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16 Types of Pet Birds (With Photos)

The world of companion birds is as diverse and vibrant as the birds themselves. There are many types of pet birds to choose from, including small and lively parakeets and finches, intelligent African Greys, and vibrant Macaws.

As of 2023, the American Pet Products Association estimates that almost 6.1 million households in the US are home to at least one pet bird. These numbers highlight the strong connection between people and their feathered friends and the rising popularity of keeping birds as pets. 

Here are a few examples of possible pet birds to bring feathered delight into your home, whether you’re attracted to the canary’s beautiful melody or the antics of a caique. 

16 Types of pet birds

1. Lovebirds

Fischer’s Lovebird | image by Peter Békési via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Agapornis
  • Beginner friendly: yes, but it requires more attention than other species
  • Size: 5.1 – 6.7 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years

One of the most popular kinds of pet birds, lovebirds are a species of little parrots recognized for their friendly nature, vivid colors, and engaging personality. However, much attention is needed to keep them healthy and content. These wonderful creatures require a well-rounded diet to flourish.

In addition, they need a roomy aviary or cage. The cage should allow the birds to spread their wings and make brief flights. It should also include a variety of perches with varied textures and widths to promote healthy feet. 

Intelligent and sociable, lovebirds enjoy the company of other birds. They form close relationships with their human caretakers and relish the opportunity to play and interact outside of their cages under supervision. Having a partner will also help them avoid feelings of isolation and boredom.

2. Cockatiels

Cockatiel | image by Joshua_Willson via Pixabay
  • Scientific Name: Nymphicus hollandicus
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 12 – 13 inches
  • Lifespan: 16 to 25 years

Cockatiels are from Australia and are among the most popular pet birds worldwide. They’re members of the parrot family, and you can easily recognize them by the crest on their heads that are used in social interactions. These birds are extremely social and require much care and stimulation to be happy, so you should spend at least an hour playing and socializing with your bird each day. 

Some cockatiels have been seen to imitate human speech, although their more well-known talent is imitating other birds and environmental sounds. Their distinctive, endearing whistle is a common form of communication used to indicate pleasure or approval. Female cockatiels are often quieter and less prone to mimicking sounds, whereas males are more talkative and playful.

3. Parakeets

Budgerigar | image by AndreaGibhardt via Pixabay
  • Scientific Name: Melopsittacus undulatus
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 7 – 18 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 15 years

Parakeets, also known as budgerigars or budgies, are a common household pet due to their friendly demeanor, bright colors, and small size. They require a lot of attention and playtime from their human caregivers and other budgies. Isolation can lead to sadness and undesirable habits, so even if you just have one budgie, spending a lot of time with it every day is crucial. Male budgerigars, in particular, can pick up on a wide range of words and phrases and even imitate human speech. 

The typical lifespan of a budgerigar is between 5 and 15 years with the right kind of care, however, this range is quite variable depending on factors including diet, exercise, and overall health.

4. Canaries

Domestic canary on a cage
Domestic canary on a cage | image by
Yavor Uzunov via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific Name: Serinus canaria domestica
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 4 – 5 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years

Canaries, especially males, are renowned for their positive demeanor, vivid coloring, and lovely, unique singing. Because of their resilience and ease of care, they’re a great option for people new to owning birds.

They’re energetic birds that require time out of their cages to exercise and fly. You should also provide your canary with a selection of toys to play with. 

Although they don’t require a lot of handling, these birds like spending time with their human companions. Canaries, when properly cared for, can live up to 10 years, giving their owners many years of friendship and entertainment.

5. Finches

Gouldian finch
Gouldian finch | Image by Onno Kalverda from Pixabay
  • Scientific Name: Fringillidae
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 3 – 10 inches
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Finches, which are little passerine birds, are common pets due to their beautiful colors, pleasant sounds, and friendly attitude, particularly the Gouldian finch. These low-maintenance pets require spacious horizontal cages to fly and socialize with other finches. 

A healthy diet consisting of pelleted food, fresh greens and vegetables, grubs, and seeds is part of the care provided. These creatures may not be hands-on pets, but their aerial activities provide joy to their owners. Finches have mild vocalizations, making them a good choice for anyone who wants a pet bird that’ll be less noisy.

6. Macaws

Hyacinth macaws
Hyacinth Macaw | image by Donna Sullivan Thomson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Ara
  • Beginner friendly: No
  • Size: 12 – 40 inches
  • Lifespan: 35 to 50 years

Macaws, commonly referred to as the “giants of the parrot world,” are a popular choice for pets because they have vivid colors, are friendly, and have extraordinary intellect. Although they require larger cages to fit the length of their tail feathers and food high in fat, these friendly and active pets make excellent companions. 

Macaws enjoy playing with toys to keep their sharp minds engaged, and they require a significant amount of time spent engaging in interactive play. Their incredibly loud vocalizations are something you might want to consider. These magnificent birds have the potential to become faithful companions after receiving the appropriate socialization.

7. African Greys

African grey parrot perching
African grey parrot perching | image by Found Animals Foundation via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Psittacus erithacus
  • Beginner friendly: No
  • Size: up to 13 inches
  • Lifespan: 40 to 60 years

The amazing intelligence and extraordinary talking abilities of African Greys have made them one of the most popular species of pet birds in recent years. Because of their ability to imitate words and noises in context and demonstrate a knowledge of the language, they’re known as the “Einsteins of the Bird World.” 

They may have understated plumage, but these medium-sized parrots need stimulating playthings, food high in vitamin A/beta-carotene, and a quiet place to call home. Their remarkable brains and captivating personalities make them unique pets, although they’re sensitive and may develop behavioral disorders if stressed.

8. Lorikeets

Rainbow lorikeet wings
Rainbow Lorikeet showing off its wings | image by Alfred sin via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Trichoglossus moluccanus
  • Beginner friendly: No
  • Size: 10 – 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 12 to 35 years

Lorikeets, vibrant and energetic parrots, are captivating pets due to their vivid colors and playful demeanors. Their special brush-like tongues allow them to thrive on a nectar-based diet, so a conscientious owner is essential to ensure proper nutrition. They require large enclosures and lots of time spent playing outside due to their high levels of energy and curiosity.  

Lorikeets can be lively companions despite their tendency toward nipping behavior. The commitment required to care for these gregarious birds is high, but the rewarding dynamic companionship they provide makes them a top pick for serious bird lovers.

9. Conures

Group of sun conures
Group of sun conures | image by Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Psittatus solstitialis
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 10 – 11 inches
  • Lifespan: 15 to 30 years

People love conures because they’re colorful and playful parrots that come in different sizes. They need large cages to accommodate their active lifestyle and plenty of toys to keep them stimulated. As owners, you should balance their diet by combining manufactured feed with fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Conures are bold and curious birds who thrive in social settings. However, they have been known to screech loudly when they want attention. These species can live up to 30 years with proper care, so having them is a long-term commitment and a great addition to any family.

10. Cockatoo

Moluccan cockatoo
Moluccan Cockatoo | image by cuatrok77 via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Cacatuidae
  • Beginner friendly: No
  • Size: 12 – 27 inches
  • Lifespan: 40 to 70 years

The social attitude and large crest feathers of cockatoos make them beloved pets. To satisfy their need for destruction, they need well-constructed cages and a variety of items. While their need for attention can be demanding, it’s important to set boundaries early on. 

These birds have been compared as a perpetual 2-year-old, bright and emotional, and capable of temper tantrums, silliness, and some vocal communication.

11. Doves

Ring-necked dove
Ring-necked dove | image by Regina Hart via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Columbidae
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 5.9 – 29.5 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years

Doves, which are kept as pets worldwide, are a perfect choice for you if you want the company of an animal but don’t want the high maintenance that parrots require. Unlike parrots, doves consume their seeds whole and need grit in their diet, as well as calcium supplements. 

In general, they’re low-maintenance companions, although some can tolerate hand-feeding. The constant cooing they make can either be calming or overwhelming, depending on the person who is listening to it.

12. Amazon parrots

Cuban amazona perching
Cuban amazona perching | image by Eric Savage via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Amazona
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 12 – 15 inches
  • Lifespan: 40 – 70 years

Amazon parrots, famous for their vibrant personalities, are among the most popular medium-sized pet birds. They’re the life of the party because they’re gregarious, loud, and constantly looking for attention. To maintain their health, they require a large cage with a variety of toys and well-rounded food. 

Amazons can communicate vividly through their body language and have a lifespan of up to 70 years if they’re appropriately cared for. They’re well known for their vocal capabilities and can pick up a wide variety of words and phrases, making them fascinating companions. However, when trying to get someone’s attention, they may be quite noisy.

13. Pionus Parrot

Blue-headed parrot
Blue-headed parrot (Pionus menstruus) | image by Alejandro Bayer T. via Flickr
  • Scientific Name: Pionus
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 10 to 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 25 to 40 years

Pionus parrots, a hidden gem of the avian kingdom, are popular for pet birds. Despite being less showy and vocal than other parrots, they have their own special allure because of their calm, sociable nature and average size. These birds may appear aloof at first, but they can warm up to their owners with time and attention. 

They can thrive in urban environments like apartments because of their relative quietness compared to other parrots. However, they’re sensitive to noise and can pick up on it, so a quiet home is ideal.

14. Parrotlet

Pacific parrotlet
Pacific parrotlet | image by Florin Feneru via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Forpus coelestis
  • Beginner friendly: yes
  • Size: 4 – 5 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 25 years

Despite their small size, parrotlets make fantastic pets thanks to their outgoing personalities, clever mimicry, and ability to learn new words quickly. Parrotlets are active pets that need lots of attention and playtime to stay friendly. 

They aren’t the most talkative parrots, but they’re quiet, so they’re a good choice for people who live in apartments. However, their fiery demeanor and dangerous bite may not be conducive to use around young children.

15. Eclectus

Female eclectus roratus
Female eclectus roratus | image by Florin Feneru via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Eclectus roratus
  • Beginner friendly: No
  • Size: 12 – 14.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years

Known for their intellect and calm demeanor, Eclectus parrots are a popular choice for a pet because of their fur-like feathers and vivid colors. They need a large enclosure with lots of play space, human companionship, and toys to satisfy their playful attitude. 

Their specific nutritional requirements call for a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and pellets designed for the purpose. Eclectus parrots like to be quiet and friendly with kids, and they may learn a wide range of words.

16. Caiques

Caiques inside cage
Caiques inside cage | image by Nik Voon via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Pionites
  • Beginner friendly: No 
  • Size: up to 9 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 30 years

Because of their high energy and cheerful disposition, caiques are becoming increasingly popular as pets. A large cage or aviary should also be considered for these active pets because of their personality. Caiques do well on a pelleted diet that also includes fresh produce. 

While they’re not the most articulate parrots, they’re moderate noise-makers. Their need for a constant supply of toys for engagement makes them highly interactive companions, despite having a streak of stubbornness in them.