There are around 350 different parrots species. Here’s ten of the most common and what makes them different from each other. (Not in any particular order.)
1. Macaws (pictured above) are the largest of the pet parrots and quite popular. They come in many different colors much like their smaller counterparts. The have the intelligence of a 3-8 year old, but emotionally can be more like a 2 year old. They are high maintenance. Also able to learn to talk and do some tricks. They require a lot of intention and interaction. (See Wikipedia for more)
2. Mini Macaw. Another very intelligent parrot that can learn to talk and do tricks. Teach him to play dead, do somersaults, and even dance. Make sure they have a lot of toys though as they can be chewers. They are many different colors like green, red and green, red and yellow, blue, and blue and gold. Smaller than the Macaw, but still a larger bird with a powerful bite.
3. Cockatoo. These parrots are not lacking in the love department. They are a bit of a needy bird. They require a lot of attention. So be prepared for cuddles. They are very loud. Mostly white or black with crests of different colors.
4. Cockatiels. These are small parrots that come in many different colors. They are sweet, personable and easy to care for. They make a great family pet. They are good whistlers and the male cockatiels can be taught to talk. They can be very loyal birds and become very attached. Good for a first time bird owner and families with small children.
5. Parrotlets. These are just as the name suggests. A very much parrot like bird only the size of a love bird. The are mostly green in color, but some have blue, especially the males. They are similar in personality to the great Amazon parrots, but much smaller making them easier to care for. They are entertaining and playful while also being easy to teach tricks and even how to talk.
6. Love birds. A small bird. They are quiet, so excellent for apartment living. However, not so great for small children. They require a lot of handling to not become nippy. Contrary to what you might think it’s best to only have one love bird. If you get two they will bond to each other and not you.
7. Small Parakeets. Parakeets really encompass a lot of different breeds of parrots. They all have long tail feathers. They range in size and each with a very different personality. The most common parakeet is Budgrigar. This is the green and yellow parakeet.
8. Amazon. The class clown of parrot species. The talkative large birds have quite the sense of humor about them. They have a beautiful singing voice and are very playful. However they can also be on the aggressive side. They might not make the best pet with a family and can make a better one on one companion.
9. Hawk Headed Parrot. These are unique parrots who like hawks raise the feathers on the nape of their neck to make them look larger. They make for a great pet for the experienced parrot owner. They are loyal, curious, and affectionate, but they can become aggressive if not handled enough, or properly.
And we end this list with (arguably) the most popular of the parrot species…
10. African Gray. Also arguably, the most intelligent and talkative of the parrot family. They make great companions and can learn a large vocabulary (possibly over 1500 words). They can even mimic other voices. They require a lot of interaction and stimulation.
These are the most common parrot species people tend to keep as pets. Smaller parrots are generally better suited for inexperienced bird owners. The larger ones do best with an experienced owner.
Be sure to keep these characteristics in mind when choosing a parrot species.