Do Parrots Need Companions—Can They Live Alone

Do Parrots Need Companions—Can They Live Alone

A 7 minute read by Eddie Waithaka

#companionparrots #parrotpair

Parrots make adorable pets.

Away from dogs, cats, and fish, they are probably the most popular house animal.

However, more than any other pet, parrots need constant stimulation and get quite attached to their family members. They are not your typical pets that are fine when left on their own.

But in this day and age where we are all busy, many bird owners have no option but to leave their birdies alone for extended periods.

Given that fact, should you get your pet parrots a companion to play with while you're away?

Well, it depends on the type of bird you have and how much time you spend away from home.

A parrot that you spend a lot of time with, that has bonded with you and has a lot of toys to play with won't get too lonely and can be alone for a couple of hours a day.

Larger parrots, such as African greys and Amazons, also do better kept alone than smaller psittacines, but only with enough stimulation.

Whereas some parrots like Lovebirds are particularly prone to loneliness and require a companion.

That said, it takes a long time to introduce two parrots and consider them safe together, same species or not. Like people, they have preferences for friends and may never get along.

So, don't buy another bird as a friend to your parrot, only get it because you want a second bird, and hopefully, it will get along with the one you already have and keep it less lonely.

For better insight, please tag along as I explore the wonderful world of pet parrots some more.

Are Parrots Better Kept in Pairs

Parrots don't necessarily do better in pairs. It varies depending on the species and the amount of time you have to spend with your pet.

While smaller pet bird species such as finches and canaries tend to get lonely, and it's recommended you keep them in flocks of 3 or 5, pairing is not a must for parrot species.

I'm sure you've heard some keepers say lovebirds need to be paired, which is somewhat true because they crave companionship and stimulation than most parrots.

But apart from these colorful psittacines, cockatiels, conure, Quakers, Amazons, Sennies, Greys, parakeets, and other common parrot types don't exactly need pairing.

However, this does not mean keeping your parrots in pairs is less desirable. You just need to observe a few precautions, especially if you plan on introducing a new member to a flock.

For a start, if your parrot prefers human companions and has bonded with you, it does not make much sense getting it a mate. It's better to make more time for it and get plenty of toys for stimulation.

Introducing a new birdie may only vex your older parrot, making it agitated or even aggressive.

Having said that, if you can't get enough time to pay the required attention to your bird while at home or on the go, you can get it a pair but place them in different cages next to each other.

The reason I advise owners to separate their birds is to mainly prevent aggression. But to also ensure the new parrot does not introduce any ailment or parasites to the one you had.

In fact, if you suspect your new birdie is ill or infested, quarantine it far away from the older parrot for 30 to 90 days. Watch out for any odd behavior as well, and if you can, take the bird to an avian vet before you bring it home; Our Reptile Forum.

What Parrots Can Be Kept Together

Well, pretty much any parrot species will live with another psittacine, and other bird types, as long as they are not maintained in the same cage.

Plus, you need to make sure you supervise them when outside their cages since large birds can quite easily hurt the smaller ones.

Hook bills like cockatiels, although almost equally sized with budgies, may potentially hurt the flatbills hence require some level of guidance as well.

Noenetheless, away from the jealousy and aggression, even small birds like parakeets will provide company and stimulation for large Macaws, greys, and Amazons while you're out for errands.

Do African Grey Parrots Need Companions

African grey parrots and other large species like macaws and Amazons often don't need companions. One is challenging enough to keep, two are almost impossible to maintain, especially for busy owners.

But keep in mind African greys need a lot of stimulation, especially when kept singly.

So, buy them plenty of toys and a large cage for them to explore while you are away. A small companion bird and music are also tricks that work pretty well.

Moreover, it's better to create a bond with your parrot, so spend as much time as you can with them when you get home. Train, play, talk, and dance with your grey for at least a couple of hours a day.

If you must get a companion for your African grey, research both birds to see how much time and work they demand.

You also don't have to get the two birds at once, especially if you are new to the hobby. Buy one first, then add another if the birdie gets too lonely, and only if you're confident you can handle both.

Do Quaker Parrots Need Companions

Most time, I recommend getting a companion for your smaller parrots like parakeets since they are easy to care for, and keeping large, more challenging species like African greys singly.

But for medium-sized psittacines such as Quakers and conures, I'm sort of in the middle. They will enjoy being in a pair, but this also means a tad more work and time caring for them.

From a loneliness perspective, a quaker parrot does not need a companion at home, as long as you keep it busy and spend time with it.

However, if you still choose to maintain yours with a companion, a cockatiel is a better size, but they can grow into flightly, nervous birds and often do.

A budgie is far too small to be safe with a Quakers, but the vocal, green (blue) parrots are also too territorial and could bring out the aggressive side of large-sized companions like macaws.

Quakers and sennies are almost equally sized, though Senegals are a tad less mischievous. As such, they may get along, but make sure the belligerents don't stress out your adorable Poicephalus.

Sun conures are another ideal choice for Quakers. They are both medium-sized pets and are not too demanding compared to African greys or cockatoos.

My Two Cents

All Psittacines are, to a certain extent, fine living alone. You only need to make sure you show them enough attention and offer them loads of toys to keep them stimulated.

Only get another parrot if you really want to, but not to help keep your other birdie less lonely because they may never be friends or even get along.

You also need to accept that your birds will most probably need to live in individual cages for safety reasons.

If you suspect your parrot is getting too lonely, form a stronger bond with it. Parrots are flock animals that need company. But at home, instead of other birds, they consider you their companion.

So, accustom yourself to slay, train, cuddle, and even watch TV and listen to music with your birdie.

Happy Birding 🦜🐦.