The Best Bird Pets for Beginners

Birds are said to be the nearest modern relatives of the dinosaurs- specifically theropods (the same classification as a T-Rex). They’re called raptors for a reason, folks! Now, considerably smaller than their Crustaceous period ancestors, evolution has allowed them to adapt to a number of different climates and habitats, eventually leading them to lose their sharp teeth in exchange for beaks. Though, that’s not true for all birds- is it? We’re looking at you, ducks, geese, and penguins! Don’t worry, though. It’s not exactly legal in the state of California to own those kinds of birds, anyways so you’re safe! We do have to say- bird beaks are pretty sharp, so you’ll still want to be careful!

With so many fine feathered friends to choose from, it can be tough to pick. Whether you’re just looking for a low-maintenance bird pal, or are beginning your journey to becoming your town’s local avian enthusiast, we’ve got a few recommendations! Here are some of the best bird pets for beginners!

parakeet or budgie
A blue parakeet. Look how pretty and cute! Photo by Roberto Carlos Roman on Unsplash


Parakeets, or budgies as they’re also known, are number one on our list because they’re the most popular bird pet in the US and because they’re the most low-maintenance! These cute little guys come in many shades of blue, green, white, and yellow with black speckling on the head, back, and wings. With the proper care, they’re extremely affectionate and friendly. They can also be taught to perform tricks and even talk! We recommend not simply observing them, but spending a little time with them, too. Maybe even consider choosing a companion (preferably another budgie) for them to live with. Budgies are also great with children. Though they may take a snip at you if they’re being messed with, their bites don’t hurt nearly as much as a larger bird’s might. This is why parakeets are some of the best bird pets out there!

They are perfectly happy in a cage, but they do need exercise. We recommend letting your parakeet fly around for an hour or so every day. Prior to letting them out of their cage inside your home, you should ensure that they are properly trained and clip their wings for safety purposes. We also suggest clearing a room of all other animals so they can fly around and exhaust some of their energy.

Lifespan: 10 years
Size: Small
Noise Level: Low
Social Needs: Moderate

Look at those blushing cheeks! Photo by Ursula Gamez on Unsplash


Much like the parakeet, cockatiels are very popular bird pets and are actually the #1 bestsellers in America! They’re small affectionate birds that all have similar colorations across the board. typically gray, white and yellow. Cockatiels are most notable for the feathered crests on their heads and the red coloring on their cheeks. They’re easily trained and love interacting with people, opting to make friends with as many as possible, rather than attaching themselves to one specific person. They’re also great for families with children. They are slightly higher-maintenance than the budgie as they need a little more training and require a larger cage.

You should let your cockatiel out of its cage once a day for a few hours, ensuring that they have a nice open space in your home to feel safe as they get the exercise they need. They’re probably one of the best bird pets because they’re low-maintenance and friendly!

Lifespan: 20 Years
Size: Small
Noise Level: Low
Social Needs: Moderate

Wow- the colors on this parrotlet are delightful! Photo: Sudtawee Thepsuponkul/Shutterstock


Parrotlets are spunky, quick-witted, curious, and sassy and come in many shades of blue, green, and yellow. So, if you’re looking for a brightly colored, tiny bird with a ton of personality, you’ve definitely found it! They are a little less likely to bond with their owners if they don’t make an effort, so we highly recommend spending lots of time with them! Hand-feeding your parrotlet, teaching them tricks, and playing with them are acceptable forms of quality time that will help you bond. They love fun and toys, and are easily bored. If you don’t give them enough to do, they may become destructive. If you decide to give your parrotlet a companion, they will forge a strong bond and likely ignore people altogether. It all depends on what it is you’re looking for in a relationship with your pet.

You’ll need to let your parrotlet out of its cage, too. They need exercise! Make sure your bird is properly trained before letting them out of their cage, though. For the parrotlet, we recommend a few hours before corralling them back into their cage.

Lifespan: 20 Years
Size: Extra Small
Noise Level: Medium
Social Needs: Low (if they have a companion) / Moderate (if they are solo)

lovebirds best bird pets
Lovebirds are just so sweet and colorful! Photo by Isaac Benhesed on Unsplash


Lovebirds come in every color you can think of, and kind of resembles rainbow-colored sorbet or shaved ice! They are chatty, highly active, curious and playful- much like the parrotlet, they’re a small bird that packs a big punch! They will require a lot of training and attention so that they don’t become too territorial and aggressive, but they do sometimes get jealous. When you handle them frequently and train them right, they will bond with an owner and will actually become quite cuddly. Keep their cages stocked with hearty zinc and lead-free toys as they love to play and are quite aggressive chewers! It’s a myth that lovebirds need a mate, but they do like the feeling of being part of a flock. A single love bird will need a medium-sized cage to give them space to fly around.

Lovebirds need lots of exercise! So letting them out in a large safe room for a few hours every day will do the trick!

Lifespan: 20 Years
Size: Small
Noise Level: Low
Social Needs: Low (if they have a companion) / Moderate (if they are solo)

Yellow canary best bird pets
We can almost hear the birdsong from here! Photo by Dieny Portinanni on Unsplash


Is anyone here a canary enthusiast? If you are, you probably don’t even need to read this. Canaries have some of the most passionate community of fans we’ve observed for any other bird! These particular birds have been waxed poetic about for hundreds of years for their delicate appearance and beautiful singing voice, so it’s no surprise that this is what they’re bred for! Canaries are smart, cheerful little people pleasers who like to chat and sing to passersby.

They come in a variety of bright colors- like yellow, orange, white and red and are trainable, so they can be let out of their cage for exercise. The canary is strictly an observational bird, making it one of the most low-maintenance best bird pets. They don’t like to be touched too much and are perfectly happy living alone in a cage. You can definitely put them in pairs or in groups- just don’t put two male canaries together as they’ll fight. They are very low maintenance birds and require very little attention. We recommend getting a male bird if you want one with a particularly pretty singing voice.

Like all birds, your canary needs exercise, too! Let them out for an hour or two once they’re trained so that they can stretch those wings!

Lifespan: 10 Years
Size: Small
Noise Level: Medium (but it’s so nice, we promise!)
Social Needs: Low

pionus parrot
This one definitely likes walks on the beach. Just kidding, please don’t let your bird loose outside.

Pionus Parrots

This quiet bird is an easy-going addition to any family unit! They enjoy affection on their own terms and can be fairly sociable. With blue and green iridescent plumage, this guy sure is a sight to behold! Due to their size, their bites can be rather painful, so ensure proper supervision while children are in close proximity. The Pionus Parrot is the quietest of the Amazonian parrots by far. Out of every bird we’ve discussed on our list so far, this parrot does demand much more maintenance, has a high price tag and a very long life. They are prone to certain health issues, but with some proper upkeep and annual vet visits, you should be able to extend their life to the max!

They require a big cage and time and space to fly around once they’re trained.

Lifespan: 25-40 Years
Size: Medium
Noise Level: Medium
Social Needs: Moderate

amazon parrot best bird pets
Look at that widdle face! Photo by Jon Leclainche on Unsplash

Amazon Parrots

These green party animals have personalities that are about as big as they are! They can learn to talk and love singing and enjoy socializing and bonding with people. These birds are expressive about their wants and needs, making them fairly easy to care for. Spend time with your Amazon Parrot to learn their tells- if you don’t. they might bite! They need lots of social interaction, and would not be a good fit for a busy person who isn’t home much. Very large cages will give your parrot room to move around, so opt for that. If you’re looking for a large, friendly, active friend, this is by far one of the best bird pets for you!

Let this big guy out of their cage every day for a few hours and socialize away!

Lifespan: 30+ Years
Size: Medium
Noise Level: Loud
Social Needs: High

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