Parrots are remarkably social creatures, and some breeds are more likely to be friendly and affectionate. Much like us, they enjoy companionship and good conversation. If handled correctly, affectionate birds are more likely to bond with you making the experience of owning a bird an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
Conures are friendly, cuddly and playful with a big, bold personality and, at times, very loud. They are smart and interactive and require plenty of stimulation. Suited for the more experienced bird owner as they can be very active and noisy, and need plenty of exercise and the ability to stretch their wings and fly.
A conure loves to be where its people are or on them, charming everyone with their playfulness and inquisitive personalities.
Compared to other parrots Conures are considered moderately loud but can still be noisy enough upset the neighbours. Like other Conures, they tend to express excitement with a series of lively, shrill screams.
The South American Conure has many variations of colour including the green-cheeked (most common), sun, jenday, golden, cherry-headed, black-capped and white-eyed conure.
Conures can live 20-30 years, depending on their size and how well they are cared for.
Wingspan: Up to 18cm
Weight: 60 - 80g
Lifespan: 30 years
Will it make a good pet: With more than 100 different species and subspecies of conures you could be overwhelmed by the choices. Conures make great family pets as they adapt well, reasonably priced, enjoy socialising with other birds and also content alone. Their playful nature, curiosity and spirit are great characteristics in a pet bird.
The Parrotlet is sometimes known as the Pocket Parrot and is the smallest type of parrot.
Growing to around 8 to 11 cm in height, these natives from Peru and Ecuador have a quiet nature, and are perfect birds for those who live in apartments or have close neighbours.
Without proper handling, Parrotlets can become unruly, but if handled daily can be very affectionate. Some may learn to talk, but this is not common within the species. An independent breed they can be aggressive to other birds being introduced to the aviary and is why many people choose to keep only one.
The Parrotlet comes in a variety of colours: blue, American yellow, American white, European yellow, white, lutino, and albino, as well as other, rarer colours.
Parrotlets can live 20 to 30 years.
Origin: Peru and Ecuador
Wingspan: Up to 15cm
Weight: 30 - 40g
Also known as: Pocket Parrot
Lifespan: 30 years
Will it make a good pet: Best kept as single birds, the Parrotlet make wonderful pets and will soon become a valued member of the family. Extremely intelligent birds they can easily learn to talk and do tricks. If unsupervised outside of their cage these little parrots can get into a bit of trouble due to their fearless nature. Being territorial they can attack other animals of the household.
The Cockatiel is a medium-sized, Australian parrot and are great pets for people who love birds due to their friendly yet outgoing personality. They love to socialise with humans with their playful nature, expressing their happiness via bobbing around, hanging upside-down and wagging their tails. Beak grinding is standard when Cockatiels feel content.
If moved to a new environment and a bird is nervous and needs to adapt, it may face away towards a wall for a day or two.
Cockatiels can live up to 30 years and with training can learn to talk but are more likely to mimic local sounds they hear.
The wild Cockatiel’s natural colours are dark grey, with a yellow head and orange facial patches. The female has more muted tones. Other varieties include Pearl, Pied, Lutino, Yellowface, Whiteface, Cinnamon/fallow and Platinum, Albino and silver.
Country of Origin: Australia
Wingspan: Up to 50 cm
Weight: Up to 90g
Also known as: Quarrion
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Will it make a good pet: Cockatiels make wonderful pets. They are very friendly little birds, and captive birds like to socialise with people. Their lifespans are surprisingly long, which means that they easily become lasting members of their families. Because these birds are social, it is important to purchase more than one if you cannot spend enough time with your bird.
2. Quaker Parrot
Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets, are medium-sized parrots originating from South America.
They are intelligent and very social and active. Quakers will usually bond closely with one person more than others, enjoys talking very loudly with their owners and other parrots. An affectionate bird they enjoy cuddles and scratches. They will quickly learn to repeat words so careful about what you don’t want to be repeated! If looked after and in a happy environment, Quakers are a charming bird, but if unhappy or upset, they can be noisy and disruptive and pluck their own feathers out in protest. Quakers are fearless and territorial, so they don’t always mix well with other pets of the household.
Natural quaker colour is dark green along the back, with lighter feathers on the front, and bluish flight feathers and tails with a bright-orange beak and grey feet. Birds with white, blue, and yellow in place of green are not uncommon among domesticated Quakers.
Quaker parrots can live 20 to 30 years.
Origin: Central Bolivia and southern Brazil to central Argentina
Wingspan: 53 cm
Also known as: Monk Parakeet, Grey-breasted Parakeet, Quaker
Lifespan: 20 - 30 years
Will it make a good pet: Known for their charismatic, entertaining personalities and their willingness to learn to talk, Quaker parrots are an excellent choice for novice bird owners. They adapt well to household living are very popular for bird lovers who want all the fun of a large parrot in a smaller package.
And the number 1 affectionate parrot breed is...
1. African Grey Parrot
African Greys are a large, highly intelligent and social parrot from the West African coast. They are generally affectionate and social with humans and require a high level of daily attention, socialisation and mental stimulation.
Their feathers are silver-grey except for their bright red tail, making them very distinctive. This bird is about 30cm in length.
Of all parrots they are considered the most intelligent and the best at talking - so be careful what you say around them! Over a year old they will develop strong mimicking and talking abilities.
African greys tend to bond strongly to a particular chosen person and can live for 75 years – they are a life time commitment.
Origin: Equatorial Africa
Wingspan: Up to 52 cm
Weight: Up to 490g
Also known as: Congo African grey parrot
Lifespan: 75 years
Will it make a good pet: A high intelligence can make it difficult to keep these birds, and many other parrot species, happy. They bond very strongly to their owners, and require lots of attention and environmental enrichment.
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