how much does a small bird cost

Costs for Bird Care, Food, and Housing

Housing, feeding, and general upkeep of a bird is typically less expensive than that of a dog or cat (depending on the breed). However, the price may increase significantly based on the bird’s lifespan (some birds live longer than people) and the medical requirements of your pet.

According to Kiplinger, these are the average costs you should budget for if youre considering a parakeet or other non-exotic small bird:

  • First-year cost: $295
  • Annual cost: $185 (plus unforeseen vet costs)
  • Total lifetime cost: $2,885 to $3,440 (the parakeet’s average lifespan is 15 to 18 years).
  • The purchase price of a parakeet, which varies from $12 to $65 for one, and the cage ($70) are additional first-year expenses. Following the first year, annual expenses consist of food ($75), toys and treats ($25), and regular veterinary examinations ($85). Although lifespans vary by species, parakeets, when provided with appropriate veterinary care, typically live for 15 to 18 years.

Although larger birds like macaws and parrots make much more fascinating pets than parakeets, the cost of purchasing, housing, feeding, and caring for them is higher. Although a macaw’s birdcage can be purchased for less than $200, it’s likely that it will need to be replaced fairly soon, so it’s probably wiser to set aside at least $300 specifically for that purchase.

Medium Birds: Conures, Parakeets, and Doves

  • Cockatiels: $50 to $150. For these highly gregarious birds to remain tame, they require consistent interaction. Talk to them and handle them daily.
  • Conures: $150 to $500. Conures consume fruit, nuts, and seeds in the wild; however, while kept in captivity, they require a diet consisting primarily of pellets and supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Ensure that their food and cage are routinely cleaned thoroughly to stop the spread of parasitic infections.
  • Doves: $20 to $100. These laid-back birds require exercise outside of their cages as well. Make a room in your home bird-proof so that your dove can fly around in it for at least an hour every day. There should be no simple routes of escape and no common household hazards in the room.
  • Lories: $400 to $900. Since nectar is their main food source in the wild, lories require more nectar in their diets than other parrot family members. Breeders and specialty pet stores sell the nectar formulas, which can be included in a diet along with fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables, or even edible flowers like dandelion flowers.

Small Birds: Budgies, Canaries, and Finches

  • Budgies (Parakeets): $10 to $35. Because they are small, budgies are comparatively cheap to maintain and feed. However, a diet limited to seeds is insufficient; vets advise feeding pellets along with fresh fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
  • Canaries: $25 to $150. Make sure your cage is the appropriate size for these energetic birds in addition to the cost of the canary. They require lots of toys and space to fly around because they get bored easily.
  • Finches: $10 to $100. The majority of finches would rather be with other finches than with a human companion. Ideally, theyre kept in small “flocks” when in captivity. Therefore, to maintain the mental well-being of your finch, you might want to get more than one if you’re planning to get one as a pet.
  • Parrotlets: $100 to $300. If given proper care, the average parrotlet can live for up to 20 years or more. Before getting a parrotlet, or any other variety of parrot, be prepared to commit to that level of care.


What is the cheapest bird to buy?

Lovebirds, budgerigars, finches, canaries, and cockatiels typically offer the most value, being both affordable and low-maintenance.

What is the smallest bird you can buy?

Budgerigar. One of the smallest and most popular pet birds is also among the best talkers. Budgies (or parakeets) are capable of learning hundreds of words—far more than many birds several times their size.

Is owning a bird expensive?

In general (depending on the breed), housing, feeding, and caring for a bird is less expensive than caring for a dog or cat. But the costs can rise dramatically depending upon the lifespan of the bird (some birds live as long as people) and your pet’s healthcare needs.