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Pet Birds That'll Make You Proud as a Peacock
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Pet Birds That'll Make You Proud as a Peacock

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Nov 29, 2022

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Birds are social animals, and many have tremendous longevity. They're also gorgeous creatures that can liven up your home.

There are pros and cons to the various common pet birds available from reputable breeders, so zeroing in on the reasons why you want a pet bird and the level of care you can provide can help you makes the best decision for you and your birdie.

1

Budgies

Budgerigar Lusyaya / Getty Images

Budgerigars or budgies hail from Australia and are among the most popular pet birds. Also known as parakeets, they have an easygoing nature, small size, and relatively undemanding care needs.

First-time bird owners often opt for these widely available birds, and they're a gateway feathered friend for novices to gain experience before acquiring more challenging avian pets.

You can teach budgies tricks with positive reinforcement, and they can develop an extensive vocabulary. Budgies can grow up to eight inches and come in different colors. They're great birds for kids.

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2

Lovebirds

Two preening lovebirds against black background. Lovebirds are a social and affectionate small parrot native to the African continent. Zocha_K / Getty Images

Newly-in-love couples are often called lovebirds because of their shows of affection. The real lovebirds got their name because they tend to feed each other to reconnect after periods of stress or separation—pretty romantic if you ask us!

You'll want to keep these birds in pairs, but note that they aren't as pleasant to other species, so don't let the kumbaya moniker fool you into communal housing.

At around six inches long, these winged buddies are small but loud and have a significant bite.

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3

Cockatoos

Friendly Cockatiel Parrot Sitting On Owners Finger Pawzi / Getty Images

Cockatoos are the birds you've seen with plumage that stands up impressively on the top of their heads. They're kind of clingy, so if you're keen on a bird that sticks to you for life, consider one of these cuddly cuties.

Cockatoos will become melancholic if they aren't given enough stimulation and company. These birds are not small—they can grow to 18 inches and require a larger living environment. They're also super vocal, which is why they're one of the most rejected birds, despite having a devoted fanbase.

If you aren't prepared for the noise and attention, you might want to reconsider getting a cockatoo species. Powder-down feathers also make this bird a poor choice for someone with allergies.

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4

Finches

Close up photo of a yellow small bird staying in a cage near a window on day time. Cristalov / Getty Images

At about four inches, finches are tiny. They're not going to drive you crazy with their chatter and prefer the company of other finches to their owners, making them a much better option if you don't want to handle your birds.

Still, finches are amiable songbirds, and they'll wow your visitors with their beauty. The Gouldian finch is a standout stunner, but there are dozens of other species you'll enjoy observing.

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5

Canaries

Canary in a wooden cage Thomas Demarczyk / Getty Images

It's only been a few decades since miners stopped taking canaries into the depths of the earth to test the carbon monoxide levels. If the poison was present, the bird would die, prompting the miners to leave in a hurry.

Thankfully, digital detectors have replaced these lovely animals that have been kept as pets for centuries. Tweety of Looney Tunes fame is probably the most famous canary in the world, and you can have your own tweety pie in highlighter yellow or your preferred color.

These songbirds aren't noisy or overly messy and don't require much personal attention.

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6

Cockatiels

Beautiful yellow and grey Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus parrot in a cage. Viktoriya Kraynyuk / Getty Images

Clever cockatiels are a smaller cockatoo species with a similar movable crest. They're companionable and entertaining and love a good snuggle or head scratch.

Although cockatiels can talk, you're more likely to hear them singing their days away, and they can pick up melodies and domestic sounds. These birds do well with children and live for around 20 years.

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7

Doves

photo of turtledoves in a cage Daniar Rahmasari / Getty Images

Doves are often dismissed as white pigeons, and pigeons are, in turn, maligned as rats with wings.

Don't let the negative Nancies put you off. Doves deserve their status as ceremonial birds, released with a flourish on special occasions.

They symbolize peace, freedom, and love, and you'll find owning a dove to be a relatively tranquil hobby. Hand-fed domesticated doves are sweet and don't nip. They're fab for beginners and can even be taught to perch on your shoulder.

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8

African greys

African Grey Parrot Adrian Black / Getty Images

African greys are a top 3 contender for most popular domestic birds. Their reputation as brainiacs precedes them, and they have enviable memories.

African grey parrots tend to form a solid bond with just one person and are high-maintenance animals that require a lot of stimulation. But they can live for around 50 years in captivity, which means you'll have a mascot for life. They're unsuitable for little humans because their bite can cause injuries.

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9

Conures

Golden Parakeet, 60-70 year old man, Kissing, Medium Close Up, Studio, Bird, Perched, Hand, Sean Murphy / Getty Images

Conures from Central and South America are the social butterflies of the bird world, pretty and popular. They have a mischievous and playful side and love dancing, ducking, and imitating.

Conures are a real joy if socialized early on. But without positive experiences with humans, they may scream blue murder and get on your neighbors' nerves or bite. Unlike particular parrots, conures show the whole family love instead of forming a strong attachment to just one person.

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10

Macaws

Gold and Blue Macaw looking away. Close-up of multi colored bird. It is against blue background. HRAUN / Getty Images

Macaws are iconic, vibrantly-colored parrots. They're known for their fictional affiliation with pirates, and pirates likely did travel with them due to their exotic nature and high value.

Blu from the movie franchise Rio is a macaw. These companion birds are not for the inexperienced owner.

At around 36 inches tall, they're large and notorious screechers with a formidable bite. But they're highly intelligent, live for decades when looked after well, and Hahn's and Hyacinth macaws can be rather gentle.

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