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Top 5 Popular Bird Species

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This is a list of the Top 5 Companion Bird Species available. Brief descriptions of these popular birds are sure to help potential owners decide which type of pet bird they should buy.

1. Parakeets/Budgies

The common Parakeet, or Budgerigar to be exact, makes a wondeful pet for children or those who are new to keeping birds. These hardy little jewels come in an array of beautiful colors, and require less space and maintenance than larger bird species. They are quite intelligent in spite of their small size, and while most are content to whistle and sing, some have been known to learn a word or two. Average life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

2. Cockatiels

These medium sized birds are simply a delight to keep. Members of the parrot family, these Australian natives are known for their surprisingly advanced whistling and singing abilities. While Cockatiels are capable of learning to talk, many owners find that their birds prefer to whistle, and tend to mimic quirky, random sounds such as the ringing of a telephone. These birds are available in increasingly diverse color combinations and have an average life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years.

3. Finches and Canaries

Finches and Canaries are other popular types of pet birds. With most varieties measuring 5 inches or less, Finches and Canaries require less space than most other bird species. Unlike parrots, which are hookbills, Finches and Canaries are known as softbills or waxbills. These little birds thrive in small flocks, and generally pay little attention to humans -- making them perfect pets for those who love to watch birds, but would like a pet that requires minimal interaction. A well cared for Finch or Canary can live for up to 10 years.

4. Lovebirds

Lovebirds are one of the smallest known parrot species. These beautiful little birds should not be overlooked in favor of larger, more demanding parrots; any Lovebird owner will tell you that these birds possess all the intelligence and personality of the largest of macaws. These birds are fairly quiet companions, making them ideal for those who live in apartments or condominiums. At around 6 inches long, the Lovebird has a life expectancy of up to 20 years.

5. African Greys

African Greys have been said to be the most intelligent of birds, some boasting vocabularies of up to 2,000 words! Because these birds are so smart, they tend to be demanding pets, and will get bored quickly if not stimulated. If you are looking for a highly intelligent and affectionate friend, however, the African Grey may be right up your alley. Greys typically live 50-70 years.

Photos (c) 2005 Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.

Top 5 Companion Bird Species

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