8 Top Yellow Parrots to Keep as Pets

When people think of yellow birds, canaries often come to mind. But there are many beautiful parrot species that also have bright yellow feathers. These birds range in size from small yellow parakeets to their large parrot cousins. Most tend to be quite loving with their caretakers, though some have complex care requirements. Here are eight yellow parrots that can add some sunshine to a home.

Tip

Yellow feathers can be indicative of health problems, including liver disease. If your bird’s plumage appears abnormal, consult a vet as soon as possible.

  • 01 of 08

    Budgerigar

    Yellow parakeet perching on a hand

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    While wild budgies (also known as parakeets) typically sport green plumage, selective breeding has led to the lutino (or yellow) mutation being fairly common. The color is so brilliant that yellow parakeets are sometimes mistaken for canaries. Some birds with the lutino mutation also display a reddish tint in their eyes. With their small size and friendly demeanor, budgies are among the most popular pet birds around the world.

    Species Overview

    Length: 6 to 8 inches

    Weight: 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Green abdomen; black and yellow back; yellow head; dark blue tail; mutations include blue, yellow, white, and gray

  • 02 of 08

    Cockatiel

    Yellow cockatiel perching on a cage

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    The cockatiel's lutino mutation is one of the most recognizable. Lutino cockatiels vary in shade from a pale yellow to a darker, egg-yolk tone. They display the common bright orange patches on their cheeks, and most have a bright yellow head crest. These birds tend to be very affectionate, and many can become quite skilled at whistling.

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 to 13 inches

    Weight: 3 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Gray body; yellow face and crest; orange cheeks; long tail; mutations include albino, lutino, pied, and cinnamon

  • 03 of 08

    Golden Conure

    Headshot of a golden conure

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    The eye-catching golden conure has bright yellow feathers all over its body with the exception of the tips of its flight feathers, which offer dark green contrast. Also known as the Queen of Bavaria conure, these birds are fairly rare as pets. They are some of the largest conures, measuring around 14 inches from head to tail. They have a high energy level and require lots of space to exercise in and out of their cage.

    Species Overview

    Length: 14 inches

    Weight: 8 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily bright yellow; dark green at tips of flight feathers; white ring around eyes; tan beak; pink legs and feet

  • 04 of 08

    Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

    The face of a sulphur-crested cockatoo against a green background

    Scott Gibbons/Getty Images

    The sulphur-crested cockatoo comes in two size varieties: the greater and the lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo. Easily recognized by their yellow crest, these birds are known for being loving, affectionate pets. However, they can be expensive and time-consuming, requiring complex diets, ample space, and lots of interaction with their caretakers. Plus, they're often a decades-long commitment, as they're known to live past 70 years in captivity.

    Species Overview

    Length: 15 to 20 inches

    Weight: 12 to 31 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily white; crest of yellow feathers; black beak; males have dark brown to black irises while females have reddish-brown

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Pacific Parrotlet

    yellow parrotlet
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    Known affectionately as "pocket parrots," the Pacific parrotlet—including its yellow lutino variety—is a small bird with a big personality. In fact, parrotlets require nearly as much care and dedication as a large parrot. They're quite intelligent, energetic, and somewhat feisty. Regular handling and lots of mental and physical exercise are important to keep them healthy and tame.

    Species Overview

    Length: 4 to 5 inches

    Weight: 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Green head and body; blue on back and behind eyes; mutations include blue, yellow, and white

  • 06 of 08

    Blue-and-Gold Macaw

    Blue-and-gold macaw headshot

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    As its name suggests, the blue-and-gold macaw is only a partially yellow parrot. But it’s a bright beauty nonetheless. These intelligent, social birds do best with caretakers who can spend lots of time interacting with them. They need plenty of space for play and are prone to some ear-piercing vocalizations. Many are quite entertaining and can learn several bird tricks, including how to talk.

    Species Overview

    Length: 30 to 36 inches 

    Weight: 28 to 46 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Green forehead fading into teal on nape, back, tail, and wings; yellow chest and underside of wings; large black beak

  • 07 of 08

    Sun Conure

    two sun conures
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    Sun conures combine bright yellow and orange with green and blue highlights to form some truly gorgeous plumage. These athletic birds are happiest with a very roomy enclosure, along with as much out-of-cage time as possible for exercise and socialization. Many are quite affectionate with their caretakers, though they have a shrill voice that sometimes can be jarring.

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 inches

    Weight: 4 to 5 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Bright orange and yellow with highlights of green and blue; black beak and feet; white circles around eyes

  • 08 of 08

    Double Yellow-Headed Amazon

    Double yellow-headed Amazon

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    Known for its bright yellow head, the double yellow-headed Amazon is one of the most popular pet parrots from the Amazon group. These birds are very intelligent and have a remarkable ability to mimic words and sounds. Some can even mimic opera. Amazon parrots thrive on socialization and can become destructive or depressed if their caretakers don’t have enough time for them. Many live to 60 years or more, so it’s not a commitment to take lightly.

    Species Overview

    Length: 15 to 17 inches

    Weight: 16 to 23 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Green body; yellow head; red at the wing bend; tan beak; white rings around the eyes