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10 Best Small Pet Birds — Which Tiny Bird Suits You?

Small Pet Birds

Are you searching for low-maintenance feathery companions? Then, small pet birds may be the ones for you! These little bundles of joy come in a variety of colors and are packed with colorful personalities.

And the icing on the cake for some tiny birds is their ability to talk. Yes! Even tiny birds have the capability to talk or mimic human speech.

But here’s the thing, some can survive without a companion, while others don’t.

So, we curated a list of the best small pet bird options for you and discuss the:

  • Talking abilities or potential of each
  • Need for companionship
  • Species overview for each bird

If you’re an avian enthusiast looking for tiny birds, here are the best small species for you.

Smallest pet bird- Finch

1. Finch – The Tiniest Pet Bird

Finches are the tiniest among the pet birds on this list. This tiny bird can grow between 10 and 27 cm long (3 to 10 inches). Most of the finch pet birds crack weed and grass seeds with their powerful conical bills. 

As seen in crossbills, goldfinches, and cardinals, many finches have vivid colors, frequently in shades of red, yellow, or both. 

Others are colored defensively and may have spots and streaks, especially those that live in low grass or bushes.

Insects are a common dietary addition for many species. Since the nestlings can’t open seeds, they are typically fed insects instead. 

The term “finch” is used informally to designate any of the numerous little passerine birds. 

Talking Abilities of Small Pet Bird

Finches are quiet, non-communicative birds. They can’t talk but can enchant their owners with aerial tricks and social interactions.

Do Finches Need a Cage Buddy?

These little finches are extremely friendly, so they thrive more if they have a companion. They can easily fall victim to loneliness and depression when they’re alone.

Two males often get along unless you give them a nest because they’ll surely fight over it. 

Species Overview

Length: 4 inches

Weight: 0.5 ounce

Lifespan: 4 to 7 years or more

Origin: Galápagos Archipelago from Central or South America

Small bird species - Parrotlets

2. Parrotlets

This tiny version of parrots is also known as “pocket parrots.” Appearance-wise, these birds look similar to Amazon parrots and display aggressive, affectionate, but comical personalities. 

They also look similar to green Parakeets, but sadly, they’re not as prized as the latter. But they have a longer lifespan. 

Parrotlets are active birds, so they need several hours out of their cage and tend to be nippy sometimes. 

Is parrotlet the smallest parrot?

Parrot is the smallest species of parrot, even smaller than Budgies. But they’re also available in various breeds like Pacific, Mexican, Green-rumped, and Spectacled parrotlets.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

Some parrotlets can learn to talk and develop impressive vocabulary. But not all of them can go beyond a chirp or screech.  

Do Parrotlets Need a Companion?

Parrotlet kept as a single bird makes an excellent pet because they may express dominance and possessive behaviors in pairs. And these tiny parrots can get into trouble when unsupervised.

Species Overview

Length: 4 to 5 inches

Weight: 1 ounce

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Origin: Mexico, Central, and South America

Small pet birds - Lovebirds

3. Lovebirds

Lovebirds are small pet birds from the Psittacidae family. They got the name “lovebirds” due to their strong bond with their pair. 

There are nine species of lovebirds, but not all are suitable as pets. The popular choice for many bird owners is Fischer’s, Peach-faced, and Black-masked lovebirds.

These chatty feathery companions may be small but bold, curious, and always active.

Not to mention their striking feathering that is pure eye candy!

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

Lovebirds may often vocalize, but these birds don’t talk as you expect. They often speak to each other but not to their humans. On the brighter side, their pleasant song can appease you more than other companion birds.

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

It’s a common belief that lovebirds should be kept in pairs because they’re solitary birds who would die or suffer from depression when alone. 

But owners can keep a single lovebird as long as they can provide the social interaction it needs. 

The advantage is that you can form a strong bond with your lovebird since he’ll spend more time with you. 

Species Overview

Length: 5 to 7 inches

Weight: 2 ounces

Lifespan: 15 to 25

Origin: Africa and Madagascar’s forests and savannas

Little pet birds- Canary

4. Canaries

The canaries are island natives distinguished by their brilliant plumage and lovely singing. 

A canary may learn to perch on a person with enough training. If you don’t get another safe place for it to fly, keep a canary in a large flight cage. 

The canaries can be territorial. Therefore, it’s generally necessary to house them separately. A canary can be ideal for you if you are a more relaxed pet owner. 

Even though they dislike being held, canaries can charm everyone with their kind dispositions and melodious noises.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

Unfortunately, canaries can’t talk. However, in the spring, the males may fill an entire house with the sounds of birds. 

Male canaries will even fight with one another to produce the finest song if you have two of them. 

Although female canaries don’t sing, they do have a sweet chirping sound. Females may be kept together without any issues, unlike males.

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

The canaries are a low-maintenance bird that enjoys living alone. They will be happy if they have access to new food and space to fly. 

Even if you just have one canary, it needs a sizable cage that is well filled with all of its basic needs. 

The two must be housed in separate bird cages to avoid fighting during the breeding season. Although it is not advised, keeping them together outside the breeding season is feasible.

Species Overview

Length: Grow up to 5 to 8 inches

Weight: Only weigh from 0.5 to 1 ounce

Lifespan: Can live from 10 to 15 years

Origin: Macaronesian Islands of Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. 

Small pet birds- Parakeets

5. Parakeets/ Budgies

The parakeet, also known as a budgerigar, is one of the best communicative parrots and may be the most widely kept pet bird in the world. 

A budgie is even said to have the most extensive bird vocabulary in the world, with 1,728 words. But the problem is it might be extremely difficult to hear them.

Compared to their Australian counterparts, the cockatiels, they are likewise very busy small birds.

You shouldn’t be shocked if you witness them jumping between bird perches, slamming a ball around as if it were offensive, or throwing their parrot food just to find their favorite bits. 

When they decide to take a nap, try to keep an eye on them because they frequently practice new phrases and sounds while sleeping.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

They can talk if their owner tries to train them with specific words.

Some parakeet breeds can occasionally catch up on and mimic some words and phrases, but they’re not the most talkative breed.

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

As long as you spend much one-on-one time with them, parakeets may live peacefully alone in their cage because they love interacting with their people. 

Alternatively, they can thrive in a cage with another parakeet as a companion.

Species Overview

Length: An adult Parakeet can grow up to 18 cm

Weight: Can weigh up from 30 to 40 grams

Lifespan: They live as long from 10 to 15 years with their human family

Origin:  Australia 

Small pet bird - Bourke's Parakeet

6. Bourke’s Parakeets

These small pet birds don’t receive much attention due to their price and for having less character than other birds. 

But Bourke’s Parakeets are diamonds in the rough!

Even though they are intelligent, these birds are calm and peaceful compared to other parrot species. Expect frequent visitors riding on your shoulder because they are cuddly and prefer company.

Additionally, they experience bursts of energy and enjoy soaring and flying around. 

These parakeets are dimorphic, so there is a noticeable difference between males and females.

Male often have a blue ban above their eyes and darker plumage while females are duller.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

These little parrots do not talk or perform tricks. They’re often quiet, so they’re ideal for those searching for silent tiny birds with gorgeous feather patterns.

Do Bourke’s Parakeets Need a Companion?

These birds can do well on their own. To curb their loneliness, interact and play with them more often. But they can also live well with other birds like Budgies. 

Species Overview

Length: About 7 to 9 inches

Weight: They are about 2 ounces

Lifespan: 5 to 8 years

Origin: Australia

Small pet bird - Green-Cheeked Conure

7. Green-Cheeked Conures

The Green-cheeked conure is a sure hit among bird beginners, thanks to its comparatively inexpensive cost, tiny stature, docile temperament, and low noise level (at least when compared to its larger cousins).

They have lots of shenanigans and can be gregarious and funny. However, also be a bit more reserved than other conures. 

These birds enjoy playing and will benefit from having a variety of toys and a roomy cage to move around in. They also like hanging upside down and scurrying over the cage bars.

Green cheeks are renowned for being exceptionally loving and not being snappy. Due to their extreme affection and love for their owners, green-cheeked conures require an owner who can offer them a lot of time outside the cage.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

These conures can learn to say a few words and mimic some human speech with their gruff voice. 

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

Green-cheeked conures can live with or without a companion. If you intend to keep a conure as a single bird, you must dedicate lots of time and attention to succeed in filling in their need of a friend or company.

Species Overview

Length: 10 to 11 inches

Weight: 2 to 3 ounces

Lifespan: 25 years or more

Origin: South America

Small pet birds -Caique

8. Caique

Caiques have earned the moniker “clowns of the bird world” because of their energetic and comical nature. These medium-sized troublemakers most certainly fit the clown description. 

The black-headed caique (Pionites melanocephala) and the white-bellied caique are the two caique species most frequently kept as pets (Pionites leucogaster).

They are often highly willful, beaky, and stubborn. But it’s hard to hate Caiques because they are so adorable and funny.

This stocky, heavy bird species (for its size) is so active. That’s why Caiques need a large cage so that it can spend its energy playing and flying.

Talking Abilities

A talented Caique can talk, but they’re not on par with other taking parrots. However, they can learn to whistle or cluck very well. 

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

Young Caiques can be kept in pairs, but older ones can be cranky and aggressive sometimes, so they’re best kept alone. 

Species Overview

Length: 9 inches

Weight: 5.3 to 6.2 ounces

Lifespan: 27 to 40 years

Origin: South America’s Amazon basin area

Small pet birds- Pionus Parrot

9. Pionus Parrots

These birds feature a bare, fleshy eye-ring that circles their entire eye, red vent feathers, and square tail. 

It looks like a smaller Amazon, but they don’t receive as much love and attention as Amazon and African gray parrots. 

But because of that, die-hard folks fell in love with this unique species. 

They’re lovely birds in their own right despite being minuscule. Pionus parrots are generally quiet and easy-going but a bit standoffish sometimes. 

These birds boast beautiful plumage hues in their adulthood. They’re like a painter’s palette, pulling many colors from the rainbow.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

These parrots can talk, but their voices are raspy. So, it can be challenging to understand what they’re saying.

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

These birds can survive without a cage companion, but as with any other bird, they need interaction with their humans and toys to keep them occupied.

Species Overview:

Length: 10 to 12 inches

Weight: 8 to 9 ounces

Lifespan: 25 to 40 years

Origin: Mexico, Central, and South America

Small birds - Cockatiel

10. Cockatiels

This slender Australian parrot species with an iconic yellow crown is the no. 1 pet bird in America for a reason! 

Cockatiels can be cuddly and outgoing, but they can also be feisty at times. They’re talented and famous for their whistle serenades and enjoy being on their favorite person’s shoulder. 

They don’t exhibit ear-piercing screeches, so they’re pleasing to the ears. 

Did you know their crest feather’s position tells you about their mood?

Straight crest feathers may indicate a frightened or intensely curious bird. A cockatiel in defense will keep its crest feathers flat against its head, and if it hisses, it may be particularly anxious.

But a cockatiel that is at ease will have its crest feathers held back slightly and fluffed cheek feathers, and you might even hear it happily grinding its beak.

Talking Abilities of These Small Pet Birds

A cockatiel can learn some words like “hello” and “pretty bird,” but their vocabulary is not as extensive as other parrots. 

Do They Need a Cage Buddy?

These birds don’t need a companion to survive. You’re their companion if you can tame them and spend time with them. Cockatiels can do well with companions, but they may establish a pecking order and need supervision.

Species Overview

Length: 12 to 13 inches

Weight: 3 ounces

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Origin: Australia

Why Choose a Small Pet Bird?

Small birds are generally easier to care for than large species because they require smaller cages and have less food consumption. 

On top of that, they’re cheaper to buy or adopt and are often low-maintenance. 

Therefore, you can save a considerable amount of money while enjoying the perks of being a bird owner. 

These pet birds may be small, but they have big personalities, and spending time with them can be just as relaxing and entertaining as the larger ones since many of them can talk and mimic speech. 

But they can also be needy for attention, just like giant birds.

Raising little pet birds

How To Raise Small Pet Birds?

Here are your bird’s basic needs that you need to prepare before purchasing your favorite species. 

Food and Nutrition

Birds in captivity need a diet that contains all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. 

Each bird has its own dietary needs, so it’d be best to choose a food specifically formulated for your bird’s species. 

Providing fresh fruit and vegetables along with nuts, beans, and cooked brown rice is also beneficial for your feathery friend. 

But avoid toxic foods for birds like onion, alcohol, avocado, and chocolate. 

Cage

The cage may vary depending on your bird’s size. But even if you have small pet birds, you must ensure that their cage is wide enough for them to extend their wings completely. 

It’s best to give your bird the biggest cage you can afford since they’d love it if they had plenty of space.

You also have to ensure that their cage is durable, easy to clean, and free from toxic materials and sharp edges.

Perch

You can create a DIY perch by attaching two branches on each side of the cage using uncoated wire or small brackets. But you can also purchase bird perches from your local pet store or online shops. 

Remember to place it far enough from the food and water bowls to prevent your bird from overeating. Choose pesticide-free and non-toxic trees like citrus, eucalyptus, Northern hardwoods, or Australian pines. 

Water

Birds need a clean and accessible source of water all the time to avoid dehydration. So, replace the water in the bowl daily for your tiny pet bird’s safety.

Food and water bowls

We recommend using wide rather than deep bowls to encourage your bird to try different foods. 

Most food and water bowls have built-in perch; you only need to fix it into the cage. 

A hiding place

Small pet birds may enjoy having a little privacy. So giving them a hiding place made of a towel, paper bag, or nest box that resembles their home in the wild can make them happy.

Cage liner

This could be any paper, paper towel, or newspaper. Its purpose is to maintain a space between your bird and his droppings for hygienic purposes. Just put the liner under the mesh barrier, and you’re good to go!

Toys

Even small pet birds with affectionate nature can get bored, depressed, or aggressive when not given enough time and mental stimulation. So, to keep your tweety active and healthy, you can provide them with a lot of toys to play with.

First aid kit

Bird’s nails need trimming too, so if your bird bleeds, prepare a first aid kit with a styptic pencil and other emergency items to stop the bleeding. 

types of small birds

Common Questions About Small Pet Birds

What small bird is the best pet?

One of the best small pet bird options is Parakeets because of their docile personality, striking plumage patterns, talking ability, and a low-maintenance lifestyle.

But finches, canaries, parrotlets, lovebirds, and cockatiels, which are also minuscule, can also make excellent pets. 

What is the friendliest bird for a pet?

The most friendly pet birds include Budgerigar, Cockatiels, Cockatoo, Hyacinth Macaws, and Doves. Parrotlets, Green-cheeked conures, and Hahn’s Macaw are social birds who enjoy human company.

The genius African gray parrot is also friendly and affectionate, so you have a wide range of options. 

What birds do well in a small cage?

The small birds that thrive despite captivity are zebra finches, canaries, lovebirds, and parrotlets.

They can tolerate being in a cage, but that does not mean they don’t need a break time out of their cage. These tiny birds also need to exercise and explore the world.

What is the smallest pet parrot?

The world’s smallest parrot is the parrotlet. With a size of 3 to 5.5 inches and a weight of 18 to 28 grams, larger parrots can easily dwarf them.

But these tiny birds are a sight to behold due to their breathtaking beauty and lovable personality. 

What is the smallest bird that can talk?

Budgerigar or Parakeets are one of the smallest birds gifted with the ability to talk. They’re one of the best talkers as they can learn hundreds of words.

However, you must train your bird to maximize their talking abilities and potential. 

Are there dwarf birds?

According to Peter Pyle of ID-Frontiers, gull specialist Larry Spear believes there is no such thing as a dwarf bird. Some birds are way smaller than their siblings due to poor health or nutrition. 

But just as full-grown humans under five feet simply represent the extremes of normal variations, birds tinier than the standard may be just the small extreme of normal variation.

Small Pet Birds Final Thoughts

So, those are the top small pet birds that are worth a space in your aviary!

Which ones are the most interesting for you?

Out of the 10 tiny birds in this list, only Parrotlet, Parakeets, Green-cheeked Conures, Caique, Pionus Parrots, and Cockatiels have the ability to learn some human words and speech.

But Finches, Canaries, Lovebirds, and Bourke’s Parakeets also deserve attention since these tiny pet birds are full of character. They have their own charm and funny antics.

Most of these little pet birds are low-maintenance and easy to care for compared to the larger breeds. They can also bring as much joy as the large ones.

How about you? What small pet birds would you recommend? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

READ NEXT: Top 10 Most Popular Pet Birds in the World

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