8 Top Red Birds to Keep as Pets

Sun Parakeets
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You might be familiar with the red feathers of certain macaw species, but there are many more red parrots and other birds that can make great pets. These birds come in all sizes, and some have relatively short lifespans while others can live for 50 years or more. Here are eight red bird species you'll often spot in people's homes.


Birds typically maintain their vibrant plumage for most of the year unless they're molting. If your bird's feathers are looking dull, that's often a sign of a dietary issue.

  • 01 of 08

    Scarlet Macaw

    Scarlet macaw flying

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    Originating in South America, scarlet macaws can reach lengths of around 35 inches from head to tail. Thus, they need a spacious enclosure and room to play out of the cage. These red parrots are very intelligent and active, requiring ample daily mental and physical exercise. They can be quite affectionate, but they also tend to be rather noisy at times.

    Species Overview

    Length: 31 to 38 inches

    Weight: 32 to 39 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Vivid red with yellow and blue on wings and tail; white circles around eyes; tan upper bill and black lower bill; black feet

  • 02 of 08

    Red-and-Green Macaw

    red-and-green macaw on a branch

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    Although their name suggests otherwise, red-and-green macaws are actually primarily red. These large birds hail from South America and have specialized care requirements not everyone is prepared to handle. Contact a local rescue to meet their birds if possible, so you can get a feel for their personalities and requirements. They can live for 50 years or more, so adopting one is no small decision.

    Species Overview

    Length: 26 to 40 inches

    Weight: 32 to 60 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Red on head, shoulders, and breast; green on middle of wings turning to blue toward the tips; teal and red tail, red lines around eyes; tan upper bill and black lower bill

  • 03 of 08

    Female Eclectus

    female eclectus parrot

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    The eclectus is a dimorphic species, meaning you can tell the sex of a bird by its feather colors. While the males display bright green plumage, the females exhibit primarily red feathers with a splash of blue on their bellies. Eclectus parrots originated in Australia, and their generally friendly and easygoing personalities have made them popular pets around the world.

    Species Overview

    Length: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 13 to 19 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily emerald green, red and blue under wings, and orange beak (male); primarily bright red, blue on chest and tail, and black beak (female)

  • 04 of 08

    Crimson Rosella

    Crimson rosella

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    As far as red parrots go, few are as brilliantly colored as the crimson rosella. These medium-sized parrots generally aren’t easy to tame and require lots of handling to maintain a friendly demeanor. They’re not usually as cuddly as some other parrots, but social birds will happily perch on their caretakers. They’re also not the best talkers but can learn to whistle well.

    Species Overview

    Length: 10 to 14 inches

    Weight: 5 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Red with patches of blue on face, wings, and tail; black feathers highlighting back; females have green on tail

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Canary (Red Factor)

    red canary in blue cage against blue wall
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    Most people know canaries as yellow birds, but selective breeding has produced an array of colors, including red. These are generally hands-off pets, as they’re quite small and not readily tamed. That means they should live in as large of an enclosure as possible, as that usually is their sole exercise space. Only the male canaries have the notable melodious songs.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 to 8 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Feathers of bright yellow (most common), red, orange, or white; some varieties have head crests or frilly feathers

  • 06 of 08

    African Grey

    African grey on a perch

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    The African grey is obviously primarily gray, but it does have flashes of red on its tail feathers. These birds are among the most intelligent parrots, making them somewhat of a challenge to keep entertained. Fortunately, most tend to be quite sociable and love to play games or learn tricks with their caretakers. They also can be extremely talented talkers.

    Species Overview

    Length: 9 to 14 inches

    Weight: 11 to 19 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Mostly gray plumage with pale edging; black beak and bright red tail (Congo African grey); tan upper beak and maroon tail (Timneh African grey)

  • 07 of 08

    Rose-Breasted Cockatoo

    Rose-breasted cockatoo with outstretched wings

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    The rose-breasted cockatoo leans more on the pink side than a true red, but it’s a sight to behold nonetheless. Also known as galah, their native Aboriginal Australian name, these birds typically are friendly and affectionate with their caretakers. But as social birds, they require lots of attention and can become upset or destructive if they feel ignored.

    Species Overview

    Length: 12 to 15 inches

    Weight: 10 to 14 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Pink chest and lower part of face; pinkish-white crest; gray back, wings, and tail; gray feet; tan beak

  • 08 of 08

    Cherry-Headed Conure

    cherry-headed conure in a tree

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    Although the cherry-headed conure is primarily green, it’s recognized for its bright red mask. These birds are one of the most talkative conure species, making them difficult to keep in apartments or other housing with nearby neighbors. They love being the center of attention and require a devoted caretaker to give them lots of mental and physical exercise.

    Species Overview

    Length: 11 to 13 inches

    Weight: 6 ounces

    Physical Characteristics: Green body; bright red on face and head; some have red extending down neck; red at tops of wings; white rings around eyes; tan beak; gray feet