When determining the best types of parrots to keep as pets, you need to identify what is most important to you as a pet owner. Different parrots have different personalities and abilities, so be sure to match a breed with what you hope to enjoy about your pet.
If talking is high on your priority list, African grey parrots, amazons and quaker parrots are your best bets. Not all parrots learn to mimic speech, so you'll need to look for a mature bird that has already proven its ability to speak if this is of utmost importance to you.
If you feel confident with large parrots, you can look for a mature African Grey or Amazon who has outlived its original owner and was given excellent care. If you're intimidated by the bigger parrots or are buying a first bird, you may want to stick with a Quaker Parrot or try a male Cockatiel or budgie. Most male cockatiels can pick up a word or phrase or two. Budgies can be excellent mimics, if they're trained properly.
If affection is the most important characteristic in your pet bird, you can't go wrong with a cuddly Conure. Conures are small to medium-sized parrots that love to burrow into a shirt pocket or even under the covers with you. Green-cheeked conures are especially demure and sweet, while blue-headed conures are known for being good talkers as well as extremely affectionate.
Looking for a stunning beauty that will also beg to sit on your shoulder all day long? Try a Sun Conure. If you can handle the mess, noise and destruction that comes with a large bird, consider a Cockatoo. Many varieties of cockatoos will sit on your lap and ask to be stroked, much like you would a cat. All of these parrots need owners who are home most of the time and who can give them plenty of time out of their cages, and on you.
If you're looking for a parrot that will learn tricks such as dancing, riding a skateboard, mimicking sounds and showing off, you'll be delighted to meet the Caique, the Amazon the Quaker Parrot and the Macaw. Of these four types of parrots, the easiest to care for are the quakers and caiques. Macaws and amazons are not good first birds; make sure you cut your teeth on a smaller bird before taking on one of these challenging but amazingly rewarding larger parrots.
Easiest First Birds
New to parrot ownership? You'll want to learn the basics of parrot care on a budgie, lovebird, parrotlet, Cockatiel or Quaker Parrot. Make sure to buy a hand-fed baby that has been handled a great deal, so that you get a tame bird. Invest at least an hour a day in training and holding your pet bird.
These birds can handle more in-cage time than some of their more demanding cousins. These birds are also less intimidating, noisy and challenging; however, the rewards from these parrots are impressive. Consider spending the extra money for a han-fed, DNA-sexed male parakeet, and you'll discover what a delight these birds can be.
If you live in an apartment or have little tolerance for noise, you'll want to invest in a parrotlet, budgie or Pionus. These parrots are quiet, but quiet is relative when discussing parrots.
If you're looking for a showstopper, you can't go wrong with a Macaw or Ecclectus. Both of these parrots have special needs, so make sure you do your research before you invest in one of these beauties.
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