5 Friendly Species That Make the Best Pet Birds

These pet birds are affectionate and gentle

cockatiel
Brenda Hughes / EyeEm / Getty Images

It's no surprise that many potential bird owners want a pet bird who is friendly, gentle, and well-suited to being a companion. These traits are even more important for people with limited pet bird experience. It's easier to bond with and care for an animal that has a naturally friendly and affectionate disposition, rather than one that is timid or aggressive.

It's almost a guarantee that all bird owners will sustain a bite here and there. However, it is possible to minimize the risk by choosing a bird known for having a gentle and sociable demeanor. These five species have a reputation for being some of the best pet birds around.

  • 01 of 05

    Budgies

    Two green budgies preening

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    Enjoying popularity around the world, budgies (also known as parakeets) are some of the best pet birds for good reason. When properly tamed and cared for, budgies can be extraordinarily friendly and affectionate.

    On top of being small and easy to care for, budgies take well to training and can learn to perform many fun bird tricks. Best of all, budgies have the ability to learn to talk. They delight people of all ages with their cute and comical little voices.

  • 02 of 05

    Cockatiels

    Cockatiel sitting on a bird cage with a cockatiel in the background

    Brenda Hughes / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The captivating cockatiel is another great choice for anyone who wants a friendly and affectionate pet bird. Hailing from Australia, these birds make excellent pets when hand-fed as babies and raised in loving environments.

    While they don't normally learn to talk, cockatiels are exceptionally intelligent. Many learn to mimic common household noises, such as doorbells, telephones, and microwaves.

    Being rather small, they don't require as much space as larger pet birds. Therefore, they're easier to house and care for than many other hookbill species.

  • 03 of 05

    Cockatoos

    Close-up shot of a cockatoo

    Jochen Schlenker / Collection Mix: Subjects / Getty Images

    If you prefer a larger pet bird who is still friendly and affectionate, a cockatoo may be your best bet. These beautiful birds bond very strongly to their owners and prefer to be with them as often as possible.

    It is imperative that you have plenty of free time to spend socializing with your bird. Cockatoos can become depressed if they aren't given enough attention. As a result, they may resort to feather plucking or other destructive behaviors. But if you want an extremely loving companion, cockatoos are some of the best pet birds around.

  • 04 of 05

    Parrotlets

    Green parrotlet sitting on a person's finger

    Harrison Farr / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Parrotlets have enjoyed a great surge in popularity as pet birds around the world. Cute, petite, and easy to care for, these birds are known for having personalities much larger than their tiny bodies.

    Those considering parrotlets must have plenty of time on their hands to play and socialize with their birds, so they remain tame. But for the right owners, parrotlets make extremely loving pets.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Hyacinth Macaws

    Close-up shot of a hyacinth macaw

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    Known as "gentle giants," hyacinth macaws are the largest parrots on Earth. And as friendly and sociable birds, they love nothing more than to spend time playing and cuddling with their owners.

    Due to their size, it can be difficult for most people to provide proper housing for these birds. But those who are able to meet their needs are rewarded with an incredible relationship with their feathered friend.

    If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to care for a hyacinth macaw, contact a breeder or rescue group near you. Schedule an appointment to meet their birds, so you can get a feel about whether it would be a good fit.