Canaries are among the most popular and varied pet birds on the planet. They sing a beautiful song and come in a wide array of colors. They can be green, yellow, bright orange or even brown, but many people primarily think of canaries as being bright yellow due to Tweety Bird’s exploits with Sylvester the Cat in the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies cartoon series.
If you want to hear birdsong, make sure you get a male canary, because the females don’t sing. Canaries don’t need much interaction, so they’re ideal for beginners. In fact, they prefer not being handled. They’re much happier entertaining you from the confines of their cage.
Another hands-off bird breed is the finch. Finches are flashy, fast-moving and fun to watch. They also twitter constantly, but at a much less amplified volume than parrots are capable of. They do best in a social situation, so consider buying a pair of them and placing them in a cage with ample space for them to exercise in. Finches get around by flying and don’t climb for exercise. Seeing as they’re perfectly happy to live without handling, they’ll do well in an older child’s room.
Unfortunately, budgies are often seen as cheap to buy, easily disposed of and easily replaced. This sad state of affairs keeps people from valuing their affectionate personalities. Some of them even become really good talkers, but with small voices. There’s a wide range of colors that they come in.
Budgies are usually shy birds at first, but they can form a strong bond with their human through gentle and patient handling. If you happen to have a very gentle child, then a budgie can make an ideal pet for them. Make sure you go to a good pet store should you decide to buy one because mass-produced birds are harder to tame, as well as being more likely to catch a life-threatening disease.
It’s no surprise that cockatiels are as popular as they are – they live to snuggle, be petted and are just plain loving. There are far more color variations of this bird than you think, and some cockatiels even learn to talk. With that being said, they’re much better at whistling than talking. A cockatiel would be a great choice for a child that understands the necessity of handling the bird gently.
5. Quaker Parakeets
Known for being active and upbeat, these green and silvery birds are known to enjoy vocalizing. Some learn to talk and can be very loving if they're socialized from when they're young. They also must be handled consistently and respectfully. Note that they are illegal in some states, and this is because they're considered to be a threat to local agriculture in some states. Check with your state authorities to see if it's legal to own one in your state because they're well worth having.
6. Poicephalus parrots and parrotlets
Poichephalus is a collective term used for a genus of small African parrots, with Senegals being the most common species of the lot. This bird has a gray head, green back and wings, and a yellow-orange underside. Other species include Meyer’s, Jardine, Cape and Red Belly. Once they decide that you’re trustworthy, these parrots love having their head and necks scratched. Despite their small size. These birds are very active, inquisitive, loving and demanding.
7. Pionus parrots
These parrots are often overlooked because they don’t come in flashy colors like other parrots do. However, what they lack in physical attractiveness is made up for by their amazing personalities. They tend to be sedated, and aren’t excessively loud. They’re not fantastic talkers either but are capable of learning a few phrases. These birds are often described as “sweet”, and it’s a fitting adjective because of their subtle beauty.
8. Pyrrhura conures
With a dozen or so varieties to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to a conure. If you’re new to birds, your best bet would be to go for either a green-cheeked or maroon-bellied conure, because both breeds are much quieter than the sun conure. They are affectionate and playful, and if you’re lucky, yours might just pick up a few phrases.
9. Amazon parrots
Although they’re larger and more expensive than most of the birds on this list, Amazon parrots are just far too appealing to consider omitting them. They’re the best talkers of all, with particular reference to the yellow-naped species. That’s without mentioning their beauty, playful personalities, and blatant attention-seeking. Beginners should take a look at lilac-crowns, blue-fronted, red-lored, and white-fronted species. Note that these birds need structured socialization, numerous toys and plenty of exercise in order to thrive.
10. Peach-faced lovebirds
These beautiful, active and playful birds can become like a best friend, on condition that they’re not left to waste away alone in their cages. They love to be handled when hand-raised and socialized with humans and are happy to be carried around in a shirt pocket. In addition to being very affectionate, they’re not overly loud and can even pick up a few phrases.