They may not be the most popular pet in the world, but parrots can be a great companion to have around! There’s never a dull moment with these intelligent and beautiful birds.
Despite their many advantages, parrots can be difficult to look after, especially if you’ve never cared for one before. If you’re thinking about having a parrot as a pet, it’s important to choose one that’s suitable for beginners.
Beginner-friendly parrots are sociable, on the smaller side, and easily trained. If you’re after a lower-maintenance pet, you may do well with cockatiels, parrotlets, and budgerigars. Those that prefer parrots with more personality may get on with Pionus, quaker, or Senegal parrots.
There are endless varieties to choose from, so we’ve put together a list of the most beginner-friendly parrots. No matter what your preferences are, you’re sure to find one that suits your lifestyle below!
Before you decide on a parrot, you must ensure that it suits your lifestyle. Don’t choose one that requires more social activities if you’re always away at work. Similarly, parrots that only need a few hours of playtime won’t do well around children that play with them constantly.
To help you feel better prepared for looking after a parrot, we’ve also included some guidelines of what to expect when getting one.
Keep reading on to find out more about the best beginner-friendly parrots, as well as what to expect when you bring one home.
Things To Know Before Getting A Parrot
You may initially think that you own your parrot, but in reality, the parrot is the one that holds you! Compared to domesticated animals, like dogs or cats, parrots are much more complicated.
These birds have different requirements that you need to be prepared for. Several parrot owners liken the experience to having a clever toddler. Parrots are intelligent and can solve puzzles easily, but they also go through the same emotions that people experience.
Before you settle on a bird, do be aware that all parrots bite. Some birds bite less than others, but you should always be wary, especially if you have young children or pets in the vicinity. Parrots that are comfortable in their environment will be less prone to biting.
Make sure that you and members of your household respect your parrots’ space. As long as you and other owners have bonded with the parrot, you shouldn’t be scared of their beaks.
Some parrots, like Pionus parrots, are gentle, so they won’t bite unless they are frightened. Similarly, budgies have tiny beaks, so they won’t be able to cause serious injury. If you’re worried about potential biting, it may be worth looking into parrots that are smaller or more friendly.
If you’re not ready for a huge commitment, a parrot probably isn’t the right animal for you. Your parrot will have tantrums, territorial issues, and hormonal hostility. You need to be ready for this and be ready to look after it for over 8 hours every day.
In most cases, larger parrots cost more than smaller ones and are harder to look after. Despite this, bigger parrots can show more of their personality, learn more tricks, and speak more words. This may be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your lifestyle.
What Counts As A Beginner-Friendly Parrot?
You won’t find ‘easy to care’ or ‘low maintenance’ parrots available. No matter what type you go for, these birds will all take a huge commitment. Nevertheless, parrots are known to be more sociable and compliant when it comes to humans.
Here is a list of some parrots that are better for beginners.
1. Quaker Parrots
Quaker parrots have a unique name and appearance. These South American birds may have come from a subtropical setting, but they settle well in an urban environment with many humans. Quaker parrots are readily accessible and less expensive than others.
These beautiful birds are practical and widely available, but they’re also good conversationalists! Quakers can learn an impressive vocabulary with many words. They can pronounce several sounds well and can even talk to you.
You can spot a Quaker by its vivid green hue. Their interesting features are blue feathers under the wings and a light gray area on their chest, neck, and head. These tropical colors stand out, making this parrot instantly recognizable.
Quakers can live a long time, around 20 years when cared for indoors. Some may even extend past this, living until they are 30! At only 12 inches long, Quakers are small birds that don’t take up much room, so they’re an ideal pet to keep inside smaller households.
Quakers may be small, but they need enough room in their cage so they can play freely. Other than toys, give them some building materials, as they naturally like to build nests.
If you’re thinking about looking after a Quaker parrot, remember that they live for a long time. They won’t be able to handle changing households and being looked after by a different owner.
However, if you’re ready to give a pet a lot of attention and care for it for the remainder of its lifespan, a Quaker parrot is a great option!
2. Rosellas Parrots
Known formally as Nel Botha Pixabay Rosellas, Rosellas parrots originate from South Australia. They are used to living in outdoor settings, including parks, gardens, and woods.
Rosella parrots are tinged with striking red and purple colors. They have a long life span of up to 30 years when kept in captivity.
These parrots are small in stature, but like most birds, they require a lot of space. It’s always better to go with the largest cage you can buy. An aviary would be best, but as long as it has a decent setup, cages will do too.
Once tamed, Rosellas are usually docile, so they’re a good pet for beginners. Despite this, they are unlike other parrots as they aren’t very social. These aren’t pets you can pet or cuddle!
Rosellas do like some attention but through different means. They like to talk and communicate, especially during the morning or evening. You’ll often hear them whistling and speaking some learned words.
Rosellas can be different in size depending on their species. They come in three kinds, Crimson, Eastern, and green.
Crimson Rosellas are medium-sized birds, around 14 inches in length. They can live amicably with other parrots, but they do need their freedom. If you do opt for a Crimson, make sure that the bars on their cage don’t have large spaces between them, as their heads are smaller.
Eastern Rosellas are becoming more popular, but we still don’t know much about them. These parrots are recognizable due to their multi-color feathers. Their bright red head and chest are striking against their blue wings and yellow body.
It’s important to feed an Eastern Rosella with the right foods, as their diet is imperative to their health. Seeds, insects, buds, and nectar are all good choices.
Lastly, the green Rosella is a favorite of many parrot owners. This bird comes from a large area extending between Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands.
Green Rosellas are easily spotted due to their large stature and light green body. They have adapted well to the western diet, but this makes them fussy eaters.
These parrots make great companions, and although they do take hard work, they’re great for beginners that want to become better pet owners.
Known less formally as budgies, these parrots are friendly and sociable. They may be small, but their colorful feathers make it easy to spot them. As long as they are well cared for, budgies can be very docile and affectionate.
These parrots are known for their impressive vocabulary. They love to practice conversing with their owners, but their raspy voice may be irritating to some people.
Normally in the range of $10-35, budgies are very affordable, which is why many choose to look after several budgies at a time. These parrots are naturally social, so they do get on with other budgies in large groups.
However, if you’re planning on getting two budgies, you need to ensure that they’re either a male and a female or two males. Two females are known to fight more.
Conversely, if you only want to look after one budgie, you need to make sure you’re around most of the time. Budgies need regular social interaction. If they don’t have other budgies around them, they’ll depend on you for playtime and social stimulation.
Budgies are also noisy, so be prepared to hear constant screeching and singing. A quiet budgie is an indication that something is wrong, mentally or physically. These birds love to be around people, which makes them great for beginners and large households.
4. Peach-Faced Lovebirds
As the name suggests, Peach-Faced Lovebirds do well in a pair, but they do well as single birds too. They can be difficult to initially tame, so you should focus on training them for their first few days.
Thorough training will ensure that the lovebird is well-behaved, but is still relaxed around you.
If you have a pair of lovebirds, they will focus on each other, essentially mating for life. In this case, you probably won’t spend much time with them. This may be an advantage if you have a busy schedule, but may not be the best choice if you want an affectionate pet.
If you do look after a single lovebird, they will need more commitment, so be prepared to spend a lot of time caring for them.
They aren’t huge talkers, but they are very loud, especially during the morning. This makes them better choices for bigger houses that won’t disturb any neighbors.
Lovebirds can also be hostile towards other animals. If you do look after more birds, keep your lovebirds away from them in different cages. Take note if you have budgies, as lovebirds are known to fight with them.
Lovebirds may be small, but they aren’t scared of picking a fight! Make sure that you keep the birds away from any dogs or cats to avoid any unfortunate events.
5. Pionus Parrots
Pionus parrots aren’t as popular compared to their brighter counterparts. Despite this, each Pionus can look different from the next, as they can both have different colored feathers.
Their variety is why they’re popular with several bird keepers. Pionus owners come in short supply, which gives these parrots an interesting charm.
Pionus parrots look like Amazon parrots, but they aren’t as loud or outgoing. They can be introverted and detached, but they are relatively relaxed and aren’t usually hostile. Pionus parrots are best kept in larger families, as they don’t do well when looked after by one person.
Despite this, always monitor children when they are around parrots, as their beaks can injure easily. If a Pionus is frightened or stressed, they’ll hiss as a warning. Never leave a child alone with a parrot.
Pionus parrots can learn several phrases, but they won’t converse much. They can be quiet or loud depending on their household.
A loud environment will create a louder bird, as they’ll emit louder sounds to compensate. Conversely, a Pionus will learn to be quieter in a small apartment.
These parrots do need to be around more people, but they’re very adaptable, making them a great choice for a beginner.
6. Alexandrine Parrots
Alexandrine parrots are named after Alexander the Great, but they’re native to Indian and Sri Lankan forests. These birds have a delicate nature and adjust well to different environments, which explains why they’re one of the most common kinds of parrot species seen today.
Alexandrine parrots are usually green, but they can have red or mustard-colored feathers too. They have a long life span, living up to 30 years when well cared for. Unlike other parakeets, they can reach up to 62 cm in length, making them relatively large birds.
Friendly and loving birds, Alexandrine often bond with their favorite owner. They aren’t hostile, but they will often display a headstrong personality. Despite this, this parakeet is usually very relaxed.
They’ll generate a lot of noise when they first meet their owners, as they like to demonstrate all the sounds that they can make. They’ll stop being as noisy once you and the bird get to know each other.
Alexandrine Parakeets are a good choice if you’re thinking about getting a parrot. They don’t need a lot of special care, but you will need to play with them a lot.
They can live for a long time and need social interaction. If you’re prepared for that, they’ll be a great companion for many years to come!
7. Conure Parrots
Originating from various locations, including Mexico and the Caribbean, Conure parrots usually live in the western hemisphere. Conures can come in various sizes, but they’re normally small or medium in stature.
Conures are known for their beauty. They have many autumnal shades in their feathers, including red, yellow, orange, and brown.
Most Conures live around 20 years, so they are a great lifelong companion. They also have a strong immune system. As long as they are fed the right foods and kept in the right environment, they’ll rarely succumb to illness.
Conures are very intelligent and can be trained easily. They aren’t the best communicators as their voice isn’t that clear. They utter high-pitched noises that are hard for humans to understand. Conures may not be for you if you want to regularly talk to your parrot.
Conures naturally live in flocks, so they’re very sociable animals. They’re friendly, curious, and affectionate, which makes them a good pet for beginners.
However, they will need some patience before they start behaving in this way. As long as you let your Conure adjust to its setting, they’ll start bonding with you and others in your family.
Conures are amicable birds, but some of them can be quite loud. Like any parrot, they need to be trained and given a lot of love. With the right care and attention, a Conure’s friendly nature can be perfect for new pet owners.
8. Caique Parrots
Caique parrots are tropical birds originating from Brazil and South America. These colorful parrots are playful, but they can take care of themselves, making them good birds to keep as pets. Some of them can live up to 40 years, though most of them last between 20-30 years.
Caiques are medium in stature and come in two main groups, white-headed Caiques, and black-headed Caiques. Both these groups have white bellies and have green, orange, and yellow feathers. Caiques naturally live in flocks, so they love to socialize with others.
Caiques are full of energy so they need to be trained as soon as you get one. If they aren’t trained well enough, their tireless nature could be an issue later. Training helps them learn right from wrong, but it also helps them bond with their owner.
These parrots don’t converse much, which makes some doubt their intelligence. They may not be great conversationalists, but Caiques can recall many different sounds. They won’t speak much, but you may be able to teach them a few words at a time.
Caique parrots are smart, friendly, and soft-natured, so they could be one to consider if you’re looking for a bird best friend.
9. White-Fronted Amazon Parrots
There are many different kinds of Amazon parrots. These medium-sized birds are clever and love to talk, but they can be challenging to look after. Amazon parrots need a lot of enrichment, otherwise, they may develop behavioral disorders
Amazon parrots can be hard to look after, but white-fronted Amazon parrots can be a great option for beginners. At just 10 inches tall, these are the smallest Amazon parrots out there.
Amazon parrots can be rough and often wrestle their owners during playtime, but white-fronted ones are much gentler. These amicable birds prefer to be petted instead!
White-fronted Amazon parrots need to be trained, but they may still bite. As they are so small, they can be trained well, as long as the owner is committed to doing so. Beginners will need to learn about their parrot’s requirements, body language, and behavior.
For instance, Amazon parrots can often get too excited during playtime. Never chastise your bird if this occurs, just put it back in its cage until it calms down.
White-fronted Amazons can be a good choice for beginners as they express themselves through body language. Their stance, speech, and feathers all indicate how they feel.
White-fronted Amazons can be quite loud, so take note of this if you have neighbors close by. They’re quite intelligent and can imitate several sounds and phrases well.
White-fronted Amazon can be expensive to purchase, but they’re fantastic companions that can live up to 40 years. These are much gentler compared to other Amazon parrots, which makes them a good choice for beginners who want to learn more about their bird.
If you’re after a friendly parrot, a Cockatiel could be the one for you! These birds are amicable, loving, and are known for playing well with their owners. Cockatiels do need the right attention, especially males who can get irritated if they feel unwanted.
Cockatiels are medium-sized parrots that are very outgoing. They may be quieter when you first get one, as they’re attempting to acclimatize to their new environment. They’ll get on better with their owner once they feel more acquainted.
Cockatiels will need a large cage, but they’ll need around 2 hours of playtime outside of it too. Give them a lot of toys and various perches so they feel more at home.
These parrots aren’t very talkative, but they are quite good at learning and following instructions. This will keep you and your cockatiel entertained!
A cockatiel’s crest is very striking, but it can also help you figure out how the parrot is feeling. A flat crest indicates the parrot is frightened or stressed. A spread-out crest shows that the cockatiel is curious, interested, or perceptive.
Compared to other parrots on this list, Cockatiels only live between 10-15 years. However, these parrots are amusing and have a kind nature. They’ll be a great companion along your side for the rest of their lifespan. What more could you want out of a parrot!
Parrots can be interesting and fun pets, but if you’re a beginner, some will be better than others. In general, smaller parrots are best for newbies. They will have a shorter lifespan and won’t have many issues.
This is a general guideline, but medium-sized parrots can be good for beginners if they have an amicable personality.
As mentioned above, Quaker parrots form a bond with their owners quickly and are relatively easy to train. Beginners may prefer to have an intelligent parrot. Teaching tricks and commands can be entertaining, for both you and your bird!
Like any pet, parrots will require time, effort, and care. Looking after a parrot is a great commitment, but as long as you’re prepared, parrots can be a fantastic addition to your household.
Always do your research before you settle on one, and make sure that you purchase the right cage, toys, and perches beforehand.