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Pets are companions most of us never knew we needed. Perhaps you’re a pet lover who already has a cat or a dog and wants to experience something new. Or you are allergic to cat or dog fur but still want a pet. Well, pet birds are just what you’ve been looking for.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the top 5 pet birds for beginners, from budgies (parakeets) to cockatiels, green-cheeked conures, doves, and more. The most common trait among these pet birds is their naturally friendly temperament, making them perfect for beginners.

Let’s get started…

1. Cockatiels

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  • Average adult length: approximately 12-13 inches
  • Average adult weight: approximately 2-4 ounces
  • Life expectancy: 15-20 years (although some live as long as 30 years)

Starting off our list is the highly affectionate and friendly cockatiel. This parrot species is known for being very affectionate, making them perfect for beginners. Usually, cockatiels love to be petted and held.  They love attention from their owners, so being near this bird and constantly giving it attention is enough.

While cockatiels generally have a friendly temperament, they can nip if they’re not well-trained. However, the best way to prevent this and other bad behaviors in pet birds, in general, is to ignore them.

Like many other pet birds, cockatiels always aim to please their owners. So, disregarding their bad habits and rewarding the good ones is the best way to train them.

As expected, cockatiels are very intelligent. Like other parrot species, cockatiels can mimic speech, although their vocabulary may not be as extensive as the other species. Cockatiels also can mimic other sounds in their surrounding environment, like the sound of doorbells, alarm clocks, phones, you name it.

When it comes to maintenance, cockatiels are generally low-maintenance pet birds. For starters, you need to bathe or spray its body with water at least once a week.

You also need to clean its cage and toys at least once a week. This is because its feathers produce white powdery dust that helps keep them soft and silky, which makes its cage quite messy. It’s also recommendable to clip its wings approximately 1-3 months after its molting process begins. 

Cockatiels are also highly active. So, it’s best to keep it in a cage big enough for it to fly, climb around, and get much-needed exercise.

You also need to spend a significant amount of time daily with this bird to prevent it from becoming lonely and exhibiting self-harming behavior. Alternatively, you can also get another bird to be its companion.

2. Budgerigars

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  • Average adult length: 6-8 inches
  • Average adult weight: approximately 1 ounce
  • Average life expectancy: 4-15 years

Another parrot species that is a perfect pet bird, especially for beginners, is the budgerigar (also known as the parakeet or budgie).

Budgies are one of the most popular pet birds worldwide, and this is not without reason. For starters, they are affordable to purchase. Parakeets are also known for their friendly temperament and high intelligence.

This parrot species is naturally gentle and obedient, making it easy to tame it. Budgies are also naturally quiet, making them the perfect pet bird for individuals who don’t like birds that chirp constantly.

Budgies are also excellent at mimicking words and other sounds in their surrounding environment. They are more capable of mimicking words than other parrot species. Unsurprisingly, a budgie once broke the Guinness world record for being the bird with the largest vocabulary.

When caring for a budgie, space, and attention are key. This pet bird is highly active, so it is recommended to have a cage big enough for it to climb and fly around.

It’s also best to let your budgie out of the cage for a few hours daily to allow it to fly freely. That way, it will get to exercise more, preventing it from developing various health complications. If you’re worried that it might escape while out of the cage, you can clip its wings. But do so about 1-3 months after its molt cycle begins.

Budgies are also very social birds, despite their quiet personality. So, spending a significant amount of time each day bonding with it is crucial. You can also get it another budgie as its companion, although this will affect how well it bonds with you since it has a partner.

3. Green-Cheeked Conures

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  • Average adult length: approximately 10 inches
  • Average adult weight: 2-3 ounces
  • Average life expectancy: 25+ years

They say good things come in small packages, which cannot be more true when it comes to green-cheeked conures (also known as green-cheeked parakeets or parrots).

This cute little bird has stolen the hearts of many bird lovers mainly due to its size. But don’t underestimate this bird because a big personality is hidden under that tiny body. Besides being friendly, the green-cheeked conure is known for its curious and playful nature.

The green-cheeked parakeet is very affectionate and loves to bond with its owner. While it can be nippy and stubborn, it is an easy-going bird, so taming it isn’t hard.

While green-cheeked conures can be taught to mimic words, they’re not frequent “talkers” like other parrot species. But their big personality certainly makes up for their slow speech and vocalizations. This bird is a fast learner and very curious, making it easy to teach it several bird tricks.

Like many other parrot species, the green-cheeked conure thrives on attention. So, spending a couple of hours daily socializing and bonding with your pet is essential to prevent it from getting lonely, leading it to exhibit self-harming behaviors like plucking its feathers. Space is also important for this bird, so it’s best to have a sizeable cage for it to fly around, exercising its body.

4. Doves

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  • Average adult length: 8-12 inches
  • Average adult weight: 5-8 ounces
  • Average life expectancy: 10-25 years

If you want a pet bird, but don’t want one with a big personality like a parrot, then a dove is right for you.

Doves are known for their calm and gentle personalities, often quiet and “keeping to themselves.” Unlike parrots, doves rarely exhibit destructive behaviors such as nipping, which is a significant advantage, especially if you have kids.

Caring for a dove is easy because of its gentle and quiet disposition. It usually doesn’t require many toys, but a spacious cage where it can fly around is recommended. However, its calm personality isn’t a reason to neglect it. Doves also thrive on socialization and attention, so spending time with this bird is essential.

It’s also important to place it in an area where it can be exposed to direct sunlight to prevent it from having a Vitamin D deficiency. If you cannot do so, you can place UV lights near its cage to provide supplemental lighting.

5. Pacific Parrotlets

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  • Average adult length: 4 ½ – 5 ½ inches
  • Average adult weight: approximately one ounce
  • Average life expectancy: 20-30 years

Wrapping up our list is the cute little pacific parrotlet. Also known as the pocket parrot (since it’s small enough to fit in a pocket), this bird is ideal for bird lovers with limited space to accommodate larger birds. Like other small parrot species, this bird is known for having a huge personality under that small body.

They are charming, very affectionate, and love being the center of their owner’s attention. However, this trait can be a disadvantage if you want to place it with another bird, as it can become aggressive toward other birds. They are even territorial with other pets like dogs and cats, so it’s recommendable to keep yours away from your furry companion if you have one.

Like other parrot species, parrotlets can mimic words, although they are not as vocal as other parrots. They are also not noisy, which is a significant advantage, especially if you live in an apartment.

Parrotlets are also surprisingly capable of entertaining themselves if they have stimulating toys to keep them occupied. However, they require regular socialization and handling to tame and prevent them from becoming destructive.

Exercise is also vital for this tiny feathery companion, so keeping it in a big enough cage where it can fly and climb around is important. Regular out-of-the-cage periods are also essential for this bird. But remember, this bird is tiny and delicate, making it prone to getting hurt. So, it’s essential to keep an eye on it while it’s out of the cage.


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Pet birds are an excellent alternative for people who want to be pet owners but cannot have a cat or dog or those who want to add to their pet family. While pet birds are generally low-maintenance, they still have needs. So, it’s important to consider a couple of factors to ensure you get a bird that is right for you.

Among the critical factors to keep in mind is space. It’s best to get a bird you can manage within your space. You also need to consider the bird’s size. Getting a small bird for a start is recommended, especially if you’re a beginner, as they are easier to care for.

Other factors to remember include whether or not your bird of choice does best when it has a partner, whether you have other pets, and the cost of purchasing and maintaining your preferred bird. Hopefully, this article will help you decide which pet bird is the right one for you as a beginner.