Parrots are undeniably, very attractive birds. Some species have been popular for hundreds of years, not just for their vibrant attractive looks, but for the range of behaviours and vocalizations they can make. But they do come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and some are friendlier than others.
There are some parrot species that love attention, to sing songs and spend time with others, be that birds in the wild, or with their owners. Then there are others that are born to be wild, don’t really care for attention or companionship.
This post takes a look at a range of the different types of parrots that make good pets, with images and information about where these birds are from, and why they make good pets. Lets get started!
Types Of Parrots To Keep As Pets
Mealy Parrots are social birds and can be found in pairs or in large flocks. They are even known to interact with other parrot species, such as macaws. Mealy Parrots are usually quiet but can be very loud at dusk and dawn. They can be excellent talkers, and learn a lot of different vocalizations.
Mealy Parrots are native to Central and South America and belong to the genus Amazona. They are medium-sized birds, typically measuring between 12 and 14 inches in length. They get their name from the Mealy appearance of their feathers, which have a slightly waxy texture. These parrots have bright green bodies with yellow markings around their wings and tail, along with blue head and neck feathers.
Among captive amazon parrots, they boast a reputation of being some of the most tranquil and gentle parrots.
Lovebirds are delightful and sociable pet birds that make great companions for those looking for a pet with personality. They are small and easy to care for, but they have big personalities and can be incredibly loving companions. As part of the genus Agapornis, they are native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Middle East and belong to the same family as parrots.
Lovebirds are known for their vibrant colors, ranging from green and yellow to orange and blue. They’re relatively small birds, measuring between four to six inches in length, with a stocky build and short tail. Lovebirds are also incredibly social and enjoy spending time with their owners. They thrive when provided with plenty of attention, and can even be trained to perform tricks like playing dead, or taking a bow.
Monk Parakeet aka (Monk Parrot or Quaker Parakeet)
Monk Parakeets, or Quaker Parakeets, also known as Monk Parrots or Quaker Parrots, are a popular pet bird due to their intelligence, social nature and ability to mimic speech. Native to South America, these birds belong to the genus Myiopsitta and can live for up to 30 years in captivity.
Monk Parakeets have bright green bodies with grayish-blue feathers on their wings and tail, along with a scalloped pattern of yellow feathers around their neck and chest. They measure up to 12 inches long and enjoy climbing, exploring, and chewing on things. Monks are quite active birds that require plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise.
These parrots can be quite affectionate and loyal to their owners, forming strong bonds with single people or households. They are also very social birds that thrive when given plenty of attention, and can even learn to talk and perform tricks. Quaker Parakeets make good apartment pets as they aren’t overly loud and can adapt well to living in small spaces. Overall, they are an intelligent and loving pet that make ideal companions for anyone looking for a feathered friend.
Burrowing Parrots, native to the southern regions of South America, are gaining popularity as pet birds due to their charming appearance and friendly nature. They belong to the genus Cyanoliseus, and are one of the smallest and quietest members of the parrot family. These small-sized birds measure between 7 to 8 inches in length, with a stocky build and short tail.
Burrowing Parrots are known for their unique coloring, ranging from bright green to blue-violet on their wings and body, along with yellow and red markings around their breast. They have an endearing nature that people find irresistible; they are gentle but playful birds that love companionship and attention. They are also quite intelligent, making them easy to train, and can even learn to talk or perform tricks.
Burrowing Parrots make great apartment pets as they tend to be relatively quiet. Plus, they don’t require a lot of space and are relatively easy to care for. They also have a tendency to bond closely with more than one person in the home, unlike many other parrots.
Parrotlets are small parrots native to South America and Mexico. These petite birds measure between 4 to 5 inches in length, but despite their size, they have big personalities. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from green to blue, yellow and white with splashes of orange and red.
Parrotlets make excellent companions as they are incredibly smart, playful and loyal birds. They also form strong bonds with their owners, often preferring to spend time with one person in the home. They are highly social, and in wild settings can be found in large flocks, so it’s important to provide plenty of attention and socialization.
Parrotlets are also relatively quiet, preferring to chatter quietly rather than screech like some larger parrots. They do need regular physical exercise however, so it’s important to provide them with a large enough cage as well as toys and accessories that they can climb on and play with.
African Grey Parrots
African Grey Parrots are one of the most popular pet birds in the world, and are widely known for their intelligence and ability to mimic speech. Native to the African continent, these medium-sized parrots measure between 11 to 14 inches long with a plumage of grey feathers on their body and wings. They have a characteristic red tail and a grey patch of feathers around the eyes.
African Greys are incredibly smart birds with a long lifespan, often living up to 50 or 60 years in captivity. They are also highly social animals that thrive on human companionship, so it’s important to provide plenty of attention and stimulation for them. They can also learn to speak, and enjoy tasks that challenge their problem-solving skills.
Given the right conditions and attention, African Greys can make wonderful pets for families with older children or households without young kids. They require a large enough cage to move around in, as well as lots of toys that they can play with and chew.
Meyer’s Parrots, also known as the “Brown parrot”, are small to medium-sized parrots native to south-eastern Africa. These friendly birds measure between 8 to 9 inches in length, with a bright green body and light brown/grey head. They look similar to brown headed parrots, but have bright yellow markings on the carpal joint of the wings, which easily tell the two birds apart.
Some subspecies have an orange beak and many subspecies have a yellow patch of feathers around their eyes, giving them a distinct and appealing look.
Meyer’s Parrots are known for being gentle and affectionate birds that love human companionship. The Meyer’s parrot is naturally a social creature and loves to be part of the family, but prefers not to be in the spotlight. Instead, they enjoy watching from afar as your family engages with one another. They are happy to engage, and need to be handled but they don’t demand any attention.
Timneh Greys Parrot
Timneh Grey Parrots are a subspecies of the larger African Grey parrot, native to West Africa. They are slightly smaller than their cousins, measuring between 9 and 10 inches in length with a grey plumage and black beak. Their tails have a distinctive maroon hue, giving them a unique look that stands out from other African Greys.
Timneh Greys can make wonderful pets for those that have the time, patience and knowledge to provide proper care. They are highly intelligent birds who enjoy being engaged with, so it’s important to give them plenty of attention. They thrive when given tasks and challenges, often learning to speak quickly and with clarity.
Timneh Greys also require plenty of physical and mental activities. They are relatively quiet birds, but do need regular out-of-cage time.
Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot
Yellow-Naped Amazons are a species of medium-sized parrots found in Central America and South America. They are one of the most commonly kept pet parrots in the United States, due to their gentle nature and ability to learn to speak. They display great learning abilities and can develop a vocabulary greater than most other parrot species.
These parrots measure between 10 and 12 inches in length, with mostly green plumage and a yellow nape (neck) feathers. They have black beaks and feet, and white rings around their eyes.
Yellow-Naped Amazons require plenty of physical and mental activities. They can be a little loud at times, but generally speaking they are relatively quiet birds compared to other Amazon parrot species. They do need regular out-of-cage time as well.
Caique Parrots are a type of small to medium-sized parrot native to South America. They measure between 8 and 9 inches in length, with a bright green body and white/yellow markings on their feathers. There are four subspecies, some of which have a white or yellow head, with beige beak and feet. Others have a yellow and orange feathered neck, with a black head, black beak and feet.
These vibrant birds are a popular choice for pet owners, thanks to their outgoing and playful personalities. Caique Parrots are highly intelligent and love to be active, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities throughout the day. They thrive when given tasks and challenges, often learning new tricks quickly.
They are small and playful, and while they can mimic vocalizations, they are not the most talkative.
Eclectus Parrots are a species of medium-sized parrot native to Northeast Australia, Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands. They measure between 12 and 14 inches in length, with beautiful multi-colored plumage.
Male Eclectus parrots boast an electric green hue, with touches of brilliant red and blue. Their beaks resemble a tequila sunrise, with orange fading to yellow. The female sports a vibrant red with scarlet shade paired with purple and sapphire accents and jet-black beaks
Eclectus Parrots make excellent pets for those that have the time, patience and knowledge to provide proper care. They are highly intelligent birds who enjoy being engaged with, so it’s important to give them plenty of attention. They can live for up to 30 years in captivity.
Conure Parrots are a type of small to medium-sized parrot native to Central and South America. They measure between 8 and 15 inches in length, with colorful plumage that varies between subspecies. The two most popular Conure pet breeds are the Sun Conure and the Green-Cheeked Conure.
Conure Parrots make wonderful pets for those that have the time, patience and knowledge to provide proper care. They are highly intelligent birds who love to be active and engaged with. Daily interaction should include toys and activities, as they thrive on tasks and challenges.
These birds are highly sociable and express their feelings loud and clear, never shying away from vocalizing their sentiments.
With proper care, these birds can live for up to 20 years in captivity.
Pionus Parrots are a type of small to medium-sized parrot native to Central and South America. They measure between 8 and 12 inches (usually no larger than 10 inches) in length, boasting an array of beautiful colors. Depending on the species, colors range from vivid green, blues, reds and purples along with a host of other hues.
Pionus Parrots can learn a variety of words and tricks, although they tend to be quieter than other parrot species. These feathery pals might be shy at first with unfamiliar faces, but can become boisterous and even a bit diva-like within the comfort of their family. These birds are full of life – boasting vibrant colors both on plumage and personality alike.
Given proper care throughout its lifespan, these feathered friends have been known to live for up to 30 years.
Amazon Parrots are a type of medium-sized parrot native to Central and South America. They measure between 10 and 18 inches in length, with vibrant colors that range from yellow to green, blue, red and even purple, depending on the species. Most are predominantly green with a variety of colored accents.
Sadly, the population of Amazon parrots in their natural habitat is declining due to over trapping; however, there are still many varieties across South America.
These birds boast an impressive variety of expressions from both vocalizations and body language.
Amazon Parrots are highly intelligent and interact well with people, making them great pets for anyone with the time, patience and knowledge to provide proper care. But they do need a lot of attention, care and time. They crave attention and are one of the most demanding species.
They are also known for being loyal and loving companions, often bonding deeply with their human counterparts.
With proper care, these birds can live for up to 50 years in captivity.
Senegal Parrots are a type of small to medium-sized parrot native to West and Central Africa. They measure between 10 and 12 inches in length, boasting beautiful colors of green and yellow, with a grey head and beak.
Senegal Parrots have a gentle and friendly personality, but they can be shy at first. With socialization, they become loyal and loving companions who bond deeply with their human counterparts.
These birds are quieter than most other parrots, and are the perfect pet for those living in apartments or shared buildings. Not only do they require less maintenance than other types of parrots, but also make excellent companions!
Macaws, are some of the more classical rainforest parrots. When you see illustrations of pirates with talking birds, macaws, with their vibrant colors and distinctive beaks are the birds you usually see. But they do come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some make better pets than others.
The macaw is a sociable bird when it is in captivity and can be hand raised. It can learn to imitate sounds and words. It cannot really talk, only mimic. Macaws can be trained to sit on a perch, but if it is caged to tightly, its beautiful tail feathers will be ruined because they are so long.
As pets, Scarlet Macaws are popular cage birds for those who can pay both the high price of the bird and the price of the big cage required.
The Great Green Macaw is sometimes bred in captivity, having a less nervous personality than most other macaws, but it is still very rarely seen as a pet.
Macaws require much more effort – and more knowledge – from owners than more traditional pets such as dogs or cats. Macaws are intelligent and loving, so for someone who can provide for their needs, they make good companion animals.
Cockatoos are a type of large parrot native to South East Asia and Australia. They measure between 12 and 24 inches in length, boasting vibrant colors of white, black, yellow and pink. Depending on the species, they can have crests that range from soft, fluffy tufts to spectacular showy plumes.
Cockatoos are known for their loyal, affectionate and highly social personalities. They love to play, cuddle and come up with mischief of all sorts. Not only do they require a lot of attention and mental stimulation, but also need a lot of physical interaction as well. This means that they will demand a great deal of time, patience and effort from their owners.
These birds are also highly intelligent, with the capacity to learn words and tricks quickly. Plus, they can live up to 50 years in captivity when provided with proper care. Cockatoos make great pets for those who have the time and dedication to provide them with a stimulating environment full of love and attention.
Cockatiels are a type of small to medium-sized parrot native to Australia. They measure between 10 and 12 inches in length, boasting vibrant colors of yellow, white, grey and orange.
They are the littlest member of the Cockatoo family, and are especially popular house birds in the United States.
These birds are one of the least demanding types of cockatoo. They require minimal care and attention whilst being incredibly sociable – ideal for first time parrot owners.
Cockatiels also make excellent companion pets, often bonding deeply with their owners. They are known for being gentle, affectionate and playful. Not only do they love to cuddle and snuggle in their owner’s lap, but they also enjoy interacting with toys.
These birds have a life span of up to 20-25 years in captivity when provided with proper care. They make great pets for any home, and are a perfect fit for those who don’t have the time or experience to provide more demanding species with the attention they need.
Parakeets are a type of small to medium-sized parrot, typically measuring between 6 and 10 inches in length. They boast vibrant colors of green, yellow, blue, white and orange. These birds are incredibly social animals that enjoy interacting with their human owners as well as other birds.
Parakeets require minimal care – just a little food, water but they do need a fair amount of attention.
They are social creatures who need companionship, so it is recommended to keep them in pairs or even larger groups. They have a strong flock mentality, which in the wild, creates a safe and secure environment for the birds where they can thrive. They carry this mentality instinctively even when in captivity.
They are also relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming, as they have the ability to preen their own feathers.
These birds are known for being very vocal – they can mimic human speech and whistle tunes! With patience and practice, parakeets can learn up to 50 words or phrases.
Parakeets have a life span of between 5 – 30 years in captivity, depending on the species and when provided with proper care and attention. They are very affordable, making them a popular choice for first time parrot owners.
Kakariki Parrots are a type of small to medium-sized parrot native to New Zealand. They measure between 10 and 12 inches in length, boasting beautiful colors of green, blue, yellow and orange.
These birds make excellent companion pets as they are gentle, affectionate and very social. Kakarikis become deeply attached to their owners and love nothing more than spending time with them.
Not only do these birds have a beautiful singing voice, but they are also great talkers! With plenty of patience and practice, Kakariki Parrots can learn to mimic speech and whistle tunes.
These birds are relatively calm compared to other parrot species, which makes them the perfect pet for those living in apartments or shared buildings. Plus, they have a life span of up to 25 years when provided with proper care.
Ring-Necked Parakeets – also known as Rose-ringed parakeets – are a type of large parrot that is native to the Indian Subcontinent, and a narrow band of central African countries, from coast to coast.
They measure around 16 inches in length including the tail feathers, and in the wild both sexes have a distinctive green color. Captive bred ring-necks however, have many colour mutations including turquoise, white, blue, violet and yellow. Males have a red and black neck ring, while females have a pale or dark grey ring around their neck.
Ring-necked Parakeets are one of the easiest parrots to care for as they require minimal maintenance, but they can be quite loud. They can be taught to speak in captivity, and in the wild they have an unmistakably loud, squawking call. Not only do they enjoy interacting with toys, but they also love to chatter and whistle tunes.
Interestingly, these parrots are the only naturalised species of parrot in the United Kingdom!
Parrots That Don’t Make Good Pets
Kea Parrots are classed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN as their numbers are declining. Their decline is not helped by farmers who shoot them in belief that keas kill their sheep.
As a protected species, it is mandatory to acquire a permit before you can have a Kea in captivity. At present, only 65 birds are captive-kept by an estimated 20 different permit holders.
Kea Parrots like to get into buildings whatever way they can, even down chimneys. They make themselves welcome at ski lodges. Once inside buildings, nothing is sacred, if something can be chewed then they will have a go.
Anyone that does have a kea in captivity, must remain ever-vigilant. Their inquisitive nature and lack of understanding regarding the value of human belongings can lead to costly destruction.