17 Types of Parrots That Make Wonderful Pets

Different types of parrots on white background

If you are in search of a bird companion that offers interaction and companionship, there are several parrot species that make wonderful pets! 

Each parrot species brings its own charm and personality traits ideal for different types of owners. Some species are sociable while others are more independent – you just have to identify which one suits your preference.

In this article, we’ve listed 17 types of parrots with distinctive qualities that make them fantastic pets. We’ve also added pictures of each for a more fun reading experience!

17 Different Types of Parrots to Keep as Pets

1. African Grey Parrot

African Grey Parrot looking at camera
Scientific Name:Psittacus erithacus
Size:13–16 in (33–40 cm)
Weight:0.9–1.3 lbs (400–600 g)
Lifespan:Up to 50 years
Temperament:Intelligent, sensitive
Talking Ability:High
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$1,500–$3,000

The African Grey Parrot is a brilliant and emotionally complex bird. These parrots are renowned for their exceptional ability to mimic human speech and sounds, making them a favorite among bird enthusiasts. 

Their cognitive abilities are comparable to those of a young child, which allows them to learn and use words contextually. 

African Greys also display a wide range of emotions and can form deep bonds with their human caretakers.

However, their intelligence also means they require constant mental stimulation. Leaving them bored or neglected can lead to behavioral issues, such as feather plucking. 

Thus, African Grey Parrots are best suited for individuals who can provide a nurturing, engaging, and stable environment. 

Note, though, that African Greys are a lot more expensive than other parrot species in this list.

2. Amazon Parrot

Amazon Parrot in tropical setting
Scientific Name:Amazona
Size:10–18 inches (25–45 cm)
Weight:0.5–1.5 lbs (225–680 g)
Lifespan:50–70 years
Temperament:Social, active, can be loud
Talking Ability:High
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$1,000–$3,000

The Amazon Parrot is a vibrant and sociable bird species, instantly recognizable by its bright green feathers accented with splashes of other colors. 

These parrots are not just visually striking but also known for their outgoing personalities. In their natural habitat, Amazon Parrots are social creatures, often seen in groups.

They have a natural inclination for vocalization, which, in a domestic setting, translates to a range of sounds, including talking and singing. This trait makes them highly entertaining pets, but they can also be quite noisy.

Another endearing quality of Amazon Parrots is their playful nature. They love interacting with toys and human companions, so they are ideal for families or individuals seeking an interactive pet. 

Fun Fact: When Amazon Parrots were first discovered, they were called “Kriken,” which is the French word for “screechers.” This is attributed to the loud noises they make.

3. Budgie/Budgerigar

Budgerigar standing on rock side view
Scientific Name:Melopsittacus undulatus
Size:7 inches (18 cm)
Weight:1–1.4 oz (30–40 g)
Lifespan:5–10 years
Temperament:Friendly, easy to tame, active
Talking Ability:Moderate (especially males)
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$10–$35

The Budgie or Budgerigar is a small, vibrant parrot cherished for its playful nature and ease of care. 

Originating from Australia, these charming birds are available in a variety of colors like blue and orange, though the classic is bright green with yellow.

Budgies are social creatures that thrive in pairs or groups, though they bond well with human companions, too. Their small size and gentle temperament make them the best pets for families and individuals alike. 

Similar to Amazon parrots, Budgies are also known for their vocal abilities, capable of whistling tunes and, in some cases, mimicking speech.

Due to their small size, Budgies require less space than larger parrots, making them fit for apartment living. Their care involves a balanced diet, regular exercise, and social interaction. 

4. Caique Parrot

Caique Parrot side profile
Scientific Name:Pionites 
Size:9 inches (23 cm)
Weight:5–6 oz (140–170 g)
Lifespan:30–40 years
Temperament:Energetic, playful, affectionate
Talking Ability:Low
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$800–$1,500

The Caique Parrot is a lesser-known but charming bird with striking coloration and a playful personality. These medium-sized parrots have a unique appearance with a blend of bright yellow, green, and orange feathers.

According to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology, Caiques are the clowns of the parrot world due to their playful and energetic nature. 

They are constantly active, and they love to engage in games and acrobatics, which makes them highly entertaining to watch. 

Additionally, Caiques form strong bonds with their owners and often demand attention and interaction.

These birds are best suited for individuals who have ample time to engage with them. They need a variety of toys and activities to keep them mentally stimulated. 

5. Cockatiel

Cockatiel with yellow crest
Scientific Name:Nymphicus hollandicus
Size:12–13 inches (30–33 cm)
Weight:3–4 oz (85–113 g)
Lifespan:15–20 years
Temperament:Friendly, affectionate, can be trained
Talking Ability:Moderate (especially males)
Loudness:Low to moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$50–$150

The Cockatiel is a small, crest-feathered parrot famous for its charming disposition and wide variety of colors. These birds are loved for their gray body, accented with a yellow face and orange cheek patches.

Generally, Cockatiels are among the most popular pet birds due to their manageable size and affectionate nature. They are also known for their whistling capabilities, and they mimic household noises and tunes. 

These birds are also sociable and enjoy interaction but can be content with some alone time, which makes them relatively easy to care for.

Moreover, they are ideal for both beginners and experienced bird keepers since they offer a delightful balance of companionship and independence.

Here’s a guide on how to take care of cockatiels if you are intent on taking home one:

How to take care of a cockatiel: Tips for new bird owners

6. Cockatoo

Cockatoo with raised crest
Scientific Name:Cacatuidae
Size:12–24 inches (30–60 cm), depending on species
Weight:0.7–2.2 lbs (300–1,000 g), depending on species
Lifespan:40–60 years, some species live longer
Temperament:Affectionate, can be demanding and loud
Talking Ability:Moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes, for experienced bird owners
Price Range:$1,000–$4,000+

The Cockatoo is a large, strikingly beautiful parrot that has a dramatic crest and varied coloration, ranging from snowy white to deep black. 

These birds are native to Australia and nearby islands and are admired for their majestic appearance and expressive nature.

Cockatoos are highly intelligent and require constant mental stimulation to stay happy. They form deep bonds with their owners and are very affectionate. 

However, they can also be very demanding. They need significant time and attention from their caregivers.

Potential owners should also be aware that Cockatoos can be quite loud and have a natural tendency to chew. They also thrive better in environments where they can interact, play, and explore. 

7. Conure Parrot

Conure Parrot with radiant orange head
Scientific Name:Aratinga solstitialis
Size:9–21 inches (23–53 cm)
Weight:2.3–8.8 oz (65–250 g
Lifespan:15–30 years
Temperament:Social, playful, can be noisy
Talking Ability:Moderate
Loudness:Moderate to high
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$200–$600+

The conure parrot, which is native to Central and South America, is another great pet choice with its vibrant plumage and spirited personality. 

There are many different types of conures that exhibit a variety of striking color patterns, including bright greens, vivid blues, and yellows.

Aside from being visually appealing, conures are also known for their endearing and sociable personalities. 

These birds are known for their playful antics, such as perching on shoulders or heads, and some even have a mischievous streak – like playfully tugging at hair or knocking off hats. 

Their interactive nature makes them a joy to have around in family settings.

8. Eclectus Parrot

Eclectus Parrot with vivid colors
Scientific Name:Eclectus roratus
Size:17–20 inches (43–50 cm)
Weight:13–19 oz (370–540 g)
Lifespan:30–50 years
Temperament:Calm, gentle, intelligent
Talking Ability:Good
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$1,000–$3,000

The Eclectus Parrot is unique for having two different appearances; males are bright green, while females are red and purple. Not only are these birds a visual spectacle, but their personalities are equally captivating as well. 

Known for their serene and composed nature, Eclectus Parrots often exude a sense of tranquility, making them a delightful presence in any environment. 

Their intelligence is also notable — they develop an impressive vocabulary when trained, which showcases their capacity for communication and interaction.

Fun Fact: Because of the sexual dimorphism of Eclectus Parrots, many biologists thought that the males and females were two different species. The males were identified in 1776, while the females were described 61 years later.

9. Lovebird

Lovebirds on a perch
Scientific Name:Agapornis
Size:5–7 inches (13–17 cm)
Weight:1.5–2 oz (40–60 g)
Lifespan:10–20 years
Temperament:Social, active, can be nippy
Talking Ability:Low
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$50–$200

The lovebird is a small, charming parrot that is very affectionate. In the wild, they are inherently social creatures, usually thriving in pairs or small groups. 

Their name aptly reflects their strong pair bonds, as they are known to form monogamous relationships that last a lifetime. 

This deep bond is so profound that if one partner dies, the surviving bird typically remains single for the rest of its life, showcasing a level of loyalty rarely observed in the animal kingdom.

What this means for bird owners is that they should be prepared to dedicate several hours each day to play or simply be in the company of their lovebird. 

This social requirement is not just for the bird’s entertainment but also for their emotional well-being. 

10. Macaw

Macaw with blue and yellow plumage
Scientific Name:Ara macao
Size:20–40 inches (50–100 cm)
Weight:0.5–4 lbs (225–1,800 g)
Lifespan:30–60 years
Temperament:Intelligent, social, can be loud
Talking Ability:Moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes, for experienced bird owners
Price Range:$1,000–$20,000+

The macaw is a magnificent, large parrot celebrated for its brilliant plumage and impressive size. 

They are the giants of the parrot world and are famous for their vivid colors, ranging from blues and greens to reds and yellows.

As one would expect, macaws are highly intelligent and social birds, requiring a lot of interaction and mental stimulation. They are also capable of learning a variety of tricks and can be very vocal.

Another astounding aspect of macaws is their lifespan. In the wild, they typically live for about 60 years. However, in captivity, their lifespan can extend dramatically, sometimes reaching up to a century. 

This incredible longevity means that owning macaws is often a lifelong commitment. In fact, it’s not uncommon for macaw owners to include these feathered family members in their wills, as the birds may outlive them.

11. Meyer’s Parrot

Meyers Parrot with with blue and yellow plumage
Scientific Name:Poicephalus meyeri
Size:8–9 inches (20–23 cm)
Weight:3.5–4.2 oz (100–120 g)
Lifespan:20–30 years
Temperament:Quiet, gentle, can be affectionate
Talking Ability:Moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$500–$1,500

The Meyer’s Parrot is a small and stocky bird with an incredibly long lifespan. They can be taught to speak, adding an interactive and entertaining aspect to their care.

However, it should be noted that Meyer’s Parrots are naturally prey animals, meaning they are instinctively watchful for predators like birds of prey and snakes. 

This instinctive behavior can influence their interactions in a domestic setting. For instance, if they feel territorial or threatened, Meyer’s parrots may deliver a strong bite. 

Recognizing their body language, such as eye pinning, is crucial for understanding their moods and preventing unwanted behaviors.

Drawing from personal experience, I recall a time when I was caring for a friend’s Meyer’s Parrot. Initially, the bird was quite wary and often showed signs of distress, like fluffing its feathers and eye pinning. 

With patience and observation, I learned to interpret these signals and adjusted my approach to make the bird feel more secure. 

This experience taught me the importance of understanding and respecting the natural instincts of these birds, especially in a domestic setting. 

12. Cobalt-Rumped Parrotlet

Cobalt Rumped Parrotlet on wood
Scientific Name:Touit batavicus
Size:6–7 inches (15–18 cm)
Weight:1.4–1.6 oz (40–45 g)
Lifespan:10–20 years
Temperament:Active, playful, can be nippy
Talking Ability:Low
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$100–$300

The Cobalt-rumped Parrotlet is a tiny, captivating bird that has a beautiful cobalt-blue rump and green plumage. These small parrots are a less common but delightful choice for pet owners.

Many bird enthusiasts rave about the affectionate and playful nature of these parrots. They are known to enjoy engaging with toys and bonding with their owners. 

Despite their small stature, they have a lot of energy and personality, often surprising people with their boldness.

Aside from their behavior, their intelligence is also worth noting. In fact, a recent study focusing on problem-solving abilities revealed that parrotlets outperformed several other smart parrot species in complex tests. 

Impressively, they were the sole parrots to successfully accomplish the final and most challenging task in the series.

13. Pionus Parrot

Pionus Parrot with blue head
Scientific Name:Pionus
Size:10–12 inches (25–30 cm)
Weight:7–9 oz (200–250 g)
Lifespan:25–40 years
Temperament:Quiet, gentle, can be affectionate
Talking Ability:Moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$400–$1,200

The Pionus Parrot is a hidden gem in the parrot world. They showcase a blend of blues, greens, and greys, with unique red undertones around the throat, which is why they look extremely elegant.

One of the most appealing traits of the Pionus Parrots is their tranquil and even-tempered nature. Their gentle demeanor makes them excellent companions for those who appreciate a more laid-back pet. 

Another significant advantage of Pionus Parrots is their relatively low noise level. Unlike some of their more vocal parrot counterparts, Pionus Parrots tend to be quieter, making them ideal for homes where noise can be a concern. 

This attribute, combined with their low-maintenance grooming needs and moderate exercise requirements, makes them well-suited for any bird enthusiast.

14. Quaker Parakeet

Quaker Parakeet side profile
Scientific Name:Myiopsitta monachus
Size:11–12 inches (28–30 cm)
Weight:3.5–4.5 oz (100–130 g)
Lifespan:20–30 years
Temperament:Social, active, can be loud
Talking Ability:Good
Loudness:Moderate to high
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$100–$400

The Quaker Parakeet or Quaker Parrot is a small to medium-sized bird native to parts of South America. These birds have green plumage and greyish breast and cheeks. 

Known for their intelligence and social nature, Quaker Parakeets are lively companions. They form strong bonds with humans, especially with their owners.

However, the popularity of Quaker Parakeets as pets has led to significant ecological and legal challenges. 

Due to their reputation as invasive species in various regions, several countries and states, including Spain, the United Kingdom, and Western Australia, have imposed bans on keeping them as pets.

Pro Tip: Before deciding to own a Quaker Parrot in the United States, study your state’s rules and regulations first concerning the legalities of keeping these birds as pets. 

It is illegal in several states, including California, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Connecticut, Wyoming, Georgia, Hawaii, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. 

Even in states where it is legal to own them, there are often stringent regulations to control their population and prevent escape. 

15. Ringneck Parrot

Ringneck Parrot on branch looking forward
Scientific Name:Psittacula krameri
Size:14–17 inches (36–43 cm)
Weight:4–5 oz (115–140 g)
Lifespan:25–30 years
Temperament:Intelligent, active, can be nippy
Talking Ability:Good
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$200–$500

The Ringneck Parrot, specifically the Indian Ringneck, is a medium-sized parrot known for its bright green plumage and the distinctive neck rings of its males.

Ringnecks can learn to speak and mimic sounds, so they are a popular choice for families. They are active birds, which means they require space to fly and explore, as well as a variety of toys for mental stimulation.

Note, though, that owners need to be responsible, as Ringnecks can potentially impact local ecosystems if released. 

As per a study published in Research Gate, they are considered agricultural pests and are highly exotic.

16. Senegal Parrot

Senegal Parrot with orange belly
Scientific Name:Poicephalus senegalus
Size:9 inches (23 cm)
Weight:4–5 oz (120–140 g)
Lifespan:20–30 years
Temperament:Playful, can be affectionate
Talking Ability:Moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$200–$600

The Senegal Parrot is a charming and compact bird native to West Africa. These birds are smaller than many other parrots but are known for their playful and confident personalities.

In a domestic setting, Senegal Parrots are known for their loyalty. You would see them bonding with a single person all the time. 

They also have softer, quieter voices compared to larger parrots, which makes them a more subdued option for a household pet. These birds are also intelligent and capable of mimicking sounds and human speech.

Generally, Senegal Parrots are ideal for individuals or families looking for a sociable and engaging pet that is not as loud or demanding.

17. Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet with vibrant multicolored feathers
Scientific Name:Trichoglossus moluccanus
Size:10–12 inches (25–30 cm)
Weight:2.6–5.6 oz (75–160 g)
Lifespan:20–30 years
Temperament:Very active, playful, social
Talking Ability:Moderate
Suitable as a Pet:Yes
Price Range:$500–$1,500

The Rainbow Lorikeet is a vividly colored parrot often found in noisy flocks. They display a mix of blue, green, and yellow colors, with a red bill and black feet. 

Rainbow Lorikeets are unique in their feeding habits since they primarily consume nectar and pollen, thanks to their specialized brush-tipped tongues. 

When I visited an aviary a few months back, I had a chat with one of the keepers of the Rainbow Lorikeets, and they confirmed the unique feeding behavior of this parrot. 

The keeper also clarified that aside from nectar and pollen, these lorikeets love eating insects, insect larvae, and invertebrates found in foliage and flowers.

If you plan to keep this species as a pet, you would really need to provide them with a diet that meets their unique nutritional needs, similar to how the aviary I visited approached their feeding needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Four pet parrots in a row

What Is the Best Parrot to Have as a Pet?

Some of the best parrots as pets include the African Grey Parrot, Eclectus Parrot, and Amazon Parrot. These species are known for their intelligence, ability to bond with their owners, and potential for speaking. 

However, the “best” parrot for you still depends on factors such as your experience level, available time for interaction, and living situation. 

What Is the Most Common Pet Parrot?

The most common pet parrots include the Budgerigar (Budgie), Cockatiel, and lovebirds. 

These smaller parrot species are popular choices for beginners and experienced bird owners alike due to their manageable size, relatively low noise levels, and playful personalities. 

Additionally, they are often more affordable and easier to find in pet stores and from breeders compared to some of the larger and more exotic parrot species.

What Is the Most Difficult Parrot to Own?

Some of the most difficult parrots to own are large species known for their high intelligence, strong personalities, and complex care requirements. 

The African Grey Parrot and the macaw species, such as the Scarlet Macaw and Hyacinth Macaw, fall into this category. 

These parrots demand a significant amount of mental stimulation, social interaction, and space. They can also be challenging to train and may develop behavior problems if not properly cared for.

What Is the Easiest Parrot to Own?

The easiest parrots to own typically include smaller species that are more forgiving of beginner mistakes and have less demanding care requirements. 

Budgerigars (Budgies) and Cockatiels often top the list of easy-to-care-for parrots. They are relatively small, have simple dietary needs, and are more adaptable to different living environments. 

Additionally, these parrots tend to be less noisy compared to larger species, making them suitable for apartment living in some cases.

Which of the pet parrots listed here caught your eye the most? We’d love to hear your preferences in the comments! Additionally, if you have any inquiries about the care requirements of these birds, feel free to ask us.

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