Mitch, it’s always been my understanding that there are between 350 and 380 species of parrots — and parakeets and budgies are included in that since they are also parrots.
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Parakeets are small to medium, but this designation doesn’t hold true for all small parrot species.
Birds in the parakeet group have long, tapered tail feathers which exclude other small parrots with squared tails like those tails found on Lovebirds.
Lovebirds as well as a number of other popular types of small to medium-sized parrots are not parakeets.
Some examples are Caiques, Lories and Lorikeets, Eclectus, Pionus, and Poicephalus. Cockatiels are also not parakeets, as they belong to the Cockatoo family Cacatuidae, rather than the true parrot family Psittacidae.
Although all parakeets belong to the subfamily Psittacinae, parakeets are found in various parrot tribes – Tribe Arini – American parakeets, with over 155 species and subspecies. Tribe Platycercini – Australasian parakeets 34 – 40 Australasian psittacines, a group described as Broad-tailed parrots. Tribe Psittaculini – Asian and African parakeets
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Parrots, also known as psittacines (pron.: /ˈsɪtəsaɪnz/), are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions.
The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea (‘true’ parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is found in South America and Australasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet.
Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured.
The plumage of cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feathers on the tops of their heads. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length.
The most important components of most parrots’ diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant material.
A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which hatch altricial (helpless) young.
Parrots, along with ravens, crows, jays, and magpies, are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets.
Trapping wild parrots for the pet trade, as well as hunting, habitat loss and competition from invasive species, has diminished wild populations, with parrots being subjected to more exploitation
than any other group of birds. Measures taken to conserve the habitats of some high-profile charismatic species have also protected many of the less charismatic species living in the same ecosystems.
Parakeet is a term for any one of a large number of unrelated small to medium sized species of parrot, that generally have long tail feathers. Older spellings still sometimes encountered are paroquet or paraquet.
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Wikipedia is lucky to be right about 1/2 the time – I use it as a “helper” but not for definitive information.
As an example, this Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockatoo states there are 21 species of cockatoos. This page on our website about Cockatoos Cockatoo Parrot Supplies (at the bottom) illustrates 30 species of cockatoos with a thumbnail of each – that’s one species of parrots where Wikipedia has a 30% error in their stated count. The “372” is a very old number