Some pet parrot species are much smaller than others, making them popular pet birds for people living in apartments and houses with limited space.
The world’s smallest pet parrot is the parrotlet, which is about 5 inches long and weighs 18 to 28 grams.
Other small parrot species that make good pets are parrotlets, lovebirds, budgies, and Bourke’s parakeets. Also, Senegal parrots and several conure species are smaller parrots.
If you want a miniature macaw, the smallest species is the Hahn’s. Although it’s not a small parrot, it’s the smallest macaw in the world.
What Are the Smallest Parrots?
Buff-faced pygmy parrots are the smallest parrots in the world, measuring just 3 inches. They’re fed a special diet of fungi and lichens (found in bark).
There have been attempts to domesticate buff-faced pygmy parrots that have resulted in early death.
If you’re looking for a small pet parrot, these are among the smallest birds:
|Parrot Species||Average Length (Inches)||Average Weight (In Grams)|
|Parrotlet||5″||18 – 28 g|
|Lovebird||5 – 7″||40 – 60 g|
|Budgie||7 – 8″||30 – 40 g|
|Bourke’s Parakeet||7 – 8″||40 – 50 g|
|Meyer’s Parrot||8 – 9″||120 g|
|Painted Conure||8.5 – 9.5″||55 g|
|Crimson-Bellied Parakeet||9.5″||79 – 94 g|
|Half-Moon Conure||9.5″||87 g|
|Senegal Parrot||9 – 10″||113 – 170 g|
|Brown-throated Conure||10″||100 g|
|Peach-Fronted Conure||10″||105 g|
|White-Fronted Amazon||10″||220 g|
|Blue-Headed Pionus Parrot||10 – 12″||250 g|
|Hahn’s Macaw||12 – 14″||140 – 165 g|
|Cockatiel||12 – 13″||70 – 120 g|
There are several varieties of parrotlets, but you’re most likely to encounter Pacific parrotlets and green-rumped parrotlets.
Parrotlets are about 5 inches long and quiet birds, so they’re ideal for apartments and small homes with close neighbors.
Despite their size, they have a relatively long lifespan of 15-20 years.
While they enjoy spending time with their owners, they’re also happy to amuse themselves as long as they have toys. They’re not good talkers but can learn a few words.
Their personalities vary – some are shy, while others are more noisy and confident. Parrotlets are spirited birds that get along well with their species but not other birds.
Parrotlets will be comfortable in a cage measuring 19″ (wide) x 19″ (deep) x 26″ (high).
Lovebirds are small and compact, reaching 5-7 inches in length and weighing 40 to 60 grams. They usually live for 12-15 years.
They have gentle, inquisitive personalities and form strong pair bonds with other lovebirds. However, despite common belief, they don’t need another lovebird to be happy.
Lovebirds can be happy alone as long as you spend time with them. They get along particularly well with same-species birds, but introducing a second bird will compromise your relationship.
Lovebirds show affection by chattering and whistling but squeak and sing when happy.
While small, they need exercise and socialization to prevent boredom and unhappiness. If you get a lovebird from a young age, you can train it to learn basic words.
Their closest cousins are Amazon parrots, hence why they have fun-loving personalities.
Lovebirds will be contented in a cage that measures 36″ (wide) x 24″ (deep) x 36″ (high).
Budgies (American parakeets) are among the smallest pet birds, only 7-8 inches long and weighing 30-40 grams.
There are two different types: English budgies and Australian budgies. The English variety is larger and quieter.
They have an average lifespan of 7-15 years in captivity with good care. If not, their life expectancy will be significantly shortened.
You can buy yellow, blue, and green budgies for $20-30, although rarer color mutations, like the anthracite budgerigar, command a significantly higher price tag.
Budgies are good at mimicking human words and sounds and often sing. They’re social birds that enjoy spending time with their owners. However, ensure that your budgie has plenty of accessories to rub their beaks on, as they’ll chew on anything they can find to keep them filed down.
The ideal cage size for American parakeets is 12″ (wide) x 18″ (deep) x 18″ (high).
Bourke’s parakeets measure 7-8 inches and are a similar shape and size to budgies. Most have a lifespan of 10-20 years.
Bourke’s parakeets are sexually dimorphic, as the male is slightly larger and has a primarily blue forehead.
Not only are Bourke’s parakeets small, but they have relaxed and friendly personalities, which means they’re relatively quiet.
They also produce sweet melodies. However, they need relaxed homes because they emit high-pitched squeals when startled.
Bourke’s parakeets bond closely with their owners but can entertain themselves.
The ideal cage size for Bourke’s parakeets is 36″ (wide) x 24″ (deep) x 24″ (high).
Meyer’s parrots are closely related to Senegals because they’re members of the Poicephalus family. They’re not as well-known but smaller, measuring 8-9 inches long.
They’re relatively stocky and weigh as much as 120 grams, making them a heavy species relative to their length.
They’re calm, quiet birds that produce soft chirps and high-pitched tweets. They can learn to repeat words with the right training from a young age.
Meyer’s parrots enjoy watching the world go by but need human interaction. If you socialize with one when you get it, they become loving and affectionate birds.
The perfect cage for Meyer’s parrots is 20″ (wide) x 20″ (deep) x 18″ (high).
Painted conures are 8.5 to 9.5 inches long, making them the smallest conure species.
Their plumage is primarily green with white and light grey tips on the chest. They also have a mixture of blue, red, burgundy, and grey feathers, which give them their ‘painted’ name.
They’re not as commonly kept as pets as pineapple green-cheeked conures but make sweet and affectionate companion birds.
They vocalize less often than other conures but have lots of energy to play. However, they sometimes scream when over-excited or threatened. However, conures are easy to care for in captivity.
Painted conures need a cage that’s 20″ (wide) x 20″ (deep) x 30″ (high).
Crimson-bellied parakeets reach approximately 9.5 inches in length and weigh between 79 and 94 grams.
They’re relatively quiet (much more so than most other conures), so they shouldn’t upset your neighbors with loud vocalizations. They can talk a little, but it’s not their best trait.
Crimson-bellied parakeets are trusting and build strong bonds with their owners. They’re docile and well-behaved, with an even, easy-going temperament.
To keep your parrot happy and healthy, ensure it has access to toys and enrichment. It’ll need 3-4 perches, and the optimal cage size is 24″ (wide) x 24″ (deep) x 30″ (high).
Orange-fronted conures are similar in size to painted conures and crimson-bellied parakeets, reaching an average length of 9.5 inches. They have an orange bib against mostly green plumage.
Half-moon conures are considered medium-sized parrots. They’re native to Mexico and Costa Rica, living in large flocks of up to 100.
They love to play and climb, so provide your half-moon conure with perches, games, and toys. Also, offer plenty of out-of-cage time in a parrot-proofed room.
Half-moon conures aren’t as noisy as other birds, vocalizing at a lower volume. They’re good-natured parrots that make ideal family pets.
Half-moon conures need a cage that’s 20″ (wide) x 20″ (deep) x 30″ (high).
Senegal parrots are a small parrot species, reaching an average of 9-10 inches long and weighing between 113 and 170 grams.
There are two subspecies of Senegal parrots:
- P. s. Senegalus: Distinguished by a yellow chest.
- P. s. Vesteri: Known for its orange and red chests.
While their average lifespan is 20-30, some have reached 50.
Senegal parrots aren’t the best talkers, but they can learn some words. They’re usually quiet birds with loving and affectionate personalities.
However, they can get nippy if you’re not attentive to their needs.
Senegal parrots thrive in a cage that measures at least 20 (wide) x 20 (deep) x 28 inches (high).
Brown-throated conures have brown feathers around the top of the chest. They look broadly similar to most other conures.
Adult brown-throated conures reach around 10 inches long and 100 grams in weight.
Giving them regular access to a parrot-safe room is the best way to keep them healthy and prevent them from gaining weight.
Compared to other conures, such as sun conures and Nanday, brown-throated conures are vocal but are much more tolerable in terms of their noise levels.
However, they get noisier when bored, depressed, or neglected.
Brown-throated conures need a cage that’s 20 (wide) x 20 (deep) x 30 inches (high).
At 10 inches, peach-fronted conures are relatively small. They have vivid green plumage and an orange head.
They’re approachable birds with happy personalities. They have long tails in proportion to their bodies, making them look larger.
They sometimes vocalize, but they don’t have an extensive vocal range. They make a high-pitched calling sound occasionally.
They’re not good talking birds but are accomplished at mimicking sounds.
The ideal cage size for peach-fronted conures is 24 (wide) x 18 (deep) x 24 inches (high).
White-Fronted Amazon Parrots
White-fronted Amazon parrots are the smallest of the Amazon species, measuring 10 inches and weighing 220 grams.
They have a life expectancy of up to 50 years.
Don’t be fooled by their size – white-fronted Amazons have larger-than-life personalities, making them popular pets.
Even in the wild, they sometimes approach people they don’t know.
White-fronted Amazon parrots are good talkers, capable of developing an extensive vocabulary. They can also learn various vocalizations, ranging from squeals to barking to trills.
In captivity, they form close bonds with one person. This sometimes means they become one-person birds, which can be an issue for other family members.
Get a cage for white-fronted Amazon parrots that’s 24 (wide) x 36 (deep) x 48 inches (high).
Blue-Headed Pionus Parrots
The blue-headed pionus is the smallest of all pionus parrots, reaching 10-12 inches long and weighing 250 grams. They’re relatively stocky birds, so they sometimes look larger.
Blue-Headed Pionus Parrots have bright green feathers with a bright blue head once they mature.
Most blue-headed pionus parrots can live for 30 years with the right diet, care, and enrichment.
While some blue-headed pionus parrots can learn to talk, their voices are raspy and unclear. Most experts consider them to be a quiet parrot species.
Even though they are known for being independent, they still bond with their owners.
The minimum cage size is 24″ (wide) x 24″ (deep) x 32″ (high).
Macaws that are less than 20 inches are classified as miniature.
According to the American Federation of Aviculture, Hahn’s, or red-shouldered macaws, are the smallest of their species.
Hahn’s macaws are mostly green, with dark green feathers on their foreheads and a red patch under their wings.
Despite being 12-14 inches long and weighing 140 to 165 grams, Hahn’s macaws are powerful birds with strong beaks and jaws.
Although these parrots are small for macaws, they can be noisy, especially if kept in pairs.
However, Hahn’s are highly intelligent parrots that can learn tricks if you spend enough time training them. They’re also capable talkers, especially if you teach them words from an early age.
The minimum cage size is 34″ (wide) x 24″ (deep) x 36″ (high).
Cockatiels, also known as quarrions or weiros, are native to Australia.
They’re the smallest member of the cockatoo family, reaching 12-13 inches long as fully-grown adult birds.
Cockatoos have a mid-gray body, a bright yellow face and crest, and a lovely orange cheek spot.
They’re very good-natured parrots with an affectionate and loving nature. They like petting and being near their owners, so they’ll cherish any time you spend together.
Cockatiels are talkative parrots, which many owners find endearing. They often mimic household appliances, like alarm clocks, whistles from kettles, and beeps from microwaves. However, they can learn some basic words if you take the time to train them.
Cockatiels are prone to night frights, so cover the cage at night to reduce the likelihood.
Their cage should be at least 20″ (wide) x 20″ (deep) x 24″ (high).
How Long Do Small Parrots Live?
Smaller parrots have shorter lifespans, reaching around 10-30 years. The biggest parrots can live for 50+ years, which is a life-long commitment for most people.
While that may be the case, you consider how long you’re willing to have a small parrot. Some have significantly longer lifespans than cats and dogs, which some owners will be put off by.
Here’s the average lifespan of the most common small parrot species:
|Parrot Species||Average Lifespan (Years)|
|Parrotlet||15 – 20 years|
|Lovebird||12 – 15 years|
|Budgie||5 – 8 years|
|Bourke’s Parakeet||5 – 8 years|
|Meyer’s Parrot||20 – 30 years|
|Painted Conure||15 – 20 years|
|Crimson-Bellied Parakeet||20 years|
|Half-Moon Conure||20 – 30 years|
|Senegal Parrot||20 – 30 years|
|Brown-throated Conure||10 – 25 years|
|Peach-Fronted Conure||20 – 30 years|
|White-Fronted Amazon||50+ years|
|Blue-Headed Pionus Parrot||30 – 40 years|
|Hahn’s Macaw||20 – 30 years|
|Cockatiel||15 – 25 years|
How Much Do Small Parrots Cost?
The price of the most common small parrots differs widely based on their species. While some costs are higher than others, there are other factors to consider, including:
- Age, gender, and genetics.
- Average lifespan.
- The breeder’s reputation and experience.
- Any potential hereditary diseases.
- Parrot’s talking or mimicking abilities.
- Unique marks or features.
- The brightness of the bird’s coloration.
- The rarity of the parrot.
There are long-term costs, such as food, toys, perches, and treats.
The average prices in USD are as follows:
|Parrot Species||Average Price (USD)|
|Parrotlet||$120 – $350|
|Lovebird||$50 – $200|
|Budgie||$10 – $35|
|Meyer’s Parrot||$400 – $800|
|Bourke’s Parakeet||$100 – $300|
|Painted Conure||$600 – $800|
|Crimson-Bellied Parakeet||$450 – $2,500|
|Half-Moon Conure||$300 – $400|
|Senegal Parrot||$500 – $1,000|
|Brown-throated Conure||$250 – $400|
|Peach-Fronted Conure||$300 – $400|
|White-Fronted Amazon||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Blue-Headed Pionus Parrot||$900 – $1,700|
|Hahn’s Macaw||$800 – $2,000|
|Cockatiel||$120 – $250|
Most small parrot species make good pets for beginners, possessing personalities and temperaments that make them well-suited to homes with limited space.