The 8 Best Small Pet Birds

White and gray cockatiel bird sitting on wood perch with orange cheeks

Small pet birds may be wonderful friends, proving that good things can come in small packages. Due to their size, they are often quieter than many large bird species and simpler to care for. Small birds, though, are still bursting with individuality. Others may be housed alone as long as they receive lots of human socializing, while some prefer to live with other birds. Here are the top eight little bird breeds for home pets.


Even for a small bird, the general rule is to provide as large a cage as possible, especially if the bird will be spending lots of time in it.

  • 01 of 08


    zebra finch on a branch

    Finches are the perfect bird for folks who like bird watching but don't want to handle them. They are quite wary and prefer the company of other finches than that of people. Pet finches often thrive in flocks of three to five and need a roomy cage with room to fly since that is frequently their only area for exercise. Finches come in a variety of varieties, such as the zebra finch, Gouldian finch, and society finch.

    Species Overview

    Length: 4 inches

    Weight: 0.5 ounce

    Physical Features: Male zebra finches have red-orange beaks, orange cheek patches, and black and white neck bars. Females have gray body coloring and a less brilliant beak (female zebra finch)

  • 02 of 08

    Canaries are island natives distinguished by their brilliant plumage and lovely singing. These little birds don't handle well, just as other finch family members. A canary may, however, learn to perch on a person with enough training. If you don't have another safe place for it to fly, keep a canary in a large flight cage. Canaries may be territorial, therefore it's generally essential to house them separately.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Feathers of bright yellow (most common), red, orange, or white; some varieties have head crests or frilly feathers

  • 03 of 08

    Small birds with enormous personalities are known as budgerigars, commonly referred to as budgies or parakeets. Budgies are among the tiniest parrots and can converse. They come in a variety of hues. Numerous toys and social interaction are essential for the happiness of these intelligent birds. Consider obtaining at least two budgies if you can't spend enough time with your current one to avoid feeling lonely.

    Species Overview

    Length: 6 to 8 inches

    Weight: 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Green abdomen; black and yellow back; yellow head; dark blue tail; mutations include blue, yellow, white, and gray

  • 04 of 08

    Parrotlets, sometimes known as "pocket parrots," don't appear to be aware of their little size. Parrotlets typically have strong, humorous personalities and seek attention, just like its cousin, the enormous-by-comparison Amazon parrot. They require adequate treatment because they have a reputation for snapping when mistreated. They should spend many hours each day outside the cage because they are energetic birds.

    Species Overview

    Length: 4 to 5 inches

    Weight: 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Green head and body; blue on back and behind eyes; mutations include blue, yellow, and white

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Bourke's Parakeet

    The Bourke's parakeet is a calm bird in general. These inhabitants of Australia frequently form strong bonds with their human companions and get along well with other calm birds like finches. However, more aggressive birds may target them because of their mild disposition. Despite being only moderately active, they nevertheless need to spend at least a few hours each day exercising outside of the cage.

    Species Overview

    Length: 7 to 9 inches

    Weight: 2 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Brown-tinted plumage; pink abdomen; blue rump; yellowish-brown beak; males have blue crowns while females have white

  • 06 of 08

    Lovebirds flourish in bonded pairs, living up to their name. However, a single bird may thrive with a dedicated caregiver. Lovebirds dislike being left alone, and mistreatment can lead to behavioral problems like biting. Additionally, they have a powerful, high-pitched singing voice that you may not anticipate from a little bird. The Fischer's, black-masked, and peach-faced lovebirds are the three most popular species kept as pets.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 to 7 inches

    Weight: 2 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Short tail; somewhat stocky build; many color varieties, including green, blue, peach, yellow, and white; the face and body usually bear different colors

  • 07 of 08

    Although green-cheeked conures are well-known for their friendly and lively personalities, proper treatment is still necessary to prevent behavioral problems. Even though the majority of them don't normally converse, these South American locals can pick up tricks and games quickly. However, if they are mistreated or bored, they are prone to plucking their feathers.

    Species Overview

    Length: 10 to 11 inches

    Weight: 2 to 3 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Predominantly green; olive cheek patches; gray breast and head; maroon tail; blue flight feathers; mutations include turquoise, yellow, and cinnamon

  • 08 of 08

    Cockatiels are native to Australia and prized for their amiable dispositions. They often develop into peaceful birds that adore people when properly socialized. Although they may learn to whistle well, they are often not noisy. As long as you give your cockatiel enough of care, having just one is OK. Otherwise, a couple of birds can converse with one another.

    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