11 Types Of Parakeets And How To Differentiate Them

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Parakeets, the slim and vibrant darlings of the parrot family, boast an impressive diversity with around 115 species under the Psittacidae subfamily. In the U.S., the beloved common parakeet reigns supreme as the preferred feathery companion, capturing hearts since its first Australian sighting in 1805.

Now standing as one of the world’s most popular pets, these small and sprightly pet birds grace homes with their tapered tails and a rainbow of color options.

Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of parakeets and discover the variety that makes them such cherished pets.

Common Parakeet Characteristics

Parakeets, characterized by their long tails and smaller size compared to larger parrots like Macaws, Amazons, and Cockatoos, are generally very intelligent and trainable. Many excel in mimicking human speech, often surpassing even the larger parrot species in this skill.

A common trait among all parakeet varieties is their high intelligence and social nature, making them ideal pets for those seeking interactive bird companions. They form strong bonds with their owners, especially when hand-fed as babies and regularly handled to maintain tameness.

Parakeets are known for their loving and affectionate demeanor, thriving best when they can spend ample time with their human ‘flock.’ For a healthy life, it’s important to feed them a diet specially formulated for parakeets.

Types of Parakeets

Let’s embark on a colorful journey as we unveil 11 captivating types of parakeets, each with its unique charm and personality.

1. Opaline Parakeet

Opaline parakeets are a special variety of the popular Budgerigar, known for their stunning, less barred plumage and slightly paler colors due to the opaline gene. They often display a beautiful mix of green, blue, or gray with a bright yellow head, and their feathers have a shimmering quality with touches of yellow, white, and pink.

These parakeets are loved for their distinctive and attractive looks. They are social and lively companions with a lifespan of 5 to 10 years and sometimes even longer with good care. Regular play and interaction, including teaching tricks and providing toys, make for a happy, bonded pet bird.

2. Spangle Parakeet

kinds of parakeets

The Spangle Budgie is a captivating variety with a pied mutation that selectively removes pigment, creating a unique pattern across its body. These parakeets showcase undiluted body colors that deepen around the chest and rump, contrasting with their lighter heads, which may be yellow or white, influenced by their main body shade.

Their wings echo the head’s hues in yellow or white, accented with hints of violet and silver on the cheeks. The tail feathers continue the theme, primarily yellow or white, edged with distinct black. This pied mutation not only adds to their visual charm but also contributes to the Spangle Budgie’s popularity among enthusiasts.

3. Yellow Chevroned Parakeet

what do parakeets look like

Originating from South America, Yellow Chevroned Parakeets, also known as Pocket Parrots or BeeBees, are small, vibrant birds. Contrary to their name, they primarily display a green body with lighter green underparts.

Their wings feature a blend of green and light green with yellow highlights, complemented by a brown or orange-brown beak. These parakeets are easily recognized by their long pointed tails, prominent white eyerings, and short pale bills. A distinct yellow border sets apart the darker flight feathers from the paler inner wings.

They’re commonly found in noisy groups in savanna woodlands and often venture into urban areas. Their vocalizations include short squawks and a chattering sound, similar to a red squirrel but slower and lower. While they’re notably noisy in flight, they’re much quieter when perched in flocks.

4. Goldenface Parakeet

Goldenface Parakeet

The Goldenface Parakeet, a small and vividly colored bird, thrives in the canopies of foothill and lower montane forests. It boasts bright yellow underparts, face, and forehead, contrasting with its gray back and crown.

A distinctive feature is the black border around the neck, which forms a half-collar, and the noticeable white spots on the wing feather tips, creating two lines down the back. Its appearance is unmistakable.

Its vocalizations are unique, characterized by explosive, whistler-like “whip!” sounds or repeated “chikki-chewitt!” calls. Typically, Goldenface Parakeets have green bodies similar to Yellow Parakeets but with striking golden faces. However, they can be mistaken for other types if the yellow extends too far down the body and onto the wings.

5. Scarlet Crested Parakeet

parakeet types

The Scarlet-chested Parakeet, also known as the Scarlet-breasted Parakeet or Splendid Parrot, belongs to the Neophema parrot family, which includes Bourke’s and Turquoise Parakeets. This bird stands out with its rainbow-colored plumage, making it quite unique.

It features a large head with a hooked beak, indicative of its intelligence. Known for its vibrant feathers and quieter nature, it’s a popular choice, especially for its small size and affectionate demeanor.

Their song consists of soft, pleasant two-syllable notes and gentle twitters when in groups. The Scarlet-chested Parakeet’s calm disposition makes it an ideal pet for first-time bird owners, and with proper care and attention, it can be easily tamed.

6. Brown-throated Parakeet

parakeets colors

Brown-throated Parakeets, true to their name, feature brownish coloration around the throat area. Each of the four distinct forms recognized has variable colors and patterns on the head. They are average-sized parakeets, typically green above, with a paler yellowish belly and a long, pointed tail.

The distinctive brown cheek and upper breast are usually noticeable, though sometimes harder to spot in flight. These parakeets are commonly found in small flocks, feeding quietly on fruit in gardens, forest edges, and second-growth areas.

They become more conspicuous when flying, and you can identify them by their grating, squeaky calls.

7. Blue Parakeet

rare parakeet colors

Blue Parakeets, native to Australia, are known for their striking blue feathers that come in shades like sky blue, cobalt, or mauve. Although less common than green parakeets, they share the same friendly temperament.

With lifespans of up to 20 years, these birds are intelligent and require toys for mental engagement. They have a blue body, white legs, a white head, blue cheeks, and a yellow beak.

These active and playful birds need a spacious cage for movement and play. Since they thrive on companionship, consider having more than one if you can’t be around often.

8. Saddleback Parakeet

parrakeet pictures

The Saddleback, a rare songbird from the Callaeidae family, is found on a few small islands off New Zealand. Saddlebacks are known for their vivid, non-diluted yellow or blue body color, which is darker on the chest and rump.

They also have a V-shaped area on their head and shoulders with light barring and a patch of lighter coloring, often red, adding to their saddle-like appearance.

The Saddleback, classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is notable for its unique alarm call. This call, sounding like a distinctive ‘koekoe’ or ‘kee-aw,’ serves as a crucial warning signal, alerting other birds to the presence of predators.

9. Blue Indian Ring-necked Parakeet

parakeet species

The Blue Indian Ringneck is a captivating medium-sized parakeet known for its striking light blue color. These birds are energetic, smart, and known for their talkative nature. Originally from Asia, they gained popularity as pets in the early 1900s.

As pets, they are charismatic and charming, with their high intelligence making them easily trainable for tricks and speech.

However, they can be nippy and temperamental, often due to insufficient training, socialization, or attention. Given their exceptional intelligence, Blue Indian Ringnecks need mental stimulation to avoid boredom.

10. Budgerigars

parakeets picture

Budgies, or budgerigars, are petite, vibrant parrots with long tails and a penchant for seeds. They stand alone in the genus Meropsittacus and naturally flaunt green and yellow plumage with elegant black markings.

Captive breeding has introduced a kaleidoscope of colors like blue, white, yellow, and gray, along with a charming little crest. Famed for their ability to mimic human speech, budgies are among the world’s most beloved pets, ranking just behind dogs and cats.

Originating from Australia’s dry heartlands, they’ve thrived for over 5 million years, thanks to their adaptive, nomadic nature and their remarkable breeding resilience.

11. Monk Parakeet

what does a parakeet look like

Monk Parakeets, also known as Quaker Parrots, are charming birds with bright green plumage, a gray abdomen, and yellow beaks. It’s a surprising sight to see these green-and-gray parrots in U.S. cities, but they have been around since the 1960s, originating from South America and becoming popular in the pet trade.

Unique in their habits, they are the only parakeets that build communal stick nests, often seen in trees or on power poles, where dozens live together year-round. These nests serve as a permanent home for their colony.

When kept as pets, Monk Parakeets can mimic human speech. In the wild, they can live over six years, and in captivity, their lifespan often extends to about 15 years.


If you’re considering adopting a parakeet, remember that these birds need daily interaction and socialization. Neglecting this can lead to boredom, depression, and resultant health and behavioral issues. However, with the right commitment to their care, a parakeet can become a devoted companion, offering years of joy and friendship.

For more insights on pet parakeets, reach out to your local aviculture society. Talking to breeders and experienced bird owners about your preferred types will help. They can guide you to a species that matches your lifestyle, ensuring a happy home for both you and your feathered friend.

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