One of the biggest things that draws people to parrots are their colors. Beyond their mess, their noise and sometimes odd behaviors, you cannot deny that these are some gorgeous pet birds.
Of course, some parrots are are just more vibrant and colorful than others. In no particular order, here are the most colorful pet birds.
1. Sun Conures
Baby sun conures are mostly green with oranges and yellows that seem on the dull side, but don’t let these ugly ducklings fool you! They grow into beautiful swans. As a sun conure gets older, the green fades away and the orange, reds and yellows of their feathers become bright as the sun they’re named after.
Sun conures are native to South America, and with their bright colors, come bold personalities and loud voices. These parrots are not meant for apartments unless you want angry neighbors. They are active birds, too, so they need cages that give them plenty of room to play and climb, along with time out with you to hang out.
2. Rainbow Lorikeets
It’s not hard to guess why these parrots have “rainbow” in their name. Their backs are green, but their bellies are rainbow colored, with bright reds and nearly iridescent blues. Top that with a bright orange beak, and you’re looking at nearly all the colors of rainbow on one bird.
You might have seen these parrots if you’ve ever been in a zoo, and fed them nectar. Rainbow Lorikeets are able to eat fruits and some vegetables, but their main diet consists of nectar. The wet consistency of their diets means they, well, squirt out wet poop. Watch your head when around these guys.
With their gorgeous colors and great personalities, you can’t help but fall in love with these birds.
“They make me feel happy and giddy inside,” said Crystal Apilado, former web editor for Bird Talk magazine, in Whittier, California. “It’s like watching Rainbow Brite do some color magic.”
3. Male And Female Eclectus
At first glance, you might not realize that male and female Electus are the same species. How could they be? The male is bright green with an orange beak that fades into yellow, blue on the shoulder of their wings, and a splash of red under the wings. The female is the exact opposite, mostly red with a belly of bluish purple. Depending on the subspecies, a female’s tail feathers might be dipped in bright yellow. Yet, despite all claims to the contrary, these parrots are the same species.
Color also plays a huge role in their lives, as researchers have discovered. It turns out that female Eclectus spend most of their lives in a nest, defending it viciously from any other female who might try to steal it. The bright red of their feathers act almost as a beacon for males to find them and come feed them. One female can have multiple male suitors who feed her enough that she never has to leave the nest.
Since males spend so much time flying around looking for food to feed their many potential mates, they need to be able to blend in with the green foliage around them. That’s why they’re green in color. However, they do need to be able to show off to the female for a chance to mate with her, so the green of their feathers glows under ultraviolet light. Parrots can see ultraviolet light, so while we see the bright greens and reds, parrots see glowing colors.
4. Scarlet Macaws
All the macaws are beautiful. The blue and yellow colors of the blue-and-yellow macaw are iconic. The bright blue of the hyacinth macaw makes them one of the most sought-after macaws in the world. However, they don’t compare to the scarlet macaw.
Imagine red sleek feathers tinted with a hint of orange. On the wings are blue and yellow, with just a hint of green. That’s the colors that scarlet macaws bring to the table, easily making them one of the most colorful birds on this list. And many scarlet macaw owners say they’re birds know it, too. While other macaws are playful clowns, scarlet macaws seem to be more reserved, just inviting people to bask in their beauty.
5. American Parakeets (or Budgerigars)
American parakeets/budgerigars are one of the most popular birds — if not the most popular bird — in the world, and for good reason. They’re great talkers, have lively personalities and make amazing pets. They also have an amazing range of colors thanks to breeding by aviculturists. While budgies in the wild are a mix of green, yellow and browns with a tiny splash of blue, the mutations are quite gorgeous.
“They have many patterns and a fairly wide range of colors,” said Jill Casteel, an artist who specializes in bird portraits. While she believes African greys are quite beautiful, budgies are a close second in terms of bird beauty.
“I love the helmet patterns on the head and the scalloping on the edges of the wings,” said Castell, who owns Red Tail Art in Derry, New Hampshire. “They’re classy. Timeless. Sweet as a freshly picked apple in an orchard.”
All parrots are beautiful. There’s the beautiful pink of the rose-breasted cockatoo, or the brightly fiery-orange found on the wings and crest feathers of the pink Major Mitchell’s cockatoo. The golden conure or Queen of Bavaria is a solid yellow that looks like gold and makes them absolutely gorgeous. And some of the ring-necked parakeets, such as the plum-headed parakeet, make you wonder how such a beautiful color even exists on such a small parrot.
What parrot do you think is the most colorful? Let us know in the comments.