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Do Parrots Make Great Pets? Everything You Should Know!

Parrots are one of the world's most popular domesticated birds. These tropical birds amaze observers with their unique beauty, unparalleled intelligence, and larger-than-life personalities. But do they complement your household?

All parrots have different demands and care requirements, but they all require a significant time commitment from their owners. Let's examine a few notable parents and discover what it's like to own one in "Do Parrots Make Great Pets? Everything You Should Know!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Common Pet Parrots

If you’re in the market for a new bird, here are a few parrots from which to select.

1. African Grey

  • Personality: Sharp, calm, gentle, intelligent
  • Lifespan: 20-25 years
  • Size: 13 inches
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Suitable for: Single owners, homebodies
  • Price: $1,000-$1,500

African greys are among the most intellectual creatures on the earth, ranking well above all other bird species. Some experts have likened their intellect to that of human infants. Gentle and quiet, these parrots are a favorite among bird enthusiasts worldwide.

These birds require extensive training and care. Since their brains are so active, they demand constant mental stimulation. Prepare for lengthy training sessions, a great deal of one-on-one time, and everyday challenges.

Some outlast their owners or are transferred to other homes. While this may occur with any bird, African greys build particularly strong ties with their owners, making rehoming extremely emotionally harmful.

Fun Fact: African Grays’ IQ is equivalent to that of a 6-year-old child.

2. Macaw

  • Personality: Playful, active, talkative
  • Lifespan: 60-80 years
  • Size: 2-3 feet
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Suitable for: Multi-person households, patient owners
  • Price: $1,000-$5,000

Many believe that macaws are rather difficult to handle, but well worth the effort. These parrots are quite noisy, making them unsuitable for those who dislike more noise. However, if you don’t mind the squawks, these birds will keep you company throughout the day.

These birds develop an intense attachment to their humans. They like hearing about the family’s turmoil and rumors, but be careful what you tell them. No secret is safe from exposure. They will yell for their neighbors to hear.

Genuinely, this bird is both beautiful and captivating. The macaw may be too huge for some houses, but if you have the space, they are genuinely magnificent birds.

Fun Fact: Blue, portrayed by Jesse Eisenburg in the renowned animated film Rio, was an endangered blue macaw.

3. Cockatoo

  • Personality: Fun-loving, goofy, spirited
  • Lifespan: 10-50 years
  • Size: 12-14 inches
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Suitable for: Active households, older children
  • Price: $500-$3,000

With their flamboyant headpiece feathers and all, cockatoos are easily recognized parrots. Their combs are tinged with gold, but their bodies and faces are snow-white and happy.

Once a cockatoo bonds with its family, it disregards all others. These birds are quite sociable and even polite with strangers and other company. Cockatoos are extremely silly and impulsive, causing fun and smiles wherever they go.

Fun Fact: Cockatoos are commonly referred to be Velcro birds, which means they want to be constantly tied to you.

4. Cockatiel

  • Personality: Peaceful, cheery, good-natured
  • Lifespan: 10-14 years
  • Size: 12-14 inches
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Suitable for: Single owners, multi-person households
  • Price: $80-$150

The cockatiel is one of the most docile parrot-type birds you may acquire if you’re seeking for a beginner-friendly parrot. These guys are rather quiet and simple to release from their cage. They are content to perch on your finger or shoulder while you go about your day.

They create close relationships not just with one other but also with their human companions. They are also considerably smaller than other parrots, so you need not worry about a huge enclosure taking up room in your house.

Cockatiels require little care. You must ensure they are properly fed and housed, but other than that, caring for them is a breeze, needing daily care but not countless hours. They make wonderful pets for all ages older than six.

Fun Fact: Cockatiels are skilled whistlers that can imitate a variety of tunes.

5. Conure

  • Personality: Feisty, social, talkative
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Size: 10-12 inches
  • Care Level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Suitable for: Large families, busy households
  • Price: $375-$500

Conures are among the most gratifying companion parrots. They possess all the benefits of bigger parrots despite their little stature. Despite their little size, these courageous birds take on the world, and they can be rather outspoken about it when they want.

They are occasionally a bit sassy, being rather fussy and slightly irritable (especially with strangers). The most of the time, though, they are gregarious and inquisitive birds who like engaging in household activities.

Conures may be the Chihuahuas of the bird world, but their love and affection will melt your heart.

Fun Fact: Over one hundred species comprise the conure family, making them one of the most diverse breeds.

6. Budgerigars

  • Personality: Sweet, docile, chipper
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Size: 7 inches
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Suitable for: First-time owners, responsible children
  • Price: $25-$150

Budgerigars, commonly known as parakeets, are one of the earliest types of birds that a person may acquire. The earlier you get your budgie, the stronger the attachment they will build with you. They are often quite gentle and submissive, and they like singing to you daily.

If you do not properly socialize your parakeet, they may be flighty or restless, particularly while being handled. The idea is to spend as much time as possible with them, gradually integrating them into your routine.

Once your budgie feels at home, he or she will lavish you with attention and sing you numerous love songs. These gentle birds are a delight for people of all ages.

Fun Fact: If the cere on a budgie’s beak is blue, the bird is a male; if it is brown, the bird is a female.

7. Parrotlet

  • Personality: Independent, affectionate, headstrong
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Suitable for: Single owners
  • Price: $100 to $400

A parrotlet is the best choice for someone seeking all the amazing characteristics of conventional parrots, but in a smaller size. They are authoritative yet in their own way endearing.

Parrotlets require daily care. This is not the type of bird that may be released from its cage once each week. If you do not socialize and bond with your parrotlet, it may develop a destructive disposition.

If you’re searching for a small parrot with a fiery personality and lots of affection to give, the parrotlet is for you—as long as you’re willing to commit to their somewhat high care requirements.

Fun Fact: Parrotlets may be little, but their appetites are enormous! Gram by gram, they consume more food than macaws.

Owning a Pet Parrot

Before you get a parrot, you should learn as much as possible about its care. Here are some environmental and nutritional considerations.


As the saying goes, birds are not designed to be confined. Consequently, all parrot owners must provide a secure environment for their pets.

In terms of dimensions, every bird cage should be higher than it is broad. Smaller parrots, such as budgies, require a minimum enclosure size of 12″ by 18″. A big bird, like a macaw, requires a habitat of around 34″ x 26″.

Perches are beneficial for all parrots. This permits them to observe all of the strange occurrences within the home.


The majority of parrots are omnivorous, meaning they consume both plant stuff and occasionally insects or worms. Each species will have its own nutritional preferences and recommended serving sizes.

Here are some avian delights:

Raw or heated produce

  • Darky, leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Chicory
  • Chard
  • Parsley
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Dandelion greens

Raw fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Papaya
  • Citrus
  • Mango
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes

Legume sprouts

  • Garbanzo beans
  • Red lentils
  • Buckwheat groats
  • Mung beans

Cooked whole grains

  • Brown rice
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Barley

Just as there are many delicious food options, there are also plenty to avoid. You should never offer certain foods to your parrot.

Harmful Foods

  • Avocado
  • Tapioca
  • Chocolate
  • Peanuts
  • Pits or seeds
  • Meat

Parrots must obtain the majority of their protein from whole grains. Always adhere to the precise rules for the kind of parrot you own, since food products and quantities vary by species.


Traditional veterinarians who treat dogs and cats typically lack expertise in the care of exotic animals such as parrots. Before bringing your parrot home, you should locate a local exotic animal veterinarian.

As with any other animal, your parrot should have an annual exam. Your veterinarian can examine them to ensure that everything is operating properly. If there are discernible health concerns, you can address them before they develop further.

There are a multitude of illnesses that may affect parrots. It is essential to understand what they are and what symptoms to watch for.


When it comes to bathing, birds are quite hands-off. Simply pour some lukewarm water in a tiny container that cannot be tipped over, and allow your parrot to go absolutely wild. They will splash about and groom themselves independently. It might be one of their preferred activities!

Nevertheless, you have grooming obligations. It is your responsibility to trim their nails, beak, and flying feathers to perfection.


Your parrots may be taught a variety of skills, and they react well to directions. They require daily time outside of their habitat for interaction and play.

By promoting wing beating, climbing, and imitating, you may promote healthy exercise and training.


If you intend to breed your parrot, it is crucial for everyone’s well-being that you understand exactly what you’re doing. Even having an expert walk you through might be a wonderful approach to become acquainted with a new environment.


Where may I buy a parrot?

Where you acquire a parrot depends on the species you seek. Many common parrot species are available for adoption at pet stores. Others are produced by breeders who specialize on the specific species.

What are the finest parrots for first-time owners?

While only you can determine which parrot is perfect for you, some are beginner-friendly while others are considerably more difficult to care for. Cockatiels, budgerigars, and conures are the ideal parrots for beginners.

Are parrots difficult to care for?

If you lack expertise, it might be difficult to learn how to care for some parrots. They are emotional beings who thrive on company in addition to their habitat and nourishment. One of the most difficult things to guarantee is that they have sufficient work.

Boredom and isolation may transform birds into squawking, angry, and anxious creatures.

Is parrot ownership expensive?

Depending on the resources you purchase and the type of parrot you possess, keeping a parrot as a pet might be pricey. For instance, feeding a macaw will be more expensive than feeding a little conure.

Final Thoughts

As you can see in “Do Parrots Make Great Pets? Everything You Should Know!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), there are several beautiful parrots from which to pick. Depending on the species, some require extensive upkeep while others are simple to maintain.

When it comes to parrot ownership, compatibility is the most important element. Before committing, consider longevity, needed care, and price.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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