Best Pet Birds For Beginners: A Complete Guide

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best pet birds for beginner


With over 5 million households in the U.S. with pet birds, it’s no wonder you’re looking at a new aviary friend! If you’re looking to find out about the best pet birds for beginners, you’re in the right place. This article will walk you through the basics of bird breeds that work best for beginner bird keepers. From size to levels of affection, we’ll go through all the details for you so you can make the most educated choice in your new bird-friend.

The Fifteen Best Pet Birds For Beginner

Bourke’s Parakeet.

These relatively quiet little birds aren’t big talkers, but they are very loving and affectionate. At an adult length of 7-9 inches, they aren’t going to be massive and require a medium cage with natural decor. They are avid flyers, so daily fly time within the home is necessary unless a large aviary is going to be home. Man-made toys will help keep your parakeet happy when paired with regular interaction. These are ideal apartment birds that live up to 25 years. It is suggested to provide a bathing pool in the cage or aviary for these birds, they are avid bathers. The most common medical issue with Bourke’s Parakeets is psittacosis, which strikes the respiratory system and is handled via exotics vet with antibiotics.

The canaries.

These charming little birds are a common beginner bird and one of the best pet birds for beginners. They are low maintenance, don’t require massive cages, and are a pleasing little companion. At only 4 ¾ to 8 inches in length, the subspecies can vary in size. They have a soft, delightful song and have been carefully bred in a variety of colors and singing ability. They are inexpensive pets, one of the more inexpensive birds on the list, and live between 5 and 15 years with proper care. The canaries are unique because they can be kept solo or co-exist with many other varieties of finches. The canaries are generally very healthy and hearty birds, which most often only have issues if their care is off.

Peach-faced Lovebirds.

These intelligent little birds are a favorite among both beginners and experienced keepers. At an adult size of 5-6 inches, they are small in size but big in personality. With great care, a Peach-faced Lovebird can live a full 10-15 years. These little feathery creatures are active, curious, feisty, and playful. They require daily interaction from a very young age. While not as loud as some larger bird species, they can still belt out a loud screech usually when seeking their owners’ attention. When they can be kept alone happily, it requires a large time commitment to do so. While they are not known talkers, many will attempt to mimic speech or sounds when comfortable or trying to garner attention.

Budgerigar/ Parakeet.

One of the most popular first birds, these affectionate and cute little birds rank third on the world list of most popular pets. These small birds have a lot of personality and are small. If trained properly, they can mimic human speech patterns and noises. They range between 7 and 8 inches at adult length and come in a variety of colors ranging from green to white. The natural color of a budgie in the wild is green but selective breeding has broadened that range greatly. Their happy, personable nature makes these a great choice for people who would like a talking bird but don’t have space for a large parrot.

Quaker Parrot.

These birds make one of the best pet birds for beginners for a variety of reasons. They are personable, comical, and have a great willingness to learn human speech. At a full 12 inches from beak to tail, they are larger than many of the other breeds on this list. Quaker Parrots can live 20 to 30 years in captivity and bond greatly with those around them. They are very confident and social birds that are easier than most to tame. They are very active birds who require space to fly and play. If a large cage is not possible, then time outside the cage to fly is a must. The most common medical issue with these parrots is fatty liver disease. This can cause plucking and avoidance of handling.

Green-cheeked Conure.

These quiet birds make wonderful first-time pets. With a total length of 8 to 12 inches, they are on the larger side of the beginner bird chart. They can live up to 30 years in captivity with proper care and consideration. They are playful and affectionate but sometimes a bit jealous and bond very closely to their handlers. These feisty little birds often love to be held and can learn simple tricks such as “kiss,” shaking, and hanging upside down from your hand. They are a hardy bird who most often suffers from nutritional neglect more than actual medical issues. There are at least five different color variations to choose from due to captive breeding.


These attractive little birds are a very popular choice for a first pet bird. They are attractive and friendly. Due to their smaller size of only 12-13 inches, they are generally easier to tame than larger bird choices. These birds are very good whistlers, so while they may not mimic speech, they often learn to whistle tunes to entertain themselves and their handlers. With a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, they are a fairly long-lived species. Though they do not often like cuddling, they do enjoy being close and interacting with their owners. Captive breeding has allowed for six different color varieties in this species. The most common health issues seen with these birds are similar to many others due to nutritional deficiency. A varied diet is a must.

Senegal Parrot.

These medium-sized parrots are remarkably calm and quiet by nature, making them a great first bird. At 10 inches in length, they are a good, medium size. They most commonly live 20 to 30 years, but with great care, some have lived to near 50 years of age! Most well-socialized birds have the capability to be handled by many, but new owners must be warned, these tend to be one-person birds. They are highly trainable, quietly mimic, and are very charming little birds. Interaction with these birds is considered very easy, most are happy to simply sit with you on your shoulder while you go about your daily business around the house. As far as health goes, Aspergillosis is a common fungal disease that often affects them. Proper cage cleaning will minimize this risk.

Blue-winged Parrotlet.

These beautiful little birds are uncommon first pet’s but make wonderful companions for beginner bird keepers. At a total length of 4 to 5 inches, they are small and do not require some of the advanced spaces as other breeds. They are friendly, happy little creatures that can live between 10 and 15 years with proper care. They are active and playful, often being compared to a toddler in their level of energy so one must be prepared to have daily interaction of at least a couple hours to satisfy that need. These are hardy little birds who, like many. Most often suffer from nutritional deficiencies.


These tiny little birds are so often overlooked but make wonderful first birds for those who have little handle time. They vary by species from 1.5 to 4 inches in length and come in a variety of colors. All finches do best in small groups of at least 3, most commonly a group of all females or one male to multiple females. While they do not enjoy being handled, they do like to interact through the cage and are entertaining to watch. They are often very hardy little birds who suffer from very few ailments.

Pacific Parrotlet.

These 4.5 to 5.5-inch birds are often called “pocket parrots”. They are an ideal choice for a first-time bird keeper living in an apartment or condo where noise can be an issue. They live an average of 20 to 30 years in captivity. These little birds are not known for being big talkers but have a broad range of quiet vocal sounds. Proper daily handling is required for these birds. Without that needed handling time, they often become impish and a bit unruly. The most common health issues found with these birds derives from lack of handling. When neglected or bored, they will often begin to self pluck and even skin pick.

Poinus Parrot.

These are some of the most brightly colored beginner birds. They are a medium to large-sized parrot that is stocky and thick. The vibrantly colored Poinus parrot comes in a variety of colors and can live up to 40 years in captivity. While the Blue-headed poisonous is not a good choice for beginners, the other variations enjoy interacting with human family members. These birds need to have 3-4 hours outside their cage on a daily basis to remain active and happy. They have enjoyed high popularity for many years due to their active, friendly nature.

Amazon Parrot.

While the name encompasses over 30 different species, the amazon parrot makes a great first pet. They range from medium to large size and can live up to 50 years with proper diet and care. As a species, these birds range from 10 to 20 inches in length from beak to tail. All species of Amazon parrot are intelligent, brilliant, and playful birds. They require at least 2 hours of handling daily. These birds range from brilliant greens to yellow, purple, and even blues. They are relatively healthy birds but can suffer from neglect related health issues such as plucking.

Hyacinth Macaw.

As the largest breed on this list, these birds require large cages and frequent time out of their cage to explore. They get to a large size of 40 inches from head to tail with an impressive wingspan of up to 4 feet. These brilliantly colored birds can live 60 or more years in captivity and, while a good beginner bird, take a great time commitment. Though their large size can cause a bit of a fright, these large birds are quite gentle by nature. They are generally easy to train with positive reinforcement techniques. For those who require quiet birds, this is not the bird for you because their vocals range from words to loud screeching.

Ring-necked Dove.

These non-demanding birds can be kept by even the most beginner keepers. They can be kept indoors or outdoors and are very forgiving in regards to care. With a body size of 8 to 12 inches, they’re on the medium side as far as pet birds go. These resilient little birds live 10-25 years with proper care. Doves, in general, are not loud birds and these are no exception. They make a variety of noises from a coo to a purr. And They are very hardy birds who rarely suffer from medical issues. They do need lots of sunlight, however.

Things To Consider Before You Chose A Bird As A Pet

  • Space. Some species need much more room to fly than others.
  • Time. While all birds require a time commitment, some can need four or more hours a day while others may be happy with just an hour of your time and interaction.
  • Diet. Many bird species need a varied diet, which includes safe fruits and fresh vegetables.

Best Pet Birds For Beginners: FAQs

Q: What is the easiest bird to keep as a pet?

Finches are considered the easiest birds to keep. They require a flight cage but are happy with very little human interaction.

Q: What is the friendliest bird for a pet?

This ranges by the individual bird. Any bird can be friendly, given proper taming and time. No species will be friendly if you don’t spend the time interacting with them.

Q: What is the best bird to own as a pet?

The best bird to own as a pet is the one that fits your lifestyle. If you have a lot of time, then a species that needs time and handling is great. If you have little time, then finding an appropriate species is a must.

Q: What is the easiest pet bird to train?

Parrots, Parrotlets, and Conures are considered the easiest pet birds to tame. They are often friendly and want to learn things through positive reinforcement.


In closing, regardless of what species you pick, you need to find the species of bird that suits your life. We have included multiple species in this list that suit all lifestyles of living. Regardless of your living in a large home or a small apartment, there are breeds of birds that will suit you. Best of luck in finding your new feathered friend, and here’s to many years of successful bird-keeping!

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