15 Types of Parakeets and How to Tell the Difference?

If you wish to know the types of parakeets,  this is the article for you. After reading this article you’ll know all about parakeets and their features, appearance and types.

Parakeet definition

A parakeet can vary from a tiny budgerigar to a bigger species that survive for longer and stay in a different climate. Parakeets consist of various birds which live in several parts of the world. They are a part of the parrot family. They primarily have a long tail and are smaller in size than parrots like Cockatoos or Amazons. They are considered to be intelligent and active creatures and are very easy when it comes to training them. They can even be taught to imitate human sounds. The most common type of parakeets are budgies and they are very low maintenance. They come in larger varieties and have bright colors and vibrant body characteristics. However, they are rarely kept as pets, as the red rump parakeets.

Parakeet vs Parrot

The ‘parakeet vs. parrot’ dilemma is never going to end. All parakeets are deemed to be in the parrot family. However, not all parrots are considered parakeets. The parakeets can be found in Asia, Central and South America and Australia. They are a group of the Psittacine Order subfamily while only some parrots are a part of the Psittacidae subfamily. The parrots are part of the seven tribes and have a wide variety of parrots like the African Greys, Lovebirds and Macaws. Parrots can vary from 3 inches to 40 inches. They can live up to 80 years. While parakeets vary in size from 7 inches to 18 inches as they’re small and medium-sized birds. They primarily live up to 10 to 40 years.

Parakeet definition

Parakeet vs Budgie

If you’ve ever heard that parakeets and buddies are different from each other, just know that it is false. All parakeets are also budgies. There are two different names as they are called parakeets in the United States and in other places they are called budgies. People in different places call them different names. In French, they are called perruques and in Australia, they are known as budgerigars. However, when it comes to specificity, the budgie is the most appropriate term to be used. The budgie varies from the budgerigar in terms of the area they come from, their height, complexion, nourishing needs, and the atmospheres that they need.

Parakeet vs. Conure

People are often confused between parakeets and conures. Conures are a part of a larger parakeet group, while not all parakeets belong to the conures group. Conures come from South and Central America and have long tails. Conures is a mixture of two Greek words ‘cone’ which means cone and ‘our’ which means tail-bearing. Conures as a term are rarely used by biologists and ornithologists. The group’s correct term is Aratinga Genus and it consists of various species and subparts. Some of them are Jenday Conure or Sun Conure. An additional group that some conures belong to is Pyrrhura, but they are primarily referred to as parakeets. Some birds included in this particular group are prominent in aviculture. Conures can be known as conure and as a parakeet. But a budgie cannot be called a conure as it does not relate to a similar taxonomic group. Another factor that provides a distinction between the two is the place of origin. Parakeets originate from Australia. By contrast, conures hail from Central and South America. Parakeets are supposed to be small to medium in size, but that, in turn, does not mean that all small to medium parrots are considered to be parakeets. The parakeet has substantial varieties, comprising many species with distinct traits. Yet, some birds are not a part of this group. Some birds that shouldn’t be considered a parakeet are Lories, Pionus, Lovebirds, Eclectus, Caiques, Poicephalus and Lorikeets. Several parrot species exist across the world, but they have numerous disparities with a parakeet, especially the standard budgie that can be found in a pet shop. If we correlate an African grey parrot with a parakeet, we’ll see that they are not part of the same lineage or group. African greys are slightly colorful and vastly larger than parakeets, the latter is significantly smaller and have vibrant colors. There are substantial discrepancies in terms of their manner or nourishing requirements, too. Parakeets and Cockatiels are also not the same, as they belong to totally different families. To discover just which species of pet bird you are buying, ask someone from the pet store or the breeder.

Types of parakeets

Alexandrine Parakeet

Alexandria is a vibrant colored talkative, smart and one of the largest Asian parakeets in the world. It was carried to Europe in the 4th century B.C., being one of the oldest known species. It is a friendly and loving bird that can survive for 40 years. An adult parakeet of this particular species can reach a height of 25 inches.


Budgerigars originate from Australia. They are inquisitive, enthusiastic, peaceful birds and they can also learn how to imitate human speech. Most birds are sharp learners and will pick up words or phrases from humans. Adults budgerigars can reach 7 inches in length and weigh less than 1.5 ounces.

Monk parakeet

Monk parakeet is a small and bright green parrot that has a green belly and grey breast. It is found in South America. Some of them can be found in the winters in New York and Chicago, where they reside in flocks. In confinement, the parakeet can live up to 15 years, but in the wild, they usually exist for 6 to 7 years.

Psittacula parakeets

Psittacula parakeets can be found in South-East Asia and Africa and they have the most diversified subspecies of parakeets as 14 subspecies are existing.

Plain parakeets

The plain parakeet has become one of the most popular ones as they have a very friendly and enduring personality. It hails from South America, especially Brazil. Most of the parakeets have green and pink feet and a pink beak. They have a size of 9 inches and can live up to 10 to 15 years.

Derby parakeet

This parakeet is native to China, India, and Tibet, and resides mainly in forests. It is a part of the threatened species due to relinquishing its natural habitat. An adult parakeet is estimated to be approximately 20 inches in size and can live for 30 years. It is receptive and cheerful, but it does require continual socialization.

Indian ring neck parakeet

Indian ring neck parakeets are also known as rose-ringed parakeets, and come from various parts of Asia, from Pakistan and India to the Middle East. In the wild, the parakeet chooses to reside in flocks of more than 100 birds.  As an adult bird, it can measure up to 16 inches in size and weighs approximately 4 ounces. These birds have colors varying from sharp greens, yellows to cinnamons.

Plum-headed parakeet

Plum-headed parakeets are native to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. This Asian species is less assertive than others, but it needs continuous human interaction. Adult Plum-headed parakeets have a size of 12 inches and weigh less than 3 ounces. They can live up to 15 to 20 years.

Quaker parakeet

Quaker parakeets are also recognized as monk parakeets and are tiny, bright green and generally live for 15 to 20 years. They are small in size as they are 11 to 12 inches in length and weigh less than 5 ounces. This species adores to fly, so they require large enclosures. They also appreciate talking with each other and their human counterparts.

Regent parakeet

Regent parakeets originate from Southwestern Australia, where they inhabit woodlands and shrubland. They are one of the rarest varieties of parakeets out there, but they are admired as pets due to their cheerful personality. An adult Regent parakeet is 16 inches in size. You can find them in yellow or green colour. They can live for 25 years.

Lineolated or barred parakeets

Lineolated parakeets are found in Central and South America. They need to reside in elevated areas, which is why they are generally found in the Peruvian Andes. These parakeets live in flocks of 20 birds. Their temperament is calm and quiet and enjoys flying and walking. This can live for 10-20 years. Its size is between 6 and 7 inches.

Moustache parakeet

The moustache parakeet is red-breasted and is small to medium in size that is native to Southeast Asia. It is also an endangered species due to the relinquishment of its natural habitat. With proper maintenance, a moustache parakeet can live up to 25 years. Most birds of this group have a delightful personalities.

Bourke’s parakeet

They are also known as ‘Bourke’ and are found in Australia. They are tinier and calmer described in relation to similar-sized pet birds. An adult parakeet is 7 to 8 inches in length and can live for 25 years.

Brotogeris parakeets

Brotogeris parakeets are native to South and Central America. They are associated with monk parakeets. They are great at flying and are smaller than a cockatiel. They usually range between 7 and 9 inches. They are mostly green in color.

Parakeet characteristics

The parakeet species comprises various types of parakeets, but they all have some similar traits, particularly in terms of their body shape, beaks, and also how social they can be. Below mentioned are some standard budgerigar characteristics.

  • Body shape – Not taking into consideration the types of parakeets, they all have tiny, slender physiques and a long tail, by comparison. The feet of the birds are X-shaped unless they have gone through an accident. Two of their toes would point backwards and two forwards. Parakeets can rotate their head to 180 degrees.
  • Colors – Colors rely on the individuals they were nurtured from. The parakeets come in many colors varying from green, yellow to violet and orange. The cere of a parakeet shifts color as the bird attains sexual maturity. The price of the bird is depended on how exotic its color is. A blue parakeet is generally more costly than green and yellow one as it is rarer.
  • Beak – Budgerigars possess multi-faceted beaks that they utilize for nibbling food, peeling fruit and also eliminating the outer shell of seeds. Their hooked upper bill can help them when sifting or carrying things inside the cage.
  • Sounds – Each parakeet has a distinct voice that helps to differentiate them, and that usually transpires as they are skilful and can learn to imitate the voices that they hear. They can also be taught to reiterate phrases and whistle.
  • Activity level – Budgies like to stay involved all the time, particularly if you bought one, not two. They will play with their toys, fly and groom themselves and each other. You should make their cage as amusing as possible as they have so much enthusiasm.
  • Very social – While several species of birds might not live in a pair, budgies love sharing their room with a companion. The birds can be friendly with humans and display admiration for them. This usually arises if they are socialized and made competent while growing up.

Parakeet colors

Varying parakeet colors across the world exist and they differ relying on the several kinds of budgies that live. A parakeet bird in the wild is green and yellow and has black markings and stripes, as well as dark green, blue, or black feathers. This is the actual colour of the Australian parakeet. All of the other colors that exist are the results of years of captive breeding. Captive pet parakeets can appear in two fundamental series of colors:

  • a yellow-based one which comprises colors such as olive, light green, yellow, dark and grey-green
  • a white-based one that incorporates colors such as white, violet, mauve, grey, blue, and cobalt

The most prominent colors that exist are:

  • Green – The actual color enabled wild parakeets to conceal themselves from predators between tree leaves. Currently, a green parakeet can be found in light or dark green or olive.
  • Blue – Blue budgies are a modification. They are difficult to breed described in relation to other colors, due to which they cost more.
  • Purple – This color exists since the 1930s and it continued to be a rare color in the 20th century.

Cinnamon, rainbow, or red parakeets are expensive and rare, by comparison.

As it ages, budgies can alter cere color which is a band of tissue that includes the nares as it matures and grows older. A young budgie can possess a pale blue or light tan cere, relying on its gender. Ample females’ ceres evolve a light tan, while the males become a rich blue.

Parakeet origin

Budgies are found in Australia only. Though, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t evolved a lot throughout the years. Several breeders have taken it upon themselves to integrate some of the best individuals and emerge with even more eye-catching pigment combinations. The budgies you now uncover in pet stores are not born in Australia as they are bred and raised in captivity. The initial documentation of a parakeet was prepared in 1805 by an English zoologist and botanist, George Shaw. The British bird fanatic John Gould assembled a novel titled ‘Birds of Australia’, where he wrote about over 600 Australian birds, the parakeet being one of them. At that period, he was precisely inferring to the budgerigar. There are roughly 100 various species of parakeets that are recognized. The term ‘budgerigar’ appears to have emerged from a mixture of aboriginal speech and Australian jargon, which implied ‘good to eat.’ The lineage of many other parakeet species besides the budgie is different. Some hail from Central and South America while others are native to Asia or the Middle East.

Parakeet history

 Alexandrine parakeets are some of the oldest imported species, which are called after Alexander the Great. These were carried to Europe around 327 B.C. This particular species is distinct from the common parakeet you’d meet in pet stores. Even though most budgerigars are born in a part of central Australia, the ones that are in pet shops are nurtured by people. Budgies were carried to Europe for the initial time by John Gould at the inception of the 19th century. Parakeets came to be significant as pet birds in the upper class of Europe, and they were grown in confinement sometime around 1840. Budgerigars came to be so significant and popular that even Queen Victoria was offered a pair as a gift.  John Gould’s brother, who supervised breeding them, peddled a couple for what would be totaled at several hundred US dollars nowadays. In the late 19th century, Australia prohibited the export of living budgerigars. Therefore, the ones that you can purchase are now only from confined breed stock. It is assumed that over 40 million pet parakeets inhabit numerous areas across the world from the United States and the UK to South Africa.


Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does a fancy parakeet mean?

A fancy parakeet is not different from other budgerigars. They are simply called so because they can come in several vibrant colors.

What birds are parakeets?

The parakeet group comprises of additional one hundred different variations, which has an identical appearance among one another and also shares many nutritious requirements.

Are budgies the same as parakeets?

Budgerigars and parakeets are the exact species of birds. Their name differs relying on their geographical setting as they are called parakeets in the United States.

What is a flock of parakeets called?

A flock of parakeets can be called a company, a pandemonium, or a group. All of these phrases are suitable across the world.

Why do Americans call budgies parakeets?

The term ‘parakeets’ stuck when parakeet breeders and pet shops began naming them that. This is the name used to market them as pet birds in the U.S.

Why does my parakeet bite me?

The rationales for the hostile attitude of parakeet birds, especially toward people, are many. A budgie can be exhausted, mad, scared, or wish to defend its territory.

Are parakeets high maintenance?

While they do require some level of supervision, comfort and attention, parakeets are deemed low maintenance birds, primarily in terms of cages, accompaniments, and nutrition requirements.

What gender parakeets should I get?

Same-gender pairs do amazing just like the different gender ones. Still, if you get a male and a female parakeet pet, you can anticipate them to breed.

Do parakeets do better in pairs?

As parakeets are jovial creatures, they constantly do reasonably better in pairs or as a part of a flock. Human friendship is significant, but maintaining a parakeet friend is even more so.


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