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20 Types of Parakeets: Pictures, Facts & History (Vet-Reviewed)

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

male blue budgie parakeet bird sitting on tree branch

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Parakeets are among the most popular pets in the world of aviculture (the practice of keeping birds in captivity). The term parakeet is somewhat confusing, though, as it is not a reference to any specific family, genus, or species of parrot. Instead, it is often used to describe a relatively small parrot with a long tail.

Many different species of parrots are called parakeets, all with unique personality traits, origins, lifespans, and sizes. Read on to learn about 20 of the most common types, so you can decide which will be right for your foray into bird keeping.

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How Are Parakeets Classified?

Parakeets have many different names. While the ones that we review here all have “parakeet” in their title, many are also known by other names, such as “conure” or “parrot,” which can be highly confusing for people new to aviculture or even those with more experience.

There isn’t much specificity when it comes to the use of the word parakeet. In the U.S., it is most commonly used to describe a budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). Elsewhere, different species are called parakeets, with no specific inclusion criteria or official nomenclature involved with the use of the term.

Broadly speaking, the term “parakeet” refers to multiple, small, slender species of parrots across numerous genera. Parakeets are usually seed-eating parrots with long, tapered tail feathers. The name is given to around 115 species in 30 genera in the Psittacinae subfamily.

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The 20 Types of Parakeets

1. Budgerigar

a parakeet in the cage
Image Credit: Christine Bird, Shutterstock
Origin: Australia
Lifespan: 7–15 years
Length: 18–20 centimeters

Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), also known as budgies, are popular pet bird choices. These small and colorful birds are known for their fun-loving and playful personalities. They’re one of the easiest bird species to care for and are among the best-studied parrot species in the world.


2. Monk Parakeet

Monk Parakeet
Image Credit: Sarka_Svobodova_Photo, Shutterstock
Origin: South America
Lifespan: 20–30 years
Length: 29 centimeters

Monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), also sometimes called quaker parrots, are small, bright-green birds with delightfully entertaining personalities. Though they may be small, they have huge, bold, and outgoing personalities. They’re fantastic talkers and require quite a bit of interaction and attention to stay emotionally stimulated and healthy.


3. Alexandrine Parakeet

Alexandrine parakeet
Image Credit: Dan_Koleska, Shutterstock
Origin: South Asia
Lifespan: 25–30 years
Length: 56–62 centimeters

The Alexandrine parakeet (Psittacula eupatria) is a medium-sized parakeet named after Alexander the Great. They are one of the largest parakeet species known for their beautiful appearance and excellent talking abilities. They tend to be a one-person kind of bird, forming extremely tight bonds with one human keeper in particular.


4. Red-Breasted Parakeet

red-breasted parakeet
Image Credit: Jyotirmoy Golder, Shutterstock
Origin: Southeast Asia
Lifespan: Up to 25 years
Length: 33–38 centimeters

The red-breasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri), sometimes called the mustached parakeet, is easy to distinguish from other types thanks to their “mustache” above their beaks. These birds are beautiful, intelligent, and playful. Anecdotally, unlike different kinds of parakeets, they’re generally not considered cuddly, though they can learn to be affectionate with proper socialization.


5. Dusky-Headed Parakeet

Dusky-headed parakeet
Image Credit: Milan Zygmunt, Shutterstock
Origin: South America
Lifespan: 25–50 years
Length: 25–28 centimeters

The dusky-headed parakeet (Aratinga weddellii), sometimes called the Weddell’s conure or dusky-headed conure, is a little green bird typically found in pairs or groups of up to 100 in the wild. As pets, these parakeets are calm, affectionate, and according to some owners, quite funny.


6. Rose-Ringed Parakeet

rose-ringed parakeet
Image Credit: Bappa Pabitra, Shutterstock
Origin: Africa, Asia
Lifespan: 30–35 years
Length: 38–42 centimeters

The rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri), sometimes known as the ringneck parrot, is a medium-sized bird that is extremely popular as a pet. They are capable of mimicking human speech and are very receptive to learning. This is one of the best-talking parrot species, though they may be considered invasive in some areas.


7. Bourke’s Parakeet

Bourke’s Parakeet
Image Credit: Imogen Warren, Shutterstock
Origin: Australia
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Length: 18–23 centimeters

The Bourke’s parakeet (Neopsephotus bourkii), sometimes called the blue-vented parrot or Bourke’s parrot, is a small species native to Australia. These stunning birds have shimmering shades of blue, pink, and violet that set them apart from other parakeets. They are gentle, playful, and good-natured, making them fantastic pets when hand-fed as babies.


8. Barred Parakeet

Barred Parakeet
Image Credit: Kasama Kanpittaya, Shutterstock
Origin: South America
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Length: 16 centimeters

The barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), sometimes called the lineolated parakeet, is a small parrot with mostly green plumage and multiple black or dark green bars. They are known for their calm disposition and quiet vocalizations. Their even-tempered personality and gorgeous color mutations make them a popular pet in aviculture.


9. Plum-Headed Parakeet

Plum-Headed Parakeet
Image Credit: Chaithanya Krishnan, Shutterstock
Origin: Southern Asia
Lifespan: 15–20 years
Length: 33 centimeters

The plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) is a small parrot known for their beautiful vibrant plumage and incredibly long tail. These highly sociable parakeets are popular in aviculture due to their playful personalities and ability to mimic human speech. This is a rather noisy species, however, as they have a variety of raucous calls.


10. Lord Derby’s Parakeet

Lord Derby’s Parakeet
Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock
Origin: Asia
Lifespan: 20–30 years
Length: 45–50 centimeters

The Lord Derby’s parakeet (Psittacula derbiana), sometimes known as the Derbyan parakeet, is a smart, social, and affectionate species with a playful and curious nature. They build strong bonds with their humans and may be willing to snuggle up to whomever they’re closest to. Since this is such an intelligent species, they require much stimulation when kept as pets.


11. Slender-Billed Parakeet

slender billed parakeet
Image Credit: Rob Jansen, Shutterstock
Origin: Chile
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Length: 40 centimeters

The slender-billed parakeet (Enicognathus leptorhynchus) is named such due to their greatly elongated mandible, which they use to dig for food in the soil. These beautiful birds are mostly green, with red coloring on the forehead and blue on the wings. They’re known for their playful, sweet, and energetic dispositions.


12. Cuban Parakeet

Cuban Parakeet
Image Credit: Jukka Jantunen, Shutterstock
Origin: Cuba
Lifespan: 50–60 years
Length: 22–29 centimeters

The Cuban parakeet (Psittacara euops) is a vulnerable species endemic to Cuba, where they are now confined to just a few parts of the island. These yellow-green birds are highly social and have red spots scattered throughout their bodies. They are sadly persecuted as crop pests, and their population is threatened by habitat loss and capture for the pet trade.


13. Plain Parakeets

Plain Parakeets
Image Credit: FotoRequest, Shutterstock
Origin: Brazil
Lifespan: 15 years
Length: 23–25 centimeters

Plain parakeets (Brotogeris tirica) are a species endemic to Brazil. They’re known for their plain green plumage, which appears throughout, though their necks have a bluish tinge, and their undersides may appear yellow. Plain parakeets are friendly, curious, and intelligent—traits that make them great pets.


14. Yellow-Chevroned Parakeet

Yellow-Chevroned Parakeet
Image Credit: Vinicius R. Souza, Shutterstock
Origin: South America
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Length: 20–25 centimeters

The yellow-chevroned parakeet (Brotogeris chiriri) is a mostly bright-green bird with pale underparts and a yellow trailing edge. These beautiful birds may not be commonly kept as pets, but they’re worth considering if you’re looking for a docile and playful parakeet species.


15. White-Winged Parakeet

White-Winged Parakeet
Image Credit: Elkin Restrepo, Shutterstock
Origin: South America
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Length: 20–25 centimeters

The white-winged parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus), sometimes known as the canary-winged parakeet, is a small species that’s mostly green in color. Their most recognizable physical trait is the white wing patches. These birds are inquisitive by nature and are quite vocal, though they’re known for having particularly good speaking skills.


16. Brown-Throated Parakeet

Brown-throated parakeet
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstocks
Origin: South America
Lifespan: Up to 25 years
Length: 23–28 centimeters

The brown-throated parakeet (Eupsittula pertinax), sometimes known as the St. Thomas conure, is a black-billed bird with mostly green plumage. This is a very social and active species that mostly lives, travels, and eats in pairs or small groups when in the wild. They can be very rowdy before settling down at night, which may be somewhat off-putting for owners.


17. Blossom-Headed Parakeet

Blossom-Headed Parakeet
Image Credit: iqbal.sohag, Shutterstock
Origin: Asia
Lifespan: 20–30 years
Length: 30 centimeters

The blossom-headed parakeet (Psittacula roseata) is a gorgeous lime-green parrot. Males have pink and pale blue on their head and nape with a black neck collar and chin stripe. Females have pale gray heads and no neck collars. These birds are not kept as pets very often, though they can be great pets in the right households.


18. Slaty-Headed Parakeet

Slaty-Headed Parakeet
Image Credit: Shubhrojyoti, Shutterstock
Origin: Asia
Lifespan: 15–17 years
Length: 30–40 centimeters

The slaty-headed parakeet (Psittacula himalayana) is a mostly green bird with blue tinting and a dark gray head. They aren’t commonly kept as pets, though they can be suitable for people well-versed in the world of aviculture. They can form quite strong bonds with their human counterparts and may make good roommates for other birds.


19. Regent Parakeet

Regent Parakeet
Image Credit: Greg Brave, Shutterstock
Origin: Australia
Lifespan: 20–30 years
Length: 37–42 centimeters

The regent parakeet (Polytelis anthopeplus), sometimes known as the regent parrot or rock pebbler, is a physically striking bird with golden coloring. They are highly social and fairly quiet but aren’t often kept as pets. They don’t allopreen in the wild and aren’t as receptive to being touched or petted as other parakeet species.


20. Green Parakeet

Green Parakeet
Image Credit: jesus causil, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Lifespan: Up to 30 years
Length: 28–31 centimeters

The green parakeet (Psittacara holochlorus), also known as the green conure or Mexican green conure, is a predominantly green species with some scattering of red feathers and a blue tinge. These beautiful birds are highly intelligent, curious, and social, making them a great pick for experienced bird owners.bird divider

Conclusion

There you have it! With all these incredible parakeets out there it is hard to choose a favorite. Was there one in particular that caught your eye? Which one would you love to see in the wild? Take this new knowledge about parakeets to your next quiz night!


Featured Image Credit: UniqSnaps, Shutterstock

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