Parrots are renowned for their bright, vibrant coloring, alongside their speaking ability. A popular example of this unique aesthetic is blue parrots, and few animals catch the eye quite as effortlessly as a bright blue bird.
Many wild parrots have a little blue in their feathers, but the most prominent example of a blue parrot is the hyacinth macaw. A handful of pionus breeds are blue, and budgies and parrotlets have blue color mutations.
Blue feathers are comparatively commonplace in parrots, but blue is rarely the dominant color of a bird. This is partly because parrots are predominantly another color (usually green) with just a hint of blue. In addition, many blue-feathered parrot species are not suitable for domestication and life as a pet.
What Makes Parrots Blue?
Blue parrots get their color from keratin, which is the protein found in human hair and nails. Keratin sits within the feathers, and the three primary colors found in feathers – blue, yellow, and red – react to sunlight.
Suppose a parrot has tri-color feathers. Keratin forces red and yellow shades to cancel each other out, and this means the blue feathers become dominant and unmistakable. From deep to pale, the shade of blue depends on how much keratin remains in the parrot’s feathers.
Where Do Blue Parrots Come From?
Blue parrots reside in hot, tropical climates. Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea host blue parrots, though the birds are most populace in South and Central American territories, especially Brazil. The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw can be found in Florida.
The rainforest home of many blue parrots is being decimated. The Glaucous Macaw, for example, is critically endangered – deemed extinct by some experts – as its terrain in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, and Paraguay was destroyed and inhabited by humans.
This has a knock-on effect on the demand for blue parrots. A blue parrot may be legal to keep as an exotic pet in the USA, depending on your state of residence. However, they can be expensive as scarcity drives up the price.
Blue Parrot Species
Many species of parrots found in the wild boast traces of the blue in their feathers, including the following:
The blue hue of this parrot comes from the back and wings, while the chest is bright yellow. The contrast between the two colors is undeniably striking.
Only commit to caring for a blue-and-yellow macaw if you seek a pet with personality. Nothing about this bird is calm, quiet, or docile. That does need to be a bad thing – it’s an undeniably entertaining avian companion.
The first thing to know about the blue-and-yellow macaw is that it’s loud. If you keep this parrot, it will regularly repeat typical phases, also undertaking seemingly random bouts of squawking and screaming.
The blue-and-yellow macaw also needs lots of exercise, as well as near-constant engagement and interaction. Bringing this parrot into your home means dictates that you’ll have a long-lived companion to share your life – it will not amuse itself.
If you are willing and able to meet these needs, few pet parrots are more beloved than the blue-and-yellow macaw. The bird is often as entertaining as it is beautiful, which is no mean feat.
The blue-crowned conure is a popular breed of parrot, available from most exotic pet stores and professional breeders. It’s famed for a bright blue head that contrasts with the rest of the body. It’s smaller than most Conures at around 15 inches.
While many breeds of conure are feisty and loud, this parrot is comparatively calm – if it’s domesticated and entertained. A bored or upset blue-crowned conure can be extremely difficult to live with.
Thankfully, it’s comparatively simple to keep a blue-crowned conure on-side. Spend as much time as you can with them, ideally outside its cage. This will enhance the bonding process between owner and parrot.
Once you have gained the trust and respect of a blue-crowned conure, it will become increasingly playful. These parrots love to learn new tricks. They also value privacy, so consider giving your pet parrot somewhere to hide.
The blue-headed pionus hails from Costa Rica. A striking and unmissable blue head sits atop a proud, green body.
Once fully grown, this parrot will usually measure around 12 inches, weighing in at a maximum of 9 ounces.
This bird must be allowed out of its cage for at least 3 hours a day. Supervise the parrot during any free time. The blue-headed pionus is curious and noisy.
The blue Headed pionus is usually a gentle and loving breed of parrot that enjoys play and spending time with owners.
The humble budgie can be sourced in a wide array of different colors due to selective breeding. Blue budgerigars are arguably the most popular of these mutations. Small and comparatively undemanding, these birds are ideal first-time avian pets.
That does not mean that anybody can take care of a budgie, though. Many children are presented with these pets under the misapprehension that they will take care of themselves. In reality, blue budgies need to be monitored carefully for warning signs of sickness.
Budgies are social by nature, so consider adopting them in pairs or groups. Just ensure you have enough space. A parakeet habitat must be at least 18 inches high and 20 inches long – in addition to boasting plenty of toys and other stimuli.
The hyacinth macaw grows to an intimidating 40 inches, weighs as much as 4 pounds, and can live for upwards of 70 years.
In truth, the hyacinth macaw can look a little frightening to a parrot novice. The breed has a long, sharp beak and a huge wingspan. However, this bird is an old-fashioned, gentle giant, and it will never willingly harm an owner without provocation.
Once appropriately domesticated and trained, the hyacinth macaw is a great avian companion. While not as eloquent as some parrots, they love human company and enjoy chatting with their owners.
Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Breeders have increased the population of blue Indian ringneck parakeets. This is an increasingly popular mutation, as this parrot is a great pet and looks striking.
The first thing that anybody will notice about this parrot is its intelligence. The Indian ringneck parakeet is a gifted talker that will learn at least 200 words before reaching a year old.
The Indian ringneck parakeet also has a reputation as a moody, difficult bird, but this is a little unfair. In the right home, this parrot will be loving and affectionate. It’s just that the intelligence of the Indian ringneck parakeet means it grows bored faster than some birds.
If your pet is bored, it will be destructive, noisy, stressed, and even aggressive toward owners. As a result, only take on an Indian ringneck parakeet if you have time to spare.
The parrot may still be aloof occasionally, but the more time you spend together, the likelier a bond is to form. The parrot grows up to 16 inches and can live as long as 50 years if well cared for.
Lear’s Macaw (Indigo Macaw)
Hailing from Brazil, this macaw boasts strikingly deep blue feathers. In many respects, it’s just as beautiful as the hyacinth macaw. However, it’s smaller and thus easier to accommodate in captivity.
The Lear’s macaw is believed to have emigrated to South America from the UK, hence the name. The bird was titled in tribute to the poet Edward Lear. Like many birds native to the rainforest, the part is growing increasingly endangered due to a loss of habitat.
If you’re an experienced bird handler, you may be invited to take on a lear’s macaw as a pet. Avian fanciers are keen to keep the species alive with responsible owners.
It’s a universal truth that taking something beautiful and making it smaller is irresistibly adorable. That’s certainly the case with the parrotlet, a 5-inch, 1-ounce micro-parrot.
Although parrotlets are a fraction of the size of traditional parrots, these birds are not shrinking violets. They have just as much personality as their larger brethren and require handling and domestication. They live in smaller cages but need regular exercise.
The smaller size means a smaller larynx, so these birds are quieter than some parrots. Naturally, they will also eat less. This means a parrotlet will cost less to keep happy and healthy, despite needing an equal investment of time and attention.
Quaker Parrot (Monk Parakeet)
Quaker parakeets are easy-going, effortlessly entertaining pets that love to chatter and bond with owners. Unfortunately, owning a quaker parrot in some U.S. territories is illegal.
You’ll be adopting the clown of the parrot world. This is among the most intelligent breeds of all, capable of a broad vocabulary and speaking in whole sentences. This parrot is also extremely loyal, capable of forming a strong, unbreakable bond with an owner.
Check this table to determine the legality of owning this bird in your state. Those marked in bold come with mandated caveats:
|Illegal to Own||Legal to Own|
|Idaho||District of Columbia|
|Nebraska (permit required)|
|New York (parrot must be banded and never released)|
|Ohio (parrot’s wings must be clipped)|
|Rhode Island (permit required)|
|Vermont (permit required, the breeder must be licensed)|
|Virginia (parrot must be banded and never released, sold, or bred)|
This bird is recognizable for the white markings at the tip of its skull. Also, the parrot has a deep blue head on top of a green-and-blue body.
The white-capped pionus is one of the most affectionate species. As always, you’ll need to put in reasonable effort to train your new pet. However, this bird is willing to learn and loves to please an owner.
The smallest pionus species, this parrot is as quiet as its brethren. Don’t take on this parrot if you want a chatterbox pet. You can get away with a smaller habitat, but a cage of four square feet should be ideal. As always, regular free-flying exercise is essential.
Only a professional will be able to sex a white-capped pionus, as there are no aesthetic differences between males and females. If identifying the sex of your parrot is important to you, seek a consultation from a veterinarian.
How Much Do Blue Parrots Cost?
The rarity of blue parrots can lead to a higher price tag than a first-time bird owner may be expecting. Let’s look at how much you should expect to pay for a blue parrot:
|Blue-and-Gold Macaw||Around $1,500|
|Blue-crowned Conure||Anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000|
|Blue-Headed Pionus||A minimum of $1,000, often slightly more|
|Budgerigar||Rarely more than $40, sometimes as little as half this|
|Hyacinth Macaw||Minimum of $5,000, possibly rising to over $10,000|
|Indian Ringneck Parakeet||At least $1,500, often more, for a blue Indian Ringneck|
|Lear’s Macaw||Asking prices usually start at $3,000|
|Pacific Parrotlet||Around $300 for a blue mutation|
|Quaker Parrot||It could be as low as $250, but you may need to double this for a blue Quaker|
|White-capped Pionus||Anywhere been $500 to $1,000, depending on the breeder|
These prices are a guideline only. We are not parrot breeders, nor are we affiliated with anybody who engages in such an activity. Ultimately, the value of a parrot is what you are willing to pay. Just ensure you purchase a happy, healthy bird from a reputable seller.
How Long Do Blue Parrots Live?
All parrots have a unique lifespan, so research this before taking on an avian pet. As per The Atrium, the breed will play a significant role in the expected lifespan of a parrot.
If you’re considering sharing your life with a blue parrot, you should expect your avian companion to enjoy a long life. This table summarizes the average lifespan of the birds that we have profiled:
|Blue-and-Gold Macaw||It could be up to 70 or 80 years – rarely less than 50|
|Blue-crowned Conure||Up to 30 years|
|Blue-Headed Pionus||Around 40 years|
|Budgerigar||At least 8 years could be up to 20 for a well-loved budgie|
|Hyacinth Macaw||Often 60 years or more|
|Indian Ringneck Parakeet||Usually between 20 and 30 years, possibly longer|
|Lear’s Macaw||At least 30 years, possibly as long as 50|
|Pacific Parrotlet||Potentially as long as 25 years – often at least 8 to 10|
|Quaker Parrot||At least 20 years, often 30|
|White-capped Pionus||Around 30 years, possibly longer|
Blue parrots are among the most aesthetically striking companion birds available to avian owners.
If you seek a blue parrot, you’ll need to brace yourself. A blue parrot can require substantial financial outlay and a lot of space and care. The pleasure of the parrot’s companionship will make this worthwhile, though.