16 Beautiful Birds You Can Adopt As Pets
Birds are becoming more and more popular as pets.
According to a national pet owners survey conducted in 2017, approximately 20.6 million birds are living in American households.
That’s a huge amount of bird owners!
There are many great qualities to birds:
- They are highly intelligent
- Great companions
- Beautiful looking
As a cockatiel owner myself, the cons of bird ownership definitely outweigh these qualities.
They are a huge responsibility.
Some birds require more or less effort, but even the lowest maintenance birds are more work than the average pet, such as dogs or cats.
Below is a list of the 16 best birds to have as a pet…
Also included is a small description for each listed bird.
This article is designed to help you understand what bird is better suited to you if you’re planning on adopting one.
- 1) Budgerigar
- 2) Cockatiel – Best bird to have as a pet (opinion)
- 3) Finch
- 4) Indian Ringneck Parakeet
- 5) Alexandrine Parakeet
- 6) Quaker Parrot
- 7) Lorikeet
- 8) Lovebird
- 9) Conure
- 10) Parrotlet
- 11) Pigeon & Doves
- 12) African Grey Parrot
- 13) Cockatoo
- 14) Macaw
- 15) Hyacinth Macaw – Largest Parrot In The World!
- 16) Hahns Macaw – Mini Macaw
Budgies are THE most popular pet bird, they’re small parakeets with huge personalities.
Their high intelligence allows them to bond with their caretakers and other flock members.
They are known for their skilled talking ability.
Budgies are often considered beginner birds due to them being one of the lowest maintenance birds.
Although they are low maintenance compared to other birds, they still require lots of effort.
budgies are best adopted in pairs or more as they are flock birds, if you adopt a singular budgie, it will be completely up to you to provide constant companionship.
It’s definitely better to adopt more than 1 budgie.
Average Lifespan: 5 – 8 Years
Weight: 30 – 40g
Length: 18 – 20cm
Personalities: Playful, excited, hyperactive, social, fun, always active, fast
Colors: Blue, black, green, yellow, white
2) Cockatiel – #1 Best bird to have as a pet (Opinion)
Cockatiels come second as the most popular pet bird, right behind the budgie.
Being smaller birds, cockatiels make great birds for apartments as they can do better in smaller spaces.
Their pretty looks and friendly personalities make them great companions.
Cockatiels are great at whistling more than talking,
they have the ability to learn and sing songs you teach them.
It’s much easier to understand the body language and emotions of a cockatiel compared to most other birds due to the crest on their heads.
I personally think cockatiels are the overall best pet parrot due to their minimal care requirements, easy-to-train, pretty looks, and their affectionate personalities.
Average Lifespan: 18 – 25 years
Weight: 70 – 90g
Length: 30 -32cm
Personalities: Social, curious, calm, friendly, affectionate, intelligent, expressive, dusty
Colour variations: Lutino, pied, albino, pearl, whiteface, yellowface, silver
Finches include zebra finches, society finches, and canaries.
Known for their small size and inability to form strong bonds with humans, finches make great pets if kept in flocks.
Typically, finches don’t like to be handled by humans, they prefer to be kept in large aviaries socializing with their own kind.
You won’t need to give these guys too much attention as they find companionship with each other.
Finches are ideal for those who have less time on their hands to play with them as they require minimal human contact, you’ll only need to keep their food, water, and cage clean for them to thrive.
Average lifespan: 5 – 10 Years
Weight: 10 – 14g
Length: 10 – 12cm (Tiny!)
Personalities: Quiet, social with their own kind, skittish, active, fast
Colors: Red, orange, grey, black, white
Zebra Finch Sounds:
4) Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Indian ringnecks are known to be amazing talkers, especially if taught from a young age.
Although they can be fun and entertaining birds, they won’t be, unless they get lots of attention.
These birds are extremely clingy and needy for attention.
Ringnecks are best suited for those who have bird-keeping experience and have time to give them lots of attention.
They can become aggressive if deprived of attention and companionship, so it’s best to keep them in pairs.
Ringnecks are pretty lengthy birds, most of this length comes from their tails. This means they will require a larger cage than the previous birds on this list.
Average Lifespan: 23 – 30 years
Weight: 100 – 130g
Length: 40 – 42cm
Personalities: Clingy, chatty (can mimic words clearly), attention-demanding, aggressive if neglected, energetic, playful
Colors: Green, black, red, blue (rare)
Indian Ringneck Sounds:
5) Alexandrine Parakeet
Alexandrine parakeets are related to the Indian ringnecks, which is apparent from their appearance.
Despite having a larger beak than their cousins, the alexandrine parakeets are known to be very gentle and affectionate towards their dedicated owner.
They are high-maintenance birds, just like the Indian ringnecks, as they require lots of attention and care.
Their wild sounds are different from Indian ringnecks, but they can mimic human speech just as well.
Alexandrines are slightly bigger than other ringneck cousins and will require a slightly larger aviary, ideally kept in pairs or more.
You could even pair an alexandrine parakeet with an Indian ringneck parakeet as they are so similar to look after.
Average Lifespan: Up to 30 years
Weight: 250 – 260g
Length: 56 – 62cm
Personalities: Loyal, playful, calm, intelligent, great talkers, affectionate
Colors: Green, red, orange, yellow
Alexandrine Parakeet Sounds (flock):
6) Quaker Parrot
The quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets, are highly social birds that require lots of attention from their owners.
Due to their smaller size, quaker parrots are more suited to live in apartments or other small households.
They are fairly low maintenance if kept in pairs compared to other birds on this list.
Quaker parrots have a rather unique wild behavior.
They create colony nests, where they house more than 2 birds in the same nest. The larger nest will include smaller holes for pairs to breed, but the whole flocks live very close to each other in one large “bird hotel”.
They also build these nests from twigs, leaves, and sticks as opposed to most other parrots who breed in tree hollows.
Average Lifespan: 20 – 30 years
Weight: 100 – 120g
Length: 28 – 30cm
Personalities: Attention seeking, chatty, can mimic speech, highly intelligent and social, destructive, affectionate
Colors: Green (primarily) or sometimes blue
Quaker Parrot Sounds:
Lorikeets can make good pets for those who are able to meet their special needs.
There are many downsides to owning lorikeets including their specialized diet. lorikeets don’t just eat seeds, pellets, and veggies, they’ll need nectar, pollen, and fruits.
Very different diet compared to most other parrots.
Lorikeets are generally high maintenance, their frequent liquid poops make cleanups very hard.
They take up quite a bit of time, whether it be cleaning up or giving them attention, lorikeets are not recommended for those with little time on their hands.
Average Lifespan: 7 – 9 Years
Weight: 110 – 130g
Personalities: Excited, playful, fun, energetic, loud, special diet, flock birds, social, intelligent
Colors: Rainbow and just green or red
Rainbow Lorikeet Sounds:
Lovebirds are great birds to adopt for those with less experience.
Their small size means their minimum cage size requirements are smaller.
Their size is similar to a budgie and they are just as much work, which is not as much compared to other birds such as the ringneck.
Lovebirds, as their name suggests, are very loving and affectionate towards their owners.
They are low-maintenance, high-energy birds who can form strong bonds with their flock members (owner included).
Talking is not their specialty, but they are known to create their own love language with their partners with unique sounds.
Lovebirds thrive off of companionship with their own kind, so adopting them in pairs or more is essential with these birds.
Average Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
Weight: 40 – 60g
Length: 13 – 17cm
Personalities: Affectionate, cuddly, attention seekers, intelligent, loyal, singers
Colors: Green, pink, red, and orange
Conures include the sun conure, green cheeked conure, and blue-crowned conure.
Similar to lovebirds, conures are high-energy, low-maintenance birds.
Their larger size increases their minimal cage size requirements, a lot of their length comes from their tail.
Conures are usually quiet birds who like to be loud when seeking attention.
Like most other birds, conures are best kept in pairs or more.
Average Lifespan: 20 – 30
Weight: 100 – 120g
Length: 25 – 45cm
Personalities: Curious and inquisitive, playful, energetic, social, loud (sometimes), attention-demanding
Colors: Green (GCC), Orange and gree (Sun Conure)
Parrotlets are often referred to as “pocket parrots” due to their tiny size.
Despite their small structure, parrotlets have very expressive personalities.
These guys are the best pet parrot for those living in smaller households, such as apartments.
They also don’t make too much of a mess and are generally low maintenance.
Wild parrotlets have flocks of over 100 individuals, it’s important to give them this companionship as pets. They definitely require more than 1 friend.
Adopt these guys in groups of 3 – 5 to ensure they have enough companionship. You’ll be able to house this many as they don’t take up too much space.
You may be able to house all 5 of them in one large cage, these are very small birds.
Average Lifespan: 15 – 20 years
Weight: 24 – 30g
Length: 11 – 15cm
Personalities: Active, fast-paced, intelligent, assertive, playful, nippy at times, friendly, flock birds
Colors: Green or primarily blue
11) Pigeons and Doves
Pigeons make one of the best pet birds, they are even more suited for households than parrots.
This is because they have been domesticated and kept as pets for about 10,000 years, they certainly have a long history with us humans.
pigeons and doves are among the quietest pet birds, they don’t scream your ear off as most parrots do.
Instead, they make soft cooing sounds that are actually rather nice to listen to.
On top of their gentle sounds, pigeons have gentle personalities and show lots of affection to their owners.
Low maintenance, quiet, affectionate, pigeons are the ideal pet for those looking for an easy to tame and loving bird.
Average Lifespan: 12 – 18 Years
Weight: 350 – 450g (Males weigh more than females)
Length: 30 – 35cm
Personalities: Calm, social, curious, quietest pet bird, polite, loyal, loving, cuddly, affectionate, fat
Colors: Grey, black, or white
Pet Pigeon Cooing:
12) African Grey Parrot
At this point in this list of the 16 best birds to have as pets, we’re getting into the long-life, high-maintenance birds, starting off with the African grey parrot.
We’ve moved away from the smaller, more manageable birds and are now onto larger parrots.
The African grey parrot is a highly intelligent bird, studies have even shown them to be as intelligent as 5-year-old human children.
They are commonly known for their amazing speaking ability, not only can they perfectly mimic human speech, but they can mimic other random sounds they hear too.
There are plenty of videos online showcasing their talking ability.
However, these parrots are not just entertaining, they are a ton of work to care for and keep happy, just like most large birds.
Unless you’re willing to adopt 2 of these guys, you’ll be spending lots of your time looking after the one as they are big attention seekers.
For this reason, I would not adopt an African grey unless I was able to put in lots of effort and spend hours keeping it company. Still an amazing bird, they’re just for the right owner.
Average Lifespan: 40 – 60 years
Weight: 400 -410g
Length: 30 – 35cm
Personalities: Highly social, intelligent, amazing talkers, mimics everything, needs constant attention, playful, fun
Colors: Grey with a red tail
African Grey Parrot Sounds:
Cockatoos include the Moluccan, sulphur-crested, rose-breasted (galah), major Mitchell, and umbrella cockatoo, these are the most popular cockatoos people have as pets.
All types of cockatoos are crazy birds.
They love to scream and destroy everything in the house unless provided with adequate chew toys.
Good chew toys for cockatoos include large pieces of wood and timber, they have strong beaks and require much stronger chew toys than smaller birds.
To own a cockatoo you’ll need patience, large spaces, and plenty of time to keep them entertained.
Most people who take on the challenge, that is owning a cockatoo, don’t stick to it for long and will end up rehoming their bird.
This happens when people don’t know what they’re getting into when adopting one of these big birds.
These guys are definitely not something to buy out of impulse, no bird is.
Cockatoos also require a large cage, not just the standard cockatiel or budgie cage, a VERY large encolure. Unless you want to use a whole room as their cage, an outdoor/backyard aviary would be the best enclosure for cockatoos.
Some people can take on this huge responsibility, most cannot.
If you’re someone who can take on one of these amazing birds, they do make great lifelong companions, living up to around 80 years on average.
Average Lifespan: 50 – 100 Years (Fred the sulphur-crested cockatoo lived past 100 years)
Weight: 500 – 800g (Weight varies with species)
Length: 40 – 60cm (Also varies with different species)
Personalities: Crazy, loud, destructive, highly intelligent, social, attention seekers, affectionate
Colors: White for most cockatoos. Pink and grey for galahs.
Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo Call:
Macaws include the blue and gold macaw, scarlet macaw, and green wing macaw. All require the same level of constant care and attention.
All macaw species are big, beautiful birds that are considered exotic animals.
Sadly, some macaw species have almost become extinct in the wild due to the pet trade and illegal capturing.
Their size and beauty make them a target for capturing, unfortunately.
Like the cockatoos, macaws are great pets for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to take care of them and those who have the space to let them fly around freely.
Macaws do best living in large outdoor aviaries or bird-safe rooms, it’s also good to have them in pairs so you are not their sole companion. They get bored easily and need constant attention, another bird will be able to provide that attention therefore leaving you more free time.
If you don’t like noise or large messes, don’t buy a macaw.
These guys are a little less loud and crazy than a cockatoo but still loud nonetheless. Macaws who get excited or scared will be screaming about it for the next two hours.
Average Lifespan: 60 – 80 years – The oldest macaw, charlie, lived to 114 years!
Weight: 900 – 1200g
Length: 90 – 100cm
Personalities: Affectionate to flock members, destructive, highly intelligent, social, calm, assertive at times, playful, very loud.
Colors: Blue, yellow, and green (B&G Macaw), Red, green, yellow, and blue (Scarlet Macaw), Red, green, and blue (Red and green macaw).
Blue & Gold Macaw Sound:
15) Hyacinth Macaw – Largest Parrot In The World
Although they are similar to regular macaws in terms of care requirements, I felt that the hyacinth macaws deserved their own spot on this list of best pet birds because they are the world’s largest parrots.
These macaws are often called “gentle giants” due to their affectionate and friendly nature. Don’t let their large beaks intimidate you, they rarely use them for violence.
Hyacinth macaws also have the largest wingspan of any parrot worldwide.
This makes housing them very difficult as they require more space than any other pet bird.
Like the previous birds, the hyacinth macaws will need a very spacious outdoor aviary to be happy. They are rarely kept as indoor pets due to their size.
You likely won’t find a hyacinth macaw in pet stores or local rescues due to their rarity.
The only place I’ve seen hyacinth macaws being sold are by online greedy breeders, where you need to pick them up directly from the breeder.
Breeders usually sell young hyacinth macaws for around 10,000$. Now, that’s an expensive bird!
That money is just for the bird, this doesn’t include the huge 1,000$ aviary you’ll need to buy just to house them.
Due to the market value of these birds, they have become vulnerable in the wild from illegal capturing and pet trading. it’s seriously sad to see these beautiful birds population suffering as a result of their beauty and size.
Hyacinth macaws are definitely not a pet you should buy out of impulse or just because you want a bird. They should only be kept by the most capable and responsible bird owners who have the finances to ensure they are kept properly and in pairs.
If this sounds like you, they do make very intelligent companions and are a lifelong commitment.
Average Lifespan: 50 – 70 Years
Weight: 1200 – 1700g
Length: 100 – 110cm
Personalities: Friendly, gentle, highly intelligent, social, loyal, vibrant, playful, talkative, very loud, strong, destructive.
Colors: Dark blue with yellow around their face and tongue
Hyacinth Macaw Sounds:
16) Hahns Macaw
Hahns macaws are miniature cousins to the bigger macaws. They are the full macaw package, only smaller and more manageable.
These birds make great pets for those who love the personality of a macaw but don’t have the space to house the bigger ones.
This pin accurately shows how much smaller the hahns macaw is compared to a scarlet macaw.
Although they are half the size of the larger macaws, they are still just as much work. The only thing that makes them more manageable is their smaller size.
Being a smaller size means the cage size requirement is also smaller. You could easily house the hahns macaws indoors in a large cage.
With enough care, research, and adequate housing, the hahns macaw can make a great pet, even for beginner bird owners.
Average Lifespan: Around 30 years
Weight: 140 – 150g
Length: 30 – 35cm
Personalities: small size, big attitude, affectionate to dedicated carers, destructive, calm, playful, loud at times, intelligent, chatty, can learn to mimic words
Colors: Primarily green with red patches
Hahns Macaw Talking:
All birds should be thoroughly researched BEFORE adoption.
Smaller birds such as cockatiels and budgies deserve just as much research, love, care, and attention as the bigger birds such as macaws and cockatoos.
Before adopting ANY pet bird, you should be fully aware of all the responsibility that comes with them.
All birds take up a lot of the following:
- Space in the house
Keeping birds is very expensive, not so much the bird itself (except for bigger birds), but the equipment you’ll need to buy for them.
A good-sized cage would be AT LEAST 150$.
Vet fees and medical procedures can add up way past 100$, especially if the bird gets sick.
They are nothing like cats or dogs, most birds are a lifelong commitment that comes with many sacrifices.
No more sleeping in, your bird will want to be awake at 10 AM or earlier. That is just one of many sacrifices that come with bird ownership.
By no means am I trying to deter you from adopting a bird, I just want you to be fully aware of what you’re getting into.
The cute bird internet videos do not show you how much effort it really takes to look after them.
Hopefully, by this point in the article, you have an idea of what bird suits you the most or you’ve decided against bird adoption completely.
One last note…
You should aim to keep your bird flighted and not clip its wings in order for it to live the happiest life possible.