You know what they say—birds of the same feather flock together. And true to these old words, finding a pet bird you jive with is a starting step to a successful human–pet relationship. According to the American Museum of Natural History, there are about 18,000 bird species worldwide. Among this vast number of feathered friends, the Furry Companion would like to recommend you 11 species that can be the best pet birds for you.
One of the cutest best pet birds to have around are budgies. They also go by the name of parakeets. These 6–8-inch birdies are extremely friendly and affectionate. Capable of learning tricks and, amazingly, talking, they are the smaller version of parrots. One proud budgie owner mentioned that his budgie even dances!
With a little taming and training, budgies will fill your home with a loving and light energy. They need a few hours spent out of their enclosure. They like bonding with their owners for a couple of hours a day, so do not forget to socialize and attend to your budgies.
If not given ample attention and quality time, budgies may feel bored and lonely. Other than that, you can keep them preoccupied with a cage full of entertaining pet bird toys. In other aspects, these parakeets are not so noisy, nor do they damage furniture. Perhaps they can do a little damage to their toys, but their toys last longer compared to big birds or animals.
Looney Tunes fans will go crazy over having a real-life Tweety bird in their homes. Several kinds of canaries exist, and each requires different caring. However, all canaries essentially need a cage with enough space where they can fly around and play with their bird toys.
Contrary to the warm and cute Tweety bird we know and love, canaries are low-maintenance and solitary birds. They would rather be independent than be handled by humans. They should coexist with pet owners quietly by themselves or in a bonded pair. A tip for housing canaries is not to cage together two male canaries as they tend to fight.
In our opinion, Tweeties are a perfect match for people with busy lifestyles. Because they’re solitary, they do not require as much playtime compared to other birds. Canary owners do need to allocate time to prepare their food and water daily.
The cockatiel is a bit taller than the two previous birdies, but it’s still small enough that you can conveniently house it at home. They are a perfect choice for people who want loving and affectionate companions.
I recommend cockatiels as first birds for many families because they’re great starter birds, says Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM. She adds “They’re big enough to have interactive personalities, and they can say some words if you work with them, but they’re also very social and love to hang out with their family members.”
These intelligent birds know how to whistle. If there’s one trick to teach this pet bird, it is making sounds on cue. Unlike parrots and parakeets, these birds usually do not know how to talk. Instead, they can mimic household sounds like alarms, doorbells, microwaves, and telephones. Make a cockatiel your partner in crime for fooling neighbors that somebody is at their door with a cockatiel-made doorbell.
Flying from Australia, cockatiels are gentle and majestic birds you can tame and make a feathered companion. Being sensitive creatures, cockatiels love spending time with their owners. Make sure to have regular playtime with them outside their birdcage. Birds like this often fall into depression and self-destructive behaviors like feather-picking if ignored or neglected. But don’t be too troubled! They are capable of keeping themselves entertained with their little toys at home if you aren’t around.
Some people do not like small birds because they are easy to lose; thus, they can opt to care for cockatoos. These 18-inch-tall feathered friends have a big heart and love to bond with their human companions.
Like cockatiels, cockatoos crave the attention of their owners for hours on end! Cockatoos that do not get the love and affection they need end up severely depressed and start plucking their feathers.
According to Christal Pollock, DVM, DABVP, “Cockatoos are very social and extremely sensitive. These species are at increased risk for feather destructive behavior and self-mutilation.”
This intelligent bird can also do tricks such as basketball, catch, and even roller-skate! They can speak a few words and understand verbal command cues, as well.
In taking care of your cockatoo birdies, you need a big enclosure. Compared to the tiny birds, they eat a lot and need regular cleaning and grooming. However, living with cockatoos is pretty amazing, given their ability to pick up tricks and show their affection to owners.
Green cheeks are 11-inch-birds from South America. These easygoing animals are great pets for first-time bird owners. These little critters do not wreak havoc in the home or their toys. With their size, you can tell they are easy to look after. First-time owners will appreciate how affectionate these birds are as they bond over tricks and feeding time.
Playful by nature, their favorite pastime is playing and socializing with their owners. Although they know how to speak a few words, they are intelligent birds and part of the quieter bunch of avian friends. One green-cheek conure owner labels her pet bird as their watchdog as she signals the family if anybody is around the house late at night.
It is funny to think doves made it among the best pet birds when they are flying around town and leaving droppings on your car. When domesticated, hand-fed, and cared for, doves are gentle birds. They might not be as demanding as other birds, but they appreciate the quality time with their owners. Sometimes they are even content without their masters!
Make sure to provide ample space for them to exercise and stretch their wings. These laid-back doves only need a few hours outside their cages to socialize and play. Importantly, time outside the cage basking under the sun sustains Vitamin D in their medium-sized bodies.
Another pet bird for busy owners are finches with their small stature of four inches. These birdies do not demand much attention, like cockatoos. They like being in groups of three to five birds to keep themselves from loneliness.
They need a spacious cage big enough to fly in and nutritious food and water for daily sustenance. Clean the cage now and then to keep their homes in shape. Owners need not play with them so much nor take them out of their cages too!
Rick Axelson, DVM points out “Finches are flighty, timid animals and prefer the company of other finches. Because of this, an interactive bond is not likely to develop between you and your pet; however, young birds may be finger trained.”
Dubbed as the smallest macaws, Hahn’s Macaws from South America stand at 12–14 inches. Caring owners find these small macaws to be intelligent, playful, and charming creatures. They are the chatty kind, talking your ear off for days on end!
They have fantastic mimicry abilities that can entertain guests. Some pet macaws do not even need your cues to greet goodbye or hello. Like some of our birds here, they crave for their owner’s time and attention. If the attention stops, macaws become sad and depressed.
If there is one thing about macaws that is incredibly hard not to love, it’s that they can show their affection. Along with this affection is their ability to interact with others, birds and people alike.
They like playing and tearing toilet paper rolls for fun. So watch out for your toilet paper at home! Keep your macaws in a cage spacious enough for them to roam around and leave toys and toilet paper cardboards for stimulation.
Also, Hahn’s Macaws are not too picky with their food. Give them nutritious fruits and nuts, and they will merrily keep you preoccupied in conversation throughout the day.
These macaws are the biggest parrots out there and need expansive enclosures. They grow up to 40 inches with bodies covered with vibrant blue plumage. If you have watched the Disney animated film Rio, do not mistake Blu for a Hyacinth Macaw. Blu is another species of macaw.
Do not be swayed by their size! Hyacinth Macaws are gentle giants and big softies! They love socializing, playing, and cuddling with their owners. Similar to the cockatoo, they can do some tricks like basketball, and talk a lot too. Not only do these cages need a longer time for cleaning, but they also require more time for hygiene and feeding. Logically, big birds cost big bucks. Aspiring pet bird owners need to prepare their wallets for the needs of their bright birds.
Another charming species of tiny birds is the popularly known love birds. You will surely not get enough of their affectionate and fun personalities packed in their cute bodies.
Lovebirds are low-maintenance pet birds because of their size and food intake. They are generally easy to adopt. As part of the parrot clan, lovebirds have beautifully colored plumes that will captivate you.
Contrary to popular belief that lovebirds need to be kept in pairs, lovebirds are capable of being independent! With a few hours of play and socializing each day, lovebirds will stay loyal to their loving owners. However, lovebirds need space too! Give them a comfortable cage spacious enough to fly in because lovebirds turn neurotic when jammed in a cramped space. They begin to harm themselves if they lack the freedom to fly.
Inside their cage, it is vital to put toys and perches. Since they are big chewers, make sure their toys are non-hazardous and durable enough to withstand their bite, like a wooden block. Mix bird-safe fruits and vegetables in their diets as well to keep them healthy and energized.
Pionus, with its distinct blue to green plumage, makes it to the cut best pet birds. Workaholics may also consider the Pionus parrot as their feathered companion as they are the perfect balance between clingy and aloof. They show much devotion to their owners while not minding spending time alone.
Like any freedom-loving bird, Pionus parrots need about three hours spent outside their comfortable cage. Exercise and playtime are great ways to keep your bird amused. Add a swing set inside their roomy cage so that you can enjoy their adorable antics.
When trained consistently, these birds know how to pick up words quickly. They may also discover how to act respectfully and quietly around the house, like making loud shrieking noises. They can be great pets for people living in small apartments. If you are a new pet bird owner, Pionus is an excellent choice for you because they are effortless to feed. Leave fresh and healthy vegetables on their food trays to snack on, and they will let you be on your way.
Feathers over Fur
People who typically choose dogs and cats as pets do not know how good it is to have a pet bird around the house. Based on these 11 best pet bird choices, the Furry Companion will tell you why this flock makes for good pets.
Birds, in general, are intelligent creatures. Training and teaching your pet bird tricks is no problem. They pick up skills quickly and entertain their companions by using tools and counting. Some birds like parrots even mimic and talk to their beloved owners.
Interestingly, our feathered friends have problem-solving and cognitive capabilities that can make a bird mama proud. The next time somebody calls you a bird brain, take it as a compliment. They do not know just how esteemed this name is.
As gentle and sociable beings, the best pet birds love to play with their owners. The pet birds we have chosen are also capable of showing affection by perching on your shoulder; some will even cuddle with you. There are parrot owners whose birds greet them goodbye when leaving for work and proclaim they love them for good measure.
Birds are capable of recognizing their owners and their toys. Some species you can play with for a short amount of time per day, and the rest of the time, they can handle being independent and focus their attention on their toys.
Low-Maintenance Bird Care
Birds are relatively hygienic. They clean and preen their feathers every day. Owners need only to lightly spritz and wash their bodies at least twice a week with non-chlorinated water.
The best pet birds are small to medium-sized and do not require much housing space. Comfortable caging with perching stands is already a haven for these little feather balls. Pet birds are perfect for people living in the city as well! Pet bird owners avoid the hassle of sneaking in cats and dogs into apartments. They need a relatively small corner compared to cats and dogs.
If you have been told, “You eat like a bird,” then it was because you eat very little. It is a good thing for owners that birds do not eat much. However, pet birds need sustenance from pre-washed fruits and vegetables, high-quality pellets, and seeds. Your pet bird’s diet mustn’t solely consist of seeds and grains alone. They lack essential vitamins and minerals your bird needs.
Because of their small quarters and tiny eating proportions, cleaning up after them is not such a big hassle. It takes a good 10–20 minutes of your day feeding and cleaning their cages daily.
Whether they are big or small, birds are the calmest creatures you can have at home. With ample space, good food, and varying levels of attention, these birds are sure to return the favor of showing affection.
What makes them excellent pets is that they are relatively inexpensive to care for and house. These intelligent creatures’ antics and tricks will surely melt your stress away after a long and tiring day. We hope you find your flighty match on this list so that you can choose a feathered companion, and you can shake your feathers together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the friendliest pet bird?
If you are looking into getting a pet bird, consider these friendly birds for starters. These bird species are easy to take care of and bond with.
- Hyacinth Macaw
- Green-Cheeked Conure
- Hahn’s Macaw
What is the easiest pet bird to take care of?
For pet lovers who are considering getting birds as pets, it will be an excellent choice to go for breeds that are easy to take care of. Bird breeds that are friendly and easy to maintain are
Which birds make good pets?
A pet bird is no doubt simpler to take care of as compared to a pet dog. Of course, there is still a responsibility that comes with getting a bird as a pet. To know which birds are best for you and your family, consider which breed suits your and your family’s lifestyle. The following birds are some of the best choices because of their personalities and needs.
- Meyer’s Parrot
Which birds are the most affectionate?
If you want a pet bird that’s affectionate and likes to cuddle, these specific species have this personality:
- Green Wing Macaw
What is the quietest pet bird?
Owning a loud bird might cause inconvenience to the household, or if you are living in a limited space, it might include neighbors as well. If you want a pet bird that’s perfect for you, consider the following breeds:
- Senegal Parrots
- Pacific Parrotlets
Are birds dirty pets?
Yes, a pet bird can be quite a dirty pet to have. Birds can somehow create a mess even outside of its cage. Birds are messy eaters, so it would be reasonable to see crumbs of food scattered everywhere.
Do pet birds poop everywhere?
Birds are not as smart as humans, and they may poop just anywhere. But if you keep your pet bird inside a cage, the poop will only remain on the premises of the cage. It’s important to note though that birds can undergo house training to poop on command.
What is the best bird for a first time owner?
The best pet birds to start with are finches and canaries. These two are low maintenance and won’t need too much time to take care of. You can also try parakeets and cockatiels. They have amazing personalities, easy to tame, and quiet.
As a Marketing graduate, Stephenie believes in the beautiful fusion of science and the arts. When she isn’t rewatching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. for the umpteenth time, she writes, volunteers for different outreach programs, and attempts to exercise. Steph aspires to be a Persian or ragdoll cat mom in the future.