Practical - Index > Pets > Pet Care > Parrots > General

Profiles of Common Companion Birds

The following is part of a table from the "Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications" book. (Some characteristics are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest value.)
African Grey Parrots (Africa)

    Excellent talkers -individual variability (9)

    Extremely intelligent - high-strung

    Prolific breeders once initiated

    Require attention (10)

    Relatively playful (8)

    Tend to form individual bonds
Amazon parrots (Mexico to South America)

    Few enjoy "petting"

    Excellent talkers (9) species-dependent

    Extroverted personalities

    Aggressive during breeding season

    Tend to form individual bonds

    Require Attention (9)
Budgerigars (Australia)

    Gregarious - easily tamed (10)

    Good talkers but require work (7)

    Quiet and nondestructive

    Wild-type are most disease-resistant

    Relatively gentle (7)
Canaries (Australia and Africa)

    Color mutations are genetically weak

    Breed prolifically in captivity

    Males are vocal singers

    Tidy and easy to care for

    Do not like to be handled
Cockatiels (Australia)

    Excellent companion birds (10)

    Easily tamed and gentle (9)

    Quiet and nondestructive (8)

    Good whistlers - limited talkers

    Mutations - weak
Cockatoos (Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands)

    Require attention (10)

    Scream if neglected

    Crave physical contact (10)

    Hand-raised Umbrella Cockatoos are extremely gentle (9)

    Intelligent, easily house-trained

    Produce abundant powder (10)

    Can be noisy; destructive; must be socialized

    Mate aggression is common, particularly in Sulphur-crested group
Conures (Mexico to South America)

    Species variability

    Smaller species are gregarious and playful (9)

    Enjoy and seek attention (9)

    Noisy and destructive (7)

    Generally poor talkers
Eclectus Parrots (Australia and South Pacific Islands)

    Generally lethargic and unplayful

    Dimorphic (males=green, females=red)

    Males are more gentle than females

    Tend to form individual pair bonds
Finches (Australia and Africa)

    Melodious songs

Lories, lorikeets (Australia, South Pacific Islands)

    Colorful, playful, active

    Noisy and limited talking ability

    High-carbohydrate liquid diet; messy

    Frequently bathe
Lovebirds (Africa)

    Relatively nondestructive, quiet

    Hand-raised birds are calm

    Parent-raised birds are difficult to tame
Macaws (Mexico to South America)

    Extremely intelligent

    Require attention (10)

    Can be destructive

    Require large living space

    Tend to be noisy (10)

    Aggressive during the breeding season

    Blue and Gold most family-oriented

    Hyacinth - least noisy and most mellow
Mynahs (India)

    Prefer not to be handled

    Good talkers (7)

    Loose, messy droppings

Pionus parrots (Mexico to South America)

    Small and quiet

    May hyperventilate when disturbed

    Highly stressed

    High altitude species cannot tolerate heat and humidity
Toucans (South America)

    Quiet and antic

    Prefer some live food (rodents)

    Highly territorial

    Messy, loose droppings