There’s no getting around this: Parakeets are birdbrains. They’re curious and inquisitive, and love exploring, because everything is fascinating and new to them. Many parakeet owners report that their goofy birds grow entranced by mirrors, interacting with the “other bird” for hours and hours. If you are looking for an intelligent companion to talk to, you will prefer the more cerebral species of parrots. If you want to play with a goofball, the parakeet is the way to go.

Parakeet species are diverse, coming anywhere from 4 to 18 inches (10-46 cm). For the most part, parakeets are more physical and gentle than parrots and live longer than small birds such as canaries. They’re like the dogs of the bird world, enjoying toys for their own sake and eager to please.