The Cost of Purchasing a Pet Bird

The price of your new pet bird is not the only cost to consider

Pet parrot
Nataliya Ford / Getty Images

How much will it cost to buy the bird you want? It depends on the species, and whether you buy from a professional breeder or another source such as a pet store. 

Beyond the cost of the bird itself, new owners should budget for things like pellets and other dietary needs like seeds and fruits, properly-sized cages and even bird-proofed rooms for larger birds to fly around. 

Depending on the breeder, availability and your location, the cost of your bird may fluctuate outside the given ranges.

And the list includes some of the other expenses you should plan for while caring for your new feathered friend.

Small Birds: Budgies, Canaries, and Finches

Budgies (Parakeets): $10 - $35

Since they're small, budgies are relatively inexpensive to care for and feed. But a diet consisting only of seeds is not enough; veterinarians recommend a diet that includes pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables including leafy greens. 

Canaries: $25 - $150

In addition to what you'll pay for the canary, make sure you have the right size cage for these active birds. They need room to fly around, and plenty of toys since they can get bored easily. 

Finches: $10 - $100

Most finches prefer the company of other finches to that of a human companion. Ideally, they're kept in small "flocks" when in captivity. So if you're planning to get a pet finch, you may want to get more than one to keep your bird emotionally healthy.


Parrotlets: $100 - $300

The average parrotlet can live up to 20 years or longer, provided it's well cared for. Be prepared to make that kind of commitment to a pet before getting a parrotlet or any other variety of parrot. 

Medium Birds: Conures, Parakeets, and Doves

Cockatiels: $50 - $150

These very social birds need regular interaction so that they stay tame.

Talk to them and handle them on a daily basis.

Conures: $150 - $500

In the wild, conures eat fruit, nuts, and seeds, but in captivity, they need a balanced, pelleted diet supplemented with nuts, seeds and fresh fruit and vegetables. Make sure their food (and their cage) is thoroughly washed regularly, to prevent transmission of parasitic infections.

Doves: $20 - $100

These easygoing birds need exercise, and not just within a cage. Bird-proof a room in your house that allows the dove to fly around for at least an hour a day. The room should be free of easy escape routes, and common household hazards. 

Lories: $400 - $900

Unlike the other members of the parrot family, lories need nectar in their diets, since that's their primary source of nutrition in the wild. The nectar formulas, available from breeders and specialty pet shops, can be part of a diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables or even edible flowers such as dandelions. 

Large Birds: African Greys, Cockatoos, and Macaws

African Greys: $600 - $2000

Because they are so intelligent, African Grey Parrots can be quite emotionally needy. They require frequent socialization and exercise, so your home will need a parrot-proof area where the bird can spend several hours each day.


Cockatoos: $800 - $5000+

All cockatoos struggle with weight gain, so owners should monitor their fat intake. High-quality pellets, a moderate amount of seed mix and daily helpings of fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables that have been thoroughly washed are the ideal diet for cockatoos. And they need a minimum of 3 to 4 hours outside of the cage every day, as well as chew toys to exercise their beaks. 

Macaws: $900 - $5000+

When macaws get bored, they chew on things, so make sure your bird is getting enough stimulation. These are expensive and high-maintenance pets that require a significant time investment from owners.