Birds have many ways of showing affection, whether to other birds or to their humans. While some interact well with humans, others are just fun to watch. Some types of birds, however, are known for being natural cuddlers. They climb up their owners' arms onto their shoulders, peck their cheeks, snuggle into their hair or even lie back against their chests. For the best chance of creating the kind of attachment that leads to cuddling, look for a bird that has been hand-fed and is less than 6 months old.
Their affectionate, docile nature makes cockatiels the second most popular pet birds, after budgies. Cockatiels love to sit on their owners' shoulder and follow them around. In fact, they'll sit with anyone who shows them attention. Cockatiels greet their owners with squeals of joy and are eager to come out of their cages and play. They do require a lot of interaction, but will reward those who take the time by climbing up their arms, snuggling against their chests and even kissing or rubbing their cheeks.
Perhaps the most cuddly birds of all, cockatoos are known for their affectionate nature. They want to be with their owners at all times. As a larger bird, his food makes more of a mess, but on the plus side, cockatoos are decent talkers. It's wise to obtain a cockatoo when he is young, spend time with him but also give him cage time alone so he learns to amuse himself. Give him paper towel rolls and other toys to shred. Otherwise, cockatoos can become too attached to their owners and very demanding of their time.
Budgies, also known as parakeets, are the most popular pet birds. They're small, inexpensive and entertaining in their climbing, acrobatics, chirping and sometimes talking. Many like to come out of their cages and sit on their owners' shoulders, or follow them from room to room through their daily routine. Budgies and parakeets tend not to snuggle the way cockatiels and cockatoos do, but they may, after trust has been established, sit on their owners' finger or shoulder and rub their heads against their owners to show affection.
Although their name makes people think lovebirds need to be kept in pairs, they actually do just as well with an attentive human owner. Lovebirds enjoy exploring their owners' clothing and taking shelter in a pocket. Often, lovebirds will become attached to one person and display affection for that human but not others. They are curious, playful and capable of entertaining themselves for a time if given toys to play with or items to shred.
Birds to Avoid
While many other parrots will show some type of affection toward their humans, some popular pet bird species are known not to be cuddlers at all. Canaries are favored for their beautiful song and pretty plumage, but they barely give their humans a second look. Finches, too, are fun pets to watch, as they chatter to each other and fly busily back and forth, but they have little interest in anything outside their cage.