Best Birds for First Time Bird Owners

Are you considering getting a bid for the first time as a pet? Your major priorities should be that your new bird's species is friendly and gentle, but it's important to check on other personality characteristics and their average adult size before you decide which kind of bird would work best as a pet. Here are a few suggestions from our South Wilton vets. 

What are the best types of birds for first-time owners?

A bird can be an excellent addition to your home if you are looking for a colorful addition to your home life with plenty of character.

Birds can brighten your day with their colourful plumage and even perform tricks or tunes. But when deciding on the best first bird to have as a pet, you need to make sure you do your research first.

Make sure you keep in mind that different types of bird need different levels of love, attention and stimulation, as well as a diet tailored to their species' needs. These pets may also require veterinary attention.

Before choosing the best bird for your household be sure to research the species personality traits, size and weight, as well as their lifespan.

Today our vets at South Wilton Veterinary Group share some of the characteristics of a few of the most popular species of pet birds for first time owners:


Species Info

Weight: Less than 1 ounce

Length: 4 to 8 inches

Physical Characteristics: These delightful birds come in yellow, green, orange and brown. They are known for their ability to carry a tune and their vibrant colors. Canaries are excellent pets if you would like a bird who may not need lots of attention and engagement. Canaries don't like to be handled, but are happy to entertain their owners. 

Canaries are easily frightened and can be shy and timid. But, they will need some space to fly about in order to stay healthy and happy.

When you're shopping for a pet bird, always buy from a reputable breeder or bird store. Healthy and well-socialized birds will make the best pets.

Lifespan: Canaries typically live for between 9-10 years if well cared for, although in rare cases these little birds can live for 15 years or even longer!

Budgie / Budgerigars

Species Info

Weight: 1 ounce

Length: 6 to 8 inches

Physical Characteristics: Found in a variety of colors including neon green, yellow, blue, violet and more with black bars on head, wings and back.

Budgies (also referred to as parakeets or budgerigars) are well known to be exceptionally warm, friendly and gentle when properly cared for and trained.

These wonderful birds are among the smallest species kept as pets, are easy to care for and if you get one when they are young, they are easy to train too! Budgies are also quite affordable, playful and active. They can learn to talk and provide they owners with hours of amusement.

Lifespan: When cared for properly a pet budgie can live for 7 -15 years


Species Info

Weight: 3 ounces

Length: 12 to 13 inches (adults)

Physical Characteristics: Predominantly gray feathers with orange spots around the ears and yellow and white accents. Males are yellow-headed while females are almost completely gray.

Easy to read, the crest on top of a cockatiels head indicates the bird’s emotional state; flattened head crest means the bird is fearful or angry; a completely vertical crest indicates your cockatiel is startled or excited.

Female cockatiels are as gentle as they come, and males are particularly good at mimicking sounds around them including phones, alarms and even outdoor birds. But you should be aware that cockatiel's need a huge cage with several toys and perches to keep them stimulated.

These intelligent parrots love social interaction and engagement. Because of this, they need an owner who will be able to provide them with the time and attention they require in order to thrive and prevent loneliness and depression. We highly recommend that you either find them a companion bird or spend significant amounts of time interacting with them.

Plus: Be sure to watch out for their whistle: if they do one for you, it’s a compliment as they whistle at things they like.

Lifespan: With proper love and care a pet cockatiel can easily live for 15 - 20 years. In rare cases these birds have been known to live for as long as 30 years.


Species Info

Weight: 5 to 8 ounces

Length: 11 to 13 inches

Physical Characteristics: Brown and dull gray feathers, black eyes, beak and collar surrounding neck. Alternative colors include orange, white and pied (ring-necked doves).

Doves can be very sweet and gentle when it comes to hand-feeding and domesticating them. They are easygoing and not overly demanding of the attention or time of their owners. 

That said, unlike parrots, doves cannot climb up and down cage bars but instead need to fly from perch to perch which makes a huge cage essential.

Lifespan: When well cared for a pet dove can live from 8 -15 years depending on the species.

Green-Cheeked Conure

Species Info

Weight: 2 to 3 ounces

Length: 10 to 11 inches

Physical Characteristics: Mostly green with gray head and breast, blue-tipped wings and maroon tail. Other colors include yellow, cinnamon and turquoise.

On the quiet side but just a little mischievous, green-cheeked conures are playful and smart birds who typically don’t talk but are charming species nonetheless. They’ll entertain and engage, and can be comical and outgoing under the right circumstances.

Lifespan: With plenty of love and attention these friendly birds can live as long as 30 years.

If you are searching for a pet bird or if you own and bird and they are in need of veterinary attention, contact South Wilton Veterinary Group. Our vets are well versed in providing quality veterinary care for cats, dogs, birds and more

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