How Fast Can A Parrot Fly? A Comprehensive Guide

There’s no doubt about it – the parrot species contains some of the most majestic creatures in the animal kingdom. With their colorful bodies being the most noticeable feature of a parrot, people often wonder, how fast can a parrot fly?

If you’re reading this, there is a good chance that you’ve asked that very question. So, let’s find out how fast your pet bird can fly and other details about flying. 

What is the Average Flight Speed of a Parrot?

With your average parrot species, you can expect it to fly up to 50mph, with their normal flight speed usually falling around 25-30mph.

This can vary drastically depending on various factors, such as the parrot’s age, flight skills, body weight, and even the direction of their flight.

The type of species you own will have the biggest effect on whether your bird flies faster or slower than the average bird, with their flight feathers and wingspan determining their flight ability.

How Fast Can Your Species of Parrot Fly?

Flying parrots

How Fast are African Gray Parrots?

There isn’t a bird owner on the planet that can deny that the intelligence of an African gray trumps any other bird species. They can mimic human speech and create genuine emotional connections with their owners.

But their intelligence isn’t making up for a lack of speed – the African gray can fly at around 45 miles per hour, putting them right at the average speed for a parrot.

Pet parrots like the African gray require a lot of mental and physical exercise to sustain their intelligence and strong muscles, which is why their natural speed is relatively high, and can even increase when being hunted by predators.

Make sure you give them plenty of room to fly and a lot of toys to keep them occupied!

How Fast is Your Thick-billed Parrot?

Unfortunately, this species of parrot comes in at the lower end of the flight speeds, with a maximum of 31 mph.

The thick-billed parrot is slightly different from most flighted parrots in that its native environment is not tropical, but rather colder climates. 

This results in them obtaining the nickname “snow-parrots” – they can fly at higher elevations for extended periods, allowing them to escape predators, and migrate to areas with more nutrition.

How Fast is Your Blue and Gold Macaw?

Macaws are a very large family of parrots, with blue and gold being the most common and inexpensive household pets.

As they are the more mainstream choice for bird owners, it is a lot more useful to provide its top speed than any of the other Macaw species, even if their flight patterns are pretty similar.

The average domesticated blue and gold macaw will hit speeds around 35 mph, putting them just below the average speed of a parrot.

However, wild macaws, who are known for escaping predators and hunting food, will be able to reach top speeds a lot higher.

How Fast are Cockatoos?

Cockatoos are one of the smaller species in the parrot family, with short legs, and little bills, making them about the same size as baby birds from larger parrot species.

What they lack in size, they make up for in their relative wingspan, which allows for top speeds of around 43 mph.

This is incredibly fast for a smaller bird, as parrots typically rely on a large, streamlined body to help give them lift, and cut through the air with ease.

How Fast is Your Parakeet?

Another smaller species of parrot is the parakeet, which is deemed as a mini-parrot indigenous to Australia.

These birds aren’t as blessed as their cockatoo counterparts, with them having a smaller relative wingspan, meaning they can only reach speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

Due to the slower top speed of a parakeet, they can be prime targets for predators, such as big cats or snakes. To prevent this, they usually fly in flocks, helping them to spot dangers and escape them accordingly.

Is a Wild Parrot Faster Than Your Pet Bird?

Scarlet macaw flying in nature

Ordinarily, you can expect a wild parrot to be quite a bit faster than a domesticated one, with them being accustomed to escaping predators and keeping their muscles toned and fit.

However, this does rely a lot on the species, with it being unlikely for a wild parakeet to beat your pet cockatoo in a flat-out race.

Owning baby parrots from a young age can hinder their development, and can drastically affect their top speed, making it vital they get plenty of exercise and a lot of room to spread their wings.

Can a Clipped Bird Still Fly Fast?

A parrot with clipped wings can still fly and will be able to reach fairly high speeds.

Unfortunately, clipping a bird’s feathers will cause its muscles to weaken, meaning they will never reach their true potential, as well as resulting in their balance being reduced, hindering their flying ability.

This is why it is recommended that you do not clip a parrot’s wings yourself. Cutting them too much can prevent them from flying upwards, and make them fall out of the sky, resulting in awful injuries.


So, there we have it – everything you need to know about how fast a parrot can fly, from the average speed of the parrot species to the top speeds of the most common household birds.

From our list, we can determine that the fastest parrot, on average, is the African gray, with the tiny parakeet coming in at the slowest.

Wrapping up this comprehensive guide, you can now observe why it is so important to exercise your domesticated bird and allow its muscles to display the speeds its species is so accustomed to.

Harlan Derricks