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Finding Your New Feathered Friend: The Top 10 Pet Birds

When talking about the top 10 pet birds, there are many things to take into consideration.

First and foremost, make sure the particular bird is appropriate for you and your lifestyle. Make sure you know the reasons you want a bird, and make sure the bird you’re considering satisfies them. In other words, if speaking ability is important to you, then be sure to purchase a bird that has the potential to talk.

Also, consider the life span of the bird, which ranges from 10 to 60 years, depending on the species. Do you really want a pet that may outlive you?

Once you’ve decided on a bird that meets your needs, think about whether you can meet his. Certain species are highly social and need regular interaction and training.

That all being said, here are the top 10 pet birds. See which one is best for you and welcome that feathered friend into your home!

Blue and Gold Macaws

Blue and gold macaws (Ara ararauna) are prized for their beauty and personality. They make excellent pets, although some have a tendency to become nippy. Young, hand-raised macaws are very adaptable and easily handled by many people. They are very intelligent and relatively easy to train. Blue and gold macaws can live up to 50 years.

Triton Cockatoos

Triton cockatoos (Cacatua galerita triton) are affectionate, playful and highly intelligent birds. They are excellent companions for those who want a charming, loving bird. Young cockatoos should be socialized to many people and exposed to a variety of situations such as new cages, toys, visits to the veterinarian, handling by friends, wing and nail clips, etc. to avoid fear of novel situations. Tritons and other cockatoo species can be very long lived and a few individuals in zoos have lived up to 50 to 60 years.

African Greys

African greys (Psittacus erithacus) are often considered to be the best talkers of all parrots, rivaled only by some Amazons. They are gifted mimics, reproducing sounds such as ringing telephones, microwave buzzers, car horns, and the voices of individuals. Some are highly trained birds, capable of reasoning and verbal communication. Since they are happiest left alone, they make good pets for people who live in quiet homes, particularly in homes without children. African greys can live up to 50 years.

Janday Conures

Janday Conures (Aratinga auricapilla jandaya) are sweet, adorable, affectionate, and intelligent, making them a mainstay on most top 10 pet birds lists. Janday conures are inquisitive, playful, active, spunky, and curious, and they love to play with toys. They are also friendly and love to be held by their owners. Jandays make good family pets because they tolerate family noise and activity, as well as the actions of children. Most conures live 15 to 35 years.

Blue-Headed Pionus

Blue-Headed Pionus (Pionus menstruus) are one of the most popular and well known of all pionus parrots. They are intelligent, inquisitive birds that sometimes bond fiercely to their owners. Mature birds, especially males, may become bonded to one person and aggressively protect that person from other people, including other family members. They make very good pets but don’t typically speak well. Blue-headed pionus can probably live up to 35 to 45 years or more, but little is known about their life span in captivity.

Red-collared Lorikeets

Red-collared lorikeets (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) are affectionate birds that are highly intelligent, friendly, and playful. They can be taught to perform tricks like fetch or basketball. Red-collared lorikeets require a lot of attention to maintain their emotional health, and they typically bond to one human. They like to feel as though they are part of the family. Red-collared lorikeets can live up to 30 years.


Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) are some of the most popular pet birds in the world today, and certainly one of the top 10 pet birds. They include the American parakeet, English parakeet, shell parakeet, budgie, and budgerigar. Bird experts prefer that budgies not be called parakeets, since parakeet is a common term for several small parrot-type birds with long tails. A budgie is a parakeet but a parakeet is not always a budgie. Relatively inexpensive, they are not loud, do not take up a lot of space and do not make a mess. They are easy to train and make exceptional pets if they receive a lot of attention. As with most birds, the budgie will bond quicker to you if it is a single bird. If you have a busy lifestyle and feel you would not have a lot of time to interact with your bird, you may want to consider having two as they are flock birds and like companionship. They usually live 15 to 18 years.

Peach-Faced Lovebirds

Peach-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) are one of the most common pet birds worldwide and the most popular of the lovebirds. These little birds are known as lovebirds because of the strong pair bond between mates that continually sit together preening, cooing, and billing. They are hardy and easy to care for. They are most commonly kept in pairs rather than as single birds and are ideal companion birds for people who prefer to watch the antics of a colorful lively pair of birds rather than a single bird. Their average lifespan is 15 to 20 years.


Canaries (Serinus canarius domesticus) require little space, are easy to keep, and are well-suited to almost any home environment. However, as with any bird, they require enough space to fly. One of the most endearing qualities of these birds is their beautiful songs. Males are the best singers — and they usually sing better when kept alone. Canaries make good pets for just about anyone, but they are especially appealing to older people. Canaries may live 20 to 25 years, with an average life span of 10 to 15 years.


Zebra finches (Poephila guttata) have become one of the most popular caged birds behind their competitors, budgies and canaries, but all three are close on the top 10 pet birds list. They are pretty, colorful, and fun, and make delightful pets. Although zebra finches are social, they are only social with other birds. They are shy around people and do not like to be petted or held. They should be kept in pairs and do even better in large groups. Since they mate for life, there should be an equal number of males and females. Zebra finches normally live for 5 to 9 years but may live as long as 12 years.