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Parakeet is a term for any one of a large number of small to medium-sized species of parrot, in multiple genera, that generally have long tail feathers. Older spellings still sometimes encountered are paroquet or paraquet.
The Australian budgerigar, also known as "budgie" or English parakeet or keet, 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 America.
The term "grass parakeet" (or grasskeet) refers to a large number of small Australian parakeets native to grasslands such as the Neophema genus 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". The vernacular name ringnecked parakeet (not to be confused with the Australian ringneck) refers to a species of the Psittacula genus native to Africa and Asia that is popular as a pet and has become feral in many cities outside its natural range.
In aviculture, the term "conure" is used for small to medium-sized parakeets of the genera Aratinga, Pyrrhura, and a few other genera of the tribe Arini, which are mainly endemic to South America. As they are not all from one genus, taxonomists tend to avoid the term. Other South American species commonly called parakeets include the genus Brotogeris parakeets, the monk parakeet, and lineolated parakeets, although lineolateds have short tails.
A larger species may be referred to as "parrot" or "parakeet" interchangeably. For example, "Alexandrine parrot" and "Alexandrine parakeet" are two common names for the same species, Psittacula eupatria, which is one of the largest species normally referred to as a parakeet.
Parakeets breed better in groups, but are usually fine breeding in pairs. Having other parakeets encourages a pair to breed, which is why breeding in groups is more successful. However, many breeders choose to breed in pairs because that way they know which parents produced any given birds. Parakeets produce about six to eight eggs if the parakeet successfully lays eggs.