11 Best Yellow Parrots That Make Excellent Pets

Last Updated on December 24, 2023 by Ali Shahid

Parrots are famous for their vivid and varied colors, and yellow-hued parrots are no exception. Among the many species, such as budgies (Lutino Parakeets), Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrots, Yellow-Eared Parrots, Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrots, Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, Sun Conures, Lutino Lovebirds, Pacific Parrotlets, Lutino Cockatiels, Lutino Quaker Parrots, and Golden Conures, the standout yellow companions are the lutino lovebirds and lutino parakeets.

While some yellow parrots occur naturally, like the golden conure and sun conure, the yellow hue sometimes results from a lutino mutation. It’s worth noting that in non-yellow parrots, a yellowish tint can occasionally signal liver issues. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to seek advice from an avian veterinarian if you observe any unusual yellow coloring in your feathered friend. This article delves into the world of the top 11 yellow parrots renowned for their charm and intelligence, making them excellent choices as pets.

Popular Yellow Parrots

11 Popular Pet Yellow Parrots

1. Lutino Parakeet

The Lutino Parakeet, often referred to as the “yellow albino” variation of the green parakeet, is a sociable and amiable bird distinguished by its distinct yellow hue, attributed to a recessive gene mutation. 

This mutation, linked to the bird’s gender, manifests in lush buttercup-yellow feathers covering the body and head, accompanied by silver-white cheek patches and lighter yellow shades on the tail and primary flight feathers. Lutino Parakeets boast red or pink eyes encircled by white iris rings, while their legs and bills exhibit a reddish tint.

Although native to Australia, Lutino Parakeets are not frequently encountered in the wild, primarily due to their conspicuous yellow coloration, which renders them more susceptible to predators. The majority of Lutino Parakeets are the result of meticulous breeding practices rather than being naturally occurring in their native habitat.

2. Lutino Lovebirds

The Lutino Lovebird stands out as a visually stunning bird, featuring a vibrant yellow plumage and a distinctively bright red face. Originating as a mutation of the Peach-faced Lovebird, the lutino mutation operates through a sex-linked gene, effectively eliminating all melanin—the dark pigment—from the bird while leaving the yellow and red pigments unaffected.

The Peach-faced Lovebird, encompassing the Lutino Lovebird, is indigenous to Africa. Yet, owing to the pet trade, these captivating birds have expanded their presence to urban areas worldwide.

3. Pacific Parrotlet

The Pacific Parrotlet, a small parrot comparable in size to a sparrow, is indigenous to South and Central America, particularly the Tumbesian region. This region spans from southern to northwest Peru, northwest Ecuador, to the middle Marañon valley. Its preferred habitats include dry environments like deciduous woodlands, deserts, and arid scrubs.

These parrotlets exhibit sexual dimorphism, allowing for easy differentiation between males and females based on distinct characteristics. Female Pacific Parrotlets showcase an all-green plumage with varying shades of yellow. 

In contrast, the males sport vibrant green faces adorned with beautiful blue markings on their heads, wings, rumps, backs, and around their eyes. The color spectrum in Pacific Parrotlets also includes shades like fallow, yellow, pastels, Isabel, and albino, as these birds often manifest color mutations.

4. Lutino Cockatiel

The Lutino Cockatiel, scientifically designated as Nymphicus hollandicus, represents a popular variation of the cockatiel species, distinguished by its predominantly white to light-yellow plumage and distinctive orange/red cheek patches. This avian gem is not encountered in its natural habitat and owes its existence to meticulous breeding practices. It traces its lineage back to the Grey Cockatiel, native to Australia’s arid or semi-arid regions near water sources.

The Lutino Cockatiel is renowned for its distinctive appearance, showcasing a striking ensemble of all-yellow or off-white feathers, complemented by captivating orange cheek patches and red eyes. 

Notably, these birds are often identified by their vivid yellow erectile crests, which become prominently raised during moments of stimulation, excitement, anger, defense, or submission. Despite their compact size, Lutino Cockatiels are highly sociable creatures requiring ample space for exploration. Regular introduction of new toys is essential to keep them engaged, and they thrive when in the company of other birds or people as much as possible.

5. Lutino Quaker Parrots

Lutino Quaker Parrots, often dubbed as “designer” parrots, are intentionally bred for their distinct color palette. The Lutino gene alters the typical grey pigments seen in regular Quaker Parrots, resulting in a striking absence of the usual blues, greys, and greens. Instead, Lutino Quakers boast an entirely yellow plumage, often dazzlingly bright and attention-grabbing.

Notably, the feathers surrounding their face take on a white hue, deviating from the typical grey seen in regular Quakers. Additionally, their flight feathers are pristine white, creating a visually stunning spectacle when these birds take to the air. The red eyes of Lutino Quakers stem from their unique genetic makeup.

Native to a specific region in South America, spanning from central Bolivia and southern Brazil to parts of central Argentina, Quaker parrots, including the Lutino variety, thrive in woodlands. Renowned for their charming and comical personalities, these birds are also notable for their aptitude for learning human speech.

6. Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot

The Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot is a robust green avian companion distinguished by a black beak and a distinctively bright yellow patch on its nape, located at the back of its neck. While there may be a scattering of tiny yellow feathers around the head or neck, the predominant coloration of this bird is a gleaming green. Its relatively short tail exhibits a band of reddish and dark green across the middle of the underside.

Contrary to its name, these parrots are not native to the Amazon but are rather found in Central America, ranging from southern Mexico to northern Costa Rica. Despite their popularity as pets among parrot enthusiasts, both as individual companions and as a species, Yellow-Naped Amazons face significant challenges. Renowned for their intelligence and sociability, these parrots, in their natural habitat, showcase powerful flying abilities and undertake long-distance journeys.

Yellow-naped amazons are especially valued for their adeptness in mimicking human speech. Their conversational skills are notably impressive, outshining other Amazon parrots both in the quantity and clarity of their spoken expressions. Additionally, these parrots exhibit a remarkable ability to contextualize human speech, adding to their charm as engaging and communicative companions.

7. Yellow-Eared Parrot

The Yellow-Eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) is a relatively sizable parrot characterized by its long tail and an average length of 42 cm (17 in), weighing around 285 g (10.1 oz). Its predominant coloration is green, with the underparts exhibiting a paler, more lime-green shade compared to the upperparts. The parrot features a robust black beak and a ring of bare skin encircling the eyes. The distinctive label “yellow-eared” originates from the yellow patch of feathers extending from the forehead down to its cheeks and ear-coverts.

Endemic to the Andes of Colombia, this parrot chooses to nest among wax palms in select areas of the Western and Central Cordillera. Typically found in cloud forests at elevations ranging from 1800 to 3000 meters above sea level, the Yellow-Eared Parrot establishes its nests in the hollow trunks of these palms, typically situated 25 to 30 meters above ground level.

8. Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrot

The Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrot, scientifically known as Amazona oratrix and commonly referred to as the Yellow-Headed Parrot, is a robust, short-tailed green parrot distinguished by its vibrant yellow head. Notably, it possesses a yellow nape and crown, earning it the designation “double-yellow” in its name. The intensity of the yellow coloration tends to increase with age, with some individuals reaching full coloration upon maturing at approximately 3 to 5 years old.

Indigenous to Mexico and northern Central America, this parrot thrives in mangrove forests and wooded areas near rivers or other water bodies. Recognized for its intelligence, inquisitive nature, and playful demeanor, the Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrot embodies joyful characteristics. Despite their playful disposition, these parrots are known to be sensitive and emotional creatures, adding a nuanced dimension to their vibrant and engaging personalities.

9. Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

The Blue-and-Gold Macaw (Ara ararauna), a sizable parrot native to Central and South America, is renowned for its vivid coloring, conversational abilities, and strong affinity for human companionship. Sporting vibrant aqua-blue plumage on the upper part of its body, excluding the lime-colored head, the macaw’s lower section boasts a rich, deep yellow/light orange hue. 

Complementing its striking appearance, the beak is black, as are the feathers beneath the chin, while the feet exhibit a gray shade, featuring black talons.

The Blue-and-Gold Macaw thrives in tropical forests, woodlands, and savannas in its natural habitat, spanning from Venezuela south to Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and parts of Panama. 

These social creatures form cohesive groups, engaging in various activities like play, communal bathing, and foraging for edible fruits in the forest. The gregarious nature of these macaws is evident as they spend quality time with fellow flock members, fostering a sense of camaraderie in their dynamic and diverse environments.

10. Sun Conure

The Sun Conure, scientifically named Aratinga solstitialis, is a lively and colorful parrot of medium size. Its vibrant appearance consists mainly of bright yellow hues, complemented by red, orange, green, and blue feathers. The upper part of its wings and body shines in golden yellow with hints of deep orange on its face and abdomen. 

When perched, the lower wings showcase a vibrant green, and during flight, blue feathers become visible. The bird’s eyes have a dark brown color encircled by a white ring, while its feet and beak adopt a dark gray or black shade.

Originally hailing from northeastern South America, Sun Conures are native to regions such as Venezuela, northern Brazil, and Guyana. They thrive in tropical environments, often occupying dry savanna woodlands, coastal forests, and areas abundant with fruiting trees and palm groves. Their habitat preference leans towards the edges of forests or alongside rivers.

Sun Conures are celebrated for their friendly and affectionate disposition, making them well-suited for family life. Their intelligence and trainability contribute to their reputation as playful companions. However, maintaining their tameness and good behavior necessitates consistent training, daily interaction, and ongoing socialization. Notably, they are recognized for their vocal prowess, capable of reaching volumes exceeding 120 decibels.

11. Golden Conure

The Golden Conure, scientifically known as Guaruba guarouba and also recognized as the Golden Parakeet or Queen of Bavaria Conure, is a medium-sized parrot distinguished by its vibrant yellow plumage. 

The entirety of its body is adorned in a bright, lush yellow, while the wing tips showcase a lush tropical green, creating a pleasing contrast and introducing a touch of diversity. The Golden Conure has a distinctive appearance, featuring a sizable and robust beak reminiscent of a macaw’s and a broad tail.

Originating from northeastern Brazil, specifically in a confined area south of the Amazon River, Golden Conures thrive in the drier upland rainforests of Amazonian Brazil. Locating these parrots in the wild proves challenging, as they are not particularly social and seldom gather in flocks.

Renowned for their affectionate, attractive, and intelligent demeanor, Golden Conures make outstanding companions as pets. These active birds enjoy climbing, chewing, and engaging in play. 

They exhibit a fondness for cuddling and, when appropriately socialized, display receptiveness to multiple individuals, making them well-suited for family life. However, it’s worth noting that they can emit loud screams, rendering them less suitable for apartment or condominium living.

Lutino Mutations in Parrots

Lutino mutations in parrots bring about a distinct yellow pigmentation, a phenomenon referred to as xanthochromism. This unique coloring arises from a gene mutation linked to sex, acting like a filter that selectively hinders the production of black, grey, and brown pigments. It operates like a sieve, allowing certain pigments to manifest in specific species.

Prominent examples of lutino parrots include Lutino Lovebirds, Cockatiels, Lutino Parakeets, and Lutino Quaker Parrots. Lutino Lovebirds, a variant of Peach-Faced Lovebirds, are recognized for their predominantly yellow hue and striking red faces. Medium-sized parrots with yellow-white plumage and Lutino Cockatiels are favored as pets owing to their amiable and easygoing temperament. Lutino Parakeets, often referred to as “yellow albino” parakeets, are sociable birds indigenous to Australia.

Yellow Coloration and Health Concerns

The presence of yellow coloration in parrots that are not naturally yellow can be indicative of potential liver issues, given the vital role the liver plays in avian health. Liver disorders may stem from various factors, such as bacterial, fungal, viral, protozoan, or parasitic infections, as well as tumors, metabolic disorders, circulatory disturbances, nutritional imbalances, or toxicities.

Parrots afflicted by advanced liver disease often display symptoms like wet droppings, urates tinted yellow or green (which are typically white in a healthy state), increased thirst, regurgitation, difficulty breathing, and a swollen, puffy abdomen. Detecting unusual yellow coloration in your parrot should prompt consultation with an avian veterinarian. Early identification and intervention can mitigate complications and enhance the bird’s well-being.

During a veterinary examination, a comprehensive physical assessment, a detailed medical history review, and various diagnostic tests are typically conducted to pinpoint the nature of the bird’s condition. Upholding proper care practices, including a balanced diet, cleanliness, and regular check-ups, is crucial in averting liver disease in birds.

Author

  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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