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Top 10 Most Popular Pet Birds in the World

Most Popular Pet Birds

According to Princeton University, there are 9,700 bird species in the world. But this number is open for debate since research led by the American Museum of Natural History suggests that there are around 18,000 bird species in the world.

But of all these species, what are the most popular pet birds in the world?

If “parrot” comes into your mind, then you got part of it right! But there are 402 species under the umbrella of parrots or Psittaciformes.

Top 10 Most Popular Pet Birds in the World

So, in this article, we’re going to name the top 10 most popular pet birds in the world. We’ll also give you a glimpse into their world and share with you the:

  • Pros and cons of each bird species
  • Talking ability and common health issues they may develop
  • Life-saving care tips for every newbie avian keepers

Let’s start our list with the diminutive parrot bird type that stole the heart of millions of bird keepers all over the world. 

Most popular pet bird: Parakeets

Top 10 Most Popular Pet Birds in the World

1. Parakeet

This bird sits at the top of the list of most popular pet birds in the world for multiple reasons. Parakeets (also called Budgies or Budgerigars) are tiny parrot versions with long tail feathers. 

They’re available in various colors: blue, gray, white, violet, and yellow/blue. But one of the most captivating variations is the light green Parakeet with striking black wing markings and yellow head. 

The parakeet bird is one of the most popular parrots and the best bird as a pet due to its friendly nature and aesthetic feathers. 

The innate intelligence of this bird makes the species more fascinating because it allows you to train them to talk and perform some tricks. 

On top of that, this pet bird is low-maintenance. 

No wonder over 25% of bird parents keep a parakeet as their beloved pets.

If you want an easygoing bird with a low noise level, pretty feathering, and playful side, a tiny Parakeet with a big personality may be the one for you.

Caring Tips for Parakeets

These birds need a newspaper-lined cage with a minimum measurement of 24″ x 18″ x 18″ and perches, food bowls, and a water dish. 

They’d love it too if you could put some toys like bells they can play with inside their cage. 

Parakeets need daily access to clean water, pelleted bird food, and a small quantity of fresh fruit. They enjoy millet as a treat from time to time.

To ensure that they produce the necessary vitamin D in their skin, they also require exposure to direct sunlight unobstructed by the glass, either from the outside or from an indoor ultraviolet bulb.

As long as they receive daily attention, budgies can live happily alone even though many prefer the company of other budgies. 

Parakeets need some time out of their cages every day to socialize properly. Most like spending time with their human families while eating or watching TV. They make noises like whistles and chirps, which may be highly entertaining.

Species Overview

  • Length: 7 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Talking Ability: Chatty! They can learn some phrases and words.
  • Health Issues: Can be prone to bacterial infections, viruses, parasites, and fatty liver disease

Pros and Cons of Parakeets — the Most Popular Pet Bird

Pros: 

  • Easy to handle
  • Friendly and affection
  • Intelligent
  • Trainable to speak human words

Cons: 

  • Shorter lifespan compared to larger parrots
  • May need medical attention

2. Cockatiels

2nd most popular pet bird: CockatielsGracing the second spot in our most popular pet bird species list is the cockatiel, a medium-sized parrot with a distinct yellow crown. 

These native Australians are renowned for their astonishingly talented singing and whistling. 

Even though cockatiels can learn to speak, many owners discover that their birds prefer to whistle and imitate odd noises like the ringing of a telephone.

Cockatiels are lovely first birds for families with children since they are full of personality and simple to handle. 

Well-socialized cockatiels recognize and respond to their owners, making them excellent companions that can converse and sing.

Care Tips for Cockatiels:

They need a medium-sized cage that is approximately 24″ x 24″ x 24″, is lined with newspaper, has a variety of perches, and has at least two feeding stations (one for dry food and the other for moist food) as well as a water cup.

Cockatiels require new water, food, commercially produced pelleted bird food, and fresh produce every day. 

They also require daily socialization time of at least an hour outside their cages and daily exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can come from indoors UV lamps or direct sunshine that hasn’t been filtered. 

This UV light is necessary for their bodies to produce enough vitamin D.

Species Overview

  • Length: 11 to 12 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 to 3.5 ounce
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years or more 
  • Talking Ability: Very talkative! They can mimic sounds and sing, whistle, and make other sounds.
  • Health Issues: Prone to bacterial infections, viruses, parasites, and fatty liver disease

Pros and Cons of This Popular Bird Species:

Pros:

  • Affectionate and loves being held
  • Easygoing personality
  • Easy to handle 
  • Trainable

Cons:

  • Needs a lot of attention
  • Prone to bacterial infections and other diseases

3. Canaries

3rd most popular pet bird: CanariesIf you want a bird you can listen to rather than cuddle, this songbird that sits at the third spot of the most popular pet birds may be the one for you!

After six months of age, the male canaries are renowned for their lovely, operatic songs because they’re proud members of the passerine (songbird) family. 

They are raised to produce particular tunes, like the American singer, the German roller, and others. 

The canaries may be highly territorial and should be housed separately if possible. During the breeding season (usually the spring, in reaction to changes in the light cycle), males sing to compete for females.

 A male can sing without being in the sight of a female, and he might even sing louder when living next to another male in a cage.

They’re usually available in yellow or green, bright orange or brown variations. 

Care Tips for the Canaries:

These birds need daily access to fresh water, pelleted foods, finely minced produce, and some seeds.

The canaries may become infected with scaly face and leg mites. It leads to crusty skin on the feet, face, and respiratory tract mites, which make breathing difficult, if they’re under stress from malnourishment or overcrowding. 

Any of these symptoms warrant a visit to the vet for treatment.

Species Overview

  • Length: 5 to 6 inches
  • Weight: 1/2 ounce
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Talking Ability: Talkative and excellent singer
  • Health Issues: Respiratory illness and obesity

Pros and Cons of this Popular Bird Species:

Pros:

  • Low maintenance
  • Excellent singers
  • Diverse bird
  • Playful

Cons:

  • Don’t like to be handled
  • Prone to scale leg face and leg mites
  • Highly territorial

4. Lovebirds

4th most popular pet bird: LovebirdsThe fourth on our list of most popular pet birds may be tiny, but they should not be overlooked at any cost. 

These parrots are as lovely as their name because of their amiable personality and intelligence. 

These birds test boundaries and sometimes try to show dominance through nipping or aggression. 

Lovebirds are so named because of the close relationships they develop with both their owners and their partners. 

Contrary to popular belief, lovebirds need not be kept in pairs. 

In fact, a solitary bird is better if you want an animal eagerly attached to its human flock. 

Having a pair of lovebirds can also make for a beautiful company as owners won’t have as much responsibility for meeting their social demands.

While they are easier to care for than larger parrots, lovebirds are nonetheless more challenging to manage than other typical pet birds like doves and parakeets. These birds are known for being more docile.

So, they’re not the ideal choice for bird keepers with young children. 

On the brighter side, these birds are relatively quiet. 

That’s why they’re perfect for those who live in apartments or condominiums. 

Lovebirds are primarily green with orange upper body and head, light blue lower back and rump, red beak, and white eyerings.

Species Overview

  • Length: 5 to 6 inches
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Talking Ability: They speak to their kind but not so much to people. 
  • Health Issues: They may develop gastrointestinal tract yeast infections and chlamydiosis that causes respiratory signs, weakness, liver issues, and even death. 

Pros and Cons of the Most Popular Pet Bird

Pros:

  • Bond well with owners
  • Intelligent and amiable
  • Fairly quiet

Cons:

  • Can sometimes be aggressive
  • Prone to gastrointestinal yeast infections

5. Dove

5th most popular pet bird: DoveOf all the most popular pet birds in America, the dove is perhaps the sweetest and gentlest. 

Doves are not overly demanding of their owner’s attention, so they’re easy to take care of. That’s why they’re perfect for people with busy schedules or who can’t be home. 

They’re best suited to bird owners with children that know the importance of gentle handling. 

These birds need a large cage because they like to fly from perches to perches. 

Rarely do softbill doves attempt to bite or cause harm with their beaks. However, using gentle, upbeat socialization and bonding tactics with these birds is always beneficial.

Doves require company as well. They’d love it if they could interact with their humans out of the cage. 

But if you want to keep them entertained inside their cage, you need to put mirrors and swings that they can play with. 

Doves are usually white and gray, but you may also find white with gray, tangerine, pied, and orange versions. 

They feature black eyes and bill, and they have dark purple feet. 

Species Overview

  • Length: 11 to 13 inches
  • Weight: 5 to 8 ounces
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Talking Ability: They don’t talk
  • Health Issues: Susceptible to canker sores or tiny, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues

Pros and Cons of This Popular Pet Bird:

Pros:

  • Very gentle and sweet
  • Easy to look after
  • Quieter than parrots

Cons:

  • High maintenance
  • Needs lots of toys and a large cage

6. African Grey

6th most popular pet bird: African greyWe’re now on the sixth placer on the list, but things are just about to be exciting, for the sixth one is regarded as the most intelligent bird. 

Due to their outstanding ability to earn a human word and imitate speech, they earned the moniker “the Einstein of the Bird World.” 

They can bond strongly with you and learn positive reinforcement training and operant conditioning. 

As its name suggests, African Grey has a stunning grey feathering with a hint of red on its tail. 

African Grey birds may not be the most colorful, but they can paint your world with intelligent and affectionate feathery friends. 

So if you want a brilliant bird with a sweet personality, African Grey parrots surely can win your heart over!

However, these birds love to hang out with their humans and share treats with the family. And if you have young children, you must know that they might bite or injure your kids unintentionally when stealing treats or meals. 

Care Tips for African Greys:

These parrots must spend several hours outside their cages associating with their human families to avoid behavior issues like feather picking. They frequently form bonds with one member of the family.

African Greys require spacious cages with a minimum dimension of 24″ x 36″ x 48″, as well as several chew and playthings, water bowls, and food bowls. They require a lot of mental stimulation, such as toys with levers or puzzles and other activities, given their intelligence (similar to that of a 4-5-year-old child).

Species Overview

  • Length: 13 inches
  • Weight: 15 to 18 ounces
  • Lifespan: 40 years
  • Talking Ability: Talkative!
  • Health Issues: They may develop behavioral problems and respiratory diseases when not cared for properly.

Pros and Cons of This Popular Pet Bird:

Pros:

  • Super intelligent
  • Affectionate friend
  • Sociable

Cons:

  • Gets bored and depressed easily
  • Needs lots of mental stimulation

ALSO READ: 5 Smartest Pet Birds – Meet the Most Clever Birds in the World!

7. Finches

7th most popular pet bird: FinchFinches also deserve a spot in our list of most popular pet birds due to their gentle, quiet, and friendly nature along with their alluring visuals and patterns. 

There’s a wide variety of finch patterns and colors, including:

  • Owl finches(that indeed resembles an owl)
  • Gouldian finches(the vibrant and rainbow-like
  • Zebra finches(that sport a black and white stripe similar to zebras)

These adorable tiny birds don’t like being handled, so they’re best for those who feel satisfied watching these birds without the need for cuddles.

Songbirds (of the passerine family) called finches make brief, frequent, and low peeping noises. Therefore, finches can be a perfect option for people who are sensitive to noise or have close neighbors.

Expect more than just two if you have a pair because finches are gregarious, love to build nests, and are excellent egg layers. 

Care Tips for Finches:

They should have sizable, horizontally oriented cages with plenty of perches, food bowls, water dishes, and space for flying. 

Typically, they don’t play with toys; instead, they spend their time gathering scraps of paper and tiny sticks to make nests. 

They need fresh water daily, along with pelleted food made explicitly for finches, small portions of finely minced fruit, and some seeds.

Species Overview

  • Length: 5 to 6 inches
  • Weight: 1/2 ounce
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Talking Ability: They can’t talk and mimic your voice.
  • Health Issues: They’re prone to calcium deficiency, infections, and scaly face caused by mites.

Pros and Cons of This Popular Pet Bird:

Pros:

  • Perfect for people sensitive to noise
  • They don’t need toys

Cons:

  • They can’t talk
  • They need to have a fellow finch companion

8. Parrotlet

ParrotletAlso known as “pocket parrots,” these birds possess the wit and charm of their larger counterparts. 

They’re usually green with splashes of blue on their backs. 

Parrotlets may be trained to do various tasks, including stepping onto your finger, turning around, and waving, despite their diminutive size. 

They also have enormous, charismatic personalities. These lovable birds are simple to manage yet fiercely territorial. Parrotlets may develop rivalry if not supervised when out of their cage.

They can be possessive with other birds, resulting in fights during feeding. 

So, they’d better be alone. Miniature parrots might be demanding when they behave recklessly in a house with dogs and cats. 

Your fuzzy pets can be in for a fight with fierce parrotlets.

Care Tips for Parrotlets: 

Provide quality bird food and clean water daily to keep them healthy. 

Parrotlets need space and a lot of toys to play with because they are intelligent and energetic despite their small size. A cage for single parrotlet should be at least 18″ by 18″.

Keep the parrotlet’s cage away from drafts and bright sunlight. It’s best to place it in a calm area. 

Keep the cage covered at night to promote restful sleep and regulate daylight hours. At least 12 hours of darkness per night are necessary for parrotlets.

Species Overview

  • Length: 4 to 5 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Talking Ability: Can learn some words and tricks
  • Health Issues: Prone to bacterial respiratory infection, fatal herpes infection, fungal lung disease

Pros and Cons of This Popular Pet Bird:

Pros:

  • Long lifespan
  • Can learn various entertaining tricks
  • Easy to care for

Cons:

  • Territorial
  • Competitive

9. Conures

Conure Pet BirdOf all species in this most popular pet bird list, Conures is likely the loudest. These active birds produce a screech-like squawk.

Conures are fantastic pets for people who don’t mind loud noises and constant movement because they are gregarious, outgoing, and simply want to be around and on humans all the time. 

They typically don’t utter more than a few words. But they adore imitating their owners’ actions, dancing, and hiding in clothes or other items. 

Conures are available in various vivid colors, with combinations of red, yellow, orange, green, and blue, depending on the species.

Care Tips for Conures:

They require a cage at least 36″ x 24″ x 24″ in size and numerous perches, food bowls, a water dish, and interactive items to gnaw on. Many of them enjoy taking showers with their owners or taking baths in their water dishes.

They also need ample sun or UV light exposure to produce enough vitamin D.

Species Overview

  • Length: 10 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 3 to 9 ounces
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Talking Ability: These birds usually don’t speak but are loud.
  • Health Issues: They’re susceptible to Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD), beak malocclusion, and Beak and Feather Disease.

Pros and Cons of This Popular Pet Bird:

Pros:

  • Friendly and outgoing
  • Vivid colors
  • Entertaining

Cons:

  • Loud and noisy
  • They can’t talk

Hyacinth Macaw bird

10. Hyacinth Macaw

This list of the most popular pet birds would not be complete without the ever-beautiful Hyacinth Macaw. 

These Macaws are the largest of all parrots, and their vibrant cobalt blue plumage matched with a curved beak is to die for! 

They love being held by and receiving affection from their owners. They tend to form a strong bond with their owners since they’re friendly and cuddly. 

However, they need large spaces, and they can be destructive. 

Care Tips for Hyacinths:

These giant birds need a specific diet consisting of palm nuts. So you must provide them with macaw foods that address their dietary needs. 

They would benefit if you’d provide lots of toys and branches too! But they must be high quality and sturdy enough to withstand Hyacinth’s strong, large beak. 

Species Overview

  • Length: 40 inches
  • Weight: 42 to 51 ounces
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Talking Ability: Not the best talker but can learn some words
  • Health Issues: Prone to proventricular dilatation disease or “Macaw Wasting Disease,” psittacosis, and papillomas

Pros and Cons of This Pet Bird:

Pros:

  • Striking plumage
  • Friendly and cuddly
  • Highly intelligent

Cons:

  • Can be destructive
  • Needs plenty of space
  • Pricey

Common Questions About the Most Popular Pet Birds

What is the most popular bird as a pet?

Parakeets or Budgies (aka Budgerigars) top the list of the most popular bird pets in the world, thanks to their affectionate and friendly temperament when appropriately trained. 

Their simple yet striking feather pattern also makes them more eye-pleasing and adorable. 

What is the most popular pet parrot?

Perhaps the Parakeets are the most popular pet bird in the world due to their affectionate and friendly nature. Cockatiels also rank high in this A-list because they charmed many avian lovers with their personality and simplicity. 

What’s the best bird for a beginner?

If you’re a newbie in bird keeping and thinking, “what kind of pet bird should I get?”

We recommend starting with a parakeet or Budgies. They’re low-maintenance, affectionate, and friendly. On top of that, they feature striking head and wing feather patterns and are easy to train. 

What is the best bird for companionship?

The most popular companion birds that are perfect if you want companionship are: 

  1. Parakeets
  2. Cockatiel
  3. Finch
  4. Lovebird
  5. Monk Parakeet 
  6. Dove
  7. Parrotlet

What is the most gentle bird?

Doves are one of the most gentle birds, so it’s so fitting that they symbolize peace and love. Parakeets or Budgies are also docile and friendly. That’s why they’re so popular.

What is the most common pet bird in the US?

The most common pet birds in the US are:

  1. Parakeet
  2. Cockatiel
  3. FInch
  4. Lovebird
  5. Monk Parakeet
  6. Dove
  7. Parrotlet
  8. African grey

Is it cruel to keep pet birds?

Many environmentalists and avian lovers believe it’s cruel and inhumane to keep a bird in captivity and serve as pets because they’re supposed to fly freely in the wild.

Birds may also suffer from stress and depression due to isolation. 

What is the most social pet bird?

The most friendly pet birds that love social interactions are:

  1. Budgies
  2. Cockatiel
  3. Cockatoo
  4. Hyacinth Macaw
  5. Dove
  6. Parrotlet
  7. Green-Cheeked Conure

Final Thoughts About the Most Popular Pet Bird

So that’s a wrap for the list of the most popular pet birds in the world!

Parakeets, Cockatiels, Canaries, and Doves are perfect for beginners because they’re easy to raise due to their friendly nature and diminutive size.

But if you want larger parrots with a striking appearance and highly intelligent minds, the African Greys and Hyacinth Macaws will suit you. Just know that they need bigger cages, more food, and higher maintenance cost than the tinier ones.

So, before purchasing one, check out our beginner’s guide below to help you make wise decisions and preparations.

Among the top 10 most popular pet birds above, which species sparked your interest the most? Let us know in the comment section below.

READ NEXT: Best Pet Birds for Beginners: The Ultimate Bird Owners Guide

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