8 Worst Pet Birds for Apartment Living

Those who live in apartments and other housing close to neighbors know all too well how easily sound can carry from one unit to another. If this is your living situation and you'd like to adopt a pet bird, consider avoiding the species known for loud and frequent vocalizations. In addition to being noisy, many of these birds also are too large to live comfortably in a home with minimal square footage. Here are eight birds that typically aren't suitable for apartment living.

Tip

Remember, some pet bird species are a commitment of 50 years or more. Consider what your living situation might be for the duration of the bird's life before settling on a species.

  • 01 of 08

    Macaw

    Blue-and-gold macaw

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    Macaws are highly intelligent and entertaining parrots, but they have an ear-piercing call that can be heard a mile away when they scream at full capacity. They tend to go through bouts of vocalizations at sunrise and sunset—two times many people prefer peace and quiet. They're also among the largest pet birds and require roomy enclosures, as well as space for out-of-cage playtime.

    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 (blue-and-gold macaw)

  • 02 of 08

    Amazon Parrot

    Amazon parrot eating a nut

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    Amazon parrots tend to be friendly and outgoing, but they can be a challenge to keep in small spaces. In addition to their shrill screams and chatter, Amazons need ample room to play. Moreover, they have a tendency to become destructive if they feel bored or neglected, which can lead to property damage for renters.

    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 (double yellow-headed Amazon)

  • 03 of 08

    Cockatoo

    Cockatoo pair in tree with raised crests

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    Cockatoos are typically highly affectionate birds, but they do have ear-shattering screams that can bleed through the most heavily soundproofed walls. Even when they aren't trying to be loud, cockatoos can cause a headache with their normal level of chatter. They also prefer to be with their caretakers as often as possible and might vocalize their displeasure when left alone.

    Species Overview

    Length: 18 inches 

    Weight: 16 to 26 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily white plumage; pale yellow on wings and tail; large white crest; black beak (umbrella cockatoo)

  • 04 of 08

    African Grey Parrot

    African grey parrot perching on a branch

    Guo Ya Hui/EyeEm/Getty Images

    In the wild, African grey parrots live in forested areas where loud calls are necessary for them to communicate. And they won't keep their voices down just because they're in an apartment versus their native landscape. Furthermore, because they're among the most intelligent birds, they require plenty of games and socialization to keep them happy. Otherwise, they might vocalize their boredom or become destructive.

    Species Overview

    Length: 9 to 14 inches

    Weight: 11 to 19 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Mostly gray plumage with pale edging; black beak and bright red tail (Congo African grey); tan upper beak and maroon tail (Timneh African grey)

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Conure

    two sun conures
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    While they are only medium-sized parrots, conures are capable of producing screams that can be heard miles away, causing problems for caretakers and neighbors. These birds also aren't shy about voicing when they're upset or their needs aren't being met. In addition, conures are active, athletic birds that prefer lots of room for out-of-cage play.

    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 (sun conure)

  • 06 of 08

    Eclectus

    portrait of red eclectus

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    Eclectus parrots are typically social birds that require lots of social time from their caretakers. Some people find them to be somewhat quiet, especially when compared to other large parrots. But they do have a distinctive honk that can be very loud and startling. Furthermore, they are active birds that need a large bird-safe space for exercise.

    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)

  • 07 of 08

    Lorikeet

    Rainbow lorikeet

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    Lorikeets are known for their playful nature and they love social interaction. But they can be especially messy due to their liquid-based diet, which can do damage to a rental. Some people even line their bird’s area with plastic sheeting to protect the walls and floors. Plus, these birds’ high-pitched calls might bother neighbors in close proximity.

    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 (rainbow lorikeet)

  • 08 of 08

    Ringneck Parakeet

    Indian ringneck parakeet, blue mutation

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    Ringnecks are often excellent talkers, but their high-pitched chatter might not always be so endearing to nearby neighbors. Also, they require a larger enclosure than you might expect for a medium-sized bird, as it must accommodate their long tail. As active birds, they need space for out-of-cage play along with bird-safe chew toys for them to gnaw on instead of causing damage to your property.

    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 (Indian ringneck)