The green-rumped parrotlet is, like most parrotlets, a fairly small species of parrot. At around 12 centimeters (4.8 inches) tall and around 23 grams in weight, these birds are the smallest species of parrot in the Americas. This species lives primarily in Northeastern South America. with a range between the eastern reaches of Columbia, Venezuela, Trinidad and parts of Brazil and the Guianas. However, humans have introduced the species to other areas, particularly Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica among other locations. The species prefers open and semi-arid areas, and can thrive in gallery forest, dry scrubland, the edges of rainforests, deciduous woodlands and perhaps most importantly, farmland and deforested areas, which have become far more common in their distribution area over the past two hundred years. The species does not migrate, though they do wander a surprising distance in pursuit of food.
By way of diet, the green-rumped parrotlet subsists heavily on seeds. The seeds of the grasses and forbs (flowering plants that are not grasses; the sunflower is an example of a forb) are its primary diet as this provides the proteins and other nutrients the bird needs to survive and thrive. These seeds are found in abundance in the species’ habitat, making it an ideal evolutionary trait to live off such such seeds. However, a few instances have been recorded of the species eating the seeds of certain fruit trees, such as the guava and the Annona, though this is uncommon. Because of their ability to adapt to the increasingly deforested reaches of its territory, it has become a common bird in its home range. The IUCN’s Red List designates it as a species of Least Concern.
The species breeds during the rainy season starting in June and ending in November. They are a sexually dimorphic species as the two genders are distinct from one another. Males have a bright blue patch of plumage on their wings that females of the species lack; however, females of the species have a vivid yellow patch of plumage on their heads. These birds make light, twittering calls, and contact calls in particular are unique to each bird, used by mated pairs of birds to identify each other through the lands. The bonds between mates are fairly strong for the one to two seasons while the species breeds. Indeed, the species is extremely gregarious and tend to come together in large flocks of birds.
This is a species that is kept as a pet by many human beings. Mostly these birds are bred from pre-existing captive populations of the species, as bringing these birds in from the wild invites a great deal of legal trouble. However, parrots, even small parrotlets with highly social natures, are extremely difficult animals to keep as pets. Parrots in general are described as being as needy as a three year old child, and the owner must adhere to specific behaviors to ensure the bird regards them well. A poorly adjusted pet parrot is oftentimes very loud and aggressive, even towards its owner.