While there’s no such thing as a no-maintenance bird, some pet bird species are easier to care for than others. These birds are on the smaller side, which means they typically make less of a mess than large birds do. They also require smaller enclosures, which results in less cleaning for their caretakers. And while some prefer ample socialization with their favorite humans, others are happy entertaining themselves with toys or other bird friends. Here are eight birds that people find to be relatively low-maintenance pets.
Doves are gentle birds that enjoy interacting with their caretakers but are also content to spend much of the day entertaining themselves. Because they’re only medium-sized birds, cleaning up after them is fairly easy. Make sure they’re fed a healthy diet, get at least a few hours of out-of-cage exercise, and have access to UV light to avoid a vitamin D deficiency.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Plumage of dull grays and browns; black collar around nape of neck; black eyes and beak; mutations include white, orange, and pied (ring-necked dove)
As long as finches have a roomy flight cage and a few friendly flock-mates, they generally require no handling or out-of-cage playtime. In fact, most finches would rather socialize with other finches than humans. So anyone who has enough time to feed, water, and clean up after them can enjoy their quiet chirps and amusing antics.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Black and white throat bars, orange cheek patches, and red-orange beak (male zebra finch); gray coloration throughout the body and less vivid beak (female zebra finch)
As a member of the finch family, canaries are another excellent choice for bird lovers who prefer a hands-off pet. There are different types of canaries to choose from, and each variety has its own care requirements. In general, these birds need a healthy diet, a cage in which they can fly, and some toys to remain healthy.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Feathers of bright yellow (most common), red, orange, or white; some varieties have head crests or frilly feathers
Like most parrots, budgies bond strongly with their caretakers and appreciate attention. But they tend to be easier to keep occupied than many larger species. A budgie in a spacious cage stocked with plenty of toys can thrive, as long as the bird’s caretaker can socialize with it for at least a few hours per day. These birds also don’t make much of a mess, especially compared to larger parrots.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Green abdomen; black and yellow back; yellow head; dark blue tail; mutations include blue, yellow, white, and gray
Like budgies, cockatiels require at least a few hours of out-of-cage playtime each day. But they are nowhere near as demanding as some larger parrot species. As long as they have a roomy enclosure with toys, they can entertain themselves for several hours. Although they normally don’t talk, cockatiels are highly intelligent and can be trained to follow commands and whistle quite well.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Gray body; yellow face and crest; orange cheeks; long tail; mutations include albino, lutino, pied, and cinnamon
These are some of the best pet birds that are available for sale.