These 7 Birds Make the Best Pets for Kids

Alyson Kalhagen
These 7 Birds Make the Best Pets for Kids
01 of 07


A zebra finch perched on a branch

Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Finches and canaries (a type of finch) are nice pet birds for kids because they require minimal interaction and are easy to care for. Young children especially tend to love these birds because they are fascinating to watch and provide soothing “music” with their soft chirps and chatter, but these birds should not be taken out of their cage. While they are not a hands-on species, finches are still charming birds to keep in your home. If you decide finches are best for your child, get two or more birds that will keep each other company. Finches often can be found at local animal shelters and rescue groups. Finches and canaries have a life expectancy of three to 15 years.

Species Overview

Length: 5 to 6 inches

Weight: 1/2 ounce

Physical Characteristics: Bright yellow, whitish, or reddish body

02 of 07


Doves (or pigeons) are known for their sweet and gentle dispositions. Unlike the hard-beaked hookbill parrots, softbills doves rarely try to bite or do damage with their softer beaks. Still, it always helps to use calm and positive socialization and bonding techniques with these birds. Doves can be a good match for older children who understand how to be calm and gentle, but doves need bird companionship too and do best in pairs. Mirrors and swings inside a dove’s enclosure increase fun activity for the birds, but doves should also be allowed free-flight time out of the cage to interact with human caretakers. Doves and pigeons have a life expectancy of 10 to 25 years.

Species Overview

Length: 11 to 13 inches

Weight: 5 to 8 ounces

Physical Characteristics: Pure white, gray, white with gray, tangerine, pied, and orange; black eyes, black bill, dark purple feet

03 of 07


Lovebirds are one of the smallest parrot species. These colorful little birds have all of the intelligence and personality of the largest of macaws. And yet these birds are fairly quiet companions, making them ideal for kids who live in apartments or condominiums. The lovebird has a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.

Species Overview

Length: 5 to 6 inches

Weight: 2 ounces

Physical Characteristics: Mostly green, orange upper body and head, blue lower back and rump; red beak, white eyerings

04 of 07

Budgie (Parakeet)

Girl with a green budgie sitting on her hand

Andreas Arnold / Getty Images

Budgies (or parakeets)⁠ are colorful little birds from Australia that are fun for young aviculturists. They tolerate handling quite well, are relatively easy to care for, and can even learn to talk. They have gentle personalities and often bond quite strongly with their owners, making them wonderful companions for young bird lovers. Budgies have a shorter life expectancy of seven to 15 years.

Species Overview

Length: 7 inches

Weight: 1 ounce

Physical Characteristics: Light green body with black wing markings and yellow head; captive-bred colors include blue, gray, green, white, violet, yellow/blue

05 of 07


Girl with a cockatiel sitting on her shoulder

JLBarranco / Getty Images

Cockatiels are larger than finches and budgies, but they’re still one of the best pet birds for kids. They can learn to talk, whistle, and do tricks, making them a delight for children. Cockatiels do well with older children who can devote time to interacting with them. They relish their time out of the cage, so they need a bit more cleanup work than finches or budgies require. So select a cockatiel for kids who really have a desire to keep birds and learn about them. Cockatiels have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, but some have lived as long as 30 years.

Species Overview

Length: 11 to 12 inches

Weight: 2.5 to 3.5 ounce

Physical Characteristics: Light gray body with long, dark gray tail, yellow and gray crest, yellow face; orange ear patch and white on the wing; dark gray bill

06 of 07

Quaker Parakeet

The Monk parakeet or Quaker is actually a small parrot. But because they’re only medium-sized birds, cleaning up after them is still fairly easy for children to do. The more your child verbally explains what they are doing around the cage, the more this bird will pick up on the words for things and how to mimics those words. Monk parakeets have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

Species Overview

Length: 11 inches

Weight: 4 to 5 ounces

Physical Characteristics: Bright green, white or blue body; gray breast, cheeks, and throat resembles colonial-era Quaker clothing; orange beaks

07 of 07

Bantam Chicken

The Silkie is a true Bantam chicken, meaning a mini breed of farm fowl. They make great pets for kids because of their sweet, cuddly, and friendly nature. Their feathers are referred to as fluff, and a fluffy chicken is exactly what they look like. They do poorly in the heat but thrive in cold. This bird does best in large confinement but also likes to roam. Silkies have a shorter life expectancy than other pet birds: seven to nine years.

Species Overview


8 to 14 inches


26 to 32 ounces

Physical Characteristics:

Walnut comb; fluffy feathers of black, white, partridge, buff, gray and blue color varieties

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