A sky blue lineolated parakeet peers curiously at the viewer from atop an outstretched finger. Photo courtesy Laura Niles.

What are the Friendliest Types of Pet Birds?

Birds of all species have their own unique characteristics, with lovable traits ranging from their vibrant plumage to their remarkable intelligence to their engaging personalities. For many bird owners—particularly those who are new to the world of avian companions—the likelihood that a bird will have a sociable and affectionate disposition may be a key factor in choosing a species. Here are some of the friendliest types of pet birds to consider:


Also known as budgies, parakeets are among the most popular types of pet birds around the world due to their friendly and affectionate personalities. They are also small, weighing only around one ounce, and relatively low maintenance, making them an excellent choice for first-time bird owners.


Cockatiels are beloved for their gentle temperament and sweet disposition. These friendly and intelligent birds are known for their endearing whistle tunes—which sometimes mimic the noises they hear frequently, such as phones or doorbells ringing—and their willingness to engage with their owners. Cockatiels often form deep bonds with their caregivers, making them ideal companions for those seeking avian affection.


Known for their outgoing and affectionate personalities, cockatoos are intelligent birds that crave social interaction and form deep emotional bonds with their human caregivers. Cockatoos thrive on attention and enjoy being the center of their owner’s world—in fact, if they do not receive adequate attention, they may become depressed and adopt destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking. Cockatoos can be loud too. While their larger size and longer lifespan (they’re generally about 18 inches long and can live up to 40-60 years) require a significant commitment, the rewards of companionship with a cockatoo are immeasurable for those willing to provide the necessary care and attention.

Green-cheeked conures

While most conures are friendly, the green-cheeked varieties in particular thrive on social interaction with their caretakers. They are playful and intelligent, but can be a bit mischievous at times. Compared to other conure species, green-cheeked conures tend to be quieter and more easygoing, making them charming companions overall.


Aptly named for their strong attachment to their mates or human companions, lovebirds are known for their loving nature and playful demeanor. While they may be small in size, typically weighing about two ounces and measuring approximately 5-6 inches long, their personalities are anything but diminutive. Lovebirds thrive on social interaction and enjoy being part of a bonded pair or a human family. However, they are occasionally known to test boundaries and try to assert dominance through nipping or other acts of aggression, so they may be better suited for more experienced owners or households without young children.

While these five species of pet birds are generally known for their friendly demeanors, it’s important to keep in mind that each bird is an individual, just like humans or other pets. By carefully researching which type of bird best suits your lifestyle, taking steps to bond with your new feathered friend, and keeping your pet happy and healthy by consulting a trusted avian veterinarian, you’ll be able to help ensure a loving and long-lasting relationship with your bird. Take our bird matchmaker quiz today to find a species that may be right for you!