Let me guess, you just went over to a friend’s house or local pet store and were mesmerized by the majestic creatures known as parrots…
You were taken aback by the colorful plumage, the crushing beak strength, and maybe even the impressive vocal ability.
After witnessing your friend’s relationship with their bird, you got excited by the prospect of having a bird of your very own, right?
Well, before you run off to adopt a bird to start your very own flock, let’s take a step back and explore what exactly you are getting yourself into.
In addition to the time commitment (properly raising a parrot is akin to taking care of a toddler), you need to be aware of the financial commitment involved in this endeavor as well.
There are crucial initial/upfront costs to consider, as well as ongoing costs that you need to budget for each month and each year of parrot ownership.
How Much is a Parrot? Initial Costs of Pet Bird Ownership
Like finding any prized pet, parrot species come with their own range of options available to get started.
The price you ultimately pay for initially bringing your new feathered friend home can vary drastically depending on where your bird comes from and the exact species and color mutation. For example, the difference between Cockatoos and Cockatiels is unbelievable.
There are several common sources available including rescue centers, breeders, and pet stores. We’ll cover each source in-depth in a separate adoption guide.
While we highly recommend adopting from a local rescue center whenever possible, the prices below reflect the current market range in U.S. Dollars from various breeders and pet stores since their prices are widely available online and make for easy comparisons.
The prices reflect the more common/typical species available, though rare color mutations are also included where appropriate.
That said, let’s check out the prices of actually buying your bird, then go over additional considerations and ongoing costs you can expect for each addition to your flock 🙂
Parrot & Pet Bird Prices (In Alphabetical Order by Species and Subspecies)
African Grey Parrot Price: $800-$3,600
African Grey Parrots aren’t cheap. They come with the price tag of an English Bulldog (without the slobber, luckily) and the intelligence of a dolphin. There are two main types of this clever bird: Congo and Timneh, with Congo African Greys (CAGs) being the more common of the two.
- Congo African Grey
- Timneh African Grey
Amazon Parrot Price: $500-$2,500
These popular birds native to the Amazon jungle come in a wide variety of subspecies and an average price tag of $1,500.
- Blue Fronted Amazon
- Lilac Crowned Amazon
- Mealy Amazon
- Orange Winged Amazon
- Panama Amazon
- Red Head Amazon
- Red Lored Amazon
- Spectacle Amazon
- White Fronted Amazon
- Yellow Naped Amazon
- Double Yellow Headed Amazon
Budgie Price: $15-$100
Budgerigars (aka Budgies) are the most popular and affordable pet birds in the world. Coincidence? I think not. Many budgie owners start off with one or two budgies, only to find themselves caring for a full-on budgie brigade before they know it.
- Albino Budgie
- Black Budgie
- English Budgie
- Feather Duster Budgie
- Green Budgie
- Lutino Budgie
- Opaline Budgie
- Pink Budgie
- Rainbow Budgie
- Red Budgie
- Violet Budgie
- White Budgie
- Yellow Budgie
Caique Parrot Price: $900-$2,000
These mid-sized, playful birds can be difficult to find and come in two varieties with the White Bellied Caique generally priced higher than its Black Headed counterpart.
- Black Headed
- White Bellied
Cockatiel Parrot Price: $50-$275
The smallest member of the cockatoo family, “Tiels” are native to Australia and expect the price to vary depending on the color mutation. The traditional yellow and white birds with orange cheeks are less expensive while the Lutino Cockatiel will run on the higher end.
- Albino Cockatiel
- Ashenfallow Cockatiel
- Blue Cockatiel
- Cinnamon Cockatiel
- Grey Cockatiel
- Lutino Cockatiel
- Pearl Cockatiel
- Pied Cockatiel
- White Cockatiel
- Yellow Cockatiel
Cockatoo Parrot Price: $800-$3,000+
While a popular pet, raising a cockatoo is no cakewalk; though turning a cockatoo into a true companion is an exceptionally rewarding experience. Smaller cockatoos tend to have a lower price tag while their larger counterparts will run in the thousands of dollars.
Depending on the mutation, you’ll find some “Toos” on the market for well over $10,000 due to the breeding difficulty.
- Black Palm Cockatoo
- Galah Cockatoo (aka Rose-breasted)
- Goffin’s Cockatoo
- Major Mitchells Cockatoo
- Moluccan Cockatoo
- Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
- Umbrella Cockatoo
Conure Parrot Price: $175-$3,000
These active, medium-sized parrots typically come with a reasonable price tag with the average being about $500, though the rare Golden variety runs upwards of a few thousand dollars.
- Blue Crown Conure
- Green Cheek Conure
- Golden Conure
- Jenday Conure
- Nanday Conure
- Pineapple Conure
- Sun Conure
Eclectus Parrot Price: $800-$2,500
Eclectus parrots are the easiest parrot to tell the gender of due to their extreme dimorphism (males are distinctly green while females are red) and can be found for an average of $1,500. The rare Blue Solomon Island Eclectus can be had for around $20,000
- Grand Eclectus
- Red Sided Eclectus
- Solomon Island Eclectus
- Vosmaeri Eclectus
Hawk Headed (Red-Fan) Parrot Price: $2,000-$4,000
A rare find, this parrot can flare up its head feathers into an elaborate red fan. Be sure to provide it enough room for its hairdo!
Jardine (Red-Fronted) Parrot Price: $500-$1,200
One of the largest members of the Poicephalus species, Jardine’s can cost upwards of one thousand dollars.
Lories & Lorikeet Parrot Price: $600-$1,000
These strikingly beautiful birds make a colorful and friendly addition to any aviary. Rainbow lorikeets can typically be found for $400-$800 while Swainson’s Lories are in the range of $800-$1,200
- Swainson’s Lory
- Rainbow Lorikeet (Green-Naped Lory)
Lovebird Parrot Price: $50-$200
These lovely, smaller parrots come in a wide variety of colors and are commonly sold in pairs due to the strong, monogamous bond they form with their mate (hence the name). They make for loud, yet very friendly companions.
- Black Mask Lovebird
- Fischer’s Lovebird
- Peach Faced (Rosy Faced) Lovebird
Macaw Parrot Price: $700-$3,000+
Macaws are typically what people imagine when you mention the word “parrot.” Like lovebirds, macaws form a lifelong, monogamous bond with their chosen mate.
These inquisitive birds have amazingly strong beaks and you can expect to pay low 3-figures for one depending on the subspecies, coloration, and hybrid. If you opt for the largest of all pet parrots, a Hyacinth Macaw will run you over $10,000.
- Blue and Gold Macaw: $700-$2,500
- Green Wing Macaw (Red & Green Macaw)
- Harlequin Macaw: $1,200-$3,500
- Hyacinth Macaw: $10,000
- Hybrid Macaw
- Military Macaw: $1,200-$1,500
- Scarlet Macaw: $2,500-$3,500
- Spix Macaw: $100,000+
Mini Macaw Parrot Price: $700-$2,000
The little brothers of the Macaw family, minis measure in at under 50cm long. You can find the mostly green-feathered Hahn’s Macaw for under $1,200 while a Severe Macaw runs around $2,000.
- Hahn’s Macaw
- Severe Macaw (Chestnut Fronted Macaw)
Parakeet Parrot Price: $20-800
These small to medium sized birds come in a huge array of colors and subspecies and make great pets. More common varieties cost $20-$50 on the low end while rarer versions will cost you closer to $1,000.
- Alexandrine Parakeet
- Bourke Parakeet
- Canary Wing Parakeet
- Lineolated Parakeet
- Mustache Parakeet
- Red Rump Parakeet
- Ringneck Indian Parakeet
Parrotlet Parrot Price: $150-$350
These sociable, smaller parrots come with a relatively small price tag of about $250 on average. The Celestial/Pacific subspecies can run upwards of $500.
- Celestial (Pacific) Parrotlet
- Mexican Parrotlet
- Spectacled Parrotlet
- Yellow Faced Parrotlet
Pionus Parrot Price: $500-$2,000
These medium parrots are very similar to Amazons but slightly smaller, with indistinguishable males and females. The average Pionus costs $1,250 but expect to pay $2,000+ for certain subspecies.
- Blue Headed Pionus
- Bronze-Winged Pionus
- Dusky Pionus
- Maximilian’s (Scaly Headed) Pionus
- White Capped Pionus
Quaker (Monk) Parrot Price: $300-$700
The only parrot species that uses sticks to build nests, Quaker (aka Monk) Parrots average about $450 and make for great talkers and trainees.
Senegal Parrot Price: $600-$800
A popular Poicephalus subspecies, grey-headed Senegals run for around $700.
Toucan Parrot Price: $4,000-$15,000
The Pinocchio of the parrot world, the price tag of the long-nosed Toucan can leave you with a long face. Expect to shell out either around $5,000 or $12,000 on the higher end for one of these tropical birds.
Non-Parrot Pet Bird Prices
Canary Price: $50-$250
Known for their beautiful songs, these sweet birdies are bred for their various song patterns as well as colors and other physical characteristics. Below is a brief sample of the many varieties of canaries around which can be found for an average of $150:
- American Singer Canary
- Black Headed Canary
- Gloster Canary
- Lemon Breasted Canary
- Lizard Canary
- Portuguese Harlequin Canary
- Yellow-Fronted Canary
- Yorkshire Canary
Dove Price: $30-400
Known for their sweet and gentle demeanor, the average dove costs $100. I have seen the rare Pink Headed Fruit Dove for over $1,500 though! If you are looking for a tranquil companion, these birds are a great option.
- Diamond Dove
- Fruit Dove
- Green Winged Dove
- Pink Headed Dove
- Ringneck Dove
- Zebra Dove
Finch Price: $20-$150
These small birds typically come with a similarly small price tag. The more common Zebra Finch runs about $20 while more colorful varieties like the Gouldian will cost at least $100 with rare color mutation varieties costing $250+.
- Gouldian Finch
- Weaver Finch
- Zebra Finch
Additional Upfront & Ongoing Costs To Expect For Food, Care, and Housing
Now that you’ve got an idea of what the actual bird will cost, it’s time to explore the other aspects of bringing home a new feathered friend…
Just like with other pets like dogs or cats you will need to plan for regular vet visits, buy food, toys, and consider insurance.
And of course, you’ll need provide a place for your bird to call home – i.e., a cozy cage!
One-Time (or Long-Lasting) Expenses
Initial Avian Vet Check-Up
Any time you bring home a new pet (whether he/she has feathers, fins, or four legs), one of the first things you’ll want to do is evaluate their current health condition. You will want to become aware of any diseases/conditions in order to best care for them.
This will involve scheduling a consultation for an initial check-up with your friendly neighborhood avian veterinarian. Depending on where you live and your bird’s species, a basic check-in can cost $50-$200.
Additional services such as microchipping, DNA gender testing, and a full-on blood panel will add on to the initial bill.
Pro Tip: Ask the rescue center for any medical records/history for your bird to share with your vet. Be wary of any place (especially pet stores and breeders) that won’t share medical history or where they get their birds treated.
One of the most important expenses is that of your parrot’s cage, which is where they will spend their nights and likely some portion of each day.
Depending on your bird’s size, appropriate cages can run from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for a standard powder-coated cage up to a shiny stainless steel option.
In addition to a full-size cage, you will also want to invest in a travel carrier, which is a crucial piece of equipment for safely transporting your bird to and from vet visits.
Recurring & Incidental Expenditures
Food & Treats
Polly want a cracker? While crackers are seen as stereotypical parrot chow, a well-rounded diet will consist of fresh fruits & vegetables as well as a variety of nuts, seeds, and pellet blends.
And don’t forget about the occasional treat!
A healthy parrot diet can cost $25-$100 per month depending on factors such as your bird’s size, the food quality (i.e. organic or not), and if you buy in bulk or smaller quantities.
Toys & Accessories
Now let’s talk about the fun stuff! It is crucial to keep your bird occupied, both by playing with her and giving her plenty of toys and objects to peruse.
Like any intelligent creature, birds need constant mental stimulation which can be achieved by providing a variety of perches plus toys to chew on and forage.
New perches & toys can cost $5-$25 each (less if you make your own), and depending on how playful and destructive your bird is he may need a constant influx of them! Keep a close eye on when toys are getting worn out and are either no longer useful or on the verge of becoming dangerous to your bird’s safety.
Keep in mind it is important to rotate the types of toys you provide in order to further stimulate your bird – otherwise they will get bored of the same old toy. Check out a full array of options here: https://www.birdcagesnow.com/collections/bird-toys
Also, be sure to consider play stands for when your feathered friend is out of their cage. These stands provide a place for them to perch outside their cage, and can take the form of small, simple table-top options up to full indoor trees! Depending on the size, style, material, and quality, play gyms and stands can cost from $25-$300.
Insurance & Vet Visits
Pet insurance is highly recommended! This medical coverage will run in the range of $5-$30 per month and will help cover the cost of illness, injuries, accidents, and death. A good insurance plan will help you cover those large out-of-pocket events.
You should also account for annual vet visits and even unexpected emergency care. Talk to your vet to get an idea of what they will charge in the event of a worst case scenario.
Other common cost considerations include:
- Boarding: do you travel a lot? If so, vacation boarding can cost $10-$25 per night. A cheaper alternative is to find a trusty pet sitter, friend, or neighbor to watch after your bird while you are away from the nest.
- Cleaning Supplies: you will want to keep a supply of cleaning products, paper towels, and newspaper on hand to keep the cage nice and sanitary.
- Grooming: this cost can vary drastically depending on whether you do it yourself or hire a professional groomer. The DIY option will involve purchasing items such as beak and nail trimmers.
- Replacing Non-Stick Cookware: while not an obvious expense, you will want to swap out any non-stick cookware since the fumes are toxic to a bird’s sensitive respiratory system.
- Lifespan: Cats may have 9 lives, but parrots can have one very long one! Take into account how long your parrot will live from our guide here because longer lifespans mean you will need to buy more food, toys, and everything above each year.
Here is a short video about what to expect when adopting your first parrot:
Phew, so there you have it! Now that you know what to expect financially by bringing home a feathered friend, you can make an informed decision about what kind of bird suits your lifestyle and budget.
I know it is a lot to take in at first, but it is important to consider every aspect of owning one of these intelligent beings. While the initial cost is the first thing that comes to most people’s mind, don’t forget that there are ongoing costs that will add up as well.
And as always, please make sure you are willing to actively care for and provide daily love and interaction with your bird.
If not, then it is best to wait until you are able to wholeheartedly care for a pet parrot – which will be a much more rewarding experience for both you and them!
For you current parrot parents out there – do these costs align with your own experience? What other aspects are important considerations for bringing home a new pet bird? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
How Much Is A Parrot? Full Cost of Pet Bird Ownership (in 2020) is written by Bird Cages Now for www.birdcagesnow.com