Along with dogs, cats and fish, parrots are one of the most popular types of pets around the world. They are intelligent, social, and beautiful birds that make great companions for people of all ages. There are many different types of pet parrots that you can choose from, each with its own unique personality, appearance, and characteristics. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular types of pet parrots, including their size, color, temperament, and care requirements, to help you decide which one is right for you. Whether you are a first-time bird owner or an experienced parrot enthusiast, there is a perfect pet parrot out there for everyone.
13 Types of Pet Parrots
There are so many types of pet parrots out there! We’ll look at some of the most common including the common parakeet, the cockatiel, the African grey parrot, the yellow-crested cockatoo, the scarlet macaw, the blue-and-yellow macaw, the sun conure, the Senegal parrot, the yellow-naped Amazon, the rosy-faced lovebird, the Pacific parrotlet, the eclectus parrot, and the Indian ringneck parakeet.
1. Common Parakeet
Scientific Name: Melopsittacus undulatus
One common pet parrot is the common parakeet, also known as the shell parakeet, budgerigar, or budgie. Though native to Australia, the common parakeet is a popular pet throughout the world. Escaped pets have caused populations to take residence in Florida as well.
Common parakeets are typically between six and seven inches long. They come in a variety of colors, including blue, yellow, and green. Common parakeets live up to fifteen years with proper care and are very social. Budgies can also become very affectionate with their owners and may enjoy being held or pet.
Scientific Name: Nymphicus hollandicus
This parrot has a special place in my heart because I had these growing up. Cockatiels are popular pet birds with a distinctive head crest. They can mimic speech, though it isn’t as easy to understand as other parrot species.
Cockatiels are native to Australia and are the smallest members of the cockatoo family. These parrots are docile and friendly, which made their popularity as pets start to soar in the 1900s. In general, cockatiels enjoy being around humans and like pets. That isn’t to say they won’t nip if they want to.
3. African Grey Parrot
Scientific Name: Psittacus erithacus
One large, intelligent pet parrot option is the African grey parrot. They are known for their ability to mimic words and sounds, and are a good choice if you are looking for a parrot to try and teach words and phrases to. They are around 13 inches long and weigh around one pound. They have soft gray plumage with bright red tails.
They can live between 40 and 60 years in captivity, making them a long-term commitment. As the name suggests, these parrots are native to Africa. African grey’s can be very sweet and affectionate, but they need a lot of mental stimulation. If they are bored, they can easily become unhappy.
4. Yellow-Crested Cockatoo
Scientific Name: Cacatua sulphurea
Yellow-crested cockatoos also go by the name sulphur-crested cockatoo. These popular pets, native to southeastern Asia, are sadly endangered. It is estimated that there are only between 1,000 and 2,500 of these parrots left in the wild. If you are interested in this species it is important to make sure to use a reputable breeder that follows ethical practices, and avoid supporting the illegal pet trade that threatens this species wild populations.
The yellow-crested cockatoo is primarily white, with a yellow crest on the top of its head and a light yellow patch on each cheek. These parrots have zygodactyl feet, which means they have two toes that face forward and two that face backward. This makes them very dexterous, agile climbers with a good grip. As pets, they are known to be affectionate, playful, vocal and active. They will need space to fly and exercise, and toys to play with.
5. Scarlet Macaw
Scientific Name: Ara macao
The scarlet macaw is a beautiful parrot native to Central and South America. They are colorful parrots with red feathers on their heads, bodies, and tails and multi-colored wings.
These pet parrots tend to have big personalities and, when raised by hand, can be very affectionate. They can learn to talk, but they are not as good at it as some of their parrot cousins. Scarlet macaws can live up to 50 years or more, so consider them a long term investment. They are active and requite space for exercise and play, and can become stressed and unhappy if not given enough attention.
6. Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
Scientific Name: Ara ararauna
In the wild, blue-and-yellow macaws can be found in Central and South America, as well as Puerto Rico. These parrots are very intelligent and affectionate, which makes them a popular choice as a pet. They can be taught tricks, and some people have described them as acting like friendly dogs.
These birds can be very loud, so they are not ideal for apartment or condo living. Please keep that in mind before you decide to make a long-term commitment. They can live up to 35 years.
7. Sun Conure
Scientific Name: Aratinga solstitialis
Sun conures are small, bright orange and yellow birds with a black beak and a white ring around the eyes. They also have patches of green feathers on their wings and tails. They can live up to 20 years and are very vocal parrots. While they like to mimic sounds and words, they don’t “speak” as clearly as some other parrot species. Sun conures are fairly small pet parrots at 12 inches long. These beautiful birds are native to Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana.
8. Senegal Parrot
Scientific Name: Poicephalus senegalus
Senegal parrots are small pet parrots that weigh between 4 and 6 ounces and are around 10 inches long. These parrots can live up to 50 years with proper care, though it is more common for them to live between 20 and 30 years. When well-socialized, Senegal parrots can be entertaining, playful, and trainable pets.
9. Yellow-Naped Amazon
Scientific Name: Amazona auropalliata
Also known as the yellow-naped parrot or the golden-naped Amazon, the yellow-naped Amazon is between 12 and 15 inches long and weighs around one pound. They are mostly green, but named for he small patch of yellow feathers at the back of their neck. These pet parrots are a long-term commitment, living between 50 and 60 years, though some have lived up to 90 years. In the wild, these parrots can primarily be found in Mexico and Costa Rica.
10. Rosy-Faced Lovebird
Scientific Name: Agapornis roseicollis
Also known as the peach-faced lovebird, the rosy-faced lovebird is originally from Africa. They have a lifespan of up to 20 years. These cute parrots are around 6 inches long and really enjoy being around people. If you are looking for a pet parrot that talks, lovebirds are not for you though. They are highly intelligent, but they are not great talkers. Lovebirds do best in pairs or small groups, so if you are strongly considering a lovebird as a pet , but you’d be enriching their life greatly by getting at least two.
11. Pacific Parrotlet
Scientific Name: Forpus coelestis
If you want a small parrot with a lot of personality, the Pacific parrotlet may be the pet for you. Parrotlets are the smallest parrots, measuring around five inches long. This small parrot is native to Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia. These parrots are mostly green with a blue patch of feathers behind the eyes, but come in many colors.
These pet parrots can repeat words and simple phrases. They aren’t super loud typically, so they make a great pet for people in apartments or shared living spaces.
12. Eclectus Parrot
Scientific Name: Eclectus roratus
Eclectus parrots are larger, measuring between 17 and 20 inches. They can live between 30 and 50 years, so once again, they are quite a commitment. Originally from the Solomon Islands, eclectus parrots can also be found in the wild in Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and Moluccas.
Male and female eclectus parrots are very different looking. Males are green with red and blue patches. Females are red with blue accents. The males have orange beaks, but the females have black beaks. They are known to have a calm nature, and are lower-maintenance, relatively speaking, than many other large sized parrots.
13. Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Scientific Name: Psittacula krameri
This species requires a lot of attention and care, so it isn’t for the beginner parrot owner. Indian ringneck parakeets are native to Africa and southern Asia. Now, because of escaped pets, they have formed populations in the UK. Like other parrot species, these birds are great mimics, meaning they are able to replicate sounds that they hear, including human voices.