The term parakeet can be used to refer to various species of parrot, ranging from small to medium sizes; said parrots usually have long tails. Older specialty magazines or books may mention them with a slightly different spelling, like paroquet or paraquet. The etymology of the term parakeet is a bit fuzzy, with some sources quoting Spanish, English, French and even Italian roots. The more probable etymology though comes from the Italian parrocchetto (“little priest”), parocco (“parish priest”) or from the Church Latin term parochus or parrucchetto which is a diminutive of parucca, meaning “peruke” or “periwig” and it refers to the birds’ head plumage.

There are several species of parakeet, one of the most prominent being the Grass Parakeet or Grasskeet as it is sometimes called. This term is used to refer to a large variety of small Australian parakeets; there are also the long-tailed lories but they can also be called lorikeets. Another important species of parakeet is the Budgerigar Parakeet which is also known as the English Parakeet or as the informal “Budgie”. This is the most common form of parakeet; with these little fellows you can only distinguish the male from the female after about three months of life, depending on the color of their cere. The cere is a waxy part on the top of some birds’ beaks and which usually has a different color than the rest of the beak. With the female Budgerigar the cere is pinkish or brown, whereas the male’s cere is bright blue. However, there are breeds when the cere’s colors are the other way around, so if you want to purchase some check with your seller.

Another interesting addition to our family is the Ring-necked Parakeet, an Afro-Asian parakeet that is also very popular as a pet and who is distinguished mainly by the reddish feather ring around the male’s neck. This species of parakeets are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the male and female share few traits and can be different in regards to the size, feather coloration and others.

Other types of birds that are referred to as parakeets are the Monk Parakeet, the Lineolated Parakeet and the Brotogeris parakeet. If the parakeet is larger in size, it can also be called “parrot”, like the Alexandrine Parakeet and ­Alexandrine Parrot. Most parakeets are better bred if they are kept in groups, but it can also work just with pairs, with couples. However, if you want to purchase a parakeet you better get them a partner as well, because they can get lonely and lose the will to live.

Parakeet Pictures Gallery