Bird Cage Sizes and Bar Spacing

Amazon Parrot in Cage
Amazon Parrot in Cage. Getty Images/angelalourenco

There are many different kinds and sizes of birds that are kept as pets but they all need safe and secure housing. If you don't have a large aviary where your bird can fly freely and safely at all times then you will need a cage for them. Many people and pet stores have the impression that a small bird needs a small cage but this isn't true. All birds need room to play, exercise, explore, and fly, even the smallest ones.

Use these basic guidelines to choose an appropriately sized cage (with appropriate bar spacing so they can't get out or get stuck) for your specific pet bird but remember that a bigger cage is always better and all birds need time outside of their cage to flap their wings.

Cage Sizes and Bar Spacing for Pet Birds

(Dimensions are given in width x length x height in inches)

Finches - 18" x 30" x 18" minimum cage size with 1/4" to 1/2" bar spacing

Canaries - 18" x 24" x 18" minimum cage size with 1/4" to 1/2" bar spacing

Budgerigars (Budgies, Parakeets)18" x 18" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" bar spacing

Cockatiels (Tiels)20" x 20" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" to 5/8" bar spacing

Lovebirds - 24" x 24" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" bar spacing

Parrotlets - 24" x 24" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" bar spacing

Ringneck Parakeets - 24" x 24" x 36" minimum cage size with 1/2" to 5/8" bar spacing

Quaker Parrots - 24" x 24" x 24" minimum cage size with 5/8" to 3/4" bar spacing

Conures - 24" x 24" x 24" minimum cage size with 5/8" to 3/4" bar spacing

Poicephalus - 24" x 24" x 24" minimum cage size with 5/8" to 3/4" bar spacing

Caiques - 24" x 24" x 36" minimum cage size with 5/8" to 3/4" bar spacing

Pionus - 24" x 24" x 36" minimum cage size with 5/8" to 3/4" bar spacing

Jardines - 24" x 24" x 36" minimum cage size with 5/8" to 3/4" bar spacing

Amazon Parrots - 24" x 36" x 48" minimum cage size with 3/4" to 1" bar spacing

Mini Macaws - 24" x 36" x 48" minimum cage size with 3/4" to 1" bar spacing

Goffin Cockatoos - 24" x 36" x 48" minimum cage size with 3/4" to 1" bar spacing

African Grey Parrots - 24" x 36" x 48" minimum cage size with 3/4" to 1" bar spacing

Large Cockatoos - 36" x 48" x 48" minimum cage size with 1" to 1.5" bar spacing

Large Macaws - 36" x 48" x 60" minimum cage size with 1" to 1.5" bar spacing

Diamond Doves - 24" x 24" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" or less bar spacing

Ringneck Doves - 24" x 36" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" bar spacing

Pigeons - 24" x 36" x 24" minimum cage size with 1/2" bar spacing

(To convert to centimeters, simply multiply the stated dimensions by 2.54. It may helpful to remember that 12 inches is 30 cm, so a cage that is 24" x 24" x 36" is 60 cm x 60 cm x 90 cm.)

Flight Time

It is common practice to clip the flight feathers of pet birds rendering them unable to lift off and fly away. There is a lot of debate regarding this practice, with valid arguments on both sides of the fence, but the bottom line is that birds have wings and naturally should exercise them.

The above cage sizes are merely guidelines for the specific species but it is assumed that each bird will have ample time outside of the cage to fly or at least flap their wings. 

Bird Body Type Cage Considerations

If you have a bird with a long tail remember to make sure the cage you choose allows the bird to turn and move around without their tail touching the bars. Feathers will become damaged and birds may start to feather pluck or self-mutilate if they do not have enough room in their cage.

Perch Considerations

Perch placement should also be considered if your bird cannot fly in their cage. Make sure your bird can reach or climb from perch to perch and the water and food dishes are not directly under a perch where waste matter can accumulate.

Perches of varying textures, shapes, sizes, and materials should be used instead of wooden dowels and most store bought perches.

Tree branches are not all the same shape or diameter and provide feet with exercise and varying positions in which to perch. Round dowels do not provide the same type of exercise and can cause sores and arthritis in bird feet.