History of the Parakeet

Parakeets are part of the Psittaciformes family - it’s a type of parrot. Other birds in this family include lories, lovebirds, macaws, parakeets, parrots, keas, cockatoos, lorikeets, parrotlets, budgerigars, rosellas, conures, and amazons. These birds come from the tropical and southern areas of the world.


Parakeets originated in Australia.

The term parakeet describes any long tailed parrot. However, parakeets are often called by their formal name – budgerigars or budgies. Budgerigar is an Australian aboriginal name that means “good bird”. Parakeets have also been called shell parrots and zebra parrots in the past.

The parakeet is a small parrot that comes from central area of Australia. They are usually seen in large flocks. Since they are used to living in these large flocks, they are naturally sociable.

Parakeets were first brought to Europe by John Gould and his wife in 1838. They soon became popular pets (the birds…not John Gould and his wife) with the European upper class. Gould’s brother-in-law was credited with breeding the first pair in captivity in 1840 and he reportedly sold the breeding pair for the equivalent of several hundred dollars in today’s dollars.

The Australian government instituted a strict ban on the export of parakeets in 1894. Now, all the parakeets in the United States are from captive breed stock.

There are more than 45 million parakeets kept in homes in the United States, Great Britain, Australia and South Africa. They are the most popular pet parrot in the world.