What is the best type of bird for an inside pet for a child?


10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
Southeast Alabama
My daughter, age 10, wants a pet bird of some type. She has actually wanted one for years, but is now responsible enough that I am considering getting her one. Besides chickens, I don't know much about birds. Is there a type that you would recommend? She likes colorful birds and loves the parrots that talk, but I don't want anything large. She would really be happy with any type of bird she could claim as "hers." I want something that won't be aggressive toward her more than anything.
I had a parakeet that was so cute and charming that I got when I was about 10. My suggestion to you would to just get one, no matter what the sales people say about them needing a "friend". They will bond with each other rather than your daughter if you get two... Mine would perch on my shoulder, take baths in a drinking cup, and talk to me all the time. They are small and pretty cheap to start up.
I was thinking that a Parakeet could talk, but a relative told me that only large Parrots talk. The big ones are kind of scary to me for some reason. I think my daughter would love this. She spent a long time in the pet store recently saying "Hello" back and forth with a parrot until I told her we absolutely had to go.
I have had a parrotlet that was cool. Also parakeets and cockatiels. They were all sweet. Another fun kind of bird that you can raise and breed are finches. You can't hold them and play with them, but they are beautiful to watch and they have babies!
I would definitely recommend a cockatiel. They are common & inexpensive, but can whistle and many talk in a chirpy high voice. I had two, and both had great personalities, were both very tame, did tricks, and could say a few phrases. One of them whistled more than actually 'said' but you could hear the words in his whistle, if that makes sense.

IMO (I've had parakeets, cockatiels, and a few types of parrots) cockatiels are the friendliest and happiest-the parrots can be smarter/better talkers but they don't have the sunniest dispositions all the time. Cockatiels do-they are happy little birds who love their owners, and are more likely to be hand tame/talk than parakeets.

Try to get a male, they can be more affectionate and better talkers (in cockatiels head color makes them easier to sex than many birds) and get a hand-raised young one for best results. If you contact a local bird club you can probably find a breeder with babies from this spring-here hand raised ones go from about $30-$70 depending on the color.
Love birds are super sweet and affectionate, too, and they come in many more colors than cockatiels. My brother has one and it is the sweetest thing-it plays hide and seek and follows him around the house, it always wants to be by his side.
I vote parakeet. I had one when I was around 7 or 8. He was great - really friendly and loved to hang out with me. I'd let him sit on the back of the sofa and we'd watch TV together. Have to say, having been bitten by him (my fault) and by a cockatiel, I'll take the parakeet bite any time. And he did try to talk, although his voice was little and raspy - he said about 4 words that we could recognize, but better yet he had my sneeze and my laugh down cold - used to crack us up. I'd sneeze and he would make a sneezing sound; I'd laugh and he'd laugh. He was great, and lived about 10 years.
We had a parakeet and a cockatiel... The cockatiel was definitely the best out of the 2. She knew the wolf whistle
I could do the beginning and she would do the end, or if I did the end, she would do the beginning! She would "mouth" certain words, but we never actually got her to talk. The breeder said the males are more prone to learning to actually talk than the females. Daisy was also very friendly and affectionate. She would give kisses and sit on our shoulder all the time. I reccommend going to a bird breeder rather than the pet store. They know the birds, and they will hand raise babies, which is what Daisy was. Pet store employees MIGHT know a little something about them, but not nearly as much as a breeder will.

Have fun!

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