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7 Different Types of Yellow Parrots (with Pictures)

(Last Updated On: November 28, 2022)

Parrots are found in a veritable rainbow of colors. While yellow is more commonly associated with other birds, and purely yellow parrots are rare, a handful of breeds boast bold yellow feathers.

Of course, color alone won’t determine a parrot’s personality. So, you’ll need to research a parrot’s breed to learn more about its specific traits and characteristics.

What Makes Parrots Yellow?

Many birds take their color from their diet, but this doesn’t apply to parrots.

Instead, the color of parrots’ feathers results from psittacofulvins (psittacines.) These are chromophores generated within the parrot’s body.

Such an explanation raises questions, most likely starting with, “what are chromophores?”

These molecules are similar to the pigments that give humans and other animals color. Chromophores absorb light, giving feathers their yellow appearance.

Equally, internal psittacines imitate their hue when parrots spend time with other yellow birds.

Why Are Yellow Parrots Comparatively Rare?

It’s a matter of survival. In wild terrain, parrots are prey animals. Larger birds hunt parrots for food, especially raptors, eagles, hawks, and owls. Other enemies include snakes, monkeys, and big cats.

While parrots have powerful beaks and can defend themselves if cornered, avoiding detection is preferred, so they’ve evolved to embody this characteristic.

Bright yellow feathers are visually striking to humans. While we may see these colors as beautiful, a wild animal equates such luminance to a “come and get me” plea.

As a result, green is the color of camouflage in a parrot’s native terrain. 

Although such plumage makes them easier for predators to spot, yellow has some advantages. According to Biology Letters, brightly colored feathers are less likely to experience bacterial degradation.

Yellow Parrot Species

Like parrots of all colors, few are 100% yellow. Most parrots have a variety of different colored feathers. The types of yellow parrots include:

1/ Budgerigars (Parakeets)

yellow budgie

Budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) are small, friendly, and communicative birds.

Usually maxing out at 6-7 inches, budgies flourish when kept with other budgies in the same cage or aviary.

Budgies are vocal birds, especially in the morning; they’re quiet at night during their 8-10 hours of sleep.

Yellow-feathered budgie mutations, which are sometimes mistaken for canaries, are widely available. However, blue and green budgies are more common.

While pet budgies can live for up to 15 years with good care, most live for 5-8 years. However, wild budgies live shorter lives, surviving an average of 4-6 years due to predation.

2/ Cockatiel

cockatiel

The cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) references here is the lutino mutation, which many consider the traditional look.

A lutino cockatiel has a white or pale yellow body, topped by a bright yellow head and red cheeks.

Most cockatiels won’t grow any larger than 13 inches.

Cockatiels enjoy human company, making good companion birds once a bond is established.

Cockatiels rarely speak, but they’re skilled whistlers. Whistling from a cockatoo signifies happiness and love. If your cockatiel whistles at you, it’s expressing joy that you’re around.

3/ Golden Conure (Golden Parakeet)

Golden Conure

The golden conure (Guaruba guarouba) is a strikingly beautiful parrot covered in almost exclusively yellow feathers. These medium-sized parrots are playful and intelligent.

They love to chat and are skilled mimics. This breed will also imitate everyday noises and loves music. Don’t be surprised if this parrot starts to dance when you turn on the radio.

The golden parakeet grows to around 14 inches but has a substantial wingspan.

4/ Lovebirds

lovebirds

There are numerous species of lovebirds (Agapornis), which have an average length of 5-6 inches. They’re small yet stocky parrots.

Most undergo color mutations to get yellow feathers. Examples include Fischer’s lovebirds and yellow-collared lovebirds.

Fischer’s lovebirds rarely speak (although females occasionally repeat a phrase), but they can be noisy birds.

Despite their name, lovebirds don’t necessarily need to live in pairs or groups. A single lovebird will be okay if you spend time together and keep it entertained.

5/ Pacific Parrotlet

Pacific Parrotlet

At 5 inches, the pacific parrotlet (Forpus coelestis) is small.

Pacific parrotlets must be socialized. Their diminutive frames hide a Napoleon complex, so they can be destructive and aggressive around humans or other animals if not tamed.

They’re affectionate and loving once a bond is established. They need as much exercise as a large parrot, so be prepared to let them fly free regularly.

These are talking birds, capable of learning up to 15 words, but they don’t scream and squeal with the same intensity as a much larger blue-and-yellow macaw or double yellow-headed amazon.

6/ Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

The sulfur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is immediately recognizable due to its bright yellow crest.

While undeniably loving and affectionate, they have many complex care needs.

The sulfur-crested cockatoo can live for up to 70 years.

They need lots of attention, a large enclosure, and a minimum of 3-4 hours of freedom outside the cage each day.

The sulfur-crested cockatoo is among the most affectionate and intelligent parrots. They’re skilled mimics and speak in complete sentences. However, their ear-piercing shriek isn’t for the faint-hearted.

7/ Sun Conure (Sun Parakeet)

Sun Conure

The sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis) has green plumage as a hatchling but quickly fades into a bright yellow. A red tint around the eyes is commonplace.

Sun conures make good pets if you can dedicate time to their needs. They’re sociable birds that relish attention.

If lavished with affection, a sun parakeet will return this love. Alas, these parrots become lonely, depressed, and aggressive if left alone too much.

The sun parakeet can imitate human words, but it’s likelier to squawk and trill. Unfortunately, the shrillness of this can grate on the nerves.

Despite a modest average size of around 12 inches, the sun parakeet needs a roomy enclosure. These energetic parrots like to move around, so they’ll need ample out-of-cage exercise.

How Much Do Yellow Parrots Cost?

As yellow parrots are comparatively rare, you may need to pay more to have one as a pet.

This table offers a guide to how much you should expect to pay. Naturally, supply and demand, in addition to who you choose to trade with, will impact the price.

BudgerigarRarely more than $35 – it can be as little as $10.
CockatielAnywhere from $75 – $250, depending on the mutation.
Golden ConureUp to $2,000 – certainly no less than $1,300.
LovebirdsDepending on the species, anywhere from $20 to $2,000.
Pacific ParrotletAround $300.
Sulfur-Crested CockatooBetween $2,000 and $4,000.
Sun ConurePrices start from $500 but can rise to $1,500.

How Long Do Yellow Parrots Live?

As per this table of average lifespans, a well-cared-for parrot can provide companionship for decades. You must be willing to take on what is sure to be a long-term commitment.

Budgerigar5-8 years, but longer for English budgies.
Cockatiel16 and 25 years.
Golden ConureUp to 30 years.
Lovebirds10 – 20 years.
Pacific Parrotlet20 – 30 years.
Sulfur-Crested CockatooUsually 20 – 40 years, but up to 70 years.
Sun Conure15 – 30 years.

Yellow Parrot Names

Once you have a yellow pet parrot, you’ll need to give it a suitable name. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sunshine – This parrot will bring sunshine into your life.
  • Pikachu – The blushing red cheeks of a cockatiel against a yellow face resembles a Pokémon.
  • Daisy – Name your parrot after the yellow flower.
  • Goldilocks – If your parrot insists on having things just right, name it after this fairy tale icon.
  • Custard – Everybody’s favorite sweet treat of the same color.
  • Midas – Legend tells of a king of this name, turning everything he touched to gold.
  • Pac-Man – Does your parrot have a voracious appetite?
  • Tweetie – Tweetie Pie has been evading Sylvester the Cat since 1947.

Choose your parrot wisely because Advances in Cultural Linguistics compares some parrots’ reasoning skills to a 3-year-old child. Once your parrot hears its name, it’ll be hard to change its moniker.

Yellow parrots are uncommon, which adds to their allure. If you’re lucky enough to introduce a yellow parrot into your home, you’ll have a companion bird of true exoticism.