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Parakeets are colorful birds that belong to any of a large number of unrelated small to medium sized Parrots species. Their smaller size and long, tapered tail feathers distinguish them from larger Parrots that generally have stockier bodies and squarish tails. In fact, the name “Parakeet” means “long tail.” There are about 120 different species of Parakeets with many sub-species. Parakeets are found in the diverse habitats of Asia, Australia and the sub-tropical regions of Africa, South and Central America . Some of the larger species of Parakeets are often referred to as “Parrot” and “Parakeet” interchangeably. For example, Alexandrine Parrot and Alexandrine Parakeet are used to refer to the same species. Parakeets are full of energy and are very social, both with other birds and people.

Parakeets are the most common of pet birds throughout the world, and the most common pet Parakeet is the Budgerigar, or “Budgie.” Budgerigars come from Australia and have a wide range of colors. They are intelligent, affectionate and playful and make an ideal first bird pet for first time bird owners, or for those with children. Budgies have a life span of about 10 - 15 years. In the wild, parakeets live in large flocks, so many believe it is best to own at least two in captivity. Parakeets love to be held, stroked and talked to and require a minimum of around thirty minutes of interaction per day with their owners. Like other Parrots, they need a lot of toys in their cage to help keep them occupied in your absence. Parakeets can be taught to talk, but to a limited extent and they can be taught to do tricks. Also, in the wild, Parakeets love to fly, so make sure you have a cage large enough for your pet to fly freely - in other words, the bigger the cage, the better. Parakeets like to chew on branches, which can be added to their cage. Good types of branches are willow, poplar and fruit trees. Poisonous plants to birds include oleander, acacia, boxwood, horse chestnut, privet and laburnum. If you are considering a pet bird, a Parakeet is an ideal way to start. They are not too difficult to handle and are hardy birds, however, like all Parrots, they are intelligent and crave attention from their human companions.


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