Hutchandcage is supported by its readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

pet products

Largest Birds To Keep As Pets

7 Largest Birds To Keep As Pets

Keeping a large and impressive bird can be very rewarding. As well as their size, they are known for their ability to bond with their owner and for their longevity. In fact, some large birds can live as long as 80 years. Large birds also have more capacity for learning tricks and talking.

If you are considering getting a large pet bird, first make sure you have a large enough cage, as well as enough time to dedicate to interacting with it.

Large birds will hate to be left alone in a cage, so make sure a large pet bird is the right decision before taking the plunge.

If you want a large bird, why not go for one of the largest ones?


7 Largest Birds To Keep As Pets

7. Umbrella Cockatoo

Umbrella Cockatoo

Starting off our list, the umbrella cockatoo is named for the feathers on its head. The bird can actually fan them out, resembling an umbrella—apparently.

These birds are just 18 inches in length and around 20 ounces in weight. Still pretty big if you ask me.

Cockatoos are known to be extremely long lived, living as long as 70 or even 80 years.

They love to cuddle and will enjoy being around humans they have gotten used to. Despite this, when a cockatoo is stressed or frightened it may bite. Try not to take it personally.


6. Double Yellow-Headed Amazon

Double Yellow-Headed Amazon

Named for their yellow heads and sections of their wings, this type of bird comes in at around 15 inches in length.

They originate in the amazon and will need a warm habitat in order to be happy. Amazon parrots are known for their amazing mimicry skills.

Some have even been known to be able to mimic singing they hear on the radio, recreating the tone and pitch of famous singers.

This type of bird needs interaction or will get bored and start making noise.


5. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

These large birds are named for the yellow feathers on top of its head. They are thought to be as clever as a 1 or 2 year old human, meaning they can solve simple shape puzzles and will speak words and short phrases.

At around 18 inches in length they will take up some room.

Cockatoos need a lot of exercise, a much as 3 or 4 hours outside of their cage! They need a good space in order to stretch their wings and investigate different areas of the space.

They are naturally inquisitive and love playing with complex toys. They can live to be 80 years old.

In fact, the oldest pet bird ever was a cockatoo, at the ripe old age of 82. If you are planning to get a cockatoo, it may even outlive you. Be sure to have a plan for your bird’s whole lifespan.


4.Blue-And-Gold Macaw

Blue-And-Gold Macaw

Macaws are the birds you typically associate with pirate’s shoulders. This type of macaw has a black and white striped face, green-blue back feathers, and a yellow breast.

They can live as long as 60 years and need a dedicated owner who can interact with them often.

They can be up to 3ft in length and weigh as much as 2.8 lbs! They will need more food than a smaller bird for obvious reasons. 


3.Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet macaws are a beautiful blend of red, green, and blue, with white markings around their eyes. Like most other large birds, scarlet macaws will need regular mental and physical exercise, which means challenging their brains. 

Training them to perform tricks and/or repeat phrases and words is great way to get your macaw stimulated mentally.

They will love rewards for engaging in learning something new. Scarlet macaws can be longer than 3ft, and weigh as much as 2.5 lbs. 


2. Red-And-Green Macaw

Red-And-Green Macaw

Unlike the scarlet macaw, the red and green macaw is far larger in weight. Weighing as much as 3.75 lbs, these birds are one of the heaviest pet birds you can get.

These birds are best suited to very large enclosures in which it can move around freely. 

Because of its size, the red and green macaw might not be an ideal pet bird for hobbyist, or new bird owners.

They are known for chewing on nearly anything they can find, often destroying wiring or gnawing on furniture. 


1. Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth Macaws

This type of parrot is by far the largest pet bird, measuring as much as 40 inches in length. Although they are not the heaviest bird, the hyacinth macaw will need the most space.

It is recommended that this particular type of bird be kept in an aviary rather than a cage.

They can live up to 60 years and form intense friendships and bonds with their owners. They are very rewarding to keep as pets and will actively seek out interaction with their favorite people.

They have majestic dark blue feathers with yellow patches around their beaks and eyes. Despite how large they are, they are surprisingly gentle. They are known to eat large nuts that they can crack with their powerful beaks.

These birds are extremely expensive as they are hard to acquire ethically and sustainably. Getting a hyacinth macaw may set you back roughly 40,000 dollars.

Not only that but you will have to pay for it to be shipped from South America.  


What is the hardest bird to take care of?

Macaws are the most difficult bird to care for. They have difficult dietary needs, they are very noisy, and they need a lot of attention.

What is the heaviest bird?

Ostriches are the tallest and heaviest birds. They can reach nine feet tall and weigh 300 lbs.

Do large birds live longer?

Generally speaking, yes, large birds live longer than small birds. Cockatoos especially; they can live to be over 50 years old!

Best large bird for beginners?

Large birds aren’t recommended for beginners. They are quite difficult pets. If you want to own a large bird you should volunteer at a rescue shelter and spend time with different birds to find out how much one-on-one time they need with you.

Final Thoughts

Having such large birds as pets is no easy undertaking. You will need to read up on keeping them happy, well fed, and stimulated.

Balancing these three things alongside full-time work means that many people cannot keep such large birds effectively.

Normally, keepers of birds this large are professionals. Don’t let that dissuade you.

If you have the space, the time, the means, AND the willingness to learn, then there is no reason why these large pet birds cannot become a fixture in your life. 

If you are still interested in getting a large pet bird, consult your local bird or pet shop for expert advice.

Hutch and Cage.com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase or caring for their pet. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.