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Types of Parrots

The world of parrots is diverse and colorful, along with the intelligence of these stunning birds many people opt to keep them as pets. Our Des Moines vets talk about some of the different types of parrots, what the most popular type of parrot is and how you can identify parrots.

Parrots as Pets

With their incredible personalities and vibrant colors, it is understandable why so many people choose to keep parrots as pets. Parrots are amazing creatures. These birds enjoy socializing and playing with their human companions, and because they are intelligent creatures themselves, they enjoy intellectual challenges.

One thing to keep in mind if you are thinking about parrot ownership however is that they can be quite noisy, some are very large and they require fairly constant care. So if you are someone who travels or isn't home much or prefers a quiet household then a parrot may not be the best option for you.

Speak with your avian vet about your preferences in order to help determine whether or not a pet parrot would be right for you.

How to Identify Parrots

Parrots are tropical birds that are most commonly brightly colored. The size of parrots can vary depending on the type of parrot, ranging from 3 to 40 inches. 

They tend to have short necks and sturdy bodies with thick feet and bills. All of these characteristics put together tend to give all types of parrots a bulky appearance. 

One thing that can easily distinguish parrots from other birds is that there are no species of parrot that has a forked tail. 

The Most Common Types of Parrots

There are many different parrots types and far too many to mention in this post but some of the most common parrot types are listed below.

African Greys

Averaging 12 to 14 inches in length, African Greys are regarded as possibly the most intelligent species of parrot. They love to talk and make as much noise as they can. They are primarily light grey in color with a scarlet tail.

Typically African Grey parrots should only be owned by those that have previous experience with large species of parrots.


A parakeet is a parrot type that is also commonly referred to as a budgie. These are one of the smallest parrots types that there are coming typically at 7 inches or smaller. 

Budgies are relatively trainable and love to keep a constant chatter going throughout the day. They love to interact and chatter with humans and are capable of learning a few words as well.


Lovebirds are another small parrot type staying around 6 inches tall at full length. They are known for being incredibly energetic and can have variations in their coloring.

Although it is possible to have a Lovebird as a beginner parrot type, it may be best if seasoned parrot owners choose this breed. This breed of parrot is very playful and easy to train.


Macaws have some of the greatest variations in size depending on the species with the range being roughly 12 inches for the smallest Macaw all the way to 40 inches for the largest species.

Macaws are one of the most beautiful and colorful parrot species, as well as one of the smartest. Owners of macaws should brace themselves for a strong-willed bird that will try to get their way whenever possible.


Cockatoos are one of the most popular pet parrots. Their sizes range from 12 to 26 inches, and they have lovely color variations. These parrots are very trainable and enjoy playing and cuddling whenever possible.

While talking is not the strong suit of this parrot, they do love to make noise and are known to mimic their owners. 

The Most Popular Parrot Type to Keep as a Pet

The most common type of pet parrot is the parakeet, also known as a Budgie. These birds are extremely playful, easily trained, and enjoy interacting with their owners.

Parakeets also don't require much room as they are quite small and since they don't get too loud, they can be perfect for those living in an apartment.

Parakeets make a great pet parrot for owners of all experience levels making them one of the most popular parrot types that are kept as a pet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. does not provide medical care for avian pets.

Are you considering adding a new pet parrot to your family? Contact our Des Moines vets if you are in need of assistance finding an avian vet near you.

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Des Moines Veterinary Hospital welcomes cats, dogs, fish, small mammals, and their owners to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Des Moines companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's appointment.

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