Parakeet, a popular cage bird of the parrot family. There are many species, native to tropical regions throughout the world. In captivity, parakeets readily learn to mimic human speech or whistle a tune. They are playful and affectionate pets. Caged parakeets eat seeds and greens. Handling parakeets may be unwise, for they sometimes carry psittacosis, an uncommon but serious disease.

ParakeetsParakeets are popular cage birds of the parrot family.

Most parakeets are small, beautifully colored birds with long, pointed tails. A typical parakeet is the budgerigar (popularly, budgie), native to Australia but sold in pet stores everywhere. It is seven to eight inches (18 to 20 cm) long. Individual budgies show a variety of color combinations; they may be predominantly green, blue, yellow, or gray.

ParakeetsParakeets are small, beautifully colored birds with long, pointed tails.

The extinct Carolina parakeet—the only member of the parrot family native to the United States in historic times—was hunted for its green and yellow plumage. Once common from North Dakota and central New York to the Gulf of Mexico, it was last seen in the wild in 1920, in Florida.

Parakeets belong to the parrot family, Psittacidae. The budgerigar is Melopsittacus undulatus; Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis.