Parakeet is a term for any one of a large number of unrelated small to medium sized species of parrot, that generally have long tail feathers. Older spellings still sometimes encountered are paroquet or paraquet.
The term Grass Parakeet (or Grasskeet) refers to a large number of small temp Australian parakeets native to grasslands such as Neophema and Princess Parrot. The Australian rosellas are also parakeets. Many of the smaller, long-tailed species of lories may be referred to as lorikeets.
The term Ringnecked Parakeet refers to a species of the Psittacula genus native to Africa and Asia that is popular as a pet and has become feral in many cities. It should not be confused with the Australian Ringneck.
In aviculture the term conure is used for small to medium sized parakeets of the genera Aratinga, Pyrrhura, and a few other genere of the tribe Arini, which are mainly endemic to South America. As they are not all from one genus, taxonomists tend to dislike the term.
Other South American species commonly called parakeets include the Brotogeris parakeets, Monk Parakeet and Lineolated Parakeets (although Lineolated Parakeets have short tails).
Some species, especially the larger parakeets, may be referred to as "parrot" or "parakeet" interchangeably. For example, Alexandrine Parrot and Alexandrine Parakeet are different names for the same species, (Psittacula eupatria), one of the largest species called a parakeet.
Many different species of parakeets are often bred and sold commercially as pets, the Budgerigar being among the most commonly sold in the U.S.
Parakeets, Budgeriers, Keets, or Budgies, breed best in groups, but are usually fine breeding in pairs. Hearing other keets encourages a pair to breed, which is why breeding in groups is more successful. However, many breeders choose to breed in pairs because that way they know which parents produced which babies.
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