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10 Friendliest Pet Birds for Loving Pet Parents (With Pictures)

Brooke Bundy

By Brooke Bundy

conure bird perched on the finger of its owner

From Cockatiels to Canaries, you have an abundance of choices for your new feathered friend. While all winged creatures are lovely, some won’t comply with your lifestyle as well as others. For example, some birds spend their days quietly singing and scuttling around in their cage, while others squawk loudly and demand more time outside of their enclosure.

No matter which bird you choose, you should make sure that you’re ready for the commitment and honestly ask yourself whether your home is the best fit. Birds aren’t necessarily difficult to care for, but most will need to spend at least an hour a day outside of their cage, where they’ll need to be safe from other curious pets such as cats and dogs. Here are the top 10 friendliest pet birds that are also easy enough for first-time bird parents.

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The 10 Friendliest Pet Birds:

1. Parakeet

a parakeet in the cage
Image Credit: Christine Bird, Shutterstock
Length: 7 inches
Weight: 1 ounce
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years

Popularly known as the Budgerigar or Budgie, the Parakeet is undoubtedly one of the most commonly kept pet birds in the United States. The Parakeet is actually a small parrot, and they come in many sizes and colors, often with striking green or yellow plumage. Although they have a relatively short lifespan of 12 to 14 years, they’re also inexpensive, which means that they’re an easy way to break into bird keeping. Parakeets have friendly personalities that get along well with other birds or simply with human company. They can learn a few human words but are generally quiet compared to other birds.

2. Cockatiel

a blue cockatiel
Image Credit: Birute Vijeikiene, Shutterstock
Length: 11 to 12 inches
Weight: 2.5 to 3.5 ounces
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

A smaller and more easygoing version of the demanding Cockatoo, the Cockatiel likes to whistle and sing. They probably won’t pick up on words, but you’ll be charmed by their beautiful singing voice and striking yellow crown. Cockatiels are ideal choices for families with little children since they generally don’t mind being held and enjoy being around you.

3. Dove

a barbary dove in the cage
Image Credit: Ragil nur azis, Shutterstock
Length: 11 to 13 inches
Weight: 5 to 8 ounces
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Long regarded as a symbol of love, the Dove desperately desires to stay by your side and can even develop a little bit of a codependent relationship. Because of this, they’re the best pet bird if you work from home, but probably not the most ideal companion for someone who spends most of their hours outside of the house. Doves can’t speak, but they like to spend their days quietly cooing.

4. African Gray

african grey parrot
Image Credit: manfredrichter, Pixabay
Length: 13 inches
Weight: 15 to 18 ounces
Lifespan: 40 years

With gray and white hues and a bold splash of red on its tail, the African Gray is fairly unique among pet birds for its appearance and intelligence. Known as the “Einstein of the Bird World,” this bird possesses the average intelligence of a kindergarten student. To avoid getting nipped, you’ll need to watch your bird around your snacks. Since they’re clever and sneaky, they may steal a bite of meat from your fingers if you’re not careful. The African Gray may live up to 40 years old, which makes them an expensive and possibly multi-generational commitment, so you’ll need to carefully consider whether your home is a good fit.

5. Finches

zebra finch bird perching on a tree
Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay
Length: 5 to 6 inches
Weight: 0.5 ounce
Lifespan: 10 years

You might see a Finch fluttering across your yard since there are so many different varieties. Small songbirds, they’re quiet and timid. If you decide to adopt one, it would be prudent to go ahead and get another since they thrive in the company of fellow finches.

6. Parrotlet

a parrotlet bird on a rock
Image Credit: klickblick, Pixabay
Length: 4 to 5 inches
Weight: 1 ounce
Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Weighing one ounce or less, these “Pocket Parrots” will crave all of your attention and will boldly compete with other feathered and even furry friends. As long as they’re the only pet in your home, they’re generally easier to maintain than some larger parrots.

7. Conures

conure birds
Image Credit: kengkreingkrai, Pixabay
Length: 10 to 15 inches
Weight: 3 to 9 ounces
Lifespan: 20 years

For all the fuss and feathers, Conures speak very little. Instead, they like to squawk around and reenact what you’re doing. Their bold tropical colors mimic their behavior. They also like to rest on your shoulders and may perform a little dance.

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8. Hyacinth Macaw

hyacinth macaws in a cage
Image Credit: Mumemories, Shutterstock
Length: 40 inches
Weight: 42 to 51 ounces
Lifespan: 30 years

With their recognizable royal blue plumage, the Hyacinth Macaw is easily spotted at the pet store, the zoo, or the tropical rainforest where they’re originally from. Although they’re generally amiable creatures, the Hyacinth Macaw might not be the best pet for homes with little children because they have an enormously powerful beak. This large macaw boasts one of the longest life spans for pet birds. As long as they’re healthy, they can easily live over 25 years even in captivity.

9. Canary

canary bird
Image Credit: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay
Length: 5 to 8 inches
Weight: Under 1 ounce
Lifespan: 5 to 15 years

The canary is known for two features, their standard light yellow color and their sweet singing voice. They have a cheerful personality to match their chipper voice and are always happy to see you. If you don’t have room for a larger bird, the canary is a very popular small bird choice because they’re generally easy to care for.

10. Pionus

blue-headed pionus bird in the cage
Image Credit: Swaroop Pixs, Shutterstock
Length: 12 inches
Weight: 8 to 9 ounces
Lifespan: 40 years

The blue-headed parrot originally resides in Central and South American rainforests. They’re a medium to large sized bird that can live around 25 years or more, even in captivity. They usually have green wings with a blue head, and their body is commonly speckled with other bright colors.

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The right bird for you depends on whether you want a creature who can sing a lovely tune, carry on a lively conversation, or skip around quietly while you work. Although they might spend several hours a day in their cage, all birds require socialization to thrive. Be sure you have enough time in your schedule to keep your bird happy, especially if you choose an extroverted bird like the Dove. But, all of these birds are friendly and are great choices for first-time bird owners.

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Featured Image Credit: TigerStocks, Shutterstock

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