Well-socialized parrots are friendly, cuddly, and affectionate pets. However, you may have heard stories about parrots severing fingers or screaming incessantly.
If you want a small, friendly parrot that enjoys company, opt for a lovebird or budgerigar.
No matter which species you choose, training and socialization will be necessary. Even the most docile parrot can grow unruly if it’s not properly socialized from a young age.
Parrots are friendly animals, but when left alone in their cage, they may grow unfriendly.
What Are The Best Parrots For Beginners?
There are about 402 different species of parrots, and each species has unique colors, temperaments, and personalities. If you’re looking to keep a pet parrot, you may be concerned about the following:
- Intelligent: Clever birds need enrichment and socialization.
- Loud: Parrots produce a variety of sounds and noises.
- Messy: Drop food and debris everywhere.
- Large: The biggest parrots are macaws.
- Powerful biters: Bites are painful if done with intent.
This may scare away new owners or make them hesitant about keeping one of these lovely birds as a pet. However, some breeds are calm, affectionate, and low maintenance.
Here are the best small parrots for beginners:
If you want a bird with a personality but small stature, consider getting a parrotlet.
These small, adorable birds are so tiny that they’re often called pocket parrots. They can grow to just 3-4 inches in height. There are many different parrotlet species, but only two are commonly kept as pets:
- Pacific parrotlet
- Green-rumped parrotlet
Let’s look at which of these small birds is right for you:
This bird is colored bright green, but males have blue on their tails, wings, and behind their eyes.
Although small, they have the temperament of a larger bird. Their personality is often compared to the Amazon parrot. They’re smart, energetic, active, and playful. Despite this, they’re less noisy.
The parrotlet can learn to talk, repeat single words, and mimic simple phrases. However, they’re not the most talkative members of the parrot family, nor will they be the first to talk.
Pacific parrotlets must be trained well and early. Due to their temperament, this species can become aggressive when left alone. That’s true for most parrots, but this species tends to be underestimated.
This species has similar colors to the Pacific parrotlet, but the green-rumped is much smaller.
Both species share the same temperament and will be unruly if not properly socialized. Once trained, they will be more gentle and affectionate.
Green-rumped parrotlets take longer to acclimate to their surroundings, and training will be long-term and must be consistent. If new to training a parrot, it may be wise to get a Pacific breed.
Who Should Choose A Parrotlet?
Due to its size and temperament, this species is good for beginners. Parrotlets are small enough to fit in apartments; as quiet birds, they won’t bother your neighbors.
Cockatiels are among the most popular choices for beginners and novices alike. You’ve likely met a cockatiel, even if you’re not parrot savvy. The cockatiel is a small parrot with an iconic head crest.
Its classic look includes a grey body, yellow face and crest, and orange cheek patches. Aside from these colors, you can also find color mutations, such as:
- Albino cockatiel: This is pure white.
- Pearl cockatiel: Has pearls (small spots of different colors) along its feathers).
- Cinnamon cockatiels: Brown color with grey feathers.
- Silver cockatiels: Grey feathers with red or dark eyes.
When it comes to talking, the cockatiel can speak as well as most species. They vocalize, whistle, and mimic speech and noises. However, they are quieter than most parrots.
The cockatiel has a friendly and bright temperament. Cockatiels are happy to learn tricks, such as:
- Bell ringing
Indeed, this small bird loves to play and will keep you occupied for hours. Cockatiels aren’t known for being affectionate, preferring to express their love by being near you.
Who Should Choose The Cockatiel?
If you choose a cockatiel, it won’t be hard to find someone who has first-hand experience with the bird.
Their quiet nature and small size are ideal for studio and one-bedroom apartments. You won’t need a large cage and won’t be annoying your roommates.
Cockatiels are friendly and good company, but they dislike being held close.
In the U.S., this species is more often referred to as parakeets.
However, ‘parakeet’ is an umbrella term that can refer to as many as 115 species. While budgies belong to this group, they differ vastly from other parrots.
The traditional budgerigar comes from Australia and is known for its bright green and yellow body. It features a scalloped marking on its back and wings. Other common color variations include:
Budgies are kept as pets due to their diminutive size. They’re small parrots, just slightly bigger than parrotlets at 7-8 inches tall. However, English budgies are 1-2 inches longer than regular budgies.
Another reason for their fame is their intelligence. Not all parrots will learn to talk or dance, regardless of their species. However, budgies are quick learners who can learn many words.
Who Should Choose A Budgie?
Large parrot species are known for being smart. However, a budgie can be almost as clever without the size and the upkeep. This species is ideal if you want a parrot while still a beginner.
With the right care, budgies will amaze you with their intelligence while being easy to take care of.
Friendly Parrot Species
Is size less important than personality? Do you have small children and need a docile parrot? Since beginners will get on better with a calm breed, look no further:
Your conure will love to be the center of attention with its clever brain, friendly attitude, and energy. Also, this species has bright and eye-catching colors.
Conures are small-to-medium-sized parrots that reach 10-20 inches. They come in a wide range of bright colors, including:
Unlike other parrot species, conures aren’t cautious and meek. Instead, they’re bold and outgoing, eager to inspect every new part of a house.
The conure is known to be a boisterous pet and will make noises at its owners. It may peck a new object with its beak to check it out and will love to be where people are.
Conures are so affectionate that you’ll often find this bird asking for cuddles. It’ll watch its humans, dance around, and even mimic movements when it’s not cuddling.
Nothing pairs better with its bright personality than its loud habits. Conures emit a high-pitched screech and aren’t afraid to do this often.
This screech is used when it’s scared, startled, or needs attention. Aside from screeches, conures can also talk, but their vocabularies aren’t as wide as other species.
Who Should Get A Conure?
Conures thrive in large households where someone is always available to give them attention. They also love environments where there is plenty of activity.
This makes conures perfect for owners who love their conspicuous personalities.
The pionus parrot is a rare household pet. Compared to more colorful, talkative, and eye-catching parrots, these birds aren’t well-known. Nonetheless, the pionus has some desirable characteristics.
The pionus is about 10-12 inches in length. It brandishes a ring of white around its eyes, with red feathers at the end of its tail. The colors differ based on their breed, but most are muddy and muted.
In terms of personality, the pionus has a reputation for being unremarkable.
They aren’t energetic or loud and can be a bit stand-offish. However, their owners would beg to differ. These birds aren’t as cuddly as lovebirds but affectionate and loyal.
The pionus hits the sweet spot for many owners. When it comes to talking, this bird has a pretty large vocabulary. It lacks a clear voice, but it’ll quickly mimic complicated words.
Who Should Get A Pionus?
The pionus is ideal for people who want a bird with novelty that’s not overly loud. This parrot isn’t a common pet, but it’s good for beginners due to its friendly and affectionate nature.
At first glance, it’s overshadowed by others due to its colors. The bird comes in either a dull brown or green, featuring bright yellow markings on the wings and sometimes on the top of the head.
Nonetheless, this parrot has climbed into the hearts of many owners.
Its colors go well with its understated personality. This parrot is an easy-going bird; it likes to observe, watching its owners and other household members.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Meyer’s parrots don’t form bonds. Unlike most birds, Meyer’s parrots can form bonds with several people. The Meyers is also loyal; once it has chosen you, you’re friends for life.
While they aren’t known for being cuddly, they’re affectionate.
Who Should Get A Meyer’s Parrot?
Meyer’s parrots are ideal for people who want a bird but can’t devote as much time to their companions. They’re also a great choice if you have a large household, as they bond with several people.
What Is The Most Gentle Parrot?
No matter the species, all birds can be tough to handle. Nonetheless, some types of parrots are gentler than others. With the right care, these birds tend to express their affection:
Love birds are common beginner parrots. As the name implies, they’re known as friendly and affectionate to humans and each other. These parrots only choose one mate and bond for life.
There are nine species of love birds, and the more colorful species are the most popular. Colored mutations have also been selectively bred in domestic love birds.
Choosing a love bird as a beginner pet has many advantages. The most obvious is they’re not overly large, so their cages will be less expensive, and food won’t be eaten as quickly.
However, this species does have its disadvantages. Many beginners want love birds because of the sweet and affectionate image that comes with them. While this isn’t necessarily false, it can make your bird a handful. Lovebirds need constant attention and affection.
Additionally, lovebirds have a lot of energy. They’re small, but the lovebird can pack a lot of personality into its tiny body. Your love bird will be active, curious, and playful.
Who Should Choose A Love Bird?
The lovebird is ideal for owners who want to play with their birds regularly.
Because these birds are more energetic, you may need to put more time and effort into training them.
Eclectus parrots have fur-like feathers, giving them a fuzzy outline. They have vibrant colors; deep green for males and bright red for females. Their beaks resemble candy corn, and their eyes look small due to the thin band of pale white around each pupil.
There are many types of Eclectus. No matter the type, they’re among the most peaceful and easy-going parrots. They’re commonly recommended to people with large families and children.
It’s important to train Eclectus parrots properly and ensure they’re given proper care. Eclectus parrots need a lot of space, or they’ll become restless. These playful birds will also need toys and enrichment.
Despite their zen-like personality, Eclectus parrots aren’t quiet. The Eclectus is beloved for its extensive vocabulary and love of vocalizing and mimicking others.
Who Should Get An Eclectus?
Eclectus parrots are perfect for families who are concerned about aggression.
You can have a safe, happy Eclectus parrot without compromising on the classic parrot traits. An Eclectus can talk, be taught tricks, and socialize with other household members.
What Makes A Parrot Friendly?
All owners want a friendly parrot, but you can’t just buy a so-called friendly species and expect to have a cuddle bug right away. A parrot’s temperament depends on three main factors:
If you’re a beginner, you may lack the skills to guide your parrot to good behavior. You may also lack time to be consistent with training. If so, it’s best to do the following:
- Buy a parrot after it’s been trained. This lets you give an older parrot a good home.
- Have a roommate or family member train it. If someone in your household spends more time at home, they could take over the training. However, the bird may bond with them more than you.
- Buy a less intelligent bird. All parrots are bright, but some species are less sharp than others. You may sacrifice a wide vocabulary for a bird that doesn’t need as much behavioral training.
According to Veterinary Clinics of North America, a bird’s intelligence makes training more important.
One parrot may be docile and sweet, while another may be unruly and stubborn.
Even if they’re from the same species, this difference in personality could be stark. You can’t be entirely sure how friendly your parrot will be until you meet it.
If a parrot doesn’t get enough exercise, the right diet, or get enough attention, it’s more likely to act out. A parrot treated poorly, underfed, or left in a cage 24/7 will have behavioral problems.
Do Parrot Bites Hurt?
Parrots can be a handful to new owners due to their bites. Will a bite hurt that bad? Unfortunately, parrots can cause damage with their beaks, with owners sustaining hand and finger injuries due to bites.
According to the American Association for Hand Surgery, parrot bites can be more harmful than bites from other pets due to the pathogens present.
How Strong Is A Parrot’s Bite?
The average force of a parrot’s bite is up to 400 psi. This makes a parrot’s beak strong enough to crack nuts, shells, and seeds. Compare this to the average bite of a human, which is 162 psi.
However, the force of a parrot’s bite depends on its size. The bite force of a large macaw has been estimated at 350 to 400 psi, which is the equivalent of a dog, like a mastiff.
How To Prevent Parrot Bites
Never accept bites as a natural part of training. Instead, consider the following:
- Wear padded gloves. If your parrot has a biting habit, wear protection as you train it out of them.
- Watch your parrot’s body language. If it appears defensive, don’t approach it.
- Check for disturbances. Parrots usually bite when scared or threatened.
- Reprimand bad behavior. When your parrot bites, tell it no in a firm tone and accompany that with a gentle but firm tap on the beak.
Are Big Parrots Dangerous for Beginners?
Of course, you may be worried that owning a large parrot is more dangerous. The hyacinth macaw is among the largest breeds, with a strong beak and powerful bite.
The bite alone shouldn’t be a deciding factor. The hyacinth macaw is also known to be a docile species, and it’s uncommon for them to use their full bite strength.
Beginners can choose any parrot without worrying about their fingers. Pick a friendly parrot based on its size, temperament, and care needs. Meet its requirements, and your parrot will be friendly and loving.