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The term parakeet is not a taxonomic term and it denotes different things to different people.
- The term parakeet can be used for any a large number of unrelated small to medium sized parrot species, that generally have long tail feathers. Lineolated parakeets do however have short tails.
- In the United States, the term parakeet is commonly used for budgerigar (“budgies”) only. In American English, this species is simply referred to as parakeet or common parakeet. The Budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulates, hails from dry regions of Australia and is a very common pet bird throughout the world. In addition to the common names mentioned above, it is also known as Shell parakeet and Common parakeet.
- Larger parrots with long tail feathers are often referred to as both parrots and parakeets interchangeably, while smaller parrots with long tail feathers tend to be known as parakeets only.
- The term Grass parakeet or Grasskeet is used for a vast array of small Australian parakeets that inhabit the Australian grasslands, e.g. the Princess parakeet.
The term parakeet is not a taxonomic term; it is used for various species of parrots without much regard to their genetic relationships.
Since the term parakeet is used for so many different birds, you have to research your particular species of parakeet to find any reliable advice regarding proper parakeet care.
Many parrot species commonly referred to as parakeets are frugivores, i.e. fruit eaters. There are however exceptions so you need to research your particular species to find out its nutritional requirements.
Most parrots, including most of those referred to as parakeets, form monogamous pairs and breed in cavities, chiefly tree cavities. Research your particular parakeet species to find out more details about its breeding habits.
Visible signs of illness in parakeets are:
- the parakeet sleeps more than normally
- the parakeet loses its appetite and eats less than normally
- the bird screams more than normally or in a new way
- discharge flows from the nostrils of the parakeet
- the bird sneezes more than just occasionally
- the bird displays slit eyes instead of round eyes
- the faeces of the parakeet changes
- the plumage looses its lustre
- the plumage looks ruffled
- you can see bare spots in the plumage
- the parakeet plucks its feathers
Research your particular species to find out more about potential health problems and how you can promote the health of your bird.
Parakeet fact # 1
The British town of Ickenham is home to a feral population of parakeets hailing from escaped pets that have managed to survive in this fairly cold country.
Parakeet fact # 2
One of the largest parrots commonly referred to as parakeet is the Alexandrine Parakeet, Psittacula eupatria. It inhabits the Indian subcontinent and measures between 56 and 62 cm (22 and 24.5 in), with the tail reaching a length of up to 35 cm (roughly 14 in).
Parakeet fact # 3
The English language have used various spelling for the term parakeet, including parroguet, paroguet, paraquet, parroket, parrakeet and parakeet. Today, the parakeet spelling is the most commonly used one.
Parakeet fact # 4
The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), also known as the Quaker Parakeet, hails from temperate and subtropical regions of South America, but has managed to establish breeding populations in both North America and Europe.
Parakeet fact # 5
Many parakeets love to be misted with lukewarm water, but the Barred Parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola) takes this passion a bit further. When misted with water, members of this species are known to hang themselves upside down from the perch and open up their wings completely to get as much water on them as possible.
The expected lifespan of a parakeet varies from species to species. Generally speaking, large parakeets live longer than small species, but even small parakeet species tend to live to a considerably high age compared to many other pets, usually 15-20 years.