8 Top Medium-Sized Parrots to Keep as Pets

Thomas Demarczyk / Getty Images

Although many bird lovers might dream of owning a large macaw or cockatoo, the reality is most people don't have the time, space, or resources to properly care for such large, complex species. The good news is there are still plenty of slightly smaller parrots out there. Medium-sized parrots are full of personality, and many species can learn to talk or perform tricks just like their large parrot cousins. They also can form close bonds with their caretakers. Here are eight medium parrot species that make excellent pets.


Regardless of your pet bird's size, it's recommended to provide it with as large of an enclosure as you can fit and afford. Also, give your bird as much out-of-cage exercise as possible.

  • 01 of 08


    two cockatiels on a branch

    Olga Chuglaz/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Cockatiels can be very affectionate pets, especially when they've been hand-raised, and they are intelligent birds that can be taught to do many tricks. Although most cockatiels don't talk, they can learn to mimic sounds, such as whistles, doorbells, and telephone rings. But they don't tend to be as loud as some other parrot species, making them a good choice for apartment living.

    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

  • 02 of 08

    Quaker Parrot

    Quaker parrot in a tree

     cuatrok77 / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Quaker parrots are often confident and outgoing birds that love to interact with their caretakers. They do tend to be rather vocal, and some can develop an impressive vocabulary of human words. But because quakers can adapt to living in many climates and become invasive, they are illegal to keep in some parts of the United States. Know your local laws before acquiring one.

    Species Overview

    Length: 11 to 12 inches

    Weight: 3 to 5 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Green head, wings, and body; gray breast, cheeks, and throat; blue flight feathers; mutations include blue, albino, cinnamon, lutino, and pied

  • 03 of 08

    Sun Conure

    Sun conure perching on fingers

    Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

    There are many conure species commonly kept as pets, with one of the most popular being the beautiful sun conure. These intelligent, playful birds generally love spending time with their caretakers. But don't let their medium size fool you in terms of their noise level. Sun conures are known for being particularly loud, so keep that in mind if you're considering one.

    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

  • 04 of 08

    Senegal Parrot

    Senegal parrot in a tree
    Jurgen & Christine Sohns/Getty Images

    Hand-raised and well-socialized Senegal parrots can be friendly and playful pets, though some tend to bond with only one family member. Having multiple people interact regularly with the bird can help it form other bonds. Senegals are relatively quiet for a parrot species, but many can learn to say a few words and mimic noises.

    Species Overview

    Length: 10 inches

    Weight: 4 to 5 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Gray head; green wings and chest; V-shaped patch of a red to yellow color on belly

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Indian Ringneck Parakeet

    Indian ringneck parakeet

    Leandro Vettorazzi Gabrieli/Getty Images

    Indian ringneck parakeets are intelligent birds that are capable of developing an impressive vocabulary. These birds do have a reputation of being a little nippy, especially during adolescence, but ringnecks that are handled often and properly cared for can be quite friendly birds. They need plenty of mental and physical stimulation, or they might resort to destructive behaviors. 

    Species Overview

    Length: 14 to 17 inches

    Weight: 4 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Green plumage; blue tail; yellow under wings; males have black and rose rings around their necks; mutations include blue, cinnamon, albino, and lutino

  • 06 of 08

    Jenday Conure

    Jenday conure putting foot to beak

    Paul Atkinson/Getty Images

    Jenday conures are almost as popular as sun conures, and they have similar temperaments. These birds are intelligent, playful, and social. And some might even be a bit cuddly, enjoying riding on their favorite person’s shoulder or in their shirt, along with some head scratching. But because of their social nature, they might become screamers or resort to destructive behavior if they feel ignored.

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 inches

    Weight: 4 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Red-orange plumage on body; green wings and back; blue on tail and trimming wings; yellow head with orange patches; black beak; gray legs

  • 07 of 08

    Rainbow Lorikeet

    two rainbow lorikeets

    Bob Charlton/Getty Images

    Hailing from Australia and Indonesia, rainbow lorikeets are stunning to look at. They tend to be social birds that are known for their playful antics. A hand-fed and properly cared for lorikeet can be very affectionate with its caretaker, and even in the wild, these birds are known for being friendly toward people. 

    Species Overview

    Length: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 3 to 6 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Blue plumage on face and belly; green on wings, back, and head; red breast; yellow and orange highlights on sides; red beak; gray feet

  • 08 of 08

    Black-Hooded Parakeet

    black-hooded parakeet (nanday conure) in a tree

    Jess Fernandez/Getty Images

    The black-hooded parakeet, also known as the nanday conure, is a rather noisy bird. But it also tends to be very outgoing and can learn to talk and do bird tricks. In fact, one of the most popular tricks it can learn is retrieving a dollar bill from a person and then finding that same person to return the money. These birds are intelligent and curious, and they require lots of playtime and socialization.

    Species Overview

    Length: 10 to 11 inches

    Weight: 5 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Black head; green body; grayish-blue chest patch; blue tail; red accent on legs; white eye rings; black beak

Watch Now: How to Select the Right Pet Bird for You