7 Most Gentle Pet Birds

gentle pet birds

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You may be thinking of getting a bird as a companion pet. It is true that pet birds can be very affectionate with their owners building long lasting and close bonds. However, some types of pet birds are far more gentle than others. 

Having a more gentle pet bird will be important if you have children or friends that will come and visit. Birds that don’t enjoy socializing will get stressed and may even react violently when forced into an uncomfortable interaction. 

#1 Doves


White doves are associated with peace and innocence and are often released at weddings and christenings. A pet dove—white or not—are indeed very peaceful birds.

They can be handled for long periods of time and are relatively large, at 12 inches from head to tail feather.

Pigeons are actually a form of dove, yet most pet doves are a different color. Pigeons you see in cities are most likely to be rock doves, whereas there are a huge number of different dove types. Doves will enjoy human company as well as company with other doves.

#2 Budgerigar

budgie in a cage

Known as a budgie to most people, this type of bird is full of personality. They are actually a type of parakeet, and for this reason are able to be taught tricks and how to talk.

It is thought that some budgies can actually repeat phrases better than parrots. 

Although they are a gentle bird that will enjoy interaction, budgies are less likely to enjoy long periods of time being held.

They like their own space and will prefer interaction that doesn’t involve being held. They are just 8 inches from head to tail, making them small-home friendly.

#3 Cockatoo


The cockatoo, with its bright plumage jutting out from its head, is a beautiful bird to have as a pet. They will love interaction with an owner that is around all day.

Because they are such social birds, they will need a lot of contact as a young bird.

Neglecting a cockatoo that has just been introduced to a new habitat will mean that the bird will not develop proper social skills.

Spend time with them as a young bird and introduce them to different people so that they develop a gentle approach to human interaction.

#4 Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaws

These huge parrots—at up to 3ft long—are actually very gentle birds. Although they are strong and have large beaks, they very rarely use them.

They are known to do a lot of talking when encouraged and trained to do so. Likewise, they can develop strong bonds with their owners.

Because of their size, you will most likely need to keep a hyacinth macaw in an outside enclosure known as an aviary.

All pet birds need space to move around and stretch their wings, large ones especially. Make sure you have the right equipment and the right space.

Hyacinth macaws are actually the largest bird typically kept as a pet. They are only outranked in weight by the New Zealand Kakapo, a wild and flightless type of parrot that can weigh up to 3.5 kg. 

#5 African Grey Parrot

african grey

Perhaps one of the most common pet birds people think of is the parrot. These big birds are extremely intelligent and affectionate given the right circumstances. African greys are able to have a vast repertoire of words and phrases, as well as songs and certain noises.

You may have had an eldery relative with a parrot, this is because they are birds that require almost constant interaction.

Retirees often take on these birds as companions, as they have time to train and interact with the bird. Neglecting an African grey is bad for their mental health.

Parrots are associated with pirates, who would often kept them as companion pets while at sea.

Parrots were taken from tropical locations in Africa and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Thanks to pirate storybooks such as Treasure Island, parrots became a novelty pet to have.

#6 Finches

zebra finch

Finches come in a large range of colors, with some being almost every color of the rainbow at once. They are very small birds at just 4 inches. However, they will need a large enclosure because they love to fly around at an astonishing rate. 

They like exercising and will happily keep to themselves. They do not enjoy being held very much but are a gentle bird to watch interacting with other finches.

It is common to have a few finches that interact with each other. Finches also have a beautiful song voice.

#7 Lorikeets

Gentle Pet Birds

This type of bird can be held for long periods of time without showing any signs of distress. Like most other large pet birds, lorikeets need a lot of interaction to stay happy. This is because in the wild, they are a social bird, forming bonds in groups.

Lorikeets are a pet bird that can be happy in a slightly smaller cage. This makes them a little easier to look after.

However, you should still let your lorikeet out of its cage for at least a few hours a day to get exercise and practice some investigation skills. 

What is the friendliest bird for a pet?

Cockatoos are one of the friendliest birds you can have as a pet. If you spend time with them they will adore your company and will make a great companion.

What is the best pet bird for beginners?

Budgies are the best bird for beginners. They aren’t too big, they aren’t hard to care for, and they are very gentle.

Do pet birds bite?

No matter how friendly a bird might be, they will sometimes bite if they are too excited. They aren’t biting to attack, they are biting to continue playing more aggressively. You should be aware of your bird’s body language to prevent biting.

What is the easiest pet bird to take care of?

Doves are easy birds to take care of. They love attention, but they can also entertain themselves. They aren’t big birds, so cleaning up after them is fairly easy too.

What pet birds are cuddly?

Cockatoos are considered the most cuddly pet bird. They easily trust their owners, and show them plenty of affection.

Final Thoughts

A bird can be a very affectionate and rewarding pet to have. Any time you put into making your bird happy and content will see them reciprocating that kindness.

Although some birds are okay with being held for longer than others, all the birds listed above are gentle in nature.

It is important to remember that how gentle your pet is, also depends on how you treat it.

If you neglect or treat your pet bird unkindly then they may not react well. Keep them comfortable and mentally stimulated and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Acquiring a bird that has had a previous owner is common, as some parrots and cockatoos live as long as 80 years. Make sure the bird is comfortable around you before you try and make contact.

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