If you would love to own a beautiful parrot, chances are you have probably done some research and now know just how noisy these beautiful birds of paradise can be.
If you live in an apartment or other close living space, this becomes an issue not only because loud parrots will bother your neighbors, but also because they won’t have the room they need to move about and get the right amount of exercise.
Furthermore, parrots tend to be somewhat destructive by nature, and most pet deposits are for dogs and cats-not birds!
Once you spend some time around friends with parrots, or simply watch videos or read about these lovely animals online, you are likely to realize they are very demanding and very smart.
Yet, you still wish to keep some of these amazing birds, because of just how rewarding it can be to see them thrive and bond with you. Indeed, parrot ownership is not out of reach simply because you reside in an apartment.
There are absolutely breeds of parrots who can and will do well in an apartment or small-space setting. You should, of course, know what species they are, read up on them, and get to know them first before you make any buying decisions.
That’s where we come in – read on to discover the five best parrots for apartment living.
Or if you prefer the short and sweet visual version instead, here is a nice video for you:
Parrotlets are like people in that they each have their own special personality and quirks, but no matter if they are shy or outgoing, they will love to play. And even though they have huge personalities, they do not screech and scream like other parrots such as a Macaw or African grey.
They have been known to be territorial and bite, but they certainly can be trained not to do so.
You can keep a parrotlet in a cage that is at minimum 19x19x26 inches, but you should always go as big as you can. Be sure the bars are a half inch apart. Be sure that you stock this cage with plenty of toys and perches for your parrotlet.
You can feed your parrotlet from clean food and water bowls, using nutritional pellets as primary food, and also some cockatiel seeds. You can also give them special treats in the form of veggies like carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and more.
Another thing necessary for good parrotlet health-and all bird health, really – is to provide a cuttlebone for your pets. This promotes beak and nail health. Birds love to chew it and it is a healthy activity.
We show you 4 reasons why cuttlebones are crucial for pet birds in this article. If you have a bird or plan on getting one, this is a must-read!
Out of cage time when exercising your Parrotlet should always be supervised. Parrotlets have a feisty way about them, and they do not know how small they really are. So, other pets like cats or dogs may play with them a bit too aggressively. The best thing to do is be very vigilant.
If you have a dog and you want to add a parrot to your family, or the other way around, but you are not sure if this is a good idea, we highly recommend reading our article on that here: Are parrots good with dogs?
- They do not have the ability to scream like other species of parrots.
- They have really big personalities, even though they are small.
- Their minimum cage size can fit into nearly any apartment.
- Some parrotlets can bite, but you can train them not to.
- Parrotlets can live for 20 years – this is a big commitment.
- Parrotlets do not know their size and can be feisty toward other pets in the home.
2. Pionus Parrots
If you have something of a larger apartment, members of the Pionus species are known for being rather quiet. The video below shows what a Pionus scream sounds like. It´s not really loud + they rarely scream.
Pionus are beautiful, take a look at the Blue Headed Pionus or the Bronze Winged Parrot to see some examples. The Blue-headed Pionus is the most common species that is kept as a pet.
These guys are known to be great “family birds”, that is, they do not stick with one single person. That being said, you should not let youngsters play with the parrot, and any child with any bird should be closely supervised.
They are not the greatest talkers, but they can learn a good vocabulary. Their quietness makes them a great choice for those living with close-by neighbors. However, if your home is prone to be noisy, he will learn to be noisy, too.
Pionus’ cage should be cleaned each and every day, and they should be fed a diet of nutritional pellets, seeds, and of course special treats like veggies and fruits. You should always provide clean and fresh water around the clock.
Food and water dishes should be changed out daily, it is advised you get multiple sets, so you always have some clean ones on hand.
The minimum cage size for the Pionus should be 24x24x32 inches. You should aim to get bar spacing that is .75 inches, but one inch is also fine as well.
Your Pionus needs lots of exercise and playtime. Pionus can become overweight if they are not exercised enough. You can give them perches, parrot toys, ropes and natural wood branches for chewing to keep them busy and entertained.
All parrots should have a nice cage setup with a lot to do for them during the day. So regardless of what kind of parrot you choose, we recommend reading the following articles.
- Are rope perches okay for birds?
- Why sand perches can be bad for birds! Here is the truth!
- Can parrots play with baby toys? 8 Recommendations!
Of course, supervised time out of the cage is important as well.
- These are a quieter species of parrot.
- This species of parrot rarely bites.
- They have an easygoing personality and are good with kids.
- Pionus are not known to be very cuddly, but they love to have neck, ears, and head scratched.
- They are shy at first and require you to be patient with them.
- Some live as old as 40-this is a big commitment.
This is another strong choice for somebody who is beginning in the world of keeping a pet bird and would like a hardy but lovable avian friend. Cockatiels have personalities that remind us of the African Grey because they love to spend time with their humans.
If you hand-raise a cockatiel, they become trusting of you and your bond strengthens. Males can learn to whistle some tunes with ease, and they may even talk a bit.
Although they love to sing, these birds are not as loud as others in the parrot family, so they are great for apartment dwellers. If you want to learn how loud they are in detail and what helps to quiet them, read our article on that here!
These birds are very active and love to play around. They may be small, but they, like the parrotlets, have supersized personalities and their energy has to be spent in a positive way; that is, using toys, supervised playtime outside the cage, and climbing on perches and the cage itself.
Perches are super important for them. That’s why you need to make sure to get the right perches and the right number of perches for your cockatiel cage. We explain how many perches a Cockatiel cage should have in this article!
It is advised you spend at least one hour playing with your cockatiel every day holding or playing with him or her. You can play with him while you watch TV, for instance.
Cage size for these little fellows should be 20x20x24 at minimum, but you should always go as big as your space allows. Bar spacing on the cage should be .5 inches to 5/ 8 of an inch.
And of course, always inspect the cage to be sure there are no sharp edges or toxic materials used in it that could hurt your bird.
The cage of the cockatiel should be placed near a social room-that is, a room where people gather such as the living room or den. Cage cleanings should be done every day and toys with droppings or debris on them should be swapped out and cleaned.
If you need some tips on how to clean a birdcage properly and quickly, read our article on that here: 10 Birdcage cleaning tips you just have to know!
Cockatiels love to eat a big variety of foods. You can feed them pellets, seeds, chopped up fruits and veggies as treats, and of course, you should always provide them with a steady supply of clean and fresh water to enjoy.
Treats for Cockatiels are actually pretty inexpensive. We show you 15 treats Cockatiels love in this article.
- These are great for beginner birdkeepers. (We listed some more great beginner birds in this article.)
- These birds are intelligent and can learn some basic commands.
- They really enjoy daily play time with humans.
- Cockatiels have been known to be very attention hungry when they see their owner.
- Cockatiels can live for 20 years or more.
- Cockatiels need a lot of play time to be stimulated – can be hard for busy owners.
4. Meyer’s Parrots
The Meyer’s parrot is one of the smallest of the African parrots and has an easygoing personality. It is such a quiet bird, and so it is just right for apartment living people interested in keeping a pet bird. They are incredibly playful and great companions, too.
Cages should be at minimum 20x20x18 inches, this will allow them to climb and play on the bars which is a great exercise for both their mind and their body.
Like other parrots, a Meyer’s parrot will eat pellets, fruits, veggies and a little bit of seeds. Be sure that you keep an eye on their diet as this particular species is susceptible to becoming overweight.
Most owners tend to feed too much fruit and the wrong food which could result in an overweight parrot. So before you share some fruit or human food with your parrot, we recommend reading these articles:
These birds really enjoy baths and showers, so fill up the sink and let him splash around in the water or even let him in the shower with some tepid water. You can also shower with your parrot together. We show you how in this article!
- Meyer’s parrots are very good at adapting to their new homes.
- They are one of the best species to have in your home if you have kids.
- So long as they are properly cared for, your Meyer’s parrot will not likely get sick.
- Meyer’s Parrots can cost $500 to $1000 for just the bird.
- Meyer’s parrots require lots of attention and time.
- They can live to be about 30 years old.
5. Budgerigars (Budgies)
These are one of the smallest species of parrots that you can find. Although it should be noted that they are NOT the smallest – that prize goes to our Parrotlet friends.
Budgies are still pretty tiny, and that makes it easy to house two of them at once. Budgies in captivity are about 8 inches long from beak to the tail.
You can choose between two types of budgie-one from Australia, which is the traditional bird, or the English Budgie, which was bred in England.
You will find that the English budgies are a bit bigger than their Aussie relatives, and also have heads that are bigger and more fluffy feathers around their head.
Yes, budgies may learn to speak, but not all birds do. Budgies do have the ability to mimic human phrases and words, so that’s one thing budgie owners love. Budgies are very playful and if you handle them often, they will be easier to handle as they grow older.
Caring for them is not extremely difficult. You need as large a cage as you can, made of quality materials and safe with no sharp edges. You should feed your budgie seeds, nutritional pellets, and of course fresh foods. Fresh foods are healthy bites like veggies, fruit, beans, and rice.
You should also make sure you have clean and fresh water available around the clock. Keep treats like seeds to a minimum, about 5% of your budgie’s diet should be treats. Here are 12 awesome treats for budgies!
- They are active, love to play, and be held, but quieter than most other parrots (They can still be loud – read this article before you get budgies!)
- Great starter bird for newbies to the hobby of keeping companion birds
- Easier to keep in pairs thanks to their small size (You should always keep them in pairs! Here is why.)
- Budgies can live to be 18 or so years old – this is a big commitment.
- The cage should be cleaned daily-this is hard for busy people
- Budgies may not roam freely if out of their cage-supervise them when they are out.
Choosing a parrot for your apartment is a difficult task as you have many wonderful choices. Any of these lovely species would be a rewarding and special companion to welcome into your life.
However, you should carefully consider how much time you spend at home, how much time you can be with your bird, and if you are ready to take on the commitment of caring for a pet bird, as these guys can live very long lives.
Keeping a bird is a lot of work but comes with huge rewards!