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Parakeets are a type of parrot in small or medium size. They are characterized by their long tail feathers and come in vibrant shades of green, yellow and blue. They prefer a granivorous food diet when they are in the wild, chomping on a variety of seeds. But you can also train them to accept pellets, fruits, and fresh vegetables as regular parakeet food. In fact, this should be the preferred food diet in a managed care habitat like a zoo, to help them live longer and healthier lives.
There are over a hundred subspecies of this parrot bird. But the Melopsittacus undulatus from Australia is the most commonly seen parakeet. They are also a popular pet bird species in North America. Playfully known as 'budgies', or 'budgerigar', these birds are unapologetically vocal, whistling and chattering away to glory!
In fact, owners take great pride in teaching their parakeet pets to talk. It could be simple mimicry of silly parakeet sounds, or full words and sentences. Your pet parakeets will respond well to training and gladden your heart!
A parakeet is a type of parrot bird.
Parakeets belong to the Aves class.
This number is unconfirmed, as there are over 100 subspecies (genera) of this parrot bird. Some of them are Critically Endangered. But there is also the Melopsittacus undulatus (Budgerigar) bird and its subspecies from Australia, with a strong, 5 million population spread around the world.
A parakeet lives in grasslands, where it can thrive on a seed-rich food diet. It is accordingly found in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Parakeets have a straightforward habitat, as they prefer to live in grassy areas in the wild, where they can forage seeds to their heart’s content. In fact, this parrot species can be an annoyance in grain fields, due to their tendency to eat up a sizable amount of grains! Fortunately, they make excellent companions and are mighty popular with pet bird owners. When they are in managed care, it is advisable to gradually wean them off seeds. Instead, put them on a healthy food diet of pellets, and fresh vegetables, and fruits. This can also extend their lifespan by 5-10 years.
The feathers and feet of parakeets are often a good reflection of their health. If your pet bird has 'scaly feet', this may be an indication of internal parasites (like worms). If your parakeets spend a lot of time licking or grooming their feathers and wings, this could be a red flag. Unhealthy feathers may be an indication of serious health concerns like allergies, or even liver poisoning. A parakeet needs room to move. So when adopted as a pet, the parakeet cage needs to be at least 2 ft (0.6 m) in length, with bars 0.4 in (1 cm) apart. This is also a playful bird species that loves to be entertained. Pet owners hence go to great lengths to organize toys and other activities for their precious budgie within their cage. Finally, these stubborn birds are particular about their hygiene. So it is important for owners to leave their pets with enough water, not just for drinking, but also for bathing.
Parakeets are social birds and prefer to live in flocks of birds when they are in the wild. This family-friendly bird does not do well in isolation. If you plan to adopt a parakeet, it is best to bring them in as pairs. Else, they may fall sick due to loneliness.
They can be welcoming to strangers. This is unlike other related bird species where males tend to display aggression towards other males during the breeding season. In contrast, parakeets are more likely to mate when they are in a group.
This bird has an average parakeet lifespan of 5-10 years when it is in the wild. This bird can live twice as long when it is in a managed parakeet care habitat and if it is put on a healthier food diet (like a zoo, or as a domestic pet).
Note: A seed has a high amount of natural fat content. Large consumption can lead to obesity in parakeets and lower their life span.
It is common knowledge that parakeets are vibrant colored birds. But did you know their body parts change color based on their mood? Yes, both male and female parakeets change the color of their cere – the fleshy part supporting their beak – to signal their willingness to mate. A healthy male’s cere turns bright blue in color (different from the normal blue parakeet), and a healthy female’s cere turns brown in color.
The male begins to court her by bobbing his head up and down as he repeatedly shows off his feathers. Females typically take time to respond. Meanwhile, males continue with their wooing, and some even flap their wings and make poor attempts to sing! It can be quite a sight to watch this song and dance behavior, as an excitable male attempts to charm a stubborn female!
When the female parakeet is willing to mate, she uses a shrill chirp to communicate this to the male. She will even lift her tail and flap her feathers to reiterate her readiness. Pleased that his efforts have finally paid off, the male responds as the pair mate. This can happen many times in the day before the female is ready to lay eggs. Parakeets are also more likely to mate when they are in groups. Some may even mate twice a year.
Females begin to look for a warm and safe place when they are ready to nest. It is normal parakeet behavior to venture outside their cage (especially if they are allowed to roam), to find such a cozy nesting spot. A female typically lays a clutch of 4-10 eggs within 10 days of mating. Eggs can take up to three weeks to hatch. Once the chicks emerge, parakeet parents look after their young ones with tremendous care and affection.
The official conservation status of parakeets is Least Concern. However, there are some subspecies of parakeets that are Critically Endangered.
Parakeets are a type of parrot in small or medium size. They are characterized by their long tail feathers and come in vibrant shades of green, yellow and blue. They typically measure 7-14 in (17.8–35.6 cm) long and weigh 1–1.5 oz (28.3–42.5 g).
The cuteness of parakeets is unmissable, especially when they chant out words and short sentences frequently used by their owners! They are also clever mimicry artists, making them silly yet entertaining companions for the whole family. They are cutest when they are loudly whistling, as this also indicates that your pet parakeet is healthy and happy.
Parakeets are intense communicators, using both verbal and non-verbal cues to 'speak' to their per owner or other birds. When they are happy, they tend to hop and bop around, whistling with excitement. When they are cleaning their feathers, this is often an indication of health problems. They will also let you know if they are scared, or in pain, by screaming loudly.
With a maximum weight of 1.14 oz (40 g), parakeets are small-sized birds and half the size of the popular American robin.
Parakeets are clever birds that alter their speed to suit their environment. When they are out in the open space, they cruise at a speed of 16 kph (9.94 mph). When they are in a more populous habitat (like a zoo, or in a house), they fly at half that speed.
Parakeets are small to mid-sized birds and weigh between 1–1.5 oz (28.3–42.5 g).
Both genders of this bird species are known as parakeets. But it is also common to refer to all male birds as cocks, and all female birds as hens.
The young one of a parakeet is called a chick. These can be cute as a button after a few days of birth.
When it is in the wild, the parakeet bird is a natural seed eater. It survives on a granivorous food diet of sunflower seeds, canary seeds, and millet seeds. But when this bird is in managed care, in zoos, or as an individual pet, their diet can include a host of other herbivorous food groups.
You can feed your pet parakeet plant-based food, including fresh vegetables like carrots, celery sticks, corn, peas, and other leafy greens. Some owners also train their parakeet to eat pellets and small fruits. Finally, it is important to keep your parakeet pets away from toxic food groups, like garlic, onion, chocolate, and caffeine.
Parakeets are not dangerous. Instead, they are a friendly bird species, especially as trained pets. Females may display mild aggression during their nesting period. But this is not dangerous enough to harm a human or other birds.
Yes, parakeets are a popular pet, especially in North America. Commonly known as 'budgies', they can be entertaining companion pets for the entire family. But these birds are also social animals that do not do well on their own. So it is best to adopt them in pairs when you bring them home. Also, do not adopt them if you prefer your home quiet, as they are unapologetically vocal!
Please check your local laws and regulations about adopting these animals as pets.
Female parakeets are protective and possessive mothers. They mark their eggs with their smell, and do not hesitate to throw them out of the nest when they sense a foreign smell! It is hence important for pet owners to avoid touching the eggs during the three-week incubation period.
Their eggs can take anywhere between 18-22 days to hatch. Also, it is common to find some eggs in a clutch that do not hatch.
Parakeets can be trained to make a variety of sounds, including whistles, full words, and even short sentences. The secret to a well-spoken parakeet pet lies in the patience of the trainer. Repetition is the main ingredient, as these stubborn birds may take time to learn their first few words. In fact, it is better to start them with short words, rather than sounds and whistles, as this stretches their vocal cords to prepare them for future success.
Also, it is important to appreciate and reward your parakeet after every effort. Parakeets repeat the words they hear from their owner/ trainer, as a mark of affection. With this, there are real-life examples of trainers achieving fantastic success with parakeets, more than even large parrots, getting them to speak up to a thousand words!
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our lark sparrow facts and rusty blackbird facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable parakeet coloring pages.
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