Best Pet Birds For Beginners

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Are you a beginner looking for a pet bird? If so, you are in the right spot today as today I talk about the best pet birds for beginners. To give you a background, aside from owning aquariums for over 20 years, I have also had the pleasure of having pet birds over the years. I’m definitely a unicorn where I like Cats, Birds, and fish — yet my cats are all interested in my other pets for the wrong reason! Either way, I love all my pets and being a blogger allows me to write about what I love and share useful knowledge in making your decision of having quality pets and companionship. So let’s talk about what to look for when looking for a great first time bird.

What Makes A Great Beginner Pet Bird

I’m going to break down what means a great beginner pet bird with the following criteria:

  • Size
  • Lifespan
  • Social-ness
  • Attention Needs

Size

Large birds like Macaws require large cages. This can make the initial cost of owning a pet bird out of budget for some. Also, the large size of a bird can result in powerful and painful bites from the bird if they are upset or feel threatened. Some large birds can also be quite noisy, which may be disruptive in a home with young children or a home where silence is appreciated.

Lifespan

Many bird species have lifespans longer than cats and dogs. Some birds you can purchase can live over 50 years! Some smaller birds like Finches only live about 5 – 10 years. It depends on what you are looking for. If you purchase a bird that has a long lifespan, be prepared for a lifetime commitment. It is possible that your pet bird could outlive you! Many birds are known to deeply bond with their owners.

Social-Ness

Some birds like Finches and Canaries are more for observation than interaction. These types of birds may make more sense for children or owners who are not ready for a day to day companion. Other birds are easily trained and tame and will happily play with their owners.

Attention Needs

A birds needs for attention is a major consideration when deciding what pet bird is best for you. Some birds like Amazon Parrots love attention and deeply bond with their owners. Other birds get so attached to their owners they require a lot of attention and get moody or depressed if you are away for long periods of time. Keep in mind your ability to socialize with your pet bird before you make a decision to purchase.

The 9 Best Pet Birds for Beginners

Let’s go over the best birds to consider as a beginner. Each bird has different needs, but I feel overall their needs are well balanced for any first time bird bird owner.

1. Budgies

Budgie Bird
  • Colors – Blue, Green, White, Yellow
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 10 years
  • Noise – Low (Chatter)
  • Social Needs – Medium

The Budgie is more commonly know as a parakeet in the US. They are small birds that generally will live up to 10 years. They are a little misunderstood because of their popularity. Many beginners purchase them as an observational pet, however they are easily hand tamed and can be very affectionate. A tamed Budgie is a wonderful companion and they are generally safe with children. They will defend themselves if teased, but the bite is not powerful like larger birds.

Their ability to fit for many owner’s individual needs makes the Budgie on of the best choices for beginners.

2. Cockatiels

Cockatiel
  • Colors – Gray, White, Yellow
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 20 years
  • Noise – Low (whistler)
  • Social Needs – Medium

The Cockatiel is the number 1 selling pet bird in American and for a very good reason. They are smaller in size, have a lifespan slightly longer than most cats, and are affectionate. They are easily trained. They make an excellent family pet and will interact with all versus getting very attached to one owner.

They have a unique look with the feathers on their heads (also known as a crest). These feathers display what the bird is feeling allowing you to read your bird better. They make whistle like sounds instead of the high pitched screeching of some of the larger parrots that come from the Amazon.

The require larger cages than a Budgie. I see them as a step up to Budgie. They require more care and are more rewarding when trained than a Budgie. This is one of the best beginner pet birds you can choose. Check out our choice for Best Cockatiel Cage.

3. Lovebirds

Lovebird
  • Colors – Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 20 years
  • Noise – Low (whistler)
  • Social Needs – Low

Lovebirds are a very colorful choice for a pet bird. They are from the parrot fairly, but are small in size. They require a medium sized cage so they have space to fly. They are chatty and will sign most of the day. However, their noises are not disruptive like larger parrots.

Social needs for a Lovebirds is low for these birds. If purchased as a pair, they will bond with their partner and may choose to interact with people. A single lovebird however will need plenty of social interaction and lots of activity.

Lovebirds are more of an observational pet bird. If you are looking for a colorful bird that you can observe versus interaction, then a pair of lovebirds might be up your ally.

4. Parrotlets

Parrotlet
  • Colors – Blue, Green, Yellow
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 20 years
  • Noise – Medium
  • Social Needs – Medium

The Parrotlet is a small parrot that is fully of personality. At only 5 inches in length, they are smaller than a Bungie. They aren’t noisy birds, which make them great for spaces where silence is appreciated.

It is small, but it has a strong beak. They should be handled with care and give their stronger bite power so probably a bird that would not be good around small children.

Social needs are similar to a Love Bird. If you purchase a pair, they will deeply bond with their partner and may ignore people all together. If you purchase a single Parrotlet, they will require a good time of attention. If you want a good single parrot, a hand fed Parrotlet would provide plenty of companionship.

5. Canaries

Canary
  • Colors – Orange, Red, Yellow
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 10 years
  • Noise – Medium
  • Social Needs – Low

The Canary has been a popular pet bird for hundreds of years. It is a low maintenance and observational bird with a very passionate community of owners. The canary crowd have the most enthusiasm of any other bird owner crowd and Canaries themselves are bred for three desirable traits – song, color, and appearance. They are most valued for their singing ability.

Canaries are a hands off pet. They will not interact with their owners. This makes them excellent for someone looking for an observational bird that likes to sing. They do well in pairs and groups. If you are looking for a low maintenance bird, the Canary is one of the best choices.

6. Finches

Zebra Finch
  • Colors – Multiple
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 10 years
  • Noise – Medium
  • Social Needs – Low

The Finch is one of the best considerations if you are looking for a hands off bird that is easy to maintain. They generally will not interact with people. They are social to their own kind will enjoy the company of multiple Finches. The biggest misconception with them is they need a large cage even though they are small. This is because they need space to fly around. A horizontal cage is the most ideal for them. They do best in groups versus a pair.

They are known for their sounds and social interactions. They spend a lot of time during the day communicating with one another. They are also one of the cheapest pet birds you can purchase and are a great beginner pet bird for those who do not have time to socialize with their pet.

7. Quaker Parakeets

  • Colors – Blue, Green
  • Size – Small
  • Lifespan – Up to 30 years
  • Noise – Medium
  • Social Needs – Medium

The Quaker is one o the most popular small parrots available in the trade. They are small standing at only 12 inches and are affordable birds to purchase. They have a behavior where they bob and “quake.” It is an unusual looking shaking that they do. It looks odd, but is quiet normal for the bird.

Quakers require a moderate amount of social interaction. If they are ignored, they can develop destructive behavior like furniture chewing. They will become depressed if left alone too long. It is a pet bird that is best suited to a home where there is home companionship around all during the day. They are also great talkers, having the ability to learn words and phrases and can be trained to learn tricks. They will also do well in pairs for those who do not have the time to spend with them everyday.

They are not a silent bird. They will wake up most sleepers with their noises. Given their personality they are an excellent choice for those who want a hand-on pet bird.

8. Pionus Parrots

Pionus Parrot
  • Colors – Blue, Green
  • Size – Medium
  • Lifespan – 30+ years
  • Noise – Medium
  • Social Needs – Medium

The Pionus Parrot is an easy going and quieter compared to Amazon birds. They are very social with their owners and do require that you spend quality time with them. It will not get overly attached to one person in the home. It fits well as a family pet, though care and supervision should be provided around small children as their bites are painful.

Pionus Parrots are not the flashiest looking bird, but they have all the pros of Amazon birds without many of the cons. They are one of the longer lived parrots on this list, usually living between 25 – 40 years. You should be prepared for a long-term commitment when choosing to purchase them as a pet.

9. Amazon Parrots

Amazon Parrot
  • Colors – Green
  • Size – Medium
  • Lifespan – 30+ years
  • Noise – Loud
  • Social Needs – High

The Amazon parrot is the largest bird on this list. They are considered the life of the party by many owners due to their personality. They are a joy to have. They can learn how to talk and love to sing. They love to play and do well with adults as a long-term companion.

While the Amazon Parrot would be considered the most advanced bird on this list for a beginner, they are also easy to read. This is because they are open about expressing themselves. With experience, you can learn to read their moods by observing their body language, eyes, feathers, and stance. At the same time, failing to read these queues can result in some painful bites!

They require a lot of social interaction and will demand your attention. They are known for getting loud when they want attention or want something. This is not a bird for someone who is frequently out of town.

Amazon Parrots are long-lived. With a proper diet and care they can live up to 60 years. Like the Pionus Parrot, be prepared for a long-term commitment. This is the easiest of all the big birds that you can purchase in the trade today.

Conclusion

I hope this article helps guide you on making a decision on what pet bird works best for you. If you have an experience or comments regarding these birds, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading~

by Mark

Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping - both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.

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