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A parakeet is any one of many small to medium-sized species of parrot, in multiple genera, that generally have long tail feathers. The Australian budgerigar, also known as “budgie”, Melopsittacus undulatus, is probably the most common parakeet. It was first described by zoologists in 1891. It is the most popular species of parakeet kept as a pet in North America and Europe. The term “grass parakeet” (or grasskeet) refers to many small Australian parakeets native to grasslands such as the genus Neophema and the princess parrot. The Australian rosellas are also parakeets. Many of the smaller, long-tailed species of lories may be referred to as “lorikeets”.
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Older spellings still sometimes encountered are paroquet or paraquet. In American English, the word parakeet usually refers to the budgerigar. Parakeets comprise about 115 species of birds that are seed-eating parrots of small size, slender build, and long, tapering tails. The budgie (parakeet) is often thought of as a “beginner bird,” however, this social, outgoing little bird deserves just as much care and attention as larger parrots. Budgies are playful, love food, and can rival any parrot in terms of talking ability. The vernacular name ring-necked parakeet (not to be confused with the Australian ringneck) refers to a species of the genus Psittacula native to Africa and Asia that is popular as a pet and has become feral in many cities outside its natural range.