Matomo-Image-Tracker Psittaciformes - Forpus - Pacific Parrotlet


Pacific Parrotlet - Forpus Coelestis - Least Concern

The Pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis), also known as Lesson's parrotlet or the celestial parrotlet, is a species of small parrot in the family Psittacidae.


Pacific parrotlets are small, olive green parrotlets. They are 11–14 centimetres (4.3–5.5 in) long and typically weigh 1.1–1.12 ounces (31–32 g). Wild Pacific parrotlets have olive green and grey bodies with blue streaks behind the eyes, just above their ear covert feathers and around the back of the head. Eyes are dark brown, and beaks and feet are light peach. This species demonstrates sexual dimorphism: males have a bright cobalt rump with blue patches on the tail and undersides of their wings as well as lighter, yellow-green faces. Females are mostly green with much duller blue patches behind the eyes and no cobalt rump or blue in their wings. These dimorphic color variations are true of most color mutations as well. Like all parrots, Pacific parrotlets exhibit zygodactyly, meaning two toes face forward and two face backward.

In captivity there are many color mutations of Pacific parrotlets. These mutations include: blue, American yellow, American white, European yellow, white, lutino, and albino, as well as other, rarer colors. There are dilute, pied, freckled, marbled, cinnamon, and fallow versions of many these mutations as well.

Distribution and Habitat

Wild Pacific parrotlets are native to western Ecuador and northwestern Peru. It has been suggested that the spread of populations into northwestern Ecuador is a result of the continuing deforestation of the Chocó rainforest. Pacific parrotlets have also been reported in the middle Marañón valley. In 2014 a small flock of Pacific parrotlets was reported near the Rio Mataje in Nariño, southwestern Colombia.

They are abundant across their range; populations are relatively undisturbed by human activity. Pacific parrotlets typically live in subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and heavily degraded former forest. Pacific parrotlets are non-migratory, meaning they stay in the same area year-round. They often gather in flocks of more than 100 birds to socialize and feed.


The Pacific parrotlet is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. The number of mature individuals in the wild is not known, but population size seems to be stable.


Like all other species of the genus Forpus, Pacific parrotlets are highly gregarious. They are almost always seen in flocks of up to 100 individuals.


Pacific parrotlets are very protective of their eggs and chicks. Each clutch has 4-6 white eggs, which are incubated for an average of 18 days. In the wild they nest in tree cavities or on fence posts. They have also been observed to nest in abandoned nests of necklaced spinetails and pale-legged horneros.


Pacific parrotlets tend to feed on berries and cactus fruits, but are not picky in their feeding.[4] In captivity, parrotlets eat many fruits, seeds, vegetables, and herbs.


This species is not very common in pet stores and is valued by breeders. Its normal price range is $150-200 USD. Since 1930 the U.S. has had an established breeding population in captivity, before CITES laws preventing importing wildlife from foreign countries. Captive Pacific parrotlets can be expected to live up to 25 years with good care and regular veterinary examinations, although individuals may have shorter or longer life spans.

Pacific parrotlets, like many larger parrot species, can learn to "speak," or mimic, though their "voices" are not as clear as larger birds. Their vocabulary is relatively limited compared to larger parrots.

The species is well-known among parrotlet breeders and owners as being feisty and curious despite their small size.

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Psittaciformes, The Parrot Index, a part of Phoenix Feathers © 2016 - 2023
Page last updated: 12/24/23

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