5 Fascinating Yellow Pet Birds, From Canaries to Conures

These birds have striking, bright colorations and big personalities, but they also need special care.

Published March 14, 2023
American Goldfinch Male

Yellow birds make a popular and cheerful choice for pets. Their bright color has a friendly and playful feel, and many people enjoy bonding and watching them interact with each other. While some of these species may be more difficult to find--at least in a yellow coloration--others are more common.

1. Pacific Parrotlet


Pacific parrotlets are popular pet birds known for their beautiful colors, sweet personalities, and small size. They make wonderful pets for people who don't have a lot of room to dedicate to a bird because you can keep them in a small cage or aviary.

Pacific Parrotlets can be very social birds, but they also enjoy being on their own. Pacific parrotlets are known for being headstrong, and if you keep them in a pair, they will bond closely with one another. If that happens, they probably won't bond with you. If you want to be the primary social interaction in their life, make sure you're ready to give them a high level of attention and interaction.

Need to Know

Size: Small, 4 to 6 inches long

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Personality: High-energy, strong-willed, intelligent

2. Golden Conure


Golden conures are delightful, affectionate birds that are easy to handle. They can be trained to step up and come out of the cage on command, and they learn quickly to whistle a few tunes. They are highly intelligent and curious, so they do well when there is plenty of variety in their routine. However, this is not a bird for everyone. These birds require a lot of attention and care, and you need to be willing to provide it.

Golden conures can be very loud. Their calls can easily be heard from outside your home. They also tend to be messy eaters and are known to throw their food. This can make cleanup time difficult.

Need to Know

Size: Medium, 13 to 14 inches long

Lifespan: 20 to 30 years

Personality: Easy-tempered, very affectionate, highly active, intelligent

3. Yellow Canary


The yellow canary is a small finch-like bird with a yellow body and black eyes. It is also known as the canary-bird or the small yellow canary. The canary is particularly popular as a pet because of its singing ability, longevity, and beautiful plumage.

These birds make great pets. However, like most smaller birds, they don't do well with heavy handling. Some yellow canaries will take very light handling, to perch on owners' fingers, or fly around a room with your direction. This is usually easier with younger birds, however. If you want a high-engagement bird, this probably isn't the species for you.

Need to Know

Size: Small, 4 to 6 inches long

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Personality: Solitary, shy, dislike handling

4. Yellow Indian Ringneck


The yellow Indian ringneck is a small, slender parrot that is native to the South Asian region. The name "ringneck" comes from a ring of red-colored feathers around their necks, which stands in contrast to their bright yellow plumage. They are also known as the Alexandrine parakeet, Alexandrine parrot, and ring-necked parakeet.

Yellow Indian ringnecks can be taught to mimic human speech if they are exposed to it regularly when young or as adults. Many people consider these birds to be better talkers than other species of parrots because they respond more quickly and learn faster when exposed to humans early on in life.

Need to Know

Size: Medium, 16 inches long

Lifespan: 25 to 30 years

Personality: Outgoing, high-energy, high-engagement

5. American Goldfinch


The American goldfinch is a sight to see in backyards, parks, and gardens throughout the United States. They are highly active and entertaining birds. They are also known for their beautiful song, which they produce during mating season or when they are perched on a branch. Like all finches, they don't take well to handling by humans.

In captivity, the American goldfinch can live up to 20 years if properly cared for. Be aware that it's illegal to capture or possess wild American goldfinches or their feathers. If you want to get one, make sure you go through a reputable breeder, as captive-bred American goldfinches are legal to own.

Need to Know

Size: Small, 5 to 6 inches long

Lifespan: 4 to 6 years

Personality: Social, dislikes being handled, males can be very vocal

What to Consider

As pets, birds have a lot to offer. They're beautiful and colorful, they can be affectionate, and they're intelligent and entertaining. But there are some potential problems with owning a bird as a pet.

  • Some species can live for many years. If you're not ready for that kind of commitment, consider adopting an older bird from your local shelter instead.
  • Birds require special care. These pets need cages, toys, and food that's specially formulated for their nutritional needs.
  • Most require cagemates or time with owners. Many birds--especially parrots, but many other species, as well--need daily enrichment and hours outside their cages.
  • They need specialized veterinary care. Birds have unique healthcare needs, including annual health checks and vaccinations against common diseases such as parrot fever (psittacosis).
  • Birds can bite or scratch if they're upset or frightened. Be sure to use proper handling techniques when you handle your bird so you don't get hurt by a sudden nip or scratch from an unexpected movement by your bird's beak or talons.
  • Birds make noise. Some species are quieter than others, but most will squawk or chirp at least occasionally, even during the night when most humans want peace and quiet!

Is a Yellow Bird Right for You?

Birds can make wonderful pets, but they require regular care and attention, as well as an understanding of their biology. Don't pick a bird by its looks alone, or just because it's yellow. It is important to choose an appropriate species for your lifestyle, because some birds need a lot of engagement and love. Make sure you can give it to them.

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5 Fascinating Yellow Pet Birds, From Canaries to Conures