Birds can be some of the most gentle, friendly and long-lived pets that you can have in your home. Our Hattiesburg and Petal vets offer their recommendations for the best pet birds for beginners, including some that talk, to brighten up your home.
Best Birds for Beginners
Birds make for fantastic companions. However, not all birds take equally well to domesticated life.
In this post, we've listed 8 of the most common types of pet birds. All these exotic pets are friendly, intelligent species capable of learning a few tricks and adding some color to your home! And, if you're willing to put in a little practice, some of them can even hold a bit of conversation.
Every bird will have their individual needs for excellent care, so we are here to help you choose a feathery companion to suit your lifestyle.
While you're shopping for the best types of birds for beginners, always buy from a reputable bird store or breeder. Health, well-socialized birds make the best pets.
If you're wondering, "What are the best birds for beginners?", see our picks below.
The canary has been a popular companion for birdkeepers for centuries. A diverse bunch, canaries have been bred into more than 200 breeds, each with its own temperament and appearance.
Canaries tend to be shyer than other birds on this list and do not like to be handled, so you might need to persevere to overcome their timid nature and bond with your feathered friend after they arrive. Similar to doves, canaries need a large flight cage to remain healthy and happy.
Though canaries are known for their singing voice, it's actually only male canaries who sing. If you're looking to take on a flighted bird to fill your home with song, a male canary may be for you. Those looking for more quiet companionship should look into acquiring a female canary.
The mighty hyacinth macaw is a gentle giant. The largest of all parrots, these cuddly birds are incredibly social and offer enduring and deep friendship.
While not everyone will have the space to care for them, hyacinth macaws love to be handled by their owners and sport incredibly eye-catching cobalt blue plumage. The yellow surrounding their eyes and curved beak also gives them the appearance of a perpetual smile.
These pet birds are price than most other types and will need a well above average-sized space to call home. However, they want nothing more than your love and affection and these parrots are known to live for more than 30 years when properly cared for.
While the lovebird is the smallest type of pet bird belonging to the parrot family (making them the complete opposite of their titanous cousin the hyacinth macaw), they have all the personality and affection of larger feathered companions.
Named for the loving and attentive bonds they form with their mates and owners, lovebirds can be kept a single bird, contrary to the belief that many hold which is that they should be kept in pairs.
In fact, a single bird is best isf you want an animal that will eagerly bond with their human flock. That said, owning a pair of lovebirds can also make for great companionship without as much pressure on owners to look after all their social needs.
While they are easier pets than larger parrots, lovebirds are not the easiest pet birds to care for. They are still a step up from other common types of pet birds known for being more gentle, such as parakeets and doves.
Lovebirds may attempt to show dominance through aggression or nipping and are known to test boundaries, so they are perhaps not the best choice for young children.
Doves are the ideal type of pet bird for owners with busier schedules or who aren't able to be home all the time. While they'll enjoy your time together, they aren't overly demanding of their owners' time or attention.
When you do handle or hand feed them, these easygoing feathery friends can be incredibly sweet and gentle domestic pets.
Nonetheless, like most birds, doves are social creatures and should get plenty of time to fly about and interact with their human caretakers if they are kept alone or as single birds. For older children who understand the importance of gentle handling, doves can be great pets. Many owners of these special birds love them for their soothing coos.
In contrast to parrots, doves are not able to climb up and down cage bars. Instead, they'll need to fly between perches, which requires a huge cage for these tiny birds to feel at home.
Best Talking Birds for Beginners
Are you looking for a pet who will greet you with a warm 'hello, darling' as you walk through the door? A talking bird may be just the companion you're looking for.
However, not all talking birds possess the same capacity for speech and some may be a bit too loud for your liking, so it's important to do your homework before purchasing a talking bird.
Bird voices can range from soothing and beautiful to loud and shrieking. If you live in an apartment with thin walls, you might want to pay attention to what the species you're thinking about sounds like.
On the other hand, birds don't just learn to talk on their own. Teaching a bird to speak will take persistence and patience, as well as lots of care, love and time together. It's also important to note that some birds will never learn to speak.
You may be surprised to learn that birds do not have vocal cords like humans do. In fact, your bird produces their voice the same way as song birds sing. So, think of your birds voice as their song for you.
Here are our picks for the best talking birds for beginners.
Also affectionately called the budgie or parakeet, this bird can make a great pet and is capable of learning several songs and phrases. Don’t let its small size fool you; budgies have broken world records for the largest bird vocabulary, although not all birds in the species have great potential and vocabulary will vary among individual birds.
They are very smart, social birds who enjoy practicing chatting with their caretakers. You’ll find they tend to imitate words that their owners frequently use. Both females and males can imitate human speech, though male birds appear to be better at speaking words in the right tone.
Considered by many to be the smartest of the talking birds, the African grey parrot can expand its vocabulary of hundreds of words. These are one of the best birds for beginners, as these pets are known for their exceptional understanding and imitation of human speech.
The African Grey's ability to build their vocabulary will depend on their relationship to their owner, as they tend to attach to only one person. They are able to learn from the different voices and sounds that surround them regularly, and they're even intelligent enough to make different sounds to throw off predators. Plenty of love and treats will help them to quickly improve their ability to talk.
Double Yellow Head Amazon
At about 14 - 16 inches in length, this medium-sized, strikingly bright-colored parrot holds the distinction of being one of the most popular pet species of the Amazon parrot group. An affectionate pet, they are intelligent and will soak up your attention, so beware that this beauty will require loads of love and attention.
It boasts an incredible ability to mimic human voices (even opera singing) and has a love for song. You two will make some beautiful music together. A caveat for this bird: It’s a boisterous, noisy bird that will often engage in screaming sessions twice a day, at dawn and dusk. Though these are normal, it can be startling and last longer if they the bird becomes bored due to lack of mental stimulation or attention.
Indian Ringneck Parakeet
With a gift for learning longer phrases in addition to shorter words, Indian Ringneck Parakeets are notorious talkers and clever birds that can build a large vocabulary. Although they are most likely to speak in their own high-pitched “bird voice” rather than mimic human voices. Many are able to learn dozens or hundreds of words.
Provided they are properly socialized and handled daily by their caretakers, Indian Ringneck Parakeets can be a charming pets who love learning new tricks (think waving hello with a foot).
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.