My wife keeps kidding me that we should buy a pet parrot because she knows that its constant talking would drive me crazy! Of course, she’d teach it a few select phrases that would annoy me, so I’d have to agree with my wife! Yes, a chattering bird would drive me insane! And that chattering has me wondering – are there any quiet birds that would make good pets! Hmmm…
A Vocal Nature
There is a reason for birds to be vocal. In the wild, birds need to call out to their flock friends and family for them to survive against a predator attack and other dangers. Their vocal nature also allows others to know of their whereabouts. With this in mind would you ever be able to find a quiet bird? Or at least a bird that keeps their voices at an acceptable level? Let’s face it – no pet bird will be completely silent. Nevertheless, here is a list of less vocal birds:
The Zebra Finch
These birds are an excellent option for bird lovers who desire a quieter bird. The Zebra Finch is a small bird with a voice to match its stature. I call them the beeper bird because their voices sound like little beeps. Throughout the day, this could annoy some people, but the birds tend to beep low in a tone that is not super annoying. They love to eat seed, but they are messy eaters. Keep a vacuum handy!
Parakeets (a.k.a. Budgies)
What bird looks like a parrot but is smaller? That would be the parakeet. Parakeets are not only a part of the parrot family, they also have the verbal ability like their larger family members! The main difference between parrots and parakeets (other than their size) is that parakeets cannot physically scream like parrots which is fine because you don’t want a loud mouth bird anyway! One caution here: do not repeatedly cuss in front of a parakeet because just like the parrot, they will learn those words.
These tiny birds resemble a parrot but have small voices like the parakeet and lack the screaming ability of their hook-bill cousins. The most they can do is chirp and chatter softly which is not disturbing to even the most sensitive ears. This little soft chirper may be the bird for which you seek!
Looking for a bird more substantial than a Parakeet or Finch but still have a quieter voice than many other birds? If so, the Cockatiel may be the bird for you! These beautiful companion birds can be trained to learn behaviors and to even talk! You must, however, care for and respect them as you would their larger bird cousins. Sometimes, when in the mood, they can emit a long whistle which could take you by surprise!
These medium-sized birds average at about 10 inches in length and they are regarded as one of the quietest birds in the parrot species. They can vocalize and they do have the ability for speech but they are a parrot that refrains from screeching and screaming like other medium- and large-sized parrots. In other words, a Senegal Parrot’s loud calling instincts are nearly always in check.
Even though these small chirping birds are often shown singing without abandon, we are still obligated to mention them. You may well ask, “Why would you want a songbird when all you want is quiet?” Well, it’s a well-kept secret that only the males of the species are the singers. The female canary merely nonchalantly chirps to herself! The chirp could be annoying to some but the noise is minor and the bird is cute!
By Tom Matteo
The Spruce Pets: Quiet Pet Bird Species
PBS Specialist Pet Travel: Quiet Pet Birds
About the Author
Tom Matteo has been a freelance writer since 1992. He has written hardware and software reviews for computers and gaming systems, and now writes about animal behavior and care. Tom resides in Bethlehem, PA with his wife, Tina, and their beloved cockapoo, Angel.