Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Ali Shahid
The terms ‘parrot’ and ‘parakeet’ are two of the most common terms that will come to mind when looking at different species of birds. It may even seem that these terms are interchangeable at times. So, what are parrots and parakeets? What is the difference between parrots vs parakeets? Here is what I discovered.
Parrot vs Parakeet
An actual parrot is simply a generalized term used to refer to many different species of colorful birds, but a parakeet is a smaller, singular species of parrot, and can even be called an individual parrot. So, we can say that parakeets are parrots but all parrots cannot be parakeets.
Parrots differ quite dramatically in size, appearance, and temperament, so there can be quite a bit of variability. While a parakeet looks acts and behaves similarly depending on its species.
You have a lot of options to consider and can pick from a variety of pet birds. To begin your research, it is a good idea to start with parrots, as they can serve as an excellent starting point.
So, you can go out and see what is best for you, and then you can decide what will go best for you. Now let’s look closely at the differences between parrots and parakeets and how you can tell the two apart easily.
Around the entire world, there are about 370 species of parrot. They’re mainly found in Latin America, Mexico, and Australasia, but also in South and Central America. There are many types of parrots available, including parakeets, cockatoos, amazons, macaws, and even lorikeets.
Among the characteristics that contribute to the classification of parrots is their curved beaks, as well as the fact they have four toes per foot, two of which are facing forward and two of which are facing backward.
There is no doubt that parrots are well-known for their ability to mimic different sounds, especially human speech which is most notable. It generally costs between $50 and $150 for a small parrot (mainly cockatiels).
At the same time, the price of a medium-sized parrot (most commonly conures and Quakers) ranges anywhere from $300 to $800. The price of a large parrot (such as the Macaw and African Grey) will reach $5,000 or more.
A parrot rescue organization may even be able to help you find a parrot, in which case you may have to pay $50 to $1,000, depending on the rarity and size of the bird.
Adopting a parrot is always one of the best choices because, in addition to the lower costs, you will also give your parrot the best chance of living a happy and healthy life.
In addition to their known name of parakeet, they may be known as Budgie, which is short for Budgerigar. A parakeet is simply a type of parrot or budgie!
As we have already mentioned, the parakeet originates from Australia and, when in the wild, they live in colonies of birds.
It is estimated that they will live for five to ten years, however, if taken care of properly, some Parakeets may live as long as twenty years.
These birds are among the smallest and most affordable groups of birds. You can expect to spend around $20 to $40 on these birds, but it is worth mentioning that the more exotic species such as the Plum-Headed Parakeet will cost considerably more than $800 to $1,000.
There is another option of adopting a parakeet through a rescue group where the adoption price may vary between $25 and $100 depending on the group and the species of the bird you intend to adopt.
Parrot vs parakeet: Major Differences
It has been proven that there are quite a few differences between parrots and parakeets, which range from their origin in their native habitats to their abilities to speak as well as weight and appearances.
Make sure you know what they are and what makes them different! Now let us look at each one of them a little closer:
- Origins Of Their Names
It is said that the word parrot comes from an old French word known as perrot. Something is interesting to be discovered about the word parrot when used as a verb, which means automatically repeating.
It is believed that the word parakeet comes from a variety of origins depending on which source is being used.
This word stems from several different sources so it may be found in the Spanish word “periquito”, the Italian “parrocchetto”, or possibly even the French term “paroquet”.
No matter which version of events you prefer to believe, they all have a wonderfully beautiful melodic quality!
This species of parakeet, which was originally native to Australia, is capable of mimicking human speech in all its variations.
There is a common belief that parakeets are often said to be more affectionate than other parrots and that they tend to form closer bonds with their owners than other parrots.
In addition to that, the parrots tend to be more social than a lot of other parrots in terms of their behavior and are one of the few avian species that stick together in groups.
There are also differences between parrots and parakeets when it comes to their weight and size. Usually, the weight of a parakeet lies somewhere between 0.07 pounds and 0.09 pounds.
There are different types of parrots weighing different amounts, and the bodyweight of these parrots can range from 2.2 pounds up to 9 pounds depending on the individual species.
Parakeets can grow to a length of between 7 inches and almost 15 inches, depending on their mother’s genetic makeup. Depending on the species, the parrot can grow to a length of about 3 feet to 40 feet.
As far as color issues are concerned, parrots come in a wide range of shades, but typical colors are more common. These common and popular colors are green, yellow, red, and Blue.
Parakeets live in forests and other types of terrain and are typically green in color with lines of black and yellow, but they have evolved to include blue and white thanks to domestication and genetic mutation.
Furthermore, you are now also likely to be able to find parakeets in nearly every color that can be seen in the rainbow.
There is also the possibility that you might find some of the more interesting colors at your places like blue mauves, albinos (white with red eyes), and violets.
- Ability To Talk
Parrots and parakeets do have a few differences as well, however, this particular difference arises with some species of parrot not being able to talk. Despite this, the parakeets of all species can speak.
Parrot sounds can sometimes be harsh when they come from a certain species, but the sound coming from a parakeet is very soothing and music-like.
The male parakeets are much better at talking and singing than their female counterparts, though the females have a pretty voice too. It is worth noting that the African Grey is the parrot with the best ability to speak when it comes to parrots.
There are few differences between a parrot and a parakeet regarding their breeding methods, such as their ability to lay a specific number of eggs.
When it comes to parakeets, tend to have a clutch size of between four and six eggs, whereas parrots usually have only one or two eggs in their clutch.
Lifespan It is said that the most important difference between parrots and parakeets comes down to how much time they can live.
Parakeets are capable of living up to 20 years in captivity, whereas parrots, on the other hand, have a lifespan of 95 years.
In addition, parrots and parakeets can both reach this age in the wild, because there are no predators around the birds.
If they do not find an abundant supply of food and water, they are very likely to die from old age since they have been unable to feed themselves for so long.
Can Parrot and Parakeet live together?
The Parrot family comprises the most sociable species of parrot and the most common one is the Parakeet.
Parakeets live together in large flocks in the wild. Therefore, it is not surprising why they do not like living alone, especially if their owners leave the house quite frequently.
Parakeets are small birds, therefore they are easily dominated by their cage mates. Because of this, you need to select them correctly. A cockatiel is a smaller bird than a parakeet, which makes it a good pet to have as a friend.
It’s possible that larger parakeets could dominate cockatiels, but their loving personalities make it quite unlikely for this to occur. A bathtub and perches are a great way to prevent in-cage fighting among cockatiels and parakeets.
By doing so, they will not become territorial and fight each other. Parakeets can also be housed with some finch species. Finches live in harmony with other birds and are more sociable.
But you must avoid all other types of finches that are territorial and aggressive. If you want to keep rosellas or ringneck parrots together, you will need to pair them up and then breed them.
This species of bird is capable of becoming very aggressive, especially during the mating season when they are pursuing each other.
It is also beneficial not to pair parakeets with large breeds of parrot, as smaller parakeets may become afraid of larger parrots if they are paired together.
If you are contemplating housing more than one bird at once, then it’s best for parakeets to stay with other parakeets.
Although, it isn’t the best idea to put two female birds together, as they are highly territorial. The birds can be housed in the same cage, but there would need to be a separator and nests hidden away so that they could avoid each other.
It is better to keep 2 male parakeets together if you are looking for a more peaceful environment.
Parrot vs Parakeet: Which Breed is Right for You?
It is important to note that parrots and parakeets share several similarities because they are both parrots. Parakeets indeed have a smaller size than parrots, but they are still capable of talking, and they as well have similar grooming and diet requirements.
Some parrots won’t be a good choice for anyone who has never owned a bird before, however, the parakeet is a good bird for those who are looking to get their first bird.
The parrot is generally known for making a lot of noise, particularly in the morning, but the parakeet is not as loud as the average parrot.
A Parakeet does not have the same life span as the average parrot, but it also does not live forever.
The Parakeet needs about a 10- to 20-year commitment to make them a member of your family as compared to a parrot, which can be your companion for your entire life.
Additionally, one has to keep in mind that larger parrots will require bigger cages and therefore, it will require a larger area for them, while Parakeets won’t need as much space as parrots.
Hopefully, you have gained a deeper understanding of what type of bird you would like to have in your home after reading this article. I believe that both types of species will bring a lot of fun and companionship to your home, as they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.