Low-Maintenance Pet Bird Species

Plenty of bird species make good pets and are easy to care for.

Illustration of low maintenance pet birds species

Illustration: Theresa Chiechi. © The Spruce, 2018

Birds are easier to care for than any four-legged pet. And while there is no such thing as a no-maintenance bird, some species are easier to care for than others. From doves to finches, canaries to parakeets, there are many cute and charming pet birds that won't put great demands on an owner's time, but will still prove to be good companions. 

  • 01 of 05


    The White Dove, Sacred White Dove, or Java Dove is the most historically described dove from Noah through today.
    Cormac McCreesh/Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Doves are hardy, medium-sized birds who enjoy interacting with their owners but are also content to spend a good part of the day entertaining themselves. Unlike a larger bird like a cockatoo or a macaw, a dove isn't constantly in need of attention. 

    And since doves are a little smaller than parrots and other popular pet birds, cleaning up after them is much less messy. While it is still important to form a bond with your pet dove, these quiet, pretty birds won't demand much of your time. Keep their cages clean, and you'll have a content, satisfied bird most of the time. 

  • 02 of 05


    Finches Perched in Birdcage
    Tom Stewart / Getty Images

    As long as they are provided with a proper flight cage and two or three flock-mates to interact with, finches require zero handling and out-of-cage playtime. Finches tend to keep to themselves and would rather socialize with other finches than their human caretakers, so those who have little spare time can enjoy the company of birds in their home while only having to feed, water, and clean up after them.

    While a small flock of finches can be quite messy, if you limit the number of finches you own, they'll take care of each others' social needs without creating too much extra cleanup for you.

  • 03 of 05


    " Yashu" ( CC BY 2.0) by  Rusty Clark

    A canary is another excellent choice for a bird lover who prefers a pet to be seen and heard instead of taken out and handled. Much like finches, canaries don't do well with human handling and prefer to stay within the comforting walls of their cages.

    There are different types of canaries to choose from, and each variety has different care requirements, but overall these little birds are a good fit for those who don't have a lot of spare time to spend with a pet.

  • 04 of 05

    Parakeets (Budgies)

    Turquiose parakeet wearing birthday hat
    Jessica Holden Photography / Getty Images

    Some bird lovers want a bird that they can hold, train, and that can even learn to talk, but that they don't have to spend every minute of every day with. A budgie is an excellent option.

    While Budgies do bond strongly with their owners like most parrots do, they are easier to keep occupied than many larger species. A budgie in a spacious cage well-stocked with plenty of safe and interesting bird toys can thrive as long as their owners can devote an hour or two per day of socialization time to them.

    This is a big contrast to many other parrot species, some of which need a minimum of four to six hours outside of the cage each day. Consider a budgie if you'd like all the perks of owning a parrot without the huge time commitment.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05


    Close-up view of two cockatiels
    " P4220581" ( CC BY-SA 2.0) by  calestyo

    Another parrot species, cockatiels are the highest-maintenance bird species on this list. Like budgies, cockatiels require a certain amount of handling and out-of-cage playtime on a daily basis.

    But cockatiels are nowhere near as demanding as some of the larger parrot species. They normally don't talk, but cockatiels are highly intelligent and can be trained follow commands.

    Cockatiels are a great choice for those who have the time to devote two or three hours per day to playing with their pets. As long as it has a large enough cage and a bird-proof area for it to play in, a cockatiel will be a good fit for a would-be bird owner.