Thinking of adding a parrot to your family but not sure which species is for you? Or do you already have a parrot and are looking for more information on the particular species? Great job! Part of being a good parrot owner is to always keep learning.
Here, you can find a list of parrot species with descriptions and recommendations for further reading. Use the table of contents below to find the type of pet bird you’re looking for.
African grey parrot (Psittacus sp.)
The African grey is what many people imagine when they think of a parrot. These intelligent birds have been proven to possess incredible cognitive abilities.
Greys are also very good at imitating human speech and other sounds. They are not beginner birds but make amazing companions.
Amazon parrot (Amazona sp.)
Did you know there are about 30 Amazon parrot species out there? These South American parrots are among the best talkers, with a truly uncanny ability to mimic human speech and other sounds.
Although they can be a handful, live up to 50 years and need very extensive training, Amazon parrots are popular pets.
Brotogeris parrot (Brotogeris sp.)
Relatively uncommon in the hobby, parrots from the genus Brotogeris are praised pretty highly by the people who do keep one.
Brotogeris versicolurus, the canary winged parakeet, is probably the most popular species in the genus. They’re small but feisty, fun and can be very affectionate.
© Ivan Kuzmin on Adobe Stock.
Budgie/budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)
Also referred to as parakeets, budgies are the most popular pet bird out there. They hail from Australia but have been raised as pets since the 1800s!
Budgies are available in a wide range of different colors and can learn to talk.
Caique (Pionites sp.)
The four species of caique (white bellied and black capped) hail from the South American Amazon basin. They’re appreciated as pets for their personalities: caiques are known as the clowns of the parrot world and are full of shenanigans.
Caiques are playful and energetic, but beware: they are also loud and need a lot of attention.
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)
This extremely popular type of pet bird hails from Australia. They are appreciated for their calm personality, low noise levels and their ability to learn phrases and whistles.
Cockatiels have been selectively bred in many colors and are second only to budgies in popularity.
Cockatoo (family Cacatuidae)
The 21 species of cockatoo are truly some of the wackiest the parrot world has to offer – in looks, but especially in personality!
Cockatoos are smart, loud and expressive, showing their mood using their crest. They are not beginner parrots and can truly be a handful.
Conures: Aratinga sp. (sun conure and more)
There are many genera of conures out there, but one of the most well-known one is Aratinga. This genus contains the popular sun conure, as well as other relatively popular species like jenday conures and nanday conures.
Aratinga conures make great pets if you don’t mind their screams. They’re extremely social and exceedingly smart.
Conures: Pyrrhura sp. (green cheek conure & more)
Conures are small, active parrots from South America. The genus Pyrrhura contains the green cheek conure, which is probably the most popular of the bunch. Parrot enthusiasts appreciate their spunky personality and clownish antics!
Other amazingly colored members of the genus include the crimson bellied conure (Pyrrhura perlata), painted conure (Pyrrhura picta) and pearly conure (Pyrrhura lepida).
Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus)
The unusual Eclectus is an Australasian parrot known for its sexual dimorphism: the males are green, whereas the females are bright red. They were thought to be different species at first!
Eclectus parrots are relatively popular as pets, but keep in mind that they can be prone to feather plucking and need a specific diet.
Fig parrot (tribe Cyclopsittini)
There are five types of fig parrots out there, all of which naturally found in Australasia. They’re small parrots and very colorful.
Fig parrots are not very popular in aviculture as they can be a bit too feisty to have in the home. They can make alright aviary birds, though, especially for more experienced parrot enthusiasts.
Hanging parrot (Loriculus sp.)
This southern Asian genus of parrots is full of colorful wonderfully colored, small species. They get their name from the way they sleep: hanging upside down like bats!
Hanging parrots are not hugely popular as pets, but they can make great aviary or companion birds. They’re relatively quiet, shy and won’t bother other birds.
© Ekaterina on Adobe stock.
Kākāriki (Cyanoramphus sp.)
Kākāriki (that means ‘small bird’ in New Zealand’s native Māori language) is a common name used for a group of three parakeets in the genus Cyanoramphus. One of these, the cheerful Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae or red-crowned parakeet, is relatively popular as a pet.
Kākārikis are intelligent, fun and often cuddly. As a bonus, they are relatively good at imitating human speech but are not too loud in their other vocalizations.
King parrot (Alisterus sp.)
The genus Alisterus only contains three species, but they’re regal enough to have earned the common name of king parrots.
In captivity, the most popular king parrot is Alisterus scapularis, also known as the Australian king parrot. It’s not the most common pet bird outside of Australia but due to its calm nature it can make a good addition to aviaries and even inside the home.
Lineolated parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola)
Native to Central and South America, the tiny lineolated parakeet is a joy to keep. The species is known for being calm and not too loud, making them a great choice for those living in apartments.
Although their natural coloration is green, lineolated parakeets have been selectively bred in a number of colors including lutino, blue and grey.
© Vito on Adobe Stock.
Lorikeet & lory (tribe Loriini)
The dazzlingly colorful lorikeets and lories are fascinating Australasian parrots, with the rainbow lorikeet being the most well-known species.
These parrots are known for their wacky personality and their unusual diet of soft fruits and nectar.
Lovebird (Agapornis sp.)
The African lovebirds from the genus Agapornis are among the more popular pet parrots. They’re feisty and can be nippy, but they can also make wonderfully affectionate companions.
There are nine species of lovebird, although hybrids are also commonly seen.
Macaw (Ara sp., Anodorhynchus sp., Cyanopsitta sp., Diopsittaca sp., Orthopsittaca sp. & Primolius sp.)
Macaws are a collection of large, colorful South American parrots with long tails. They’re popular in aviculture, especially macaws from the genus Ara, like the blue-and-yellow and green-winged macaw.
Although they can make amazing intelligent and affectionate pets, macaws are not for everyone, mainly due to their size. They have extremely powerful beaks, are very noisy and messy, and need loads of daily attention.
Parrotlet (Forpus sp., Touit sp. & Nannopsittaca sp.)
Although there are three species of parrotlets, only the genus Forpus has successfully been introduced into aviculture.
Often compared to large parrots like macaws but in a teeny tiny body, parrotlets are a joy. They are naturally found in Central and South America and are the smallest species of parrot to be kept as pets. They can weigh as little as 25 grams!
- Pacific parrotlet care guide
Pionus parrot (Pionus sp.)
Native to Central and South America, pionus parrots sure are a sight to see. The genus contains 7 species, all of which sport pretty amazing colors and patterns.
Pionus parrots are increasingly popular in the parrot hobby and can make great pets. They tend to be calm, not too loud and very social.
© Boyce on Adobe Stock.
Poicephalus parrots (Poicephalus sp.)
The genus Poicephalus houses a few pretty popular parrot species, like the Senegal parrot (Poicephalus senegalus) and the Meyer’s parrot (Poicephalus meyeri).
Native to Africa, these parrots are on the quieter side and tend to make great companion birds. They can be shy and not always cuddly, but they’re also playful and just overall very fun to be around.
Princess parrot (Polytelis alexandrae)
The princess parrot is a member of the genus Polytelis, which contains two other species: the superb parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) and the regent parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus).
The princess parrot is an Australian species and a rather elusive one in the wild. In captivity, they’re appreciated for their beautiful colors and fun personalities.
© pelooyen on Adobe Stock
Psittacula parrots (Psittacula sp.)
The most well-known of the genus Psittacula, the Indian ringneck, is naturally green but selectively bred in a number of other colors. These hilarious parrots are known for their great talking skills, although they’re probably not beginner birds.
Other notable members of the genus are the mustache parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) and Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria).
Quaker parrot (Myiopsitta monachus)
The feisty quaker parrot can be a handful, but they can also make loving pets with the right care and plenty of attention. Originally from South Africa, feral populations of this species now exist in many places including Spain.
Quaker parrots are also known as monk parakeets.
Red fan parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus)
If you’re wondering what in the world you’re looking at here, that’s probably a normal reaction! Meet the red fan parrot, a very unusual parrot species from the Amazon.
Red fan parrots are not the easiest pets, as they can be very strong willed. They’re not very common in aviculture, and if you do stumble upon one, you’ll have to make sure you’re experienced enough with birds to handle it.
© Stephan von Mikusch on Adobe Stock.
Red rumped parrot (Psephotus haematonotus)
The red rumped parrot is the only member in the genus Psephotus, although it’s closely related to the other grass parakeets in the genus Psephotellus. The males of this species sport the typical jewel colors and red back, while the females are a bit duller.
Red rumped parrots are relatively common in aviculture, especially for aviaries. They also make lovely indoor companion parrots.
Rosella (Platycercus sp.)
There are six species of Rosella out there, all of them native to Australia. Here, they can be found in forested areas and are also a common occurrence in the suburbs.
These colorful little parakeets are popular for aviaries and indoors; they’re not the cuddliest but they’re fun and feisty. Some Rosellas learn how to imitate songs and whistles!
Rosy Bourke parakeet (Neopsephotus bourkii)
The lovely pink Bourke’s parakeet is truly one of the quietest, most timid and peaceful parrot species out there. It’s closely related to the grass parakeets from the genus Neophema but was moved into its own monotypical genus Neopsephotus.
A Bourke’s parakeet is a great option if you’re looking for a small, calm pet parrot that doesn’t make too much noise.
© Romain TALON on Adobe Stock.
Splendid parrot (Neophema splendida)
If there ever was a parrot that deserves its common name, it has to be the splendid parrot! The longer you look at it, the more beautiful it becomes. Also known as scarlet chested parrots, these guys are one of the seven grass parakeet species in the Australian genus Neophema.
Splendid parrots are calm but tick all the parrot boxes with their curious and affectionate nature.
© PIXATERRA on Adobe Stock.
Vasa parrot (Coracopsis sp.)
We love weirdo birds and this is definitely one! The three species of vasa parrot are naturally found on and around Madagascar. They’ve got some pretty strange characteristics: they can lose their feathers during breeding season, they’re not monogamous and the males actually have a sort of penis, which they utilize abundantly.
Vasa parrots are active and need lots of mental stimulation, but can make loving pets.
© Olympixel on Adobe Stock.