Freya may only weigh 28g, but she’s no featherbrain. While most people might have considered getting a dog or cat during the lockdowns of 2020, Felicity Alonzo – better known as Flick – and her partner Byron decided to adopt a pacific blue parrotlet named Freya. She was born in August 2020 and she’s already full-size.
“Getting Freya has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” Flick said. “She’s tiny, but she’s incredibly intelligent and has a lot of love to give.”
Never heard of a parrotlet? It’s not surprising – they’re very rare pets in Australia. These birds are the smallest species of parrot in the world, but they have the personality of a large parrot inside a tiny body – not to mention they’re very smart.
“Freya knows many tricks already,” Flick said. “She can high-five, spin around, flip on her perch, fetch a rubber band and place it on a peg or in your hand. We’re currently working on rollover, flight recall and toilet training her to go in a specific spot.”
Freya is also very intuitive and affectionate, like a tiny dog. She will come flying to the nearest shoulder when she hears the fridge door open, or if the TV is on and she knows her humans are sitting on the couch. She loves to be cuddled early in the morning and before bed at night. Flick says parrotlets may sound like the ideal pet, but they need plenty of time and affection.
“We try to allow her a cage-free lifestyle,” Flick said. “When we’re home, her cage door is open. She can choose to be wherever she wants to be, and it’ll always be on someone’s shoulder or nestled in their hair – if she’s not eating, that is.”
And parrotlets eat a lot. It’s not as simple as buying a bag of seed; they enjoy a diverse diet, with seed only making up a small portion. Freya eats a variety of fruits, vegetables, sprouts and her parrot pellets, with seed as an occasional treat. Her absolute favourites include kiwifruit, strawberries, chillies, snow peas and capsicum seeds.
Training is also a big part of Freya’s daily routine. While she picked up all her tricks relatively quickly, training is a bonding exercise and it’s how she came to trust her humans so easily. But when Flick and Byron first met Freya, she wasn’t so loving.
“She may have a tiny beak, but she can and did draw blood in those first few days after she arrived,” Flick said. “She doesn’t bite anymore, but it really takes time, commitment and patience to get these little creatures to love you. You get what you give, and it’s so worth it!”
To follow Freya’s birdie adventures and see her impressive tricks, visit her on Instagram at @freya_parrotlet.
SUPPLIED BY FELICITY ALONZO