Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Best Type of Bird For a Pet

Best Type of Bird For a Pet

If you are thinking about getting a pet but don't want a dog or cat then a bird may be right for you. Here, our Gillette vets share some insight on the best types of birds to have for a pet. 

What Type of Bird Would Make The Best Pet?

A bird can be a wonderful addition to a household that needs a pet but whose members aren't sure they want a conventional cat or dog. 

The birds on this list are wonderful companions, brightly colored and may even carry a tune or do some tricks. Like us, they vary just as much in personality as in physical characteristics, such as size and weight. 

If you're curious about what some of the more popular species' temperaments are like, our vets at Red Hills Veterinary Hospital have advice on each, and what to consider for the best experience. Here are our choices for the best breeds of friendly pet bird species for first-timers:


Species Info

Weight: 1 ounce

Length: 6 to 8 inches

Physical Characteristics: Light green with black bars on the head, wings and back. A variety of colors are available including neon green, yellow, blue, violet and more.

Budgies (also referred to as parakeets) have a reputation as being exceptionally warm, friendly and gentle when properly cared for and trained.

They’re also among the smallest of bird species typically kept for pets, and relatively easy to care for and train, especially if you get a young one.

You’ll be delighted to know they are playful and active. Their tricks may include learning to talk and providing hours of amusement. And you won’t break the bank with a budgie - they are so popular partly due to their affordability.


Species Info

Weight: 3 ounces

Length: 12 to 13 inches (adults)

Physical Characteristics: Orange spots around the ears. Mostly gray feathers with yellow and white accents. Males are yellow-headed while females are almost completely gray.

A unique crest on top of the head indicates the bird’s emotional state; a flattened head crest means the bird is fearful or angry; a completely vertical crest indicates your cockatiel is startled or excited.

Another popular avian pet, female cockatiels are as gentle as they come. But you should be aware that they’ll need a huge cage with several toys and perches to keep them stimulated. If properly loved and cared for, a cockatiel can live for as long as 30 years.

These smart parrots crave social interaction, so will need time and attention to thrive and prevent loneliness, which can cause depression. It’s recommended they either have a companion cockatiel friend or that owners dedicate significant amounts of time to spend with them.

Plus: Watch out for their whistle: if they do one for you, it’s a compliment as they whistle at things they like.


Species Info

Weight: 5 to 8 ounces

Length: 11 to 13 inches

Physical Characteristics: Brown and dull gray feathers, black eyes, beak and collar surrounding neck. Alternative colors include orange, white and pied (ring-necked doves).

Doves can be incredibly gentle and sweet when it comes to hand-feeding and domesticating them. These birds are easygoing - though they’ll enjoy your time together they typically aren’t overly demanding of their owners’ time or attention.


Species Info

Weight: Less than 1 ounce

Length: 4 to 8 inches

Physical Characteristics: Can be yellow or green, bright orange or brown. Known for their vibrant color and ability to carry a tune, canaries are perfect if you’re a beginner who isn’t sure if they want a bird who requires a lot of attention - while they’d rather not be handled, canaries are happy to play the entertaining beauty. But beware they are fragile and easily frightened.

Though somewhat shy and timid, canaries need to be able to fly to keep their health and happiness up, so you’ll need a large flight cage. Note: Male canaries sing, while females do not.

When shopping for a pet, always buy from a reputable breeder or bird store. Healthy and well-socialized birds will make the best pets.

Green-Cheeked Conure

Species Info

Weight: 2 to 3 ounces

Length: 10 to 11 inches

Physical Characteristics: Mostly green with gray head and breast, blue-tipped wings and maroon tail. Other colors include yellow, cinnamon and turquoise.

On the quiet side and slightly mischievous, green-cheeked conures are playful and smart birds who typically don’t talk but are charming species nonetheless. They’ll entertain and engage, and can be comical and outgoing under the right circumstances.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical or behavioral advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have a new feathered friend that could use their first vet checkupContact our Gillette vets to book an examination of your bird.

New Patients Welcome

Red Hills Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Gillette companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (307) 696-2525