The Best Pet Birds [11 amazing birds you will want with pictures]
Birds can make excellent pets. Yet, when you walk into pet shops, it can be overwhelming how many types of birds you can choose from. Which one is best for you?
The best pet bird to choose is the one that fits your lifestyle. Before choosing a pet bird make sure that you think about the traits you want in a bird. There are many types of pet birds to choose from so it’s important to do your research before you bring one home.
Keep reading to learn more about these great pet birds!
Pet Bird Requirements
Birds take space, attention, food, water, and exercise. Different species need more or less of each of these requirements. Noise level and child-friendliness are other factors, as well.
No matter which bird you choose, you will be adding a fun and loving member to your family for years to come but choose wisely!
Here is a list of what we think are the best pet birds! Read them over and decide for yourself which ones you think are best.
List of the Best Pet Birds
African Grey Parrot
There are a lot of parrot species to choose from when considering the best pet bird. If you are looking for a long-lived, intelligent bird, the African Grey Parrot is a great choice.
Dubbed the “Einstein of Birds,” African Grey Parrots are intelligent birds and are said to be as smart as a 5-year-old human.
These are large birds, measuring approximately 13-19 inches tall. They sport beautiful grey feathers that fade and darken in varying shades.
This is a popular bird choice because of its talkative nature. However, it is important to note that the African Grey Parrot is a chatterbox. He will make noises throughout the day.
Due to their intelligence, African Grey Parrots will need plenty of mental stimulation. This can take the form of toys and one-on-one interaction with the bird.
They truly excel for the experienced bird owner, learning new words and tricks to astound. Without proper mental activity, African Greys may bite.
These birds are great for owners who want strong bonds with their birds. They usually become more attached to one person over others.
Their longevity means that this is a pet that you can expect to have in your family for a large part of your life.
African Grey Parrot Quick Stats
Life Span: 40+ years
Pros: Talkative, Intelligent, sociable, love human interaction
Cons: Can bite, needs constant attention, not great for beginners, loud
Price Range: $400-$5000
Amazon Parrots are popular birds that originate in South America.
They are beautiful with stunning green feathers along their body. Amazon Parrots have vibrant accents of blue, red, white, and yellow along their tails, wings, and heads.
These are medium-sized birds ranging from 10 to 16 inches tall.
These are favorite pets for many owners because of their intelligence and beauty. They are social birds who like their cousins, need a lot of attention.
African Parrots are also intelligent and can learn many words and sounds.
These birds can do great for attentive owners, but they can have behavioral problems. If they do not receive enough mental stimulation, they bite and destroy.
Amazon Parrots have eclectic palettes. They love to sample human food and can become overweight if they have too many treats.
These parrots should have a balanced diet full of veggies, parrot bird food, and some fruits.
They need large cages and plenty of stimulating toys to play with. They can include ropes, ladders, and plenty of perches.
Amazon Parrots are fun to watch and listen to. They make great companions for experienced bird owners.
Amazon Parrots Quick Stats
Life Span: 40-50 years
Color: Green body with blue, red, yellow, and white accents
Pros: Talkative, Intelligent, beautiful, social, fun to be around
Cons: high-maintenance, can bite and destroy things, needs a lot of attention, not great for beginners
Price Range: $1000-$3000
One of the best smaller birds is the Budgie, also known as a Parakeet. These are popular, low-maintenance, quiet birds.
These little birds are only about 6-8 inches long and come in a variety of colors. They usually sport green breasts with a yellow head and blue tail.
However, Budgies can have grey, blue, and white mutations.
These birds are happiest if kept with other budgies. Be sure to adopt them from a clean pet shop. The group-like nature of Budgies can expose them to diseases.
Budgies eat mostly seeds. Yet, they should also eat some leafy greens to balance their diet.
Even though these birds are small, they can learn to talk and do tricks. They are capable of bonding with their owners.
Budgies will even let you hold them and perch on your shoulder. Budgies are great for families with children and beginning bird owners.
Budgie Bird Quick Stats
Lifespan: 7-15 years
Color: green, blue, yellow, white
Pros: sociable, great for beginners, can talk, friendly, kid-friendly
Cons: can be susceptible to diseases spread in groups
Price Range: $20-$40
Canaries are small, bright yellow birds that enjoy being around people. They have been one of the best pet birds for hundreds of years.
Canaries do not need a companion in the cage. In fact, two males in the same cage will sometimes fight.
Canaries produce melodic chirps and songs. They prefer cages that are longer rather than wider so that they can fly about.
Canaries don’t do well with drafts and can become susceptible to extreme cold. So, it’s important to keep the canary at room temperature.
Canaries do not like handling. However, their songs make up for any antisocial behavior.
Canary enthusiasts have bred different species of Canary to sing in a multitude of ways.
Canaries may be the best choice for beginners. They are small birds and don’t take up much space. They are also beautiful and have lower maintenance than a lot of other pet birds.
Canary Quick Stats
Lifespan: 5-15 years
Pros: easy to care for, great for beginners, melodic singers, beautiful
Cons: territorial, solitary, does not bond with human
Price Range: $20-$40
Cockatiels are affectionate, small pet birds. They are a popular species of bird because of their fantastic social behaviors.
They sport grey, yellow, and white feathers and have rouge-like orange spots on their faces. This gives them a cheery look.
These social birds attach themselves to a particular person within the household. Cockatiels are the best birds for someone looking for a cuddly companion.
Cockatiels have distinctive whistles that fill a house with joyful sounds. They do not screech. They can learn a few words, but they mostly stick to whistling.
If they get upset, they can even make a hissing sound. If you get a female cockatiel, be aware that she can lay eggs even without a male.
This can deplete your bird’s calcium stores in her body, so make sure to add extra calcium to her diet.
The Cockatiel is a playful bird and small enough for apartment living and is ideal for families.
Be advised that Cockatiels need a lot of chewable toys. They spend most of their days gnawing on their toys with their beaks.
Cockatiels are well known for being affectionate birds and we think are the best pet bird choice for owners who are seeking the perfect companion.
Cockatiel Quick Stats
Color: yellow, grey, white
Lifespan: 20 years
Pros: sociable, affectionate, great family pet
Cons: destroys objects, needs mental stimulation
Price Range: $110-250, depending on the species
Cockatoos are another species of parrot that has become a popular pet bird. They are part of the family of crested parrots., which is this bird’s defining feature.
These medium-sized parrots have white feathers all over with a yellow crest on their head. However, there are black and red-breasted varieties, as well.
Cockatoos are very sociable and cling to their owners. They are emotional birds and can be both silly and angry.
They are said to have the intelligence of a two-year-old and sometimes act like one.
Cockatoos are also noisy birds. Cockatoos have a mischievous side, too. They can chew your belongings and bite.
They are also notorious for destroying cages, so you will need a sturdy one.
They are foragers by nature and mostly dine on nuts and grains. They do enjoy the occasional berry, as well.
Cockatoos are the best pet birds for people who enjoy clingy and emotional birds.
Cockatoo Quick Stats
Size: medium to large
Color: white, yellow, grey, and many other colors
Pros: fun, bold, silly, intelligent, loving, sociable
Cons: high maintenance, clingy, emotional, destructive
Price Range: $600-$1500
Conures are small to medium-sized birds. They come in a variety of vibrant colors. These birds are great pets for families.
They are gentle and don’t cling to one family member but share their love with the whole family.
Conures can speak a few words, but they mimic sounds really well. They are friendly and have big personalities.
These are active and loud birds, so they are better for experienced bird owners. Conures need really large cages to fly around. They also enjoy taking baths.
A bird bath is a great addition to a Conure’s home, but they also enjoy showers with their owners. This is essential to maintain their beautiful feathers.
Conures eat berries, leaves, vegetables, and healthy table foods.
These birds are great for owners who enjoy active birds with big personalities.
Conure Quick Stats
Size: small to medium
Lifespan: up to 20 years
Color: many vibrant colors
Pros: great family pets, sociable, intelligent, active
Cons: high maintenance, mischievous, loud
Price Range: $200-$3000
Macaws are well known for their antics. Their bright, bold feathers mirror their bright, bold personalities.
These are large birds that need large cages. They feed on nuts and have large, hooked beaks made for cracking these nuts.
NOTE: Macaw beaks will bite stray fingers that wiggle their way into their cage! So, children (and adults) should be cautious.
Macaws are loud and enjoy toys they can chew up. They want people to give them attention, so they cause a ruckus. These are not birds for beginners.
Still, macaws make fantastic companions to the doting bird enthusiast. If socialized well, these birds can be gentle.
Macaws are the best pet bird for owners who love a bird with personality.
Macaw Quick Stats
Lifespan: 30+ years
Color: many vibrant colors
Pros: Intelligent, bold, fun, loving
Cons: high maintenance, mischievous, loud
Price Range: $2000- $4500
You may not be familiar with a pigeon as a pet, but these common birds make great pet birds. There are a variety of pigeons to choose from in many different colors and patterns.
The most common are grey with an iridescent black head, wing stripes, and tails.
Pigeons are incredibly gentle, quiet, and smart birds. They make a therapeutic cooing sound. Pigeons are sociable and enjoy sitting on their owner’s shoulders.
They are easy to care for and won’t need a lot of supplies, toys, or special attention.
Pigeons are also ideal if you want to try breeding birds. They mate for life and are very caring parents.
You can keep pigeons both indoors and outdoors. Be aware that they do not do well outdoors in extreme cold.
Pigeons are the best pet birds for beginning bird owners who want to delve into breeding.
Pigeon Quick Stats
Lifespan: In captivity, up to 15 years
Color: a variety of colors
Pros: easy to care for, great for beginners, easy to breed, sociable, gentle, quiet
Cons: sensitive to cold temperatures,
Price Range: $50-$450
Pionus parrots are cousins to the Amazon Parrots. Due to their duller coloration, these parrots are often overlooked as potential pets.
If you are looking for the intelligence, size, and build of the Amazon parrot, but with a better personality—this is the best pet bird for you.
Unlike its cousin, the Pionus parrot is a quiet bird. It is also easygoing.
These birds are less expensive than the Amazon parrot, as well. They are also great family birds who don’t cling to one person alone.
These are the best pet birds for owners who love the intelligence and playfulness of Amazon Parrots. Yet, they want a quieter and more easygoing companion.
Pionus Parrot Quick Stats
Lifespan: 25-40 years
Color: Grey head, muted green feathers along wings and breast, white spots, red tail
Pros: Quiet, Easy-going, Intelligent, Great for families
Cons: Needs a large cage, needs lots of mental stimulation
Price Range: $200-$900
Zebra Finches are a great pet bird for beginners. Unlike their more brightly colored cousins, these finches have grey heads and capes.
Their beaks are bright red. Their breasts are white and their wings are chestnut brown with white spots.
These are smaller birds, only about 4 inches long, which makes them perfect for a small apartment.
They prefer to be in pairs. They need very little one-on-one interaction from their owners. In fact, Zebra finches do not bond with humans.
Yet, they may eventually get to the point of coming to your hand.
These birds have quiet, trilling chirps. They need large cages where they can fly around to get exercise with lots of perches.
These cages should typically be about 18 x 30 inches.
Zebra Finches are perfect for the bird owner who wants an easy-to-care-for, quiet bird.
Zebra Finch Quick Stats
Lifespan: 3-5 years
Color: Chestnut brown, grey, and white
Pros: Quiet, sociable with other birds, great for beginners
Cons: need large cages, not affectionate with humans
Price Range: $20-$100
Related Pet Bird Questions
What items do you need for a pet bird?
You need a cage, appropriate bird food, water, and toys. Some birds need more than others.
It is important that you research the bird you intend to adopt before you get it to get the correct supplies.
Should pet birds always stay in their cage?
Pet birds need exercise like other pets. It is important to have a cage that is large enough for them to move around comfortably.
It is equally important to allow the birds to move around outside of the cage as much as possible.
How often should I clean a birdcage?
Large birds will need their cages cleaned out at least once a week or more. Smaller birds may be able to go up to a month without needing their cages cleaned.
Remember that clean cages ensure your pet bird stays healthy.
What is an Avian Veterinarian?
An Avian Veterinarian is simply a vet that specializes in the care of birds.
A quick tip is to make sure you have an Avian Veterinarian in your local area before you decide to have a pet bird.
What are the best pet birds for beginners?
Great question! You can find a list of the best pet birds for beginners here.
The Best Pet Bird For You
There are so many species of birds to choose from. If you think about the amount of time, space, care, and sociability you want from a bird, you can narrow down your choices.
The best pet bird will be the one that completes your family.