The 4 Most Difficult Parrots To Keep

  • Time to read: 6 min.

What is the hardest parrot to own? If you are a beginner with parrots, it is crucial to answering this question when choosing which parrot to bring home. Owning a parrot is a long commitment, so you would want to avoid getting a hard-to-keep one.

The hardest parrot to own is the macaw. These birds are large and have attention-seeking behavior, so you need to dedicate time to them. Macaws also have powerful bites that can cause injuries, so they are not ideal for beginner parrot owners. 

What Is The Hardest Parrot To Own?

People looking for a parrot to keep as pets should note that not all species would be ideal. Such is especially true for people who live with children. The reason is that each species of parrot have different behavioral traits. 

While some parrots are friendly, others are active and require lots of attention. To help you choose your new pet bird, we rounded up a list of the hardest parrot to own. 

The Most Difficult Parrot To Keep

Macaws are the hardest parrot to keep. They are large and powerful, so they are not ideal for beginners. 

Additionally, macaws demand a lot of attention from their caretakers. For this reason, you will need to keep it busy with different activities, such as exercises and toys.

Once they grow through adolescence, these parrots also become mischievous, boisterous, and extra challenging. At this time, you need to handle them with confidence to keep their respect. 

It means that you should never tolerate bad behavior. Bad behavior may turn into untrustworthy pets – a behavior often irreversible. 

Since macaws have large, powerful beaks, a feral one can inflict injury in a single bite. They are also noisy and maybe too chaotic if not trained. (source)

4 Most Difficult Parrots To Own

Macaws are not the only parrots that are hard to keep. Some parrots, though small, are difficult to take care of, especially for beginners. 

1. Amazon Parrots

Amazon parrots are next to the hardest parrot to own after macaws because they require spacious areas to play and exercise. Owners also need to spend ample time socializing with them. 

Without enough socialization, amazon parrots may fall depressed. They may also develop destructive behaviors, like feather-picking. 

2. Ringneck Parakeet

This type of parrot can be charming and comedic when appropriately trained. However, ringneck parakeets are known for being nippy and hard to train. Such is especially true when they reach adolescence. 

Ringneck parakeets are also highly intelligent, so they require an owner who can physically and mentally challenge them. 

3. Crimson Rosella

Another hardest parrot to own is the crimson rosella. Crimsons are not for parrot owners with limited experience as they are not easy to tame. 

Caretakers need to handle this type of parrot every day to remain friendly. That said, they require undivided attention and time to explore their surroundings. 

4. Cockatoos

Cockatoos are affectionate and may form strong bonds with their owners. Such are traits that may sound interesting at first. However, the same characteristics make cockatoos the hardest parrot to own as pets. 

The reason is that cockatoos require lots of socialization, which owners may not meet if too busy. A cockatoo’s beaks can also produce a powerful bite when provoked. (source)

What Is The Most Aggressive Parrot?

Green-wing macaws are the first birds that may come to your mind when you think of parrots. They are stunning with all their bright colors. However, green-wing macaw’s beaks are very powerful and can inflict serious injuries.

A green-wing macaw’s beaks can generate power of 500 to 2,000 PSI. For comparison, a human bite can only produce a force of 150 PSI. For this reason, a macaw can easily cause an injury when provoked. 

You should take parrot bites seriously to ensure that owners stay safe. You also need to make sure that they will not repeat such behavior. (source)

What Is The Easiest Parrot To Own?

If you are a beginner bird owner, it is understandable that you want the easiest parrot to take care of. For this reason, you need to set macaws out of your choices as this species is the hardest parrot to own. 

On the contrary, cockatiels are the easiest parrots to keep as pets on top of being inexpensive. They are easy to tame, making them the perfect first-time pets for beginners. If you do not like loud parrots, a cockatiel is ideal as it does not scream as loud as other parrots. 

Moreover, cockatiels prefer to whistle and sing than talk. You can train them easily to bring them out with you. Some cockatiel owners even free fly their cockatiels. (source)

Which Parrot Is Least Likely To Bite?

When getting a parrot, people want to know whether or not their chosen species bite. Such is especially true if you are considering purchasing a large parrot. 

If you want a less likely parrot to bite, you should consider getting cockatiels and budgies. They are the least aggressive parrots, so they are less likely to bite you. 

Cockatiels and budgies are parrots that are least likely to bite because they are calm and easy-going. While both parrots are difficult to tame, they can be excellent pets for beginners once trained. 

On the other hand, a macaw is the hardest parrot to own, so you should not get one if you are a beginner. (source)

Which Parrot Is Most Intelligent?

Harvard professor Dr. Irene Pepperberg conducted a study on the African Gray parrot Alex. Her findings of intelligence and cognition in African Gray parrots changed the study of linguistics and animal cognition. 

As a result of Dr. Pepperberg’s study, the world found out that African Gray parrots are the most intelligent. For instance, Alex, who died on September 6, 2007, said their last words to Dr. Pepperberg. Before taking its last breath, Alex said, “You be good. I love you,” to Dr. Pepperberg. 

Moreover, African Gray parrots can recognize shapes, colors, and the null concept. They can even be taught communication games as a form of activity. (source)

Which Parrot Has The Most Personality?

Parrots are intelligent birds. So, it is only natural if you are curious to know which of them has the most personality. Take a look at the table below to answer this question. 

ParrotsBehavioral Traits
African Gray Parrots– Highly intelligent
– Good talkers
– Sociable
MacawsWhile the macaw is the hardest parrot to own, they also have a remarkable ability to mimic speech. The large parrot can even perform complex tricks.
Amazon ParrotsThese parrots have high intelligence and talking ability. You can also train them to do tricks and tasks. (source)

Final Thoughts

While the macaw is the hardest parrot to own, they are also intelligent and excellent speakers. If you are an experienced bird owner, a macaw is an ideal pet. However, beginners may not want to have a macaw as their first pet as these birds require time, attention, and training. 

Macaws also become mischievous during their adolescence. For this reason, you need to show its dominance so it will not develop destructive behaviors. 

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Sources

  1. Andrew Luescher, Manual of Parrot Behavior. USA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.
  2. Simon Barnes, History of the World in 100 Animals. Simon and Schuster, 2020.
  3. John Davidson, Zahra Jazeel, Parrots For Kids – Amazing Animal Books For Young Readers. JD-Biz Corp Publishing, 2013.
  4. Irene M. Pepperberg, Alex & Me: How A Scientist And A Parrot Discovered A Hidden World Of Animal Intelligence — And Formed A Deep Bond In The Process. Australia: Scribe Publications, 2009.
  5. Ray Dorge, Gail Sibley, A Guide to Pet and Companion Birds. ABK Publications, 1998.