This can be a touchy subject for some parrot owners. Everyone has their own personal idea of what species is the best, the most loveable, has the best personality and is the most trainable. They are, of course, correct if their birds are living up to what they expect from their pet. However, for a first time parrot owner, or one who is still searching for what they will feel is that perfect bird, this is a list of some of the more trainable parrot species. Each of the parrot species below has its own areas of special abilities that make them top contenders for someone looking for a highly trainable bird that is also a loving pet. While by no means the only great parrot species, for someone searching to find one, the list here is a great start to making a decision on which bird to add to the family.
If space is no object, and you can afford an expensive bird that has large space requirements and eats more than most pet birds, the Macaw may be a great choice. Not only are these magnificent birds extremely eye-catching with their wide variety of colors, on the whole, all of the sub-species of Macaw are extremely intelligent, affectionate and quick to bond with their owners. Macaws are high on the list of most trainable parrots for three reasons. They talk very well, usually very clearly, and are fast learners. They are adaptable and learn tricks eagerly. Their size makes them able to perform more physical commands and gives them a presence that is hard to ignore.
Even though they are one of the more trainable parrots, their size also has a few drawbacks. The bigger the parrot, the bigger the beak, and a Macaw bite can be quite painful, even disfiguring. Their vocalizations can also be quite loud and disturbing to close neighbors. There are smaller sub-species of Macaws that have as much personality as their larger counterparts, but they can be more difficult to find, as they aren’t as widely kept and bred as the big, boldly colored Scarlets, Blue and Gold, Hyacinth, Military Macaws.
On the very opposite side of the spectrum size-wise, the popular and easy to find budgerigar (also sometimes referred to as a parakeet or budgie) are comical, fun to own and can be taught a surprisingly large number of physical tricks. Their diminutive size means they are a little more fragile than most of the birds on this list, but they are easily kept in an apartment or small home where space is a premium. While some budgies can learn to talk, their speech is often difficult to understand and soft in nature.
In addition, these little charmers are very affordable. Their housing needs are less costly as is their food. They are also easily found in most areas, and come in a very wide variety of colors and patterns.
Affectionately Awesome African Grays
A great choice for anyone wanting a medium sized bird with a huge personality is the African Gray. They are extremely intelligent and talk readily. In fact, they may be one of the best talkers in the parrot family, and pick up many phrases and songs. They are also very adaptable and learn physical tricks easily. However, African Grays can be a little bit more temperamental when it comes to performing, perhaps because of their intelligence and somewhat sensitive nature.
Their sensitivity can be a bit of a drawback with these birds. They become intensely bonded to their owners in many cases, and will often develop separation anxiety. An owner who is involved with their bird and spends a little time learning how to mold their young bird’s emotional well-being so that they can avoid the problems that come from being too attached or nervous will do well with this very affectionate and bright bird.
Another mid-sized parrot that is a popular pet and very attentive learner is the Amazon. Amazon is a broad term for several sub-species of parrot, most of which will learn to talk quickly and can perform a variety of tricks. Amazons can vary in size as well, but it is the largest three sub-species that have the most capacity for affection, speech and physical commands. The double-yellow-headed, yellow-naped and blue-fronts have the biggest reputation as talkers. However, the nickname “hot three” isn’t because they are beautiful, although they are. It comes from their tendency to have some strong temperaments, and even occasional aggression.
While the Amazons are easily as intelligent and trainable as African Grays and Macaws, some people find them too difficult to keep, and that needs to be considered before bringing one home. All of the Amazon parrot species are great pets for bird owners who understand the need to learn about their bird’s temperament and adjust their way of handling them to match their needs.
Bird owners who want a very unusual, colorful and talkative parrot might want to consider the Eclectus. While they can be difficult to find in the pet market, the search is well worth the effort. The Eclectus is on the smaller end of the mid-size parrot range. They are one of the few parrot species easily sexed by color. The females are a beautiful, bright green, but it is the males that really stun viewers with their royal blue chest, deep blood red wings and bright fire-engine red heads. They are generally very easy to get along with, good with all family members and very intelligent. Like most of the larger parrots, they can be loud, and might not be a good choice for apartment or condominium life. Electus come from Indonesia, Australia and the Solomon Islands, and their diets are quite a bit different from that of the South American parrots commonly found in the home. Owners will have to learn how to feed these fruit eaters, but they can be a very enjoyable addition to any home.
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