What Kind of Birds Can Live With Parakeets?

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Parakeets are among the best parrots to have as caged pets. Since they are flock birds in the wild, they like to have company, including other parakeets and even other small birds. It's important to consider the size of the birds to house together, their species' general temperament, how much space each requires, and how to give the birds places they can call their own.

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Parrots like to have other birds around them.
Image Credit: cynoclub/iStock/GettyImages

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Parakeets with other parakeets

Parakeets are social birds, so it's a good idea to consider getting two at the same time. They will bond with each other, groom one another, play, and chatter. If you only have one, you will be the playmate, and you'll need to spend a lot of time with your parakeet. You may have better luck teaching a lone parakeet to talk, hop on your finger, or do tricks because a single bird will pay more attention to you. If you aren't around a lot, one parakeet can get lonely, but two will keep each other company.

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Even when birds are the same species, though, they don't always get along. If you're in a pet store where many parakeets are caged together, look for two who are grooming each other or playing together. Avoid those that are pecking at or otherwise being aggressive toward other birds. Some experts say female parakeets are more aggressive and territorial, so it's wise not to have two females, but other people consider that an unfair generalization. Experts do agree that two males or a male/female pair seem to get along fine.

Types of pet finches matter

Many people report success housing parakeets and finches together in spite of experts warning against housing hook-billed birds together, such as budgies with soft-billed birds like finches, who can get hurt if budgies decide to peck them with their bill.

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One of the factors to consider is the size of the birds. If there is too much difference in size, the larger birds may bully or even attack the smaller ones. Both parakeets and finches are small, active, social birds, assuming that the parakeets are budgerigars (budgies) and not another type of parakeet who is significantly larger. Parakeets are not as aggressive as some bird species, so they usually get along with finches when housed with them.

Whether the birds will be compatible also depends on the types of pet finches you are considering, as some types of finches don't even get along with other types of finches. However, zebra finches, striated finches, spice finches, and double-barred finches generally get along with other finches and usually do well with budgies too. Finches are more active than budgies and seem to always be flitting from one part of their habitat to another. Having enough space for finches to get around helps when housing them with parakeets because finches won't be sitting and trying to share perches with the budgies very often.

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Cockatiels yes, canaries no

Although cockatiels are medium-size birds, they are known to do well with budgies, probably due to the cockatiel's laid-back nature. They aren't likely to bully the budgies nor try to dominate them by claiming their perches. If anything, it could be the more feisty budgies who would dominate. Both birds like the same kinds of toys and have similar dietary needs, although every bird should be given his own food dish.

You might think canaries and parakeets would be fine together since they are similar in size, but the delicate canaries may be bullied by the parakeets.

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Ample space is vital

The key to keeping multiple birds of any type together is adequate space. Each bird should be able to extend her wings from any angle without hitting cage bars or perches or having her tail stick out of the cage. They all should have room to hop or fly to perches with at least 4 inches of perch space for each small bird and 12 inches for medium-size birds, like cockatiels.

They also need space to climb, play with toys, and eat from their own dish as well as space to be alone when desired. If you plan to have numerous birds, consider a simple aviary instead of a cage or keep different birds in their own cages but have a common area where they can come out and play.

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