Do you love birds and are thinking of getting one as a pet but don’t know which kind to get? It can be challenging for new bird owners to choose a type of bird, but luckily for you, this list outlines the 11 best birds to have as a pet for beginners.
So, let’s get to it!
Best Birds for Beginners
In no particular order, below are the easiest birds to take care of.
1. Budgerigar (Budgie)
- Scientific name: Melopsittacus undulatus
- Length: 7 – 10 in
- Weight: 1.1 – 1.4 oz
- Wingspan: 12 in
The budgerigar, commonly known as a budgie, is a small, naturally yellow and green bird. However, it’s often sold in the pet trade as blue or white, an effect of color mutation from selective breeding.
The budgie is one of the smallest parrot species, and it can mimic human speech. Their noise level is low, and they are considered chatterers.
Budgies make great companions because they are affectionate and easily hand-tamed. They’re also safe to have around children.
- Scientific name: Nymphicus hollandicus
- Length: 12 – 13 in
- Weight: 3.25 oz
- Wingspan: 10 – 12 in
The cockatiel is another parrot species, and many can mimic human words. Cockatiels rank as the most popular pet bird in the United States, a testament to how easy they are to care for.
They are typically grey, white, and yellow. Their noise level is low, and they are known as whistlers.
They are medium-social birds and love interacting with all family members rather than attaching to their primary carer. As such, they make excellent pets for larger families.
- Scientific name: Agapornis
- Length: 4 – 6 in
- Weight: 1.5 – 2 oz
- Wingspan: 9.5 in
The lovebird is a small bird that comes in various colors, such as teal, peach, white, or green. Their color is vivid, and they typically have a different colored head from their body color.
Lovebirds are named so because they mate for life, pine for their mates, and even feed their mates. If you get a single lovebird, then they’ll require a moderate amount of attention. However, if you get two lovebirds (one male and one female), they won’t need nearly as much as they can keep each other entertained with their lovey-dovey antics.
4. Domestic Canary
- Scientific name: Serinus canaria forma domestica
- Length: 4.9 – 5.3 in
- Weight: 0.7 oz
- Wingspan: 8 – 10 in
Domestic canaries are one of the smallest birds on this list. However, don’t let their size fool you, as their noise level is medium to high—they absolutely love to sing. So, this may not be the best bird if you live in an apartment.
Domestic canaries are excellent birds if you don’t have much time to spend with them. They are hands-off pets, meaning they won’t interact with their owners. So, if you want a bird that you can observe and listen to, this one is the perfect fit.
5. Amazon Parrot
- Scientific name: Amazona
- Length: 9 – 17.75 in
- Weight: 6.7 – 20 oz
- Wingspan: 8 – 11.26 oz
Amazon parrots are big, beautiful, and loud! They love to mimic human voices and sing songs. They’re also very sociable and require quite a bit of attention. You’ll also need to ensure you want a pet bird for life, as with proper care, Amazon parrots can live up to 60 years.
Amazon parrots may seem like challenging birds, but they make this list because they are very vocal about what they want. Also, you’ll be able to read their body language quickly.
- Scientific name: Fringillidae
- Length: 5 – 6 inches
- Weight: 0.74 oz
- Wingspan: 8 – 10 in
Finches are another excellent bird for those looking for a hands-off bird. Like domestic canaries, they will not interact with their owners or humans. However, you’ll want to get two or more finches because they still require socialization.
Finches are one of the cheapest birds you can buy, so they’re an excellent choice for beginners who don’t have much time or money to spend on a pet.
- Scientific name: Forpus coelestis
- Length: 5 in
- Weight: 1.23 oz
- Wingspan: 9.5 in
These little birds have big personalities! Similar to lovebirds, they’ll require a moderate amount of attention if you get a single parrotlet. However, if you get a pair (male and female), they will form a deep bond and won’t require much attention from you.
Their noise level is medium, and if you get a pair, they’ll spend a lot of time chatting with one another. However, they can have a bit of an attitude and pack a powerful bite, so they’re not recommended for families with small children.
8. Green-cheeked Parakeet
- Scientific name: Pyrrhura molinae
- Length: 10 in
- Weight: 2 – 3 oz
- Wingspan: 5 – 5.5 in
The green-cheeked parakeet is, well, cheeky! They love to clown around and pull pranks. Since they’re so mischievous, you’ll need to keep a close eye on them if you choose to get one as a pet.
Their noise level is low to moderate, so they’re a good bird for small-space living. They also make great family pets; they’re very friendly and good with children. That said, they have a temper and are known to bite, so it’s best to keep small children away from them.
9. Grey Parrot
- Scientific name: Psittacus erithacus
- Length: 13 in
- Weight: 14 oz
- Wingspan: 18 – 20.5 in
Grey parrots are among the most intelligent birds. They are thought to have the same mental and emotional capacity as a five-year-old human.
The grey parrot is a good choice for a beginner if you’re looking for a lifelong companion, as these birds can live up to 80 years, meaning they’ll likely outlive you!
They need a lot of socialization and exercise, so you’ll need enough time to care for them. However, they form intense bonds with their owners, so it will be easy to read them in no time. Plus, they love to mimic humans, so you’ll always have someone to chat with!
10. Quaker Parakeet
- Scientific name: Myiopsitta monachus
- Length: 12 in
- Weight: 3.5 oz
- Wingspan: 19 in
Like the other parakeet on this list, the quaker parakeet is quite the comedian. They need moderate socialization, or they can become destructive or depressed.
They’re the perfect choice for a beginner who wants a hands-on bird. They are very friendly and will even demand your attention if they don’t feel they’re getting enough. They can also easily pick up words, phrases, and tricks, making training a cinch.
11. Hyacinth Macaw
- Scientific name: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
- Length: 3.3 ft
- Weight: 2.6 – 3.7 lb
- Wingspan: Up to 4 ft
Last but certainly not least is the biggest bird on the list. Hyacinth Macaws are often referred to as “gentle giants.” While this certainly speaks to their friendly and affectionate nature, they’re not all that gentle due to their size.
The Hyacinth Macaw is only a good choice for a beginner who has done thorough research since they can be a handful. However, they make this list because of their friendliness and loyalty. They love playing or simply hanging out with their owners. They’ll also get along with other birds if they are introduced early enough.