Birds are generally fun to watch: They can fly around (in the cage most of the time though), they produce some of the best rhythms for people to enjoy, and lots of them have fancy feather patterns.
But, they are not easy to keep and raise, so it is best for beginners to start with easy to raise birds first. Luckily, there are many options to choose from, so let’s go through the best birds for beginners.
Top 10 best birds for beginners
Budgies, or budgerigar, is one of the parakeets that has great feedback from many people. And is probably one of the first choices people give if you ask them what works for beginners. Their life span is about 5 to 8 years.
The budgies are very affectionate and friendly pets, as long as you take care of them properly. Compared to many birds in this list, they are rather small and cute.
You can also train a budgie to perform various tricks. Even better, they can learn to talk, which makes them many times more interesting and entertaining.
Also, they tend to be not so noisy to the point of annoying your neighbors, so you can keep it even if you are in a crowded neighborhood.
Another popular bird pet on the market in this list is the cockatiel. However, if the neighbors are your concern, or you can’t tolerate noise that much, you should opt for a female cockatiels.
Compared to male cockatiels, female ones are calmer, gentler, and more affectionate. That’s not to say the males are mischievous, they can give you a mop nip and be in the mood too if cared properly.
When raising a cockatiel, you need to give it a big cage with some perches and toys. Sometimes, you should let them be outside of the cage for a few hours a day.
A cockatiel’s life span is generally long, about 10 to 14 years. But with proper care, you could expect to befriend your cockatiels for much longer than that.
#3. Peach Faced Lovebirds
When getting a peach faced lovebird for the first time, you may find it slightly more difficult to handle the above 2 birds, but it is manageable. Contrary to many thoughts about this bird, it can live by itself without much trouble.
With this bird, you can get a male bird as your first pet. Unlike the cockatiels, the peach faced lovebird is pretty small, at just about 5 to 6 inches (or 13 to 15cm). You can even put them in your pocket if you want to reveal them to other people for some fun.
Just like the above birds, the peach faced lovebird also loves performing tricks and playing around in their cages. With food care, they can live up to 20 years.
Parrotlets are one of the ideal pet birds for many people. They are small, cute, and very manageable.
Parrotlets are generally at about 4.5 to 5 inches, which makes them the second smallest parrot in the world. The first place goes to the pygmy parrot, a species of Australasia.
Also, the parrotlets have great personalities and can entertain lots of people. They are great options if you want a companion pet, but great companions come with a great need of attention.
Parrotlets need lots of human attention, so if you don’t spend much time at home, then they are not the best choice for you. Since they are relatively social animals, they would be very happy if their human owners show them attention regularly.
The parrotlets’ lifespan is about 15 to 20 years, and you can lengthen their life with love and care.
#5. Hyacinth Macaws
The hyacinth macaws are known as big yet gentle birds because of their size. Despite the big bodies, they are very social and friendly. They enjoy playing, entertaining, and cuddling their owners a lot.
The hyacinth macaw is a great option if you want a pet bird that is cheerful, bubbly, shows affectionate greatly to its owner, and makes a great companion.
However, owners of the hyacinth macaw should keep in mind the size of these birds. It can get a bit difficult to accommodate them. But once you settle its housing, your hyacinth macaw can be very adorable and be a great pet.
Another great news if you are getting this pet bird is that they can live for a very long time, about 50 years in the wild to be specific. And they certainly can enjoy more time if taken care of properly by the owners they love.
Speaking of canaries, people will mention their feathers with vibrant colors and their great vocals. They can appear in many colors, such as green, yellow, brown, and bright orange. Also, male canaries can sing, and they sing great!
It doesn’t take much for a canary to be happy, it can just simply playing around in the cage and casually sing for its owner. This bird is great since… as mentioned from the start, it is fun to watch thanks to its vibrant colors and it can sing very well.
But, just keep in mind that the canaries don’t like being handled too much. With that being said, your child can also enjoy the “energy” that this bird species emits.
The canary is about 10 to 15cm, which falls into the small bird category. Their life span is about 10 to 15 years and can be higher with great care and good housing.
Finches are great pet birds if you don’t have much time taking care of your birds, or you simply spend most of your time outside. They fly around very fast so they are quite fun to watch.
Just bear in mind that finches don’t like climbing, so you should get them a big enough cage for better freedom in movements. It would be great if you could get more than 1 finch in a cage (a pair would be cool) since they are social animals by nature.
If you do decide to get many finches, just make sure again about the size of the cage so that the finches can fly freely without bumping into each other. Freedom in flying can also prevent potential fights between the birds.
Finches are great for when you want a companion, or in a child room since just like canaries, they don’t like to be handled much.
Finches have relatively small to medium-sized bodies. Their life span is decent, although not as long as many other birds in this list, about 4 to 7 years to be specific.
#8. Quaker Parakeets
Another great choice for beginners is the Quaker Parakeet, also known as the monk parakeet, with its love to vocalize. Depending on your preferences, you can get ones that love to whistle or ones that can talk.
Once you handle these quaker parakeets with care and love, you can expect them to show affection to their owners.
- The law
However, you may want to check the laws in your areas or states since some places consider the Quaker Parakeet to be illegal due to their threats to the native agriculture.
Here are some of the states and areas that ban selling and owning a Quaker Parakeet: the U.S. states of Georgia, California, Kansas, Hawaii, Maine, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Western Australia.
Some states have certain restrictions when owning these birds. In Connecticut, you can own the birds, but can’t sell or breed them. In Virginia and New York, the birds have to be banded and registrated. In Ohio, the birds’ flight feathers need to be cut or in some ways, the birds can’t fly freely.
The Quaker Parakeet is a relatively small bird, and their life span is quite long, about 20 to 30 years.
#9. Pionus Parrots
The Pionus Parrots’ aesthetics overall is average compared to other birds in this list, which makes them often be ignored, that’s not to say they are ugly or messy. They are small so you can keep and handle them easily.
But most importantly, the Pionus Parrots are not loud and very easy to take care of. This also makes them ideal for apartment living where there are neighbors around and you don’t want to annoy them with loud sounds.
Furthermore, they are sweet and beautiful in their own ways. They are also very affectionate to their owners. They are great choices for you if you want an easy going bird with beautiful looks.
The Pionus Parrot is about 10 to 12 inches in size. They are roughly the same shape as the Amazon Parrot (which will be covered below). Their average life span is 25 years. But with proper care, they can live for up to 40 years.
#10. Amazon Parrots
In terms of pricing, the Amazon parrots are more expensive than other birds mentioned above. But, they are expensive for good reasons.
Remember about the aesthetic and vocal aspects mentioned at the beginning? These birds excel in both aspects: they are some of the best to learn talking and they are extremely beautiful.
They are also very affectionate and want attention from their owners. You will be amused watching them talk and fly around with their beautiful feathers.
The Amazon parrot is medium sized. Their life span is longer than many birds in this list, at 50 years.
Some other birds
There are also many other species to choose from if you want to start your hobby of keeping and raising, such as the white fronted parrots, lilac crowns, red lored parrots, or blue fronted parrots.
Also, beginners should be careful when taking care of these birds since they can learn pretty well, too well in many cases. You should as well let your birds socialize, help them exercise since they can’t do that as much in a cage, and get them some toys to play with.
What to look for when buying pet birds?
Birds can be calm or make lots of noise, some are pleasant to hear, others are so loud that your neighbors are annoyed.
When buying the birds, ask someone who has the birds, or you can go to YouTube and listen to what the birds you are considering sound like.
Social Behaviours and Attention
Most birds are very social, they usually need lots of the owners’ time and attention. So you should construct a routine that the birds can follow and make your own schedules so that you can spend time with your birds.
As you may have noticed from the list, birds can live for very long (the Amazon bird can live for up to 50 years). So keep this in mind, and make sure to commit to your birds once you choose it as your companion.
Like most pets, birds will need a healthy diet with not just seeds, but also veggies and fruits.
Veterinarian & Insurance
First, not every vet treats birds, so look for ones that do when you get your birds. Secondly, the bills can be expensive, so get your birds insured just in case things go wrong.
Overall, these are the best pet birds to have for beginners: budgies, cockatiels, peach faced lovebirds, parrotlets, hyacinth macaws, canaries, finches, quaker parakeets, pionus parrots, and Amazon parrots.
There are also many other choices of pet birds that are comparable to the listed ones. But in summary, pay attention to the birds’ noise, attention, diets, life spans, diet, and veterinarian in case your birds get sick or something else.