Pet Birds

Updated: May 5, 2021
© Nomad_Soul/
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People looking for pet companionship who are allergic to more common pets like cats or dogs may want to consider a bird as a great alternative. If you choose the right breed pet birds can be friendly, gentle, and trainable.

Though take care to research the best pet bird breeds before becoming a pet owner. Many people mistakenly believe smaller birds are less work. That may not be the case. While many birds can be quiet and gentle, that is not the case for all bird types. Many require more work than others. Some bird breeds can be rather vocal and disruptive to their environment.

Are Birds Good Pets?

Yes, birds can be good pets for the right owner. Some birds are higher maintenance than others, but with care, attention, and the appropriate habitat birds can be fun companions.

For pet owners it’s a good idea to invest in a large enough cage for your bird to move around freely. As a general rule of thumb a larger cage is better than a smaller one for almost all bird types.

Also, make sure your bird’s cage is regularly cleaned and both food and water are replaced often. Some birds like to forage and do well with toys and objects in the bottom of their cage. Pet birds often need a variety of perches to rest and move around on during the day. Sticks and horizontal bars will do the trick.

The Best (Friendliest) Pet Bird Types


Finches are among the most popular type of birds kept as pets. The three most common finch varieties are zebra, gouldian, and society. As many people know finches thrive when kept as pairs. It’s important to get two finches of the same gender though, otherwise owners can unexpectedly end up with a whole finch family.

Two finches in a bowl with food

Finches are the most popular pet bird

©Wirestock Creators/


Parrotlets are small, colorful pet birds that can be trained to perform tricks like sitting on your finger or moving in circles. Some parrotlets have even been trained to talk. Parrotlets are the smallest of the parrot family. Given their small stature they are sometimes referred to as ‘pocket parrots’. With care and attention parrotlets can form strong bonds with their owners.

Parrotlet sitting on a branch


lets are the smallest of the pet parrot species


Parakeets (Budgerigar)

Parakeets are the most popular pet bird type in the United States. They are an intelligent breed that can be trained to perform various commands. Some Parakeets can even be trained to speak.

People often compare parakeets to budgies (budgerigar), but they are in fact the same type of bird! There is no difference between parakeets and budgies.

Two parakeets sitting on a branch

Parakeets (also known as budgies) are a popular pet bird

©Uliya Krakos/


Cockatoos are a popular pet bird breed. They have lovely feathers and are one of the most easily trainable bird breeds. Many cockatoos have been trained to have large vocabularies and can carry on entire conversations.

However the cockatoo is much larger than other pet bird types, and can become depressed if not given enough attention or space. Always make sure to have a large enough cage for your cockatoo, and take them out to move around and exercise often.

While cockatoos can be great companions for owners, they do require more time and attention than other bird breeds.

White cockatoo with yellow feathers sitting on a branch

Cockatoos are a popular large pet bird breed

©Martin Pelanek/

Types of Pet Birds

A Eclectus Parrot
Eclectus Parrot

Does not squawk like other parrot species.

A Budgerigar

Natively found in Australia!

A Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

A Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

A Cockatiel

They have crests that rise or fall depending on their emotions

A Amazon Parrot
Amazon Parrot

These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech

A Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch

The male zebra finch creates a unique song by drawing inspiration from its parent or tutor

A Lorikeet

The lorikeet has a long brush-like tongue with fine hairs on it

A Myna Bird
Myna Bird

Many people believe the hill myna bird is better at mimicking humans than a parrot!

A Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

It is almost always the male who makes the famous sad sound, which is a wooing call

A Purple Finch
Purple Finch

The intensity of the plumage can change based on what the bird eats

A House Finch
House Finch

The house finch can become redder depending on what it eats

A Gouldian Finch
Gouldian Finch

The male Gouldian finch bobs its head and fluffs its feathers to court a female.

A Red Finch
Red Finch

Red finches can form flocks of over 100 birds.

A Cockatoo

Highly social, smart, and chatty bird.

A Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

A Keel-Billed Toucan
Keel-Billed Toucan

It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!

A Toucan

There are more than 40 different species!

List of Pet Birds

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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