grams
Life Expectancy: 15 years

Origin and History

The American White Parrotlet is a small bird native to Latin America. In the wild, it is mainly found in Ecuador and Peru, where it is quite widespread. It lives mainly in wooded and dry regions.

The name “Pacific parrotlet” is generally accepted as the most commonly used. But, depending on the geographic regions, this bird may be called differently. This is particularly the case in Europe, where it is frequently encountered under the term celestial parrotlet, or even sparrow parakeet, although it is not generally classified with other parakeets. In America, it is more commonly referred to as the Pacific parrotlet, Lesson’s parrotlet, or even pocket parrotlet due to its mini size.

It belongs to the Psittacidae family, which includes parrots, parakeets, and cockatoos, among others.divider-birdcage

American White Parrotlet Colors and Markings

American White parrotlets in a cage
Image By: JTKP, Shutterstock

The original color of the Pacific parrotlet, which matches that of the bird in the wild, is predominantly green. The feathers are greyish on the upper part of the body (back and wings), and its tail is green. Its sides and chest are green, tinged with gray. The facial mask – forehead, cheek, and throat – is delimited by a lighter and rather vivid green. Its beak is gray, its eyes are brown, and its legs are pink-brown.

Quick and Basic Explanation of Mutations

The coloring of the plumage of birds is done mainly thanks to two types of pigments:

  • Melanins
  • Carotenoids

Melanin pigments are made up of two types called eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for dark pigmentation (black, gray, dark brown, etc.) and pheomelanin for lighter pigments (fawn, orange, brown, etc.).

Carotenoid pigments generate yellow or orange, even red, and brighter tints.

Here are the most common variants:
  • Albino: Lack of feather pigmentation. Combination of the lutino and the blue mutation. The bird is all white with red eyes—recessive
  • Lutino: Removal of all melanin. The bird is all yellow with red eyes. The blue areas of the wild color have turned white—recessive
  • Cinnamon: Removal of eumelanin; the bird is therefore yellowish. The back has turned brown—sex-related
  • Gray: It is a combination of a gray-green bird and a blue bird. The bird’s phenotype is gray, but it is actually a gray-blue with a single or double factor gray—dominant
  • Blue: The bird’s carotenoids have disappeared, resulting in a blue bird with dark brown eyes. The face is turquoise blue, and the male shows a cobalt color behind the eye, on the rump and wings—recessive
  • Fallow: Decrease in eumelanin. The bird is golden and has red eyes. It is a paler version than the wild form. The fallow mutation is also expressed in another color (blue, for example); in this case, the bird is lighter in color but still with red eyes—recessive gene.
  • Dark Green, Cobalt, or Olive: The whole plumage is darker. In the case of the olive-colored mutation, the bird’s back is darker green. In the case of the mauve mutation, the bird is a dark grayish mauve color—dominant
  • American Yellow Mutation: This mutation is designated as diluted; there is no more trace of green in the bird. The plumage is lemon yellow and darker yellow on the face. The male keeps the blue on the wings and the rump—recessive
  • American White Mutation: It is the combination of American yellow with blue. The bird has a whitish plumage veiled slightly blue. Male still shows cobalt on wings and rump. Recessive gene.

Where to Adopt or Buy an American White Parrotlet

American White parrotlet on white background
Image By: Yokwar, Shutterstock

The price range for a parrotlet is between $200 and $300. However, since the American White Parrotlet is a specific mutation of this species, you should expect to pay a bit more. Besides, it is not that easy to find a reputable breeder of this particular parrot online. You will therefore need to do extensive research in your area and visit potential breeders to ensure that the living conditions of your future feathered companion are optimal. And if you are looking to purchase a baby American White Parrotlet from a pet store, good luck! These little birds are indeed hard to find in pet stores, so your best bet would be to find a local breeder – or ask your avian vet for good referrals.divider-birdcage

Final Thoughts

Living with this charismatic little bird will give you all the experience of owning a parrot, but without the complications that can arise with these larger species of birds. However, the American White Parrotlet can be very stressed in homes with multiple animals or young children. If these aren’t problems for you, then an American White Parrotlet will provide you with many years of entertaining and lovable companionship.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Yokwar, Shutterstock

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