Birds have been kept as pets for a long time. They make wonderful companions and are entertaining, loving, and easy to train. With their unique sounds, attractive colors, and smart tricks, they can bring joy to any home they are kept in.

But the question is: Which bird makes a great family pet? What are the living and housing requirements of keeping birds as pets?

If you are planning to own a bird as a pet, it is important to do thorough research. From their housing needs to activity requirements to diet, you should learn about everything before you bring one home.

This is why we have compiled a list of the 10 best pet birds for you. In this article, we will also discuss the living and food requirements of these birds.

Best Pet Birds: Our Top 10 Picks

People keep all types of birds as pets. From pet birds that talk to quiet pet birds to the ones that are smart, there is a large number of birds that you can keep in your home. If you are a beginner and don’t know much about keeping birds, we urge you to bring home a small bird. It is relatively easier to look after a bird that is small in size.

You won’t have to make a lot of effort to keep such a bird happy. However, if you are an experienced bird keeper, you can go for other types of birds as well.

Let’s take a closer look at the 10 best pet birds we have added to our list and the kind of living arrangements you would need to make for these birds. So without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Canary

Photo by Jelle Taman on Unsplash

Key Features

Weight: 1 ounce

Height: 3 – 4 inches

Temperament: They like to be around their owners but don’t like being pet or handheld a lot

Lifespan: 10 – 15 years  

Nick-named as a “Forgotten Bird” by bird enthusiasts, this bird has been a popular companion of humans for hundreds of years. It was used for detecting poisonous gases in the coal mines in the 1800s. This bird has more than 200 breeds, each having a unique skill or physical appearance. The famous Warner Bros. cartoon character Tweety is also a canary, which increased this bird’s popularity in the 1940s.

Originally found in the Canary Islands, canaries were imported to Europe in the late 1500s, where they fell in love with their singing abilities. These birds are popular for their songs, vibrant colors, and appearance. They don’t like to be handled but want you to be around them. To keep them happy, you should hang their cage in your room, so they can see you most of the time. Only the male canary birds sing while the female canaries only chirp.

These small pet birds are 3 – 4 inches long and weigh only an ounce. They can be found in a variety of colors and breeds. In food, they can consume vegetables, sweet potatoes, and spinach. They should also be given fresh water daily. With proper care and nutrition, they can live for 10 – 15 years. 

2. Parakeets

Photo by Elizabeth R. on Unsplash

Key Features

Weight: 30 – 40 grams

Height: 7 inches

Temperament: Jolly and loving

Lifespan: 10 – 15 years

Parakeets are famous for their friendly and playful nature. They are native to Australia and are still found in large numbers in the Australian grasslands. They were brought to Europe by an English naturalist, John Gould, in 1840. These exotic pet birds soon became popular in Europe as pets.

Later in the 1890s, when Australia banned exporting parakeets, breeding these birds became a profitable business in Europe. Then, in the 1950s, they were brought to America, where they quickly gained popularity as pet birds.

Due to their friendly nature, they make the best pet birds for beginners. They are quick learners and can be easily trained. So you wouldn’t have to worry about investing a lot of time in training parakeets. Additionally, parakeets don’t need a lot of space, which makes them ideal pets for apartments or condos. Also known as Budgies, they whistle, sing, and can provide entertainment to their owners with their cute actions.

Parakeets are the most common pet birds and can grow up to 7 inches in length. They weigh around 30 – 40 grams in total. Parakeet’s diet should include seeds, pellets, vegetables, and some fruits. The average life span of parakeets is between 10 – 15 years.

3. Cockatiel

Photo by Sultan on Unsplash

Key Features

Weight: 3 ounces

Height: 12 – 13 inches

Temperament: Docile, friendly, and snuggly

Lifespan: 20+ years

Popular for their comical nature, these birds are medium or small-sized and belong to the Cockatoo family. Native to Australia, cockatiels are also named weiros or quarrions. They were originally found living in a northern region of the Australian continent. Cockatiels were first discovered in 1770 but became popular as small pet birds only in the 1990s.

Cockatiels are considered docile, jolly, and snuggly. They love being on their owner’s shoulder all the time. They are more popular for their singing and whistling and are the only small parrots to have a head crest. With their friendly nature and easy training, these are considered as one of the best pet birds.

These birds are considered the smallest in the Cockatoo family and measure around 12 – 13 inches in length. Mostly, their body color is gray with a yellow face and crest. They have a long tail and weigh about 3 ounces. They can be easily tamed and make great pet birds. Cockatiels are considered comical because they mimic sounds and even their owners’ voices. With proper care and a healthy diet, they can live up to 20 years.

4. Dove

Key Features

Weight: 5 – 8 ounces

Height: 11 – 13 inches

Temperament: Gentle, sweet, and quiet

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years

Doves are quiet pet birds. They are popular for their gentle and sweet demeanor. They are quiet and are not very demanding. Being perceived as an emblem of love and tranquility, doves are considered to be the gentlest of birds. They don’t demand much attention and are mostly suitable for people living in apartments.

Doves belong to the family of Columbidae of birds. They can be found anywhere in the world, except in the deserts of Sahara, the islands surrounding Antarctica, and the Arctic. The most diverse types of doves can be found in Australia, such as the Diamond doves, Emerald doves, and Peace doves. Due to their gentle and quiet demeanor, doves are considered one of the best pet birds for seniors and those households that don’t like any noise and activity. Doves are also suitable pet birds for beginners as they are not very demanding.

Doves are 11 – 13 inches in length, and their body weight is 5 – 8 ounces. They can be found in brown or gray colors, and most of them have a black ring around their necks. They have black eyes and a black beak. Doves can live up to 12 or 15 years with proper care and a healthy diet.

5. Conures

Key Features

Weight: 3 – 9 ounces

Height: 10 – 15 inches

Temperament: Social, comical, and friendly

Lifespan: More than 20 years

Conures are exotic pet birds, popular for their comical and jolly disposition and vibrant body colors. They are medium-sized parrots that also have a close resemblance to Macaws due to their bright colors. These birds are social and enjoy human interaction. What makes them different from other pet birds is that they don’t get attached to a single owner and are friendly towards all the family members of a house.

Conures have more than 100 subspecies which makes them one of the most diversified families of parrots. These birds are also one the smartest pet birds as they are very intelligent. They are highly demanding birds and would need your constant attention. They have a reputation for being assertive and aggressive. Conures love to play and are described by their owners as being noisy and mischievous. Some Conures will cry shrill screams, so they are not very suitable for quiet households.

Conures are native to the South American forests, but some other types of these birds can also be found in southern and west-central parts of Brazil, eastern parts of Bolivia, Argentina, and western parts of Paraguay. Their natural habitat is forests and woods, where they can be found as a flock of 10 – 15 birds on the treetops or inside hollow trees.

Conures can be found in various colors and sizes when it comes to their physical appearance and features. Some of these birds are smaller in size, such as the Green-Cheeked Conures, while others may be bigger in size, such as the Blue-Crowned Conures. An average Conure would be 10 – 15 inches in length, with a body weighing around 3 – 9 ounces. They have an average lifespan of more than 20 years.

6. Finches

Key Features

Weight: 0.3 – 0.13 ounces

Height: 8 inches

Temperament: Quiet and gentle

Lifespan: 8 – 10 years  

Finches are one of the most common pet birds and are popular for their quiet demeanor and low maintenance requirements. They are fragile and small pet birds that need to be handled gently and with care. They are not very demanding of their owner’s attention but do require to be kept in pairs or flocks.

Finches can be found anywhere in the world. They have been spotted across America, Africa, and even on the Hawaiian Islands. Their natural habitat includes forests and wooded areas, but some species of the Finches have also been found in deserts.

Finches are known to be very social birds, so keeping them in pairs or groups would be ideal for them. Ideally, they should be kept in a large aviary to keep them active and thriving. They don’t need much human interaction but need to have other finches around.

There are different species of finches that can be kept as pets, such as Owl Finch, Zebra Finch, Gouldian Finch, and Society Finch.  These are small pet birds that are only about 8 inches in length and 0.3 – 1.3 ounces in weight. They have a grey-colored body with black and white throat bars, and their cheeks have orange patches. They live for 8 – 10 years.

7. Amazon Parrots

Key Features

Weight: 10 – 27 ounces

Height: 10 – 17 inches

Temperament: Comical and very intelligent

Lifespan: 40 – 50 years

Amazon parrots are one of the most popular pet birds that talk. They are known for their comical nature, bold temperament, and high intelligence, making them one of the smartest pet birds. With their high intelligence levels, it is essential to have active interaction with them and give them a lot of attention as well as mental stimulation. Due to their high maintenance needs, they are considered among the best pet birds for experienced people.

Native to America, these birds can live up to 40 – 50 years, and in some cases, they can even live up to 80 years. They are 10 – 17 inches in length and can weigh around 10 – 27 ounces in total. Amazon parrots are most often green in color. The feathers on their head or forehead can vary greatly depending upon the type of species it is. So it is very common to find an Amazon parrot with the forehead feathers in lilac, yellow, blue, red, and purple colors.

8. African Grey Parrots

Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

Key Features

Weight: 14 ounces

Height: 13 inches

Temperament: They are very intelligent and loving

Lifespan: 40 – 60 years in captivity; 23 years in the wild

These birds make it to our list of best pet birds because they are very intelligent and smart. They are quick to learn and can imitate any sound they hear. They are called “the Einsteins of the Bird World” because of their intelligence and their ability to imitate.

The African grey parrots don’t need a lot of attention and need medium maintenance. They can live up to 50 years, which means they get to spend a long life with their owners. This makes them very loving and attached to their owners.

An African grey parrot is a medium-sized parrot that is 13 inches in length and weighs around 14 ounces. They are mostly grey or black with dark grey eyes. They are known to live for 40 – 60 years when in captivity but live for approximately 23 years when out in the wild. 

9. Lovebird

Key Features

Weight: 2 ounces

Height: 5 – 6 inches

Temperament: They are loving towards their mates and are overall sweet

Lifespan: 10 – 15 years

The second last pet bird on our list of the best pet birds is called a Lovebird. These small pet birds get their name because of the close bond they develop with their mates. Lovebirds are social birds. They should be kept in pairs as they don’t like being alone.

These birds can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, and Madagascar. Their natural habitat is the savannas—the treeless plains and tropical grasslands. Lovebirds have 9 subspecies, with each one having unique physical features and traits. But overall, these birds are highly social and loving.

Due to their sweet nature and loving demeanor, these birds are ideal for apartments and condos as they don’t make much noise. But they can be aggressive and sometimes become hyperactive.

Lovebirds are 5 – 6 inches long and weigh around 2 ounces. Their upper body color can be green or orange with a blue lower back and a red beak.

10. Macaw

Key Features

Weight: 4 ounces to 4 pounds

Height: 12 – 40 inches

Temperament: They need a lot of attention, are assertive and loud but also friendly and playful

Lifespan: 10 – 15 years

The last one on the list is a Macaw which is also considered one of the best pet birds. They are famous for their beautiful looks, vibrant colors, and their extended tails. They are huge birds and are very demanding. They have a reputation of being assertive and vocal but are also affectionate and playful. With their friendly and jolly nature, they are popular as best pet birds. 

They have variegated bodies, exhibiting multiple colors, large beaks, and a unique appearance. They can be 12 – 40 in length and weigh between 4 ounces to 4 pounds. Macaws are known to live for as long as 50 years.

Irrespective of which pet bird you choose to bring home, it is essential to gain some relevant experience and do thorough research. Birds are sensitive and fragile creatures, and without proper care or living conditions, they can become sick, anxious, depressed, and even die.

So, it is important to educate yourself and make appropriate living arrangements for your pet bird before you bring it home. Medium and large-sized birds shouldn’t be kept in small cages as doing so will restrict their free movement, and this will impact their growth.

We hope this extensive article about the best pet birds will help you adopt a bird that is best suitable for your lifestyle and your home. No matter which bird wins your heart, it is essential to look after it and provide it with nutritious food. You should also take your pet bird for regular vet visits, so it stays healthy and doesn’t get sick.

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