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Watch a video on choosing your pet bird>

Choosing Your Bird

Birds are rewarding and fascinating companions. To find the right bird for you follow our bird selection guide from start to finish.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BIRD

BirdSizeAge RangeUnique TraitsExperience Level
Canary5-9 inches10-15 yearsCanaries have a beautiful song and are extremely adaptable. For interaction and socialization they love visual contact and talking or whistling. Intermediate
Conure8-18 inches15-20 yearsConures are very social and enjoy at least an hour of daily interaction. They can learn to talk with training. Intermediate
Dove6-10 inches10-15 yearsDoves are quiet and gentle and crave companionship, making them a great pet for families.Beginner
Finch4-8 inches5 yearsFinches have a very active metabolism and must have food at least every 24 hours. Advanced
Parakeet6-10 inches7-10 yearsParakeets prefer to be kept in pairs and will actually pair with a partner for life.Beginner

Questions to Ask Before Adding a Bird to the Family

  • Am I considering a bird on an impulse?
  • Can I pay for an annual veterinary wellness exam, proper food, and toys on an ongoing basis?
  • Am I willing to spend at least 30 minutes a day interacting with my bird?
  • How will my neighbors and my family live and cope with normal bird vocalizations?
  • Am I prepared to clean a cage daily?
  • How will I care for a bird when I’m out of town?
  • Do I understand that I’m committing to this pet for its entire life?
  • Do I have enough space in my home to house a bird?

Tips for Choosing a Bird

If you’ve taken into account all of the considerations above, and are ready to enter the world of bird pet parenting, these tips will help you determine which species is right for you.

  1. Make a list of ideal characteristics, including personality, lifestyle, type of care needed, lifespan, amount of space needed, etc.
  2. Study profiles of various bird species and talk to a PetSmart associate about different species in their daily routines and behaviors.
  3. Narrow down your list to two species and do in-depth research.
  4. Consider the age, sex, health, and history of available birds and start looking at them.
  5. Watch potential birds in their daily routines. Check that their eyes are bright and gleaming, feathers are sleek and shiny and not sparse in any area, and that their feet are smooth and clean.
  6. Take a week to think over your selections.
  7. Make your decision.


Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet AssuredSM program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets. The program includes:

  • Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.
  • Specific standards for in-store pet care.
  • The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.