Best Parrots For Beginners

9 Best Parrots For First-Time Owners

The idea of getting your very first pet parrot can be exciting, but it is important not to make a hasty decision. Parrots are not easy pets and they are certainly not for everyone.

If you are planning to get a parrot, you should know the challenges that are part and parcel of owning one. Parrots are messy birds and poop all over the house.

While they can be relatively quiet, they are not entirely silent. Meeting their complex needs demands a significant daily time commitment, requiring hours of care and attention.

If that does not deter you from keeping a parrot, you are ready for your first parrot. In this article, we are going to talk about the best parrots for beginners and how they might be the right fit for you.

Best Parrots For Beginners

The best parrot for a first-time owner is one that fits well with their lifestyle. If you have limited time to dedicate to your parrot’s social needs, a Bourke’s parakeet or pionus may be suited for you.

If you prefer a calm and quiet bird with good talking ability, then a budgie or green cheek conure may be the one you should go for. Generally, budgies and cockatiels are considered the best starter birds as they combine all of the good characteristics with very few downsides.


  • Size: 6 – 8 inches
  • Weight: 30 – 40 grams
  • Lifespan: 7-15 years
  • Cost: $20 – $50

Budgies are small and inexpensive birds with all of the charm and characteristics of larger parrots. It is probably why they are one of the most popular pet parrots around the world. 

Budgies are a good beginner bird because they are relatively easy to tame and do not cause too much trouble due to their small size. 

They chirp and chatter fairly frequently, but their volume level is quite low, so you do not have to worry about your neighbors complaining if you live in an apartment. 

For their size, budgies are surprisingly good talkers. They can learn a bunch of words and sounds and speak with decent clarity. 

As single birds, budgies require you to spend a lot of time with them socializing, which is a daily commitment. They also need plenty of toys and other types of enrichment in their cages. 

If you work a 9-5 job or do not have time to dedicate to your budgie regularly for other reasons, it is better to get two budgies. 

Budgies can also work as a “watch only” bird when they are housed in a pair or group. However, you will not have the same experience of socializing and bonding with them. 


  • Size: 12 – 13 inches
  • Weight: 70 – 120 grams
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Cost: $80 – $300

With their amicable disposition and playful nature, cockatiels make excellent pets for people just starting out. These lovable birds are devoted to their caretakers and are happiest when spending time with people. They are not very cuddly but prefer to get scratches on their head and cheeks.

Cockatiels are easy to tame and remain that way as long as their socialization needs are met. They seek attention very often, but these birds are fairly easygoing compared to the larger species. 

For their cage setup, it is recommended that you provide them with a variety of toys and roomy space to keep them busy and content. 

Cockatiels have expressive body language and show their emotions through their crest position, which is helpful in interpreting their moods and behaviors.

Cockatiels are also quieter than most birds, so there’s no issue if you live in an apartment. They are certainly chatty birds, but the noise level is not disturbing. Their whistles in particular are delightful and many people like the sound of it. 

Female cockatiels generally have a calmer disposition and for that reason are considered to be an easier pet. However, female cockatiels are unlikely to talk and lack character compared to males. They also have territorial instincts which can make them aggressive. 

Senegal Parrots

Senegal parrot
  • Size: 9 -10 inches
  • Weight: 120 – 170 grams
  • Lifespan: 25 – 30 years
  • Cost: $600 – $800

Senegal Parrots are excellent birds for first-time owners. These birds make caretaking much simpler because of how laid back and loyal they are. A Senegal parrot will love all the attention you can give it, but they are not particularly demanding when it comes to socialization. 

All a Senegal wants is to feel like it is a part of a flock and that it is cared for. They are the kind of pets that will hang out sitting on your shoulders and simply enjoy the company. Half an hour to one hour of one-on-one time is generally enough to keep these birds happy. 

Senegal parrots have the tendency to become one-person birds, but if they receive regular interaction from other members of the family, they can get along with everyone. 


  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 25 – 30 grams
  • Lifespan: 10 – 20 years
  • Cost: $150 – $350

Parrotlets are the smallest species in the parrot family, but their compact size packs a bold personality and a lot of energy. 

Just because they are small, they shouldn’t be underestimated. Parrotlets are intelligent parrots that are capable of learning a wide vocabulary of words and performing many tricks. 

These birds need regular social interaction, so they will appreciate as much time as you can give to them. Spending time with your parrotlet will keep them on their best behavior and also help you bond with them.

Parrotlets are great apartment birds as well because they can hardly let out a scream. While they vocalize very often during the day, their voice is rather soft and low volume.


Rosy-faced lovebird
  • Size: 5 – 7 inches
  • Weight: 40 – 60 grams
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Cost: $50 – $200

Lovebirds are feisty and lovable pets that tend to form strong connections with people. These birds have a reputation for being outgoing and sprightly, so you will need to provide them with a good deal of attention and also time outside of the cage. 

Lovebird songs are melodious and their chirps are not very loud. These little birds are pretty vocal and have sweet voices, however, they usually do not talk. Toys should be aplenty in the cage because these birds have a knack for chewing things in the house. 

Lovebirds are great for family settings, but they should be kept as single birds. A pair of lovebirds often do not make good pets as they bond with each other and ignore their caretakers. 

While there are many species of lovebirds out there, the most popular ones are Peach-Faced Lovebirds, Masked Lovebirds, and Fischer’s Lovebirds. Generally, Peach-Faced lovebirds are better for beginners as they have a calmer temperament compared to others. 

Pionus Parrots

Blue-Headed Pionus
  • Size: 9 -12 inches
  • Weight: 200 – 250 grams
  • Lifespan: 25 – 40 years
  • Cost: $850 – $1,500

Pionus parrots combine the much-desired qualities of larger parrot species in the manageable size of smaller ones. They are not as commonly kept as some of the other popular parrots, but that does not mean that they are hard to take care of. Frankly, Pionus parrots are the most underrated pet bird. 

While they are not overly lovey-dovey like some other species, they make good starter birds because they are low maintenance. They enjoy the company of their owners and other people, but they do not seek attention from everyone.

Pionus parrots are calm and quiet birds. Their vocalizations are moderate and most of the time you don’t even hear them making any noise. 

Although they are not known for their talking ability, they become decent talkers with some training. They can remember quite a few words and phrases, but their talking voice is a bit raspy.  

Pionus parrots stand out with their unique look, which is unlike any other parrot on the list. The most popular species of the pionuses, the white-capped pionus and blue-headed pionus, are both stunning, sporting a striking coat of feathers.

Green Cheeked Conures

Green-cheeked conure
  • Size: 10 inches
  • Weight: 60 – 80 grams
  • Lifespan: 20 – 30 years
  • Cost: $200 – $600

Everyone loves the clownish personality of the conures, but not everybody is prepared to handle their tantrums and boisterous behavior. That is why most newbies go for the relatively gentler and calmer, Green cheeked conures. 

Green-cheeked conures are often described as the mellower bird in the conure family. They are relatively quieter birds, though they occasionally have loud spurts. 

Green cheeks have all of the charm of their conure cousin and make quite entertaining companions with their playful antics, acrobatics, and mimicking skills. They have a tendency to get into trouble because of their inquisitive nature so you have to be watchful of them. 

While they are small, these birds need enough room to spread their wings and move around. Green cheeks have high social needs and need a lot of time and attention from you. If they do not receive the care and mental stimulation they require, these birds can become moody and nippy. 

Crimson Rosella 

Crimson rosella
  • Size: 13 – 14 Inches
  • Weight: 120 – 150 grams
  • Lifespan: 10 – 20 years
  • Cost: $300 – $600

Crimson Rosellas are colorful birds native to southeastern Australia. Typically, rosellas are kept in aviaries because they are very active and get along well with other birds. Crimson rosellas generally require a wide space for flight and exercise, so if you plan to bring one into your home, you will need to get a large cage. 

Crimson rosellas tend to be flighty birds that don’t easily trust people, which can be a little discouraging for new owners. But it is not something that you cannot get through and break the ice. Crimson rosella are actually very affectionate species once they are past the initial trusting phase. 

In the wild, crimson rosella’s diet consists of fruits and berries, nuts, and flowers, because of which they are really high energy. While they are happy zipping around in their cage and playing with toys, crimson rosellas need regular socialization to stay tame. 

Bourke’s Parakeet

  • Size: 7 – 8 inches
  • Weight: 47 – 50 grams
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Cost: $100 – $300

Bourke’s parakeets are a type of ground parakeet native to Australia. By nature these birds are quite shy and skittish, however, they do warm up to people when they get to know them. 

The Bourke’s parakeet is an ideal match for a first-time parrot owner because of several reasons. They are calm and docile birds with a friendly demeanor. They are well-behaved around people and guests. 

These birds are not fussy when it comes to spending time with them. They are most happy spending their time leisurely resting on their perch or sitting on your shoulder. 

Like the larger parrots, they do not have a screechy sound. Their vocalizations are beautiful and soothing to the ears. The Bourke’s parakeet is a semi-noctural species so they are more active during sunset and sunrise. 

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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