Affectionate Bird Suggestions??

crowboy

New member
Jan 1, 2023
1
2
NC
Bonjour, à tous!

I'm looking into potentially getting myself a parrot some time in the coming year and was looking for some recommendations.
I'd really like to have a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is not too big, but not too small.
Noise doesn't bother me too much so long as it's not constant and ear-damaging. I would prefer if the mess was kept to a minimum (though I'm aware every new pet brings some sort of mess into the house with it).

I was looking primarily at Cockatiels, Green Cheeks, and Quakers.
Any advice from personal experience with these birds is appreciated!
 

zERo

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Dec 9, 2021
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Texas
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Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Milly- Sparrow (F)
Bonjour, à tous!

I'm looking into potentially getting myself a parrot some time in the coming year and was looking for some recommendations.
I'd really like to have a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is not too big, but not too small.
Noise doesn't bother me too much so long as it's not constant and ear-damaging. I would prefer if the mess was kept to a minimum (though I'm aware every new pet brings some sort of mess into the house with it).

I was looking primarily at Cockatiels, Green Cheeks, and Quakers.
Anyone have any advice from personal experience?
Out of those three species the least cuddly and more hands off birds.
I own all three species, cockatiels seem to like to be near you but are less physically affectionate, this doesn't mean they don't like a head scratch ever now and then. Cockatiels a re fairly quiet but males will display by whistling loudly.
My Quaker likes being pet at least a few times a day but they can be pretty loud and will sometimes screech for several minutes and it's pretty loud.
Green cheek conures can be very cuddly and affectionate but mine can be very sweet then suddenly bite HARD! He's very quiet though and just mostly contact calls.

As for messiness ALL birds are messy, they destroy their toys as they are supposed to, they fling food around and poop when ever they need to go.
Don't buy a parrot just to have an affectionate pet, not all birds, regardless of species will be cuddly.
 

HowdyDoDee

Active member
Jan 18, 2020
95
110
Minnesota
Parrots
Parakeet
Bonjour, à tous!

I'm looking into potentially getting myself a parrot some time in the coming year and was looking for some recommendations.
I'd really like to have a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is not too big, but not too small.
Noise doesn't bother me too much so long as it's not constant and ear-damaging. I would prefer if the mess was kept to a minimum (though I'm aware every new pet brings some sort of mess into the house with it).

I was looking primarily at Cockatiels, Green Cheeks, and Quakers.
Any advice from personal experience with these birds is appreciated!
Have you lived with a pet bird before? They are beautiful and fascinating creatures, and can be great companions. They do require a good amount of work, but I think they are generally easy to care for. However, I only have budgies. (Little birds, little poops. Bear in mind- 30-40 poops/day on average. Easily to clean up, but good to be aware.) Little beaks, and little talons too. A budgie bite/warning nip (as I think of it) can be “oww! Hey!” but it’s nothing like the bite of a fearful, larger bird- so I hear. They can also be trained not to bite, but every once in a while one bites the hand that feeds when another gets to close in her personal feeding space. (Lower the hand quickly and this behavior *should* cease. I still have to use caution while hand feeding my three.)

A childhood friend had a macaw, and I cannot imagine that kind of investment in a personal pet. Amazing creatures, just not for me personally. Her vocabulary and ability to sing/whistle was incredible. Everything about her was on a grand scale! Not sure she was affectionate, per se. Nor was the African grey we had where I once worked. However, we inherited that bird after his owner passed away, and he didn’t really have an owner that invested the time in him to keep him tame. If he had gotten to know and trust a staff member who he saw frequently, maybe he would have chilled out quickly as I believe he used to be quite tame.

Anyway, this is a good informational video for those considering adopting a bird. It’s about budgies, but has some good general advice about caring for a pet bird. ‘Budgie world’ is also a good resource for videos online. Maybe consider adopting first a budgie, then adding a larger parrot if that seems a good fit? Many people own different kinds of birds within the parrot family, and they have a happy flock.


Hope that helps! It is exciting to anticipate bringing home a feathered friend! They truly are great pets, if they are a good fit. I too have considered all three of the birds you mentioned. Maybe someday! Not yet. I love my budgies!

Happy new year!

Laura

Another video:


Many good ones on this channel. 😊
 
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ShanCaz

Member
Jul 21, 2022
27
51
Parrots
Sun Conure
Green Cheek Conure
Welcome!! :)
It’s a good thing that you have a list that narrows down what you’re looking for. Its very responsible as you know what you are willing to handle/want before impulsively buying.

I don’t have experience with Quaker’s so I won’t touch on them, but I do handle cockatiels and conures regularly.
Conures are more affectionate thy cockatiels. I can sit with mine on my chest while watching a movie as long as he’s getting scratches honestly. Cockatiel are friendly, but one is more affectionate than the other. It would also depend on the bird itself. Some conures may be grumpier and harder to handle than some cockatiels. They’re intelligent and complex animals so not everything is cut and dry, nor will it apply to every bird.

GCCs specifically are less chatty since cockatiels like to whistle to themselves a lot. GCCs can be pretty loud when calling for you across the room.

However, for your first bird, cockatiels might be easier to read as the crest on their heads signify a lot of emotions. Their bite also won’t be as bad as a mad conure’s haha. But speaking of the beak, they’re more destructive with their beaks than Tiels. At least for me personally. I have a couple of shirts with holes in them and the wooden decals in my house are partly demolished at this point just from the conures.
All birds poop and will probably fling their food around, but GCCs will chew through whatever they want like nothing.

But I would also suggest a pigeon or dove as a starter if you’re still unsure. They quieter and you can actually pet them in their backs and chests without them getting as hormonal. Parrots are limited to head pats for the most part. Pigeons and doves are also very easy to handle and a calm pigeon will just relax on your lap or a pillow. They’re still smart and have personalities though, and there are a LOT in the bird shelters. At least where I live. They’re also less likely to bite and an easier introduction to birds in my honest opinion because of their docile but affectionate personalities. They also won’t shred your clothes and house to bits with their beaks.
 

Kentuckienne

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Oct 9, 2016
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Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
I had a pet chicken as a child, and it was very affectionate and cuddly. Seriously. They will sit in your lap and purr. They can be outside without cages in good weather, and are large enough that most dogs and cats can be trained to leave them alone. You can get one as a baby chick and raise it easily. They won’t chew up your woodwork or furniture.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,694
10,146
Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
Truly great advice above, all!
I am an Amazon Snob, so I will reframe from providing any specific species recommendation. That said, I strongly believe that most of what you want is more likely to happen if you allow the Parrot to Choose You!! They are much better at choosing as their choice is all based in their emotional connection with you, which is much better than our list of wants. 85 - 90% of the relationship in developing a trust bound with your Parrot and if they are the one choosing, you are much further down that road than if you just selecting favorite color, etc..
Best of Luck in your search!
FYI: the Parrot that is following you, looking for your attention, or calling out every time you appear or look there way just some of the things to watch for.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,893
6,966
I vote for the Quaker parakeet as a reasonably priced, talking, often very cuddly bird.

Willow was cuddled up into my face, purring,as he sat on his basket handle.

Then he started nibbling my fingernails. Maybe I got peanut butter on them?

Now he’s licking my nose.

And now he’s crunching his beak and allowing me to smooch his shoulder and head.

This can go on for 2+ Hours, ending when _I_ get tired or have to pee.
 

Iris227

New member
Jun 1, 2022
11
21
Parrots
Mango - male opaline redhead lovebird; Frosty - male opaline blue whiteheaded lovebird; Muffin - wild green budgie; Cookie - lutino budgie
Hello!

One of my favourite species of birds to start of with are lovebirds. I know they are not on your list, but they are worth it. They are cuddly, cute and easy to tame. If you are considering to get one, then get a baby male lovebird. Males are less agressive and tend to be more affectionate. And when one bonds with you, there is no going back. They are extremly cute, but can get noisy at times.

Overall I'd really recommend you get a baby male lovebird.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,893
6,966
Hello!

One of my favourite species of birds to start of with are lovebirds. I know they are not on your list, but they are worth it. They are cuddly, cute and easy to tame. If you are considering to get one, then get a baby male lovebird. Males are less agressive and tend to be more affectionate. And when one bonds with you, there is no going back. They are extremly cute, but can get noisy at times.

Overall I'd really recommend you get a baby male lovebird.
I had a very sweet lovebird years ago and I would agree they’re fun little birds. My neighbor had a girl lovebird that got mean after puberty. I think that may be a girl lovebird issue-to get aggressive.

I think lovebirds look like Easter eggs and are fun and active. My girl lovie was so nice but died of egg issues…. It is easier to have a boy sometimes.
 
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Beebee0221

Member
Mar 15, 2022
63
75
Parrots
Bee Bee
Bonjour, à tous!

I'm looking into potentially getting myself a parrot some time in the coming year and was looking for some recommendations.
I'd really like to have a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is not too big, but not too small.
Noise doesn't bother me too much so long as it's not constant and ear-damaging. I would prefer if the mess was kept to a minimum (though I'm aware every new pet brings some sort of mess into the house with it).

I was looking primarily at Cockatiels, Green Cheeks, and Quakers.
Any advice from personal experience with these birds is appreciated!
Linnies are like little lapdogs. I recommend that or a Quaker. GCC can be. Depends on their upbringing/breeder.
 

Botsari

Active member
Nov 1, 2022
69
154
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Parrots
African Greys
Bonjour, à tous!

I'm looking into potentially getting myself a parrot some time in the coming year and was looking for some recommendations.
I'd really like to have a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is not too big, but not too small.
Noise doesn't bother me too much so long as it's not constant and ear-damaging. I would prefer if the mess was kept to a minimum (though I'm aware every new pet brings some sort of mess into the house with it).

I was looking primarily at Cockatiels, Green Cheeks, and Quakers.
Any advice from personal experience with these birds is appreciated!


One thing to consider, if it is not already on your radar, is to buy a parrot from a breeder that hand rears them. This means the chicks are removed from the nest box very soon after they hatch and hand fed formula with a syringe by HUMAN'S for the rest of their early development, until they are weened. This causes them to be imprinted strongly on humans. If you want a bird that really likes humans this is absolutely the way to go. Depending on the species, and even the specific bird, the results can be night and day from a fully parrot-reared bird. The argument also goes that it is better for the birds too since they tend to feel more happy and fulfilled in their relationships with humans. My hand-fed grey was always super affectionate his whole life.

Caveat #1: be sure you understand what amounts to affection for a bird as opposed to what you personally want. It even can vary, as implied both by your question and the answers above, by species. You can see, for example, parrots that don't mind being flipped on their backs and having their abdomens rubbed, et cetera. This is NOT standard behavior - most birds do not like that when they are older. Both of mine liked to do this, as well as wrestle around almost like a kitten at the very beginning. But when they got older this switched off. Parrots offer their head to each other to preen/scratch - this is a sign your parrot is affectionate. They typically don't like attention to their backs and wings, et cetera. Once you learn their body language there are ample and constant signs when a parrot loves you, or just really trusts you, if you have eyes to see. There are also ample ways to express yours in a way that is parsed by the bird. But if you want this affection to be in a form similar to a dog's for example - domesticated for (at least) thousands of years to learn how to ape and appeal directly to human modes of affection - then there is a good chance you will not get that type of expression. Violating a parrot's hardwired rules for "bird affection", or otherwise insisting on doing so despite signs that the bird is not in on the game, can even cause a long term decrease in their affection. Long story short - lean the language, and come to them. Don't insist on them them always coming %100 to what you want, or think of as, "affection". But in their own language they can be super affectionate!

Caveat #2: as implied in a few of the responses above ultimately most of the affection is a response to hard and continuing work on YOUR part. Make sure you understand what this means. Lots of daily interaction for the life of the bird, which in many case might be YOUR whole life as well. Make sure you understand before you start what makes a BIRD happy. Even ones that are hand fed as chicks, I firmly believe, are happiest with a bird companion as well. Otherwise, any time you are not actively interaction with you bird he is a social animal alone! Birds that are hardcore isolated from other birds, and for years strongly imprint ONLY on one human may be affectionate, but also can develop antisocial behaviors towards other people. There is a valid philosophical debate in such cases as to whether the bird is "happy", or just "desperate". If it is feasible consider having a second bird as a friend. One strategy is to socialize your bird to yourself strongly just after weening, and then add another bird a year later. That way you might get both the most affectionate AND happy birds - best of both worlds.

The above said, even with the best efforts, each bird is different. Some may give you everything you imagined and more. Other's may be more reticent by nature. A very big problem is parrots that are abandoned because they did not provide what their original owners wanted. These birds get stuck in many cases without real human OR bird companions. If they are lucky they get adopted, but often even then there are permanent scars. Something to keep in mind! Be realistic and flexible from the start. Its a huge responsibility, especially if you choose a species that might outlive you.

I hope the above helps a tiny bit.
 
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