What Is the Best Parrot for an Apartment?

What Is the Best Parrot for an Apartment?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

What is the best parrot for an apartment? The answers thus far have been pretty limited (on Quora).

We (Mitch & Catherine) live in a three-flat apartment building, erected circa 1885 in the geographical center of the city of Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood.

It’s 1800 ft.² with 9 1/2 foot ceilings. The all-brick building is quite solid.

We like parrots. We are in the (caged bird) pet supply business. It’s our job to know about them.

For the record, we don’t sell any birds. We simply teach proper care for about 750 captive bird species out of approximately 10,400 species of birds on the planet.

3 story brick apartment building built 1885 Ukrainian Village Chicago Our home and home office of 11 years (1st flr)

The first thing I’ll do is take a macro view of the apartment question and probably eliminate most if not all of the species that come from South America which are primarily macaws and conures

For the record every conure is a parakeet but not every parakeet is a conure. Most of those species are relatively noisy even the small ones like green cheeks and sun conures.

If we move west across the South Pacific we come to Australia and New Zealand where we will find lots of noisy birds including around 30 species of cockatoos, grass-eating parakeets including budgerigars (budgies), cockatiels, kakapos, kakas, and keas.

It’s like they begin to plan their day and talk about what happened the day before. Budgies can get loud because in the wild of Australia they fly in enormous flocks.

I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of birds in need to communicate with one another and within the flock during flight while on the ground so they can probably vocalize louder than most people give them credit for.

Cockatiels would be a good choice but they can have a shrill whistle.

So as to give you a broader choice, I would continue west across the Indian Ocean to the continent of Africa where there are more choices than you might realize.

Starting with poicephallus, species like Senegal’s, red bellies and Meyers make a great choice for an apartment.

Living with in an apartment with a Senegal parrot allows me to say with confidence Senegal’s make great apartment captive birds.

People think of them as larger parrots but our Senegal is 111 g. Cockatiels tend to run 85 – 100 g but just have longer tails.

A cape parrot, another member of the poicephalus family may a bit too vocal for many caged bird keeper’s ears.

Lovebirds are generally not loud although a solitary lovebird can be a little screechy.  And our quiet little Senegal does ramp up her noise if she loses eye contact with me anywhere in the apartment for long.

Birds need to vocalize to communicate any number of things (in the wild). “Where’s the best place for food”. “Hey I’m looking for a mate” “I think there’s a predator nearby”.

In our household a step stool replaces a predator in terms of eliciting some excited verbalization’s when we walk by with it.

For the most part, parrots in general are not consistently noisy. Most will shout out a sunrise salute in certain species of cockatoos like umbrellas have the propensity to scream enough to drive people crazy.

It’s important to understand the screams are a form of communication. Many caged bird keepers make the mistake of yelling at a bird to “shut up”. Which is interpreted by the bird as “hey thanks for chatting with me, squawk squawk squawk squawk”.

Remember it’s the humans that should set the tone and noise levels in the home, not the animals. Hope that helps.

We have 4 budgies this what they sound like – way better than that soothing sounds water rock thing that your sister shipped back from Nepal.


Name: Sherry C

Mitch, thank u for Sunday Brunch. Is very helpful. Regarding soy, I reviewed all my parrot foods. Soy in all of them. Is the Alternative Tropican the only pellets without soy/corn?

Its hard to tell the size of the Tropican pellet from the picture. I’m sure our Green Wing Macaw would be OK but not sure about our smaller parrots.

Does the Hagen Company plan to make pellet sizes for all birds. I hope other companies take soy/corn out of their pellets. Now about peanuts, I understood peanuts were harmful to parrots.

Yet you find peanuts in the pellet blend and in the shell in some treat mixtures. I can’t remember where I saw this information but the human peanuts are OK??? I’m confused??

Another question, lima beans. The person in your article regarding soy I’m pretty sure said her bird likes lima beans.

Well, my Green Wing loved them but when I read the article not to feed them to our bird I stopped giving them to her. Do you have any comments about this food? Is there an updated list of do not feed your parrot these goods. Thank you so much.

Hi Sherry

Alternative Tropican pellets currently only come in a 4mm granule which is suitable to medium birds like greys, amazons, etc. Whether your macaw will accept it can only be known by serving it up.

Peanuts are fine for parrots. The largest producers of peanuts are found in South America – where many species of parrots are found.

This issue is mold – they need to be fresh so any peanut is fine as long as it’s unsalted and fresh

Large beans: Anasazi, Black, Fava, Kidney, Lima, Navy, Pinto, Soy, are not suggested for sprouting. These legumes can cause toxicity and remain difficult to digest.

Their raw flavor is also very bad. If choose to serve these to your bird they MUST be soaked for a minimum of 8 hours, water drained and beans rinsed well, and then cooked by bringing them to a full boil, boiling uncovered for 10 minutes, covered and simmered for another 20 minutes. Green Lima beans like you see in frozen mixed vegetables are perfectly safe to use.

Always by telling the what bird he has to do to be good. Good Boy, No Bite. No like biting. GOOD BOY.


Hi Sue

Generally birds only respond to positive reinforcement and much has to do with the tone in your voice.

When your bird hears “No Bite. No like biting” it is much like you or me hearing the words “Bù yǎo rén, bù xǐhuān yǎo” which is “No Bite. No like biting” in Chinese (simplified).

Parrots have no cognitive association with words and negative behavior.

Biting is not negative behavior.

Biting is a communication tool. Peaches our Senegal rarely bites me – hard.

Except if she’s on my shoulder (which is not often) because when my wife Catherine walks by and gets too close, I feel a hypodermic needle on my neck and I know that’s Peaches saying to me “how dare you cheat on me”.

When we remember to keep our distance if we have a bird on board, the biting never occurs. I don’t have to say a word to Peaches, I remove the trigger.

Birds bite for a number of reasons, fear, to attract attention, to climb.

Getting bit is simply not acceptable. Peaches will always bite Catherine – she hates her.

Thus Catherine will use a long dowel perch to move Peaches from her travel cage to her sleeping cage never allowing the opportunity to get bitten.

So you need to watch for triggers and remove biting opportunities. Learn your bird’s body language. We call it “Speaking Bird“.


Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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