These Are the Top 12 Smartest Big-Brain Pet Birds

Certain bird breeds can be shockingly smart, making them fascinating pets. Discover which bird breeds are the smartest of them all.

Published March 27, 2023

Choosing a Bird Based on Intelligence

Pet birds can be scary smart. They can learn to talk, do tricks, and obey all sorts of commands. Many can master huge vocabularies and express complex emotions. Your bird intelligence will depend on their species and how they were raised, but if you are looking for a bird that will challenge your mind and keep you entertained, consider these options.

African Grey Parrot

African Greys are among the most intelligent of all birds. They are able to learn many words and phrases, and can often mimic sounds, including music. They have been taught to use money, play card games, and identify colors. They have also been taught to recognize themselves in a mirror, which is considered a sign of self-awareness.

Their ability to learn complex tasks quickly and perform them with consistency proves how smart they are. The birds' memory is also impressive. There are reports of African Greys remembering where they were born after being taken away at an early age and raised by other people.

Amazon Parrot

Amazon parrots are highly intelligent, naturally inquisitive birds that can learn how to speak words or phrases with the proper training. They are also known for their ability to mimic sounds and actions.

Amazon parrots are very social animals, so they require companionship from their owners. They also need a lot of attention. Because they are so intelligent, they can get bored easily if left alone for long periods of time.

Hyacinth Macaw

The Hyacinth Macaw is an intelligent bird, and can be trained to perform tricks such as walking on a leash and ringing a bell to ask for food. They have been known to solve complex problems, and they can learn to mimic human speech.

Hyacinth Macaws are very social birds and enjoy being around other Hyacinth Macaws and other parrots. They are very playful and enjoy playing with toys that move around or make noise, such as bells or whistles. These birds tend to be very loud when they talk, so if you want to keep them as pets, you should consider this before purchasing one.

Fast Fact

The Hyacinth Macaw can live up to 80 years old in captivity!


Cockatoos are great mimics, recreating human speech and other sounds. They can also solve complex problems, such as figuring out how to get out of a locked cage door or getting food from an otherwise inaccessible place.

Cockatoos have strong memories, which allows them to remember tricks and cues. A cockatoo may also be trained to perform complex tasks, such as retrieving objects or following simple commands. They are very social birds, so it's best to keep them with people or other parrots they are comfortable with.

Sun Conure

Sun conures are thought to be one of the most intelligent pet parrots. Sun conures can even be taught to speak simple words and phrases, including "Hello," "Good night" or "How are you?" This is because they have an excellent memory and are quick learners.

The intelligence level of a sun conure depends on its individual personality, but most sun conures are considered bright birds with high intelligence levels. Their intelligence makes them easy to train, as long as you spend enough time with them each day.


Lovebirds are highly intelligent and are able to understand more than 100 words, though they aren't the most vocal birds. Lovebirds also have a very good memory. They can recognize their owners after months or even years of separation! They are extremely playful and curious, so they need stimulation in order to stay happy.

Lovebirds have been observed performing mental tasks, such as counting objects or identifying shapes. These tasks that show that they have an understanding of quantity and shape. They also seem to be able to count up to around four or five items at once.

Eclectus Parrot

The Eclectus Parrot is one of the most intelligent parrots, but they can be challenging for the inexperienced owner. They need a lot of attention and do not make good pets for those who live in apartments, unless they can be taken outside on a regular basis. They are also not good pets for families with small children because they can be very possessive of their toys and food bowls.

Eclectus Parrots are also known for their quirky personalities. They are great for people who can spend a lot of time to spend with their pet and want a bird that will offer hours of entertain.


Cockatiels are smaller parrots that can be trained and are very intelligent. They have the ability to mimic words and sounds, including animal screeches. They also have a good memory and can be trained to do tricks such as walking on a leash, dancing, climbing ladders, and playing fetch with their favourite toy.

Cockatiels are very affectionate birds and enjoy spending time with their owners. They love to snuggle up next to you while you watch television or read a book.


Budgerigars are fun birds with big personalities. They are not only easy to train, but they love to learn new tricks and seem to enjoy the challenge! They can learn to identify and distinguish between individuals, follow simple commands, and solve complex problems.

Budgerigars can learn their owner's voice so that they will come when called, but they do not understand words as such. It has been suggested that budgerigars have language skills equivalent to those of a 4-year-old human child. They can also recognise themselves in mirrors, and need social interaction to stay happy and healthy.


Caique are known for their ability to mimic human speech and other sounds. They also have a high level of curiosity and need mental stimulation in order to be happy.

Caiques love to play with toys, especially balls with bells inside them. They also love to play hide-and-seek with their owners, which can be quite comical. A Caique needs to be kept busy or they will become bored, which can lead to destructive behavior.


Finches are not parrots, but they're still wicked smart. Their to learn how to make and use tools is extraordinary, and they can even pass the knowledge on to the next generation.

Finches have been known to use twigs for extracting insects from crevices in tree trunks. They also make use of other materials such as moss and grass stems. They will break off a particular length of stem that exactly fits the hole into which it is inserted. They don't do well with handling, however, and aren't as interactive as some other birds on this list.


Although Canaries aren't often the first species people think of when they think about "Braniac pet birds," these smart birds can be trained to sing on command. They are also very social, preferring to live in pairs or small flocks. In fact, canaries were originally bred by humans because they enjoy the company of people and other birds.

Canary birds are known for their ability to learn songs and mimic sounds. They have a special voice box that allows them to produce sounds beyond their normal vocal range. Canaries learn their songs from other birds, so if you want your canary to sing more than just random chirps, you need to train them by playing recordings of other birdsongs at an early age.

Choosing the Best Pet Bird

It's important to choose a bird that matches your lifestyle and personality. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right bird for you, including their long lifespan, how much space you can dedicate to them, and how often you plan to interact with them. Consider the species care requirements for any pet bird you're thinking about getting, and be ready to love them for years to come.

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These Are the Top 12 Smartest Big-Brain Pet Birds