Parrots can be found in all shapes and sizes. Some are much smaller than others, making them popular pets, especially for people living in houses and apartments without much space.
The world’s smallest pet parrot is the parrotlet. It measures between 3-5.5 inches and weighs only 18-28 grams. However, other small parrot species make good pets, including parrotlets, lovebirds, budgies, and Bourke’s parakeets. Senegal parrots and several conure species are also amongst some of the world’s smallest parrots.
If you’re looking for a small parrot to join your home, there are many to choose from. Some are tinier than others, but they all have different personalities. That’s why it’s essential you don’t just look for the smallest bird, but you do your research beforehand to find out which species is likely to be best suited to your lifestyle and living space size.
What Are the Smallest Parrots?
Buff-faced pygmy parrots are the smallest pets in the world, measuring 3 inches – the size of a human’s thumb.
However, they don’t make good pets because they have an unusual and unique diet of fungi and lichens found in bark, both of which aren’t very easy or cheap for owners to get hold of. There have been many attempts to domesticate them in the past, but most of them have resulted in early death.
Instead, if you’re looking for a small pet parrot, these are the tiniest birds available in captivity:
|Parrot Species||Average Length (Inches)||Average Weight (In Grams)|
|Parrotlet||3 – 5.5”||18 – 28 g|
|Lovebird||5 – 7”||40 – 60 g|
|Budgie||7 – 8”||30 – 40 g|
|Bourke’s Parakeet||7 – 8”||45 g|
|Meyer’s Parrot||8 – 9”||120 g|
|Painted Conure||8.5 – 9.6”||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||13 – 15”||70 – 120 g|
Parrotlets reach 3 to 5.5 inches in length, so they’re ideal for apartments and small houses with close neighbors.
While they enjoy spending time with their owners, they’re also happy to amuse themselves, as long as they have plenty of toys and games to play with. Their personalities vary – some are shy, while others are more noisy and confident.
When it comes to parrots, you should always opt for the largest cage you can find. However, parrotlets will be comfortable in a cage measuring 19 x 19 x 26 inches. Despite their size, they have relatively long lifespans at 15-20 years, so they’re a length commitment.
Lovebirds are small and compact, reaching around 5 to 7 inches in length. They also weigh 40 to 60 grams. They have gentle, inquisitive personalities and form strong pair bonds with other lovebirds and their owners. However, despite common belief, they don’t need another lovebird to be happy.
Lovebirds show affection by chattering and whistling. They also squeak and sing when they’re happy and excited. Luckily, they’re wonderful for apartments because they don’t make too much noise.
While small, they need plenty of exercise. They also require lots of socialization to prevent them from becoming bored and unhappy. If you get a lovebird from a young age, you can train it to learn basic words.
Their closest cousins are Amazon parrots, so they have fun-loving, comical personalities. However, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, they’re as much of a commitment as a cat or dog.
Budgies, also sometimes known as parakeets, are the most popular pet bird. They’re also one of the smallest, as most budgies only reach 7 to 8 inches in length. Though, some budgies that are bred for exhibitions are twice the size with puffier heads.
There are two different types: the English budgie and the Australian. The English variety is slightly larger and more commonly bred for the pet trade, but they’re very similar.
Not only are budgies little, but they only weigh between 30 and 40 grams. They also have an average lifespan of 5-8 years in captivity. This means that they’re less of a commitment than larger parrots. And at $10 to $35 per bird, they’re affordable to buy.
Budgies are also good at mimicking human words and sounds and often sing. They’re social birds that enjoy spending time with their owners. However, make sure 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.
Bourke’s parakeets measure 7 to 8 inches and are a similar shape and size to budgies. Most have a lifespan of between 5-8 years, but they can live as long as 12.
Not only are Bourke’s parakeets small, but they have relaxed, placid personalities. This means they’re quiet. They also produce sweet melodies that are lovely to listen to. However, they need chilled-out homes because they emit high-pitched squeals when they’re startled.
Bourke’s parakeets also love interacting with their owners. They bond closely with them, but they can also entertain themselves. Ensure you provide your bird with plenty of space to play in an individual cage or small aviary.
Because of their small stature, Bourke’s parakeets are best suited to living with budgies and cockatiels. Finches are another good bird companion. Keep them away from large, aggressive, or jealous birds, as they’re likely to clash.
Meyer’s parrots are closely related to Senegals. They’re not as well-known, but they’re a bit smaller, measuring 8 to 9 inches.
Though petite, they’re relatively stocky and can weigh as much as 120 grams, making them a heavy species compared to their average length.
They’re calm, quiet birds that possess a repertoire of soft chirps and high-pitched tweets. With the right training from a young age, they can be taught to repeat words they hear and become capable talkers.
Meyer’s parrots are also observant birds. They enjoy watching the world go by, but they do need a decent amount of human interaction, too. If you socialize with one as soon as you get it, they become loving and affectionate, but it won’t demand attention. However, try not to take this as a sign that your bird doesn’t want to spend time with you.
Painted conures average 8.5 to 9.6 inches in length, 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 the most commonly kept pets of all conures, but they make sweet, quiet companions. They vocalize less often than other conures, but they have plenty of energy to play.
As a result, they need a large cage to accommodate perches, games, and toys. However, they do frequently chew through branches, so you’ll need to replace them regularly. Also, neglected painted conures are prone to feather plucking, so they need an owner that can offer them the time and attention they need.
In the wild, they live in tall trees and frequently move around in small flocks.
Crimson-bellied parakeets, or conures as they’re also known, are found in South America. They’re friendly and gentle, making excellent pets. They’re also relatively quiet (much more so than other conures), so they shouldn’t upset your neighbors.
They reach approximately 9.5 inches in length and weigh between 79 and 94 grams. Because they’re small and only vocalize when they’re excited, they’re better suited to apartments than many other parrots.
Crimson-bellied parakeets are trusting and build strong bonds with their owners. They’re docile and well-behaved, with an even, easy-going temperament. They can also learn to speak a few words with the right training and socialization.
To keep your parrot happy and healthy, ensure it has access to plenty of chewable toys and enrichment. It’ll also need a few perches to sit on. The best cage size is 9 x 3 x 6 ft.
Also known as the orange-fronted conure, orange-fronted conures are similar in size to painted conures and crimson-bellied parakeets, reaching an average length of 9.5 inches. As the name suggests, half-moon conures have an orange bib against a predominantly green plumage.
Half-moon conures are considered medium-sized dwarf parrot species. They’re native to Mexico and Costa Rica, living in large flocks of 100.
They need lots of social interaction to stay entertained, or they’re at risk of getting bored. They also love to play and climb, so provide yours with plenty of perches, games, and toys to entertain themselves with. Similarly, get your parrot out of the cage as much as you’re able to.
Like some other small conures, half-moon parrots aren’t as noisy as other bird species. They vocalize, but they have a low level of volume. They’re also an overall good-natured parrot, so they are suitable for smaller homes. However, they do need a large cage to be comfortable.
Senegal parrots are a small species of parrot, reaching between 9 to 10 inches in length. However, they are relatively heavy, weighing between 113 to 170 grams on average. There are two subspecies of Senegal parrot, which are:
- P. s. Senegalus: The most common species, distinguished by a yellow chest.
- P. s. Vesteri: Who is known for its orange and red chests.
While their average lifespan reaches between 20 to 30 years, some have lived up to 50. Despite their size, they need around 4-8 hours of enrichment a day; otherwise, they become bored and depressed. They also need 1-3 hours a day outside of their cage.
Senegal parrots do best with a cage that measures at least 20 x 20 x 28 inches in size. However, the bigger, the better, as Senegals need room to stretch their legs and wings. Senegal parrots are also mini escape artists. If the bars are spaced farther than ¾ inches apart, there’s every chance they’ll get out.
As you’d expect, brown-throated conures have brown feathers around the top of the chest. Aside from that, they look very similar to most other conures. Adult brown-throated conures reach around 10 inches in length and 100 grams in weight.
Though relatively small, they have plenty of energy and need a large cage to accommodate the accessories they need to be active. Giving them regular access to a parrot-safe room is the best way to keep them healthy and prevent them from gaining too much weight. They like exploring, so let them take a supervised tour of your house every now and then.
Compared to other conures, such as the sun and Nanday, brown-throated conures are vocal but are much more tolerable with their noise levels.
However, they get far noisier when they’re bored, depressed, or neglected. That’s why you need to spend plenty of time interacting with them and ensuring they have enough games and toys.
At only 10 inches, peach-fronted conures are only small. Even though they’re only little, they’re feisty birds with happy-go-lucky personalities. They also have long tails in proportion to their bodies, making them look larger than what they are.
They sometimes vocalize, but their lungs are only little. This means they don’t have an extensive vocal range. They make a high-pitched calling sound every now and then, but the noise levels are usually tolerable. They’re also not the best talking birds and aren’t too good at mimicking sounds, making them good apartment birds.
When it comes to their colors, they’re bright and vibrant, with a vivid green plumage and electric orange facial patch. Like most parrots, parrot-fronted conures need as much exercise as they can to prevent health problems, such as obesity and fatty liver disease.
Also, if you’re planning to breed peach-fronted conures, your parrot is unlikely to pay you much attention once you introduce a new parrot into your home.
White-Fronted Amazon Parrot
White-fronted Amazon parrots are the smallest of all Amazon species. They measure 10 inches on average and weigh 220 grams, making them heavier than many of the other smaller parrots on our list.
Don’t be fooled by their size – white-fronted Amazons have larger-than-life personalities that make them popular. Even in the wild, they’re happy to approach strangers. That’s because they’re a playful, curious, and confident species. White-fronted Amazon parrots also like to know what’s going on.
In captivity, they form close bonds with one other person. This does sometimes mean they become one-person birds, which can be an issue for other family members. However, they can live for up to 50 years, meaning you’ll need to think carefully about whether you’re able to commit to owning one for this long.
If you can, expect to enjoy an intelligent, fun-loving pet for many years. While white-fronted Amazons can become aggressive during adolescence, they soon grow out of it.
Blue-Headed Pionus Parrot
The blue-headed pionus is the smallest of all pionus parrots. It reaches between 10-12 inches in length and weighs 250 grams. These birds are relatively stocky, so they sometimes look larger than what they actually are.
Most blue-headed pionus parrots live between 30-40 years when properly cared for, which is far longer than other domestic pets. Before getting one, make sure you do plenty of research beforehand.
Pionus parrots sometimes scream, but they have a low volume level, meaning they shouldn’t disturb your neighbors. In fact, they’re known for being one of the quietest small parrots.
Even though they have a reputation for being independent, that doesn’t mean they don’t bond with their owners. They’re quieter and easy-going than some other parrot species, but they enjoy playing with toys and their owners from time to time.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means they’ll fit in better with families looking for a more relaxed pet.
According to the American Federation of Aviculture, Hahn’s macaws, or the red-shouldered macaw as the species is also known, are the smallest of all macaws and are part of the mini macaw parrot group.
Despite their miniature 12-14 inch stature, Hahn’s macaws are powerful birds with strong beaks and jaws. They can bite through flimsy cages and have the potential to cause a significant amount of damage within your home.
Hahn’s macaws also only weigh between 140 to 165 grams. They’re light birds and, as such, don’t need too large a cage. The minimum cage size should be 34” wide x 24” deep x 36” tall.
Also, even though these parrots are small, they’re noisy. They scream a lot, especially when they’re frightened, and frequently vocalize. This means they’re not well-suited to apartments. However, they’re entertaining birds who enjoy being as active as possible and spending time with their owners.
Alongside budgies and lovebirds, cockatiels are one of the most popular bird pets. They’re slightly larger than other pet parrots, reaching 13 to 15 inches in length, but they’re excellent beginner birds as they’re easy to look after.
They’re also very talkative parrots, which many owners are drawn to. They’re happy to chirp and pick up basic words, which is what makes them such great fun.
Their cage should be at least 20 inches (wide) x 20 inches (long) x 24 inches (high) (50cm x 50cm x 60cm). It should also have horizontal bars. However, as with most parrots, opt for the largest cage you can fit into your home to give your cockatiel enough space to exercise inside it.
Cockatiels are prone to night frights, so cover your parrot’s cage at night to prevent it from getting scared of bright lights and things it sees outside.
How Long Do Small Parrots Live?
Smaller parrots tend to have shorter lifespans, reaching around 10 years or slightly more. In comparison, the biggest parrots can live up to 50 years or more. That’s why smaller parrots are considered an easier pet, as they don’t require a life-long commitment from their owners.
However, while that may be the case, you should still 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. To help you make your decision, 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?
As you’ll see from our table below, the price of the most common small parrots differs widely, which is dependent on their species. While some costs are far higher than others, there are lots of 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
And not only that, but there are the long-term costs to think about, such as food, toys, perches, and treats (amongst other things). This is why owning a small parrot is a commitment. 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 ideal pets and possess temperaments and personalities that make them well-suited to tiny homes and apartments. However, which one you choose ultimately depends on your lifestyle and how much time you have to dedicate to one each day.