Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Carrie Stephens
The species of parrot is a vital determinant of its friendliness. Opt for a lovebird or budgerigar (like an English budgie) if you want the friendliest parrot to own.
No matter which species you choose, training and socialization are essential. Even the most gentle and loving parrot can grow unruly if it’s not socialized and engaged with from an early age.
Wild parrots are social animals that live in flocks. If a pet bird is left in its cage without same-species company or sufficient human interaction, it’ll grow unhappy and unruly.
For the parrot-human relationship to work, spend time together while meeting its care needs.
Most Friendly Parrots
There are about 402 parrot family members, each with unique personalities and temperaments.
If you want to buy a pet parrot, consider the following factors:
- Time-consuming: Clever birds need engagement and companionship.
- Loud: Parrots produce various sounds and noises, especially in the morning.
- Messy: Drop food and poop everywhere.
- Large: The biggest parrots are macaws, cockatoos, and Amazons.
- Biters: Bites from large parrots can be extremely painful.
This may make new owners hesitant about getting a parrot as a pet. However, certain species are calmer, friendlier, and easier to please than others. These include:
If you want a small pet parrot with bags of personality, consider getting a parrotlet. These adorable birds are sometimes called “pocket parrots” because they grow to just 4-5 inches long.
There are many parrotlet species, comprising several genera, but only 2 are kept as pets:
A Pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis) is bright green, but males have blue on their tails, wings, and behind their eyes.
Although tiny, they have the temperament of a larger bird.
Their personality is compared to the Amazon parrot. They’re intelligent, energetic, active, and playful.
Despite this, parrotlets aren’t noisy birds. However, they’re not the best talkers in the parrot family.
Pacific parrotlets must be adequately trained early in the relationship.
Green-rumped parrotlets (Forpus passerinus) have similar colors to Pacific parrotlets but are smaller.
Both species share the same temperament and can be unruly if not properly socialized. Once trained, they’ll be more gentle, affectionate, and sweeter pet birds.
Green-rumped parrotlets take longer to acclimate. Training must be ongoing and consistent.
If you’re new to parrots, getting a Pacific parrotlet is recommended.
A cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) is a small parrot with an iconic head crest that tells you how it feels.
Its classic look includes a grey body, yellow face and crest, and orange cheek patches.
You can also find color mutations, such as:
- Albino cockatiel: A pure white bird.
- Pearl cockatiel: Has pearls along its feathers.
- Cinnamon cockatiels: Brown with grey feathers.
- Silver cockatiels: Grey feathers with red or dark eyes.
Cockatiels reach 12-14 inches long, which is smaller than most members of the cockatoo family. They usually live for 15-20 years, but some birds reach 30.
Cockatiels whistle and repeat the sounds they hear, like doorbells. They can learn some human words but aren’t accomplished speakers.
They love to play fun games and will gladly spend many hours in your company.
In the U.S., budgies are called American parakeets.
‘Parakeet’ is an umbrella term for up to 115 species. While all budgerigars are parakeets, not all parakeets are budgerigars.
Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) are native to Australia. They have green feathers and scalloped markings on their backs and wings.
Other budgie colors include:
- Black (anthracite).
Budgies are popular pets because they’re small and friendly. They’re 7-8 inches long. English budgies (show budgies) are 1-2 inches longer than Australian budgies.
Another reason for their fame is their intelligence. Not all parrots, regardless of species, learn to talk or dance. Budgies are quick learners who can say up to 1000 words.
With appropriate care, budgies will amaze you with their intelligence while being affectionate birds.
Conures are beautiful parrots with bright and vivid colors.
Most conure feathers contain green with colorful embellishments, usually blue, red, orange, brown, and yellow.
They’re monomorphic, so it’s near-impossible to tell the difference between males and females.
Conures are a diverse species that comprise many different small and medium-sized birds, including:
- Green-cheeked conures.
- Sun conures.
- Jenday conures.
- Nanday conures.
- Red-masked conures.
- Half-moon conures.
- Dusky-headed conures.
- Mitred conures.
- Blue-crowned Conures.
- Golden-capped conures.
- Queen of Bavaria conures.
- Patagonian conures.
- Austral conures.
Conures are bold, outgoing, and eager to investigate everything. They’ll peck new objects with their beaks to learn more. They’ll also seek to play and engage with bonded humans.
Conures are boisterous birds that emit high-pitched screeches when scared, startled, or wanting attention. They can also talk, but their vocabularies aren’t expansive.
Conures thrive in households where someone is always available to give them attention. They also like environments where interesting things are happening.
The pionus reaches 10-12 inches long and lives for 25-40 years.
Pionus parrots usually brandish a ring of white around their eyes, with red feathers at the end of their tails.
The colors differ based on species, but most are muddy and muted.
There are 7 species of pionus parrots:
- Blue-headed pionus.
- Dusky pionus.
- Red-billed pionus.
- White-crowned pionus.
- Bronzed-winged pionus.
- Scaly-headed pionus.
- Speckled-faced pionus.
Pionus parrots aren’t energetic or loud and can be considered standoffish. However, their owners would beg to differ because they make such loyal, devoted birds.
When talking, it lacks a clear speaking voice, but it can mimic some words and phrases.
The pionus is ideal for people who want a bird that’s not overly loud. Due to its gentle and relaxed disposition, this pet parrot is suitable for inexperienced owners.
Meyer’s parrots (Poicephalus meyeri) feature brown or green feathers with bright yellow markings on their wings and sometimes on their heads.
Meyer’s parrots are a small, stocky species that can reach 8-9 inches long and live 20-30 years.
Their diminutive size and unspectacular colors compliment their understated personality. This parrot is an easy-going bird that enjoys watching people and what’s happening in its environment.
Meyer’s can’t talk as well as larger species, but they can learn some words. They’re better at whistling and mimicking environmental sounds, like microwave oven beeps.
While all parrots bite when stressed or scared, Meyer’s do so less than other species. They’re happier chewing wooden toys, destroying cardboard, and exploring the world with their beaks.
Meyer’s are ideal for people who want a small, quiet, and understated pet parrot. Unlike many species, they’re not one-person birds and can bond with the entire family.
Lovebirds are friendly and affectionate to humans and same-species birds. They choose one mate and bond for life.
There are 3 species of lovebirds commonly kept as pets:
- Fischer’s lovebirds (Agapornis fischeri).
- Rosy-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis).
- Black-masked lovebirds (Agapornis personata).
Lovebirds are small parrots that reach just 5-6.5 inches long. Their life expectancy is about 10-15 years, but there are rare cases of lovebirds living for 25 years.
Many novices want lovebirds due to their cute appearance. While this is true, lovebirds need constant attention, especially if they lack an opposite-sex bonded partner.
If you find a lovebird a mate, it’ll likely become devoted to them. This can change the dynamics of the human-parrot relationship because the bird won’t be quite as excited when it sees you.
Lovebirds are small parrots with a lot of energy and are always moving. They pack a lot of personality into their tiny bodies. A lovebird is active, curious, friendly, and playful.
Eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus) have fur-like feathers, giving them a fuzzy outline.
Their beaks resemble candy corn, and their eyes look small due to the thin band of white around their pupils.
They’re sexually dimorphic. It’s easy to distinguish between males and females. Males have emerald green feathers, while females have ruby-red feathers.
Eclectus parrots are medium-sized birds that reach 12-14.5 inches long and live for 20-30 years. They’re intelligent birds that are less noisy than many species.
However, they sometimes emit a loud honking sound. Despite having an unusual voice, Eclectus parrots are good talkers and can develop a vocabulary.
Eclectus parrots are ideal for families who want a friendly pet parrot that interacts with people they know and trust. They’re good with well-behaved children but appreciate a calm, relaxed home.
What Makes Parrots Friendlier
We all want to own the friendliest parrot, but you can’t just get a sociable species and expect an immediate cuddle bug. A parrot’s temperament depends on the following factors:
If you’re a beginner, you may lack the skills to guide a parrot to good behavior. You may also lack time to be consistent with training. If so, it may be better to make adjustments:
- Trained parrot. This allows you to give an older parrot a home.
- Ask a family member to train it. If someone spends more time at home, they could take over the training. Unfortunately, the bird may bond with them more than you.
- Less intelligent parrot. According to Veterinary Clinics of North America, a parrot’s intelligence makes training vital. All parrots are bright, but some species are more intelligent than others.
One parrot may be docile and sweet, while another may be unruly and stubborn. Even if 2 parrots are from the same species or family, this difference in personality can be stark.
You can’t be entirely sure how friendly a parrot will be until you meet them.
If a parrot had a previous owner, it could have been mistreated.
Parrots have good memories, so they recall negative experiences. Sometimes, a new owner resembles a previous bad owner, creating relationship complications.
Other parrots are grieving the death of an owner or are sad they’ve been surrendered.
If a parrot doesn’t get sufficient attention and is caged 24/7, it’s likely to act out. Parrots need a clean and spacious cage, enrichment, toys, nutritious food, and one-on-one time with their owners.