5 Types of Parrots to Keep as Pets (With Pictures)
When most people think of keeping birds as pets, the first birds that come to mind are parrots.

Estimated reading time: 3 min

When most people think of keeping birds as pets, the first birds that come to mind are parrots. Many people envision their parrot speaking with them, copying their words. However, only a few out of the 350 known species of parrot can even learn to talk! Parrot is a very vague term, given that there are massive differences between breeds. Some of the largest and smallest parrots may not look like they’re even from the same family! So, which of these colorful winged creatures make the best companions? As it turns out, quite a few of them! To help you narrow down the choices to the ones that will best fit what you’re looking for, we’re going to list the 5 best types of parrots to keep as pets, with enough information about each to help you get a feel for the different breeds.

The 5 Types of Parrots to Keep as Pets

1. African Grey Parrots

African Grey Parrots


These are some of the most iconic and intelligent parrots around, known for their ability to learn many different words, using them to interact with their beloved owner. But that interaction isn’t just for show. These parrots need interaction to keep themselves happy and they don’t want to be left alone.

One amazing thing about African Greys is that they can live up to 60 years in captivity! If you get one when you’re young, you’ll likely have a lifelong companion. Should you decide to get an African Grey when you’re already later in years, your pet will probably survive you. All in all, we think that this is one of the best parrots to keep as a pet.

2. Cockatoos


Cockatoos parrot

Cockatoos are demanding birds that become practically obsessed with their people. Because of this, they’ve earned the nickname of “Velcro” because your Cockatoo will always be stuck to your side!

These are medium to large-sized parrots, with protruding crest feathers that make them easy to tell apart from other species. Because of their high levels of intelligence and proclivity to throw tantrums when not getting enough attention, many people say that Cockatoos are akin to two-year-old children.

3. Macaws

Macaws parrot


Large birds, covered in vibrant shades of red, blue, and gold, the Macaw is the picture that comes to mind when most people think of parrots. They can span from 20 to 50 inches in height, living for 30 to 50 years. As such, getting a Macaw is a serious commitment of space and time.

One thing to keep in mind with Macaws is that they can be extremely noisy. Their screech can wake family members or neighbors in nearby apartments, so they’re best suited for individuals who don’t have neighbors sharing a wall.

4. Parrotlet

Parrotlet parrot

If you want the colorful companionship of a parrot without having to sacrifice an entire room of your home to provide adequate space, then you might consider a Parrotlet. These are the smallest parrots, so they don’t need too much space.

What they do need is a lot of attention. They’re naturally friendly birds, but they’ll become less friendly very quickly if left alone. If you provide plenty of attention from the start, your Parrotlet will bond closely with you. But if you give your Parrotlet a partner, they’ll bond with each other instead of you.

5. Cockatiel

Cockatiel parrot

Cockatiels are the smallest member of the Cockatoo family, and they’re extremely popular in the United States. They’re easy to care for and just as easy to get along with, making them an excellent choice for a first parrot. Just remember, they can live up to 25 years with good care, so your Cockatiel will be part of the family for a long time!

Cockatiels have an instantly identifiable crest on their head. What’s interesting is that you can tell your Cockatiels’ emotional state by paying attention to their crest.


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