10 Small Pet Bird Species

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The best things often come in small packages, and little pet birds can make wonderful companions. They are easy to keep compared to larger bird pets and are less noisy because of their size.

However, small birds still have a lot of personalities. Here’s a list of the ten best small pet bird species:

1. Lovebirds

Lovebirds are sometimes likened to Amazons due to their big personalities and sticky bodies. They average about six inches in size and come in several color mutations.

Lovebirds can make wonderful pets if handled daily and hand raised. They are quite energetic and curious to know what’s happening around them. They enjoy climbing and playing with toys, which makes them very entertaining.

Lovebirds can become territorial and can injure other birds you put together with them. They may also bite when they feel threatened. You can only tame them with daily contact.

You can easily train them to come when called by rewarding them with millet. While they are not really known to have a great talking ability, some can be trained to speak a few words. These birds are known to be prone to feather disease and psittacine beak.

Lovebirds are a great pet for first-time owners who spend enough time to learn about their temperament. However, they may be more suited for individuals with previous experience managing cockatiels and parakeets.

  • Length: 5-7 inches (12-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.5-2 ounces (40-60 grams)

2. Parrotlets

Ranging between four to five inches in size, these birds aren’t as big as Lovebirds, and they have similar (not identical) appearances.

Like their Amazon parrot relatives, Parrotlets have a huge, fearless personality, making handling them sometimes challenging.

Hand-fed Parrotlets are very affectionate and can easily bond with humans. They are also very lively, so watching them play and observing their normal routine can be a lot of fun. They aren’t as loud as larger pet parrots.

Owners who can’t spend enough time with Parrotlets should keep them in pairs for companionship; else, they might lose their tameness and become nippy and territorial.

They can learn basic acts, such as stepping down or up fairly easily. You can even teach them to come to you when called, but this should only be done indoors for the bird’s safety. Some of them can learn to speak a couple of words.

Parrotlets are vulnerable to most diseases in other parrot kinds, such as psittacosis, aspergillosis, and PBFD.

  • Length: 4-5 inches (10-12 cm)
  • Weight: 1-1.1 ounce (30-32 grams)

3. Cockatiels

Cockatiels are one of the most sought after pet parrots. They are the smallest of the cockatoo family.

When tamed, cockatiels are very cuddly and affectionate with humans. They can be very playful, and most of them enjoy dancing to music. They’re not too great at talking, though the ability varies among each bird, they’re great at mimicking.

While cockatiels are not too noisy, they can be destructive and require plenty of wooden toys. Their feathers produce a powder that can stain clothing.

Incredibly smart, cockatiels can be trained on several kinds of routine behaviors, including entertaining tricks. These birds thrive on the attention received during training, especially if the training is conducted positively.

Cockatiels are prone to several common disorders and diseases, such as PBFD, feather plucking, and coccidiosis.

Cockatiels make fantastic pets for apartment owners and first-time bird keepers. They are easy to manage and don’t have a high need for companionship and mental stimulation compared to other cockatoos.

  • Length: 12-13 inches (30-33 cm)
  • Weight: 3-3.5 ounces (85-100 grams)

4. Budgies

Like the cockatiels and canary, budgies have been domesticated and kept as pets for longer than other parrot species. These small birds are about 18 cm long and weigh between 30 to 40 grams.

They are inexpensive, easy to find, and do not require large cages. Most of them are fed on birdseed instead of pellets. Also, they are picky eaters.

In the wild, they eat different kinds of seeds, vegetation, berries, and fruits. In captivity, these birds are curious and playful. They are neither noisy nor destructive, which makes them delightful pets if tamed young.

They rarely live up to ten years, which may not go well for child owners. Monitoring their fat intake is essential as they can be vulnerable to tumors and lipomas.

Tame budgies can often talk and even sing with their high and piping voices. A lone budgie can sing continually to its reflection in a cage mirror.

Budgies make a wonderful pet for first-time bird owners, and several devoted parrot owners testify of having a budgie as their first bird.

  • Length: 6-7 inches (15-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1-1.4 ounce (30-40 grams)

5. Canaries

Canaries are not the snuggliest among birds and don’t require feathered companions. They love being talked to and enjoy the company of humans. You can even train them to perch on the human finger.

Canaries aren’t great at talking, but the males love to sing. They have different varieties of breeds, including the Red Factor Canary and the Harz Roller.

You need to provide a cage with a minimum of 2 to 3 ft height, so the bird has enough room to fly. You can also take the bird out of its cage to fly around in a room; just close the windows and doors, and remove mirrors to avoid them crashing. This provides mental stimulation and exercise for the canary.

Their respiratory systems are very sensitive and can be easily compromised. Keep air fresheners and candles far from them.

Non-stick Teflon-coated pans and self-cleaning ovens can also poison them. Like many other pet birds, canaries are prone to obesity due to spending excess time in a small cage and empty calories.

  • Length: 3-5 inches (7-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5-0.9 ounce (15-25 grams)

6. Pionus Parrot

Although Pionus parrots are medium-sized, they’re not as big as an African grey or Amazon parrots. They are easy-going and not too noisy. They’re very playful, loving, and easy to manage, making them an ideal pet for first-time bird owners.

They can eat what other parrots eat: formulated diets containing more vegetables and pellets than fruits.

They enjoy learning and always want something to do. They can also learn to speak, although not as fluent as Amazons or African greys.

You can get them toys to display their shredding and chewing instincts. They are prone to fungal infections and Teflon poisoning.

  • Length: 9-12 inches (22-30 cm)
  • Weight: 7-10 ounces (200-280 grams)

7. Finches

Finches can live in pairs. However, you can get pairs of the same sex to prevent them from breeding.

They can keep themselves entertained as long as you provide them with a cage that’s large enough to fly around in. The cage should be kept in a living room or any room where you hang out.

You can also get them foraging toys and nest making materials to keep them mentally stimulated. Finches are very vocal, but they don’t talk.

They don’t really require human interaction, but they enjoy being watched while playing. You can even train them to perch on your finger.

Their best foods include pellet-based options with mixed seeds, and greens like lettuce, watercress, and spinach. Also, get 2 bowls of water, one for drinking and the other for bathing.

  • Length: 3-8 inches (7-20 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5-1.3 ounce (15-35 grams)

8. Green-Cheeked Conures

Green-cheeked conures are the smallest of the conure species. They are very intelligent, which is advantageous for pet owners who have enough time to devote to their conure.

These small, spunky birds have green plumage with blue, red, and gray accents. However, they are vulnerable to feather picking when neglected or bored.

You can teach them almost anything, and they’ll pick it up immediately. Like most other parrots, conures need quality time and a daily routine, which implies one-on-one interactions.

  • Length: 10-11 inches (25-28 cm)
  • Weight: 2-3 ounces (60-85 grams)

9. Caique

Caiques are intelligent, active, beautiful, and very entertaining birds. These small lively birds pack a bunch of personalities into their tiny bodies, and they are well known for being the clowns among birds. They’ve easily won the hearts of several bird enthusiasts.

Their relatively small size makes them appealing to individuals who stay in condominiums and apartments. Notwithstanding their small size, these birds will perform better in a large cage or a small aviary.

In the wild, they eat fruits, berries, and seeds. As pets, you can feed them top-quality extruded pets and supplement with vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts. They love whistling and singing and can learn to speak a few words.

  • Length: 9-10 inches (22-25 cm)
  • Weight: 5-6 ounces (140-170 grams)

10. White-Fronted Amazon

While White-fronted Amazons are medium-sized for a parrot, they are the smallest among the Amazon parrot species. Despite their small size, these birds have a huge, assertive personality.

They even approach people in the wild. In captivity, this friendly and playful bird doesn’t form close bonds with more than one person.

Several bird enthusiasts love the White-fronted Amazon for its size, colorful plumage, great talking ability, and personality—along with its affordability.

While these birds may be ideal pets for single owners, they’re not well suited for any family with children.

White-fronted Amazons are great at talking and mimicking. They can make several kinds of vocalizations: barking sounds, harsh notes, trills, squealing, and other sharp, short noises.

Due to their loudness, they are not suited for condominiums or apartments.

  • Size: 10-11 inches (25-27 cm)
  • Weight: 6-9 ounces (170-250 grams)

Wrapping Up

The small pet birds on this list are relatively affordable, less noisy, and don’t require much space like larger birds. And to crown it up, they make fantastic pets!

Updated: October 7, 2020

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