What Is the Best Bird for a Pet?

Parker Hansen | October 27, 2021
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pet parakeet
Photo by: Huỳnh Đạt from Pexels

Do birds make good pets? Absolutely! Birds have been kept as domestic pets for 5,000 years. They experience a full range of emotions and, with the proper care and socialization, will fit right into your home.

We’ve picked out five top candidates to answer what is the best bird for a pet owner.

The sizes listed are the length from head to tail.

Parakeet/Budgerigar

Parakeets are one of the most familiar birds in captivity. They have a gift for mimicry and can be taught to talk. Anyone can care for and enjoy a parakeet, even kids. They recognize their owners and have engaging, joyful personalities. They’re one of the few birds that are the exception to the “no pets” rule found in many rentals.

Cockatiel

They’re happiest when their cage is in the room where everyone gathers, although they may try to dominate the conversation in their own chatty style.

The males are more likely to learn to talk, but they really shine as whistlers, picking up any song you can whistle. They’re easily tamed, are very affectionate and even mellow, often opting to nap on their owner’s shoulder instead of in a cage.

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Ideal Owners: Anyone

Dove

The symbol of peace lives up to its reputation with a friendly, gentle demeanor. They’re also independent and won’t mind if you spend long hours at the office. Their quiet cooing sound makes them ideal for apartment dwellers.

  • Size: 7.5 to 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 25 years
  • Ideal Owners: Anyone looking for a quiet, gentle pet

African Grey

Often thought to be the smartest of all parrots, they really do learn to talk and can develop extensive vocabularies. They also love to play games and can be taught many tricks.

African Greys can live up to sixty years! Like many larger parrot species, it isn’t uncommon for these parrots to belong to two generations of the same family.

  • Size: 14 inches
  • Lifespan: 40 to 60 years
  • Ideal Owners: Someone who has previous experience owning parrots

Parrotlet

These unassuming little birds are proof that big things come in small packages. They’re energetic, fearless and intelligent. They can also be very affectionate, going so far as to try to hide in your shirt pocket, scarf or hood. This is how they came to be known as the “Pocket Parrot.”

While most birds enjoy the company of other birds, parrotlets are the exception to the rule. They can get aggressive if there’s another bird in the household.

  • Size: 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Ideal Owners: Someone who wants the energy of a larger parrot in a smaller size
About the Author
pet parakeet

Parker Hansen

Parker Hansen is an animal lover and a pet parent to two beautiful dogs. Growing up he had a wide variety of different pets including dogs, frogs, lizards, fish, hamsters, birds and more. He enjoys writing... Learn More

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