Different species of parrots vary in size. Some are considerably smaller than others, making them popular pet birds for people living in apartments and houses with little space.
The world’s smallest pet parrot is the parrotlet, which is 3 to 5.5 inches 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 among the world’s smallest parrots.
Some parrots are smaller than others, but they all have unique and interesting personalities.
What Are the Smallest Parrots?
Buff-faced pygmy parrots are the smallest pets in the world, measuring just 3 inches, which is the size of a human thumb.
Unfortunately, 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 easy for owners to buy.
There have been many attempts to domesticate buff-faced pygmy parrots in the past that have resulted in early death.
If you’re looking for a small pet parrot, these are the tiniest birds:
|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 homes with close neighbors.
While they enjoy spending time with their owners, they’re also happy to amuse themselves, as long as they have toys and games to play. Their personalities vary – some are shy, while others are more noisy and confident.
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 a relatively long lifespan of 15-20 years.
Lovebirds are small and compact, reaching 5-7 inches in length and weighing 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 squeak and sing when they’re happy and excited. They’re ideal 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 (parakeets) are popular pet birds. They’re also one of the smallest, as most budgies only reach 7-8 inches in length. Though, budgies that are bred for exhibitions are almost twice the size.
There are two different types: English budgies and Australian budgies. The English variety is slightly larger and more commonly bred for the pet trade.
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. At $10 to $35 per bird, they’re affordable to buy.
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.
Bourke’s parakeets measure 7-8 inches and are a similar shape and size to budgies. Most have a lifespan of 5-8 years.
Not only are Bourke’s parakeets small, but they have relaxed, placid personalities. This means they’re quiet.
They also produce sweet melodies. However, they need chilled-out homes because they emit high-pitched squeals when they’re startled.
Bourke’s parakeets love interacting with their owners. They bond closely with them, but they can also entertain themselves.
Because of their small stature, Bourke’s parakeets are best suited to living with budgies and cockatiels. Finches are another good bird companion.
Meyer’s parrots are closely related to Senegals. They’re not as well-known, but they’re a bit smaller, measuring 8-9 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 that 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.
If you socialize with one when you get it, they become loving and affectionate.
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.
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.
Crimson-bellied parakeets 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 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 learn to speak a few words with the right training.
To keep your parrot happy and healthy, ensure that it has access to chewable toys and enrichment. It’ll need 3-4 perches to stand on. The best cage size is 9 x 3 x 6 ft.
Orange-fronted conures are similar in size to painted conures and crimson-bellied parakeets, reaching an average length of 9.5 inches. 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 social interaction to stay entertained. They love to play and climb, so provide yours with perches, games, and toys. 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 good-natured parrots, so they are suitable for smaller homes.
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:
- P. s. Senegalus: Distinguished by a yellow chest.
- P. s. Vesteri: 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 2-3 hours of enrichment a day.
Senegal parrots thrive in 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.
Brown-throated conures have brown feathers around the top of the chest. They look 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 a lot 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 home occasionally.
Compared to other conures, such as the sun and Nanday, brown-throated conures are vocal but are much more tolerable in terms of their noise levels.
However, they get far noisier when they’re bored, depressed, or neglected.
At 10 inches, peach-fronted conures are only small. They have a vivid green plumage and electric orange facial patch.
Even though they’re only little, they’re feisty birds with happy-go-lucky personalities. They have long tails in proportion to their bodies, making them look larger.
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 occasionally, but the noise levels are usually tolerable.
They’re not the best talking birds and aren’t too good at mimicking sounds, making them good apartment birds.
White-Fronted Amazon Parrot
White-fronted Amazon parrots are the smallest of the Amazon species. They measure 10 inches and weigh 220 grams. They can live for up to 50 years.
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.
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.
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.
Most blue-headed pionus parrots live for 30 years.
Pionus parrots sometimes scream, but they have a low volume level, meaning they shouldn’t disturb your neighbors. 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.
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, 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.
Hahn’s macaws weigh between 140 to 165 grams. They’re light birds that don’t need too large a cage. The minimum cage size should be 34” wide x 24” deep x 36” tall.
Although these parrots are small, they’re noisy. They scream a lot, especially when they’re frightened. This means they’re not well-suited to apartments. However, they’re entertaining birds who enjoy being active.
Alongside budgies and lovebirds, cockatiels are one of the most popular bird pets. They reach 13 to 15 inches in length, but they’re good beginner birds as they’re easy to look after.
They’re talkative parrots, which many owners are drawn to. They’re happy to chirp and pick up basic words, which makes them 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.
Cockatiels are prone to night frights, so cover your parrot’s cage at night to prevent it from getting scared.
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.
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 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
There are 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, the one you choose depends on your lifestyle and how much time you have to dedicate to one each day.