/par"euh keet'/, n.
any of numerous small, slender parrots, usually having a long, pointed, graduated tail, often kept as pets and noted for the ability to mimic speech: several species are endangered.
Also, paraquet, paroquet, parrakeet, parroket, parroquet.
[1575-85; < MF paroquet parrot, appar. orig. a dim. of P(i)errot, dim. of Pierre Peter, as a name for a parrot; the modern form and its earlier vars. have been influenced by It parrocchetto and Sp periquito (both ult. < MF)]

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Any of 115 species in 30 genera (subfamily Psittacinae) of small, slender seed-eating parrots with a long, tapering tail.

Parakeets are found worldwide in warm regions. They typically form large flocks. Most species lay four to eight eggs in a tree hole. The most popular caged parakeet is the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), mistakenly called lovebird; about 8 in. (19 cm) long, it may be any colour but usually has cheek spots and close barring on the upper parts.

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

Bruce Coleman Ltd.

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also spelled  Parrakeet 

      any of numerous seed-eating parrots of small size, slender build, and long, tapering tail. In this sense the name is given to some 115 species in 30 genera of the subfamily Psittacinae (family Psittacidae) and has influenced another parrot name, lorikeet (see parrot). To indicate size only, the name is sometimes extended to little parrots with short, blunt tails, as the hanging parrots, or bat parrotlets, Loriculus species, popular cage birds in their native area, India to Malaya and the Philippines.

      Parakeets occur worldwide in warm regions; they are abundant from India and Sri Lanka to Australia and the Pacific Islands, throughout Southeast Asia, and in tropical America. Typically they form large flocks and may be serious pests in grainfields. Most species lay four to eight eggs in a tree hole. Dozens of colourful kinds are kept as pets. All are highly active and need much room; most are pugnacious—notably when paired—toward other birds; and a few become good, though small-voiced, mimics. Many colour varieties and intergeneric hybrids are known in the wild as well as in aviaries.

 The most popular caged parakeet is the budgerigar, or shell parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus; see photograph—>). Mistakenly called lovebird, this 19-centimetre (7 1/2-inch) parakeet has hundreds of colour mutations from the green and yellow basic stock; but cheek spots and close barring on the upper parts usually persist. Sexes look alike but may differ seasonally in colour of the cere, the bare skin at the base of the bill. Budgerigars are seed eaters; in the wild, they form large flocks in Australia's grasslands. They breed colonially, in tree holes, laying six to eight eggs twice a year. Most budgerigars are hardy, surviving for 5 to 10 years.

      The Australian parakeets, or rosellas (rosella), Platycercus species, have scalloped backs and underparts, black shoulders, distinctive cheek and throat markings, and long, broad tails that are centrally greenish or bluish with a blue and white margin. The seven species, averaging 26–36 cm (10–14 in.) in length, are also called harrakeets.

      The smaller broad-tailed parrots are the five species of Psephotus, which have no specific group name. Female rosellas are duller than males. Popular caged birds, rosellas are hardy and prolific but notoriously quarrelsome with other species.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parakeet — Par a*keet , n. (Zo[ o]l.) Same as {Parrakeet}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parakeet — (n.) 1620s, from Sp. perquito; earlier English form parroket (1580s) is from M.Fr. paroquet, from O.Fr. paroquet (14c.), which is said by etymologists of French to be from It. parrocchetto, lit. little priest, from parroco parish priest, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • parakeet — (also parrakeet) ► NOUN ▪ a small parrot with predominantly green plumage and a long tail. ORIGIN Old French paroquet, Italian parrocchetto, and Spanish periquito; related to PARROT(Cf. ↑parrot) …   English terms dictionary

  • parakeet — [par′ə kēt΄] n. [MFr paroquet, prob. < perrot,PARROT] any of various small, slender parrots with a long, tapering tail …   English World dictionary

  • Parakeet — A parakeet is a North American term for any one of a large number of unrelated small to medium sized parrot species, that generally have long tail feathers. The term is descriptive, but does not imply an actual relationship between the different… …   Wikipedia

  • parakeet — UK [ˈpærəkiːt] / US [ˈperəˌkːt] noun [countable] Word forms parakeet : singular parakeet plural parakeets a small brightly coloured bird sometimes kept as a pet …   English dictionary

  • Parakeet — Parrakeet Par ra*keet (p[a^]r r[.a]*k[=e]t ), Parakeet Par a*keet , n. [See {Paroquet}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of small parrots having a graduated tail, which is frequently very long; called also {paroquet} and {paraquet}. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parakeet — [16] Parakeet is an anglicization of Old French paraquet. Like the roughly contemporary parrot, this seems to have begun life as a diminutive form of the name Pierre ‘Peter’ (several species of bird, such as the magpie and robin, have been given… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • parakeet — [[t]pæ̱rəkiːt[/t]] parakeets also parrakeet N COUNT A parakeet is a type of small parrot which is brightly coloured and has a long tail …   English dictionary

  • parakeet — /ˈpærəkit / (say paruhkeet) noun any of the numerous slender parrots, usually with a long, pointed, graduated tail, especially those of the genera Aratinga, Pyrrhura, and Psittacula, as the rose ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri, of Africa and… …  

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