How Much Does It Cost To Adopt a Bird? (Let’s Find Out)

Adopting a pet bird is a big commitment, but the cost doesn’t have to be exorbitant.

There are many affordable birds on the market, and there are also extremely rare and expensive species available.

But how much does it cost to adopt a bird?

It costs between $20 and $1,000 to adopt a bird, plus the cost of supplies. Bigger and rarer birds like macaws tend to be among the more expensive species, and small birds like finches are among the most affordable. Adopting from a shelter or rescue can also cut adoption costs.

How Much It Costs To Adopt a Bird

The cost of adopting a bird varies, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $20 and $1,000 on average for common pet birds. Price varies based on species, age, and health condition.

Breeders may offer a discount if you adopt a bonded pair, but shelters and rescues can usually offer better prices.

Least Expensive Birds To Adopt

The least expensive birds to adopt are smaller, more common birds, like the budgie and the canary. These species tend to be most affordable:

  • Finches: $20 – $50 each
  • Budgies: $25 each
  • Cockatiels: $80 – $125 each

Of course, these prices will vary depending on where you adopt from, but you can count on smaller species to be the lowest cost options on average.

Most Expensive Birds To Adopt

The most expensive birds to adopt are rare birds like the toucan. These can cost as much as $9,500 per bird. Still more costly is the Hyacinth Macaw, which comes with a $40,000+ price tag.

These blue birds are valued for their brilliant color and require large, expansive aviaries due to their size and strength. 

The following are more birds on the more expensive end, from the pets of the super-rich to the rare but accessible birds:

  • Racing Pigeons: $100,000 each
  • Ayam Cemani Chickens: $2,500 each
  • Flamingoes: $1,500 each
  • Hybrid Macaws: $700 each
  • African Greys: $600 each
  • Cockatoos: $600 each
  • Conures: $450 each
  • Gouldian Finches: $400 each

Costs of Owning a Pet Bird

During your search, you may be tempted to adopt a bird that seems underpriced for its species. But be aware that these birds may have underlying health conditions that could be expensive to take care of in the long run. 

Bird supplies are also a significant factor to consider, including toys, perches, and food. You can expect to pay anywhere from $60 and $1,000 for your birdcage or aviary and another $100 for toys.

Food costs about $20 per bag. You’ll also need a travel carrier to bring your bird home and to the vet. A carrier costs anywhere from $25 and $80.

Altogether, you can expect to spend $300 to $1,800 in startup costs when you adopt a pet bird and another $200 each year after that.

Other Things To Consider Before Adopting a Bird

In addition to cost, there are other commitments you need to consider before you adopt a bird.

Owning a bird will require a considerable amount of time, and you’ll need to make sure that your home is a suitable environment. 

Time Commitment

Owning a pet bird means a big time commitment. You’ll need to spend significant time interacting and supervising out-of-cage time with your bird each day.

While it’s possible to multitask if you bird-proof your home, you need to be home and available while your bird is out of the cage. 

It also takes time to clean your bird’s habitat every day, including the cage, the perches, the dishes, and the toys. Altogether, this eats up a lot of precious time.

You also need to consider the lifespan of the bird you’re adopting. The time commitment you’re accepting is significant, not only on the daily level but also in the long-term sense.

Cockatoos can outlive their owners, and it’s not uncommon for mid-sized birds like the cockatiel to live up to 25 years. 


Having a bird-friendly environment in your house is important if you want to adopt a bird. That means not just having a birdcage, but having a large birdcage somewhere next to a wall, ideally in the corner between two walls.

Position the cage away from windows or heating and cooling vents, as these can cause uncomfortable temperature changes.

The bird’s room shouldn’t be in the kitchen or bathroom or anywhere else that houses dangerous chemicals, sharp items, hot surfaces, or standing pools of water.

Make sure that any existing house plants are non-toxic. Oleander, philodendron, azalea, and poinsettia flowers are all dangerous to birds; remove them from your home entirely.

What To Look For in a Pet Bird

When you’re about to adopt a pet bird, you need to know what to look for to build appropriate expectations. 


Birds vary a lot in personality. You need to imagine what your potential companion will be like before you make a choice.

The last thing you want is to go into an adoption expecting a cuddly creature and then come home with one that’d rather keep its distance. 

They also vary in how messy they are. For instance, some birds will produce more dander; others have less control over their droppings.

Before you decide to share your home with a bird, learn how much you’ll be responsible for cleaning.

Finally, different species of birds make different kinds of noises. Some are very quiet, like finches and canaries, and others are very loud, like macaws.

A few have a soft chatter, like budgies. Noise levels also vary depending on sex; for example, male canaries tend to be a lot louder than female canaries.


When you adopt a young bird, you have the opportunity to train the bird and acclimate it to human interaction from the start of its life, which has a powerful impact on the bird’s overall demeanor.

When you adopt an older bird, you’ll find that it comes with a set of traits developed during its early days.

If you decide to adopt an older bird, do your best to learn about it’s medical history. Know that any behavioral problems you see may take a significant amount of time and patience to deal with or correct.


Find a breeder who hand raises baby birds if you want one that’s comfortable with human interaction.

Birds that are handfed by humans as chicks are much more comfortable with humans than those raised solely by their avian parents. 

However, birds raised by their avian parents also make for exceptional pets; they just need a little more patience during the training process. 


Adopting a pet bird usually costs between $20 to $1,000. Costs are less for small, common birds and more for large or rare species.

The costs will also vary a lot between sellers, but you’ll generally be able to find the lowest prices if you choose to adopt from a rescue or shelter rather than a breeder.