8 Top Colorful Parrot Species

illustration of the most colorful parrots as pets

Illustration: Theresa Chiechi. © The Spruce, 2018

For many people, the first thing that draws them to bird ownership is a parrot's colorful feathers. Whether you're looking for a red, green, blue, or purple companion, birds offer plenty of variety. But brightly colored plumage isn't the only trait a person should consider before adoption. These parrots are intelligent, social, active, and noisy animals that require a dedicated caretaker. If you're ready for a feathered friend, here are eight of the most colorful parrot species.

Tip

If your bird's feathers are looking a little dull, it might simply be from normal molting. Or it could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or other medical issue, so consult a veterinarian if anything seems out of the ordinary.

  • 01 of 08

    Eclectus

    male and female eclectus parrots on a perch
    JH Pete Carmichael/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    The eclectus is one of the few sexually dimorphic parrot species, meaning the males and females have distinct appearances. Male birds display a vivid green color with red and blue accents while the female birds have red and blue-purple feathers. These birds are generally friendly and easygoing, but they do appreciate a caretaker who can keep them on a regular daily routine.

    Species Overview

    Length: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 13 to 19 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily emerald green, red and blue under wings, and orange beak (male); primarily bright red, blue on chest and tail, and black beak (female)

  • 02 of 08

    Sun Conure

    sun conure on a perch

    shark_749/Getty Images

    Sun conures have nearly the entire rainbow on their bodies. These captivating birds display red, yellow, and orange on their heads, chests, and wings. Those colors are offset with green and blue on their tail and flight feathers. Sun conures are often as loud as they are brightly colored. Their calls can be heard from miles away, and they're not shy about vocalizing to express their mood.

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 inches

    Weight: 4 to 5 ounces

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

  • 03 of 08

    Scarlet Macaw

    two scarlet macaws sitting together

    Edd Lange/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Scarlet macaws are beautiful parrots with red, yellow, and blue feathers. Their beauty can be very tempting for someone looking for a pet parrot, but it's important to consider more than their striking looks. These are large birds that require ample attention and space for exercise. They can be loud, messy, and moody pets that demand a lot from their caretakers.

    Species Overview

    Length: 31 to 38 inches

    Weight: 32 to 39 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Vivid red with yellow and blue on wings and tail; white circles around eyes; tan upper bill and black lower bill; black feet

  • 04 of 08

    Blue-and-Gold Macaw

    Blue and gold macaw
    Courtney Tran Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images

    As their name implies, blue-and-gold macaws display bright blue and yellow plumage over most of their body. They also have accents of rich green. These birds tend to be intelligent and sociable, and they love being the center of attention. But they need ample space to exercise, and they are prone to some ear-piercing vocalizations. 

    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

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Lilac-Crowned Amazon

    Lilac-crowned Amazon

    Dopeyden/Getty Images

    Like most Amazon parrots, lilac-crowned Amazons are green over the majority of their body with a deep lilac on the top of their head. These birds are generally curious and active, and they need plenty of mental and physical exercise. They tend to form strong bonds with their caretakers and prefer several hours a day of socialization. 

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 to 14 inches

    Weight: 11 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Mostly green; yellow-green face; red band across forehead; lilac on top of head and collar

  • 06 of 08

    Hyacinth Macaw

    Hyacinth macaw

    Pete Turner/Getty Images

    In addition to being one of the most brightly colored parrots, hyacinth macaws are the largest parrot species. They're also among the most gentle and affectionate birds. However, they're not the ideal pet for everyone. Hyacinth macaws have a reputation for being very sensitive. They need a calm environment and several hours per day of socialization to thrive.

    Species Overview

    Length: 40 inches

    Weight: 42 to 51 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Solid blue plumage; yellow patches around eyes and beak; black beak; dark gray feet

  • 07 of 08

    Rose-Breasted Cockatoo

    A pair of rose-breasted cockatoos on a branch

    AlexandraPhotos/Getty Images

    Rose-breasted cockatoos are pink, gray, and white birds with charming personalities. Their colors are more subdued than some other parrots, but their uniqueness makes them quite attractive. Like most cockatoos, these birds are very affectionate and sensitive. They require calm, patient caretakers who have a lot of time to spend interacting with their birds.

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 to 15 inches

    Weight: 10 to 14 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Pink chest and lower part of face; pinkish-white crest; gray back, wings, and tail; gray feet; tan beak

  • 08 of 08

    Green-Wing Macaws

    two green-winged macaws on a branch

    PanuRuangjan/Getty Images

    With a mostly vivid red body, green-wing macaws display bright stripes of green and blue on the backs of their wings. They're often considered "gentle giants" of the macaw family for their typically calm demeanor. However, they can be very adamant—if not obsessive—about craving attention from their favorite humans.

    Species Overview

    Length: 26 to 40 inches

    Weight: 32 to 60 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Red on head, shoulders, and breast; green on middle of wings turning to blue toward the tips; teal and red tail, red lines around eyes; tan upper bill and black lower bill