Best Birds for Beginners: Our Vet Picks

Birds have been cherished companions to humans for centuries. Their vibrant plumage, charming personalities, and soothing melodies make them family additions.

However, not all birds are equally suited for beginners. Factors like temperament, care requirements, and ease of training should influence your choice. 

This article will include the best birds for beginners, each with unique charm and characteristics.

Canaries: The Songbirds

Canaries birds

Canaries are renowned for their melodic tunes, which can brighten any room. These small, vibrant birds are relatively low-maintenance, making them an excellent choice for novices. They thrive in spacious cages with space to fly and plenty of natural light. Canaries are not particularly social birds, but their songs can provide endless entertainment.

Scientific nameSerinus canaria domestica
Lifespan10 – 12 years

Budgerigars: The Chatterboxes


Affectionately known as “budgies,” these small parakeets are highly sociable and easily trained. They come in a range of colors, adding vibrancy to your living space. Budgerigars are known for their playful antics and ability to mimic sounds. With proper care and attention, they can become affectionate family members.

Lifespan5 – 8 years
MassMass: 30 – 40 g

Cockatiels: The Playful Companions


Cockatiels are beloved for their friendly and playful nature. They often form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy interacting with them. These birds are known for their distinctive crests and charming personalities. Cockatiels require spacious cages and mental stimulation to stay happy.

Lifespan10 – 15 years
Mass70 – 120 g

Lovebirds: The Social Butterflies


Lovebirds are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a bird that craves companionship. They are known for their affectionate behavior and the strong bonds they form with their human caregivers. Lovebirds come in various species, each with its unique colors and characteristics. However, they do best when kept in pairs or small groups.

Lifespan: Rosy-faced lovebird: 15 – 25 years

Clutch size: 4 – 6

Class: Aves

Domain: Eukaryota

Family: Psittaculidae

Genus: Agapornis; Selby, 1836

Finch: The Low-Maintenance Beauties

Finches are known for their stunning plumage and ease of care. These tiny birds are perfect for beginners due to their minimal grooming requirements. They are best kept in pairs or small flocks, as they thrive on social interaction. Finches are not known for their vocal talents, but their beauty makes up for it.

Scientific name: Fringillidae

Clutch size: Lesser goldfinch: 3 – 4

Family: Fringillidae; Leach, 1820

Kingdom: Animalia

Order: Passeriformes

Phylum: Chordata

Zebra Finches: The Sociable Songsters

Zebra Finches

Zebra finches are delightful, highly social, small birds that thrive on interaction. They are known for their cheerful chirping, which can create a pleasant atmosphere in your home. These finches are relatively low-maintenance and do best when kept in pairs or small groups.

Society Finches: The Amiable Companions

Society finches, also known as Bengalese finches, are easygoing and make great companions for beginners. They are known for their harmonious singing and adaptability. These finches are content when kept in pairs or small flocks.

Cockatoos: The Charismatic Companions


Cockatoos are known for their striking looks and outgoing personalities. While they require more attention and care than some beginner birds, the bond you can form with a cockatoo is truly special. These birds are intelligent and can be trained to perform tricks. However, their strong beaks and vocal nature demand experienced handling.

Lifespan: Cockatiel: 10 – 15 years, White cockatoo: 40 – 60 years, MORE

Class: Aves

Domain: Eukaryota

Family: Cacatuidae; G. R. Gray 1840

Kingdom: Animalia

Order: Psittaciformes

Parrotlets: The Tiny Parrots


Parrotlets may be small, but they possess all the charisma and intelligence of their larger parrot relatives. These birds are highly interactive and can be trained to talk and perform tricks. They require ample mental stimulation and exercise to thrive.

Quaker Parrots: The Talkative Buddies

Quaker Parrots

Quaker parrots, known as monk parakeets, are famous for their talkative nature. They have the potential to develop a vast vocabulary and engage in lively conversations with their owners. These birds are social and thrive when given plenty of attention and toys to keep them occupied.

Lifespan: 20 – 30 years (Adult)

Wingspan: 48 cm (Adult)

Scientific name: Myiopsitta monachus

Clutch size: 5 – 12

Conservation status: Least Concern (Population increasing) Encyclopedia of Life

Domain: Eukaryota

Family: Psittacidae

Pionus Parrots: The Gentle Giants

Pionus Parrots

Pionus parrots are known for their calm and gentle demeanor, making them suitable for novice birdkeepers. They have a lovely, subdued coloration and are less demanding than other parrot species. Pionus parrots form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy gentle handling.

Lifespan: 25 years

Scientific name: Pionus

Family: Psittacidae

Lineolated Parakeets: The Quiet Companions

Lineolated Parakeets

If you’re concerned about noise levels, consider the lineolated parakeet. These birds are quiet compared to many other parrot species, making them ideal for apartment living. They have a sweet disposition and can become affectionate members of the family.

Canary-Winged Parakeet: The Colorful Charmer

The Canary-Winged Parakeet is a visually striking bird with vibrant plumage. They are known for their friendly disposition and adaptability to various environments. These parakeets enjoy interaction with their owners and can be trained to perform tricks.

Green-Cheeked Conure: The Playful Pal

Green-cheeked conures are known for their playful antics and affectionate nature. These small parrots are excellent for beginners looking for an engaging companion. They are intelligent and can learn tricks with patient training.

Scarlet Chested Parakeet: The Elegant Choice

Scarlet Chested Parakeet

Scarlet Chested Parakeets are renowned for their striking red plumage and graceful appearance. While they require a bit more care and attention than some beginner birds, their 

beauty and charm make them worth the effort.

Bourke’s Parakeet: The Subdued Beauty

Bourke's Parakeet

Bourke’s Parakeets are known for their pastel-colored plumage and calm temperament. They are relatively quiet and undemanding, making them suitable for novice birdkeepers looking for a peaceful companion.

Senegal Parrots: The Entertaining Friends

Senegal Parrots

Senegal parrots are known for their entertaining personalities and vibrant colors. They are intelligent birds that enjoy puzzle toys and mental stimulation. With proper socialization, they can become loyal and affectionate companions.

Getting Started: What to Consider when choosing a bird

1. Lifestyle Compatibility

Consider your lifestyle before you feather your nest with a new avian friend. Some birds require more attention and interaction than others.

2. Space Requirements

Different birds have varying space needs. Assess your living situation to determine if you have adequate space for your chosen bird’s cage or aviary.

3. Noise Tolerance

Birds can be quite vocal. Ensure you’re comfortable with the noise level of your chosen bird’s calls and songs.

Vet Q&A

Are birds suitable pets for beginners?

Absolutely! Birds can make excellent companions for beginners. Many species are low-maintenance and easy to care for.

Do I need a large cage for my bird?

The size of the cage depends on the species of bird you choose. It’s essential to provide enough space for them to move around comfortably.

How can I train my bird to talk or do tricks?

Training your bird requires patience and consistency. Positive reinforcement and treats can be effective in teaching them new skills.

Do birds require social interaction?

Many birds thrive on social interaction and companionship. Spending time with your feathered friend is key to keep them happy.

Are there any health concerns I should be aware of?

Regular vet check-ups are crucial to monitor your bird’s health. Common issues include respiratory problems and feather plucking.

What is the average lifespan of pet birds?

The lifespan of pet birds varies by species. Canaries can live 7-10 years, while larger parrots can live for several decades.

Can I keep multiple birds of different species together?

It’s generally best to house birds of the same species together, as they may have different social and dietary needs.