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Lineolated Parakeet

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Is the Lineolated Parakeet right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Barred Parakeet; Linnie; Banded Parakeet

Scientific name: Bolborhyncus lineola

The basics:
The Lineolated Parakeet is a petite pocket parrot with a charming personality and a relatively soft voice. Many people prefer them to the lovebirds, because they are more affectionate and less likely to become nippy. They make a great shoulder bird, eager to spend lots of time with you every day. Some of them even learn to speak or to mimic interesting sounds like the beep of the microwave.

The linnie is a highland parrot with two subspecies, one found in Mexico and Central America, and the other found in northern South America. They live in mountain forests mostly from 1,500 to 3,000 meters.

Appearance:
Tiny linnies are a breeder's favorite, so they come in a variety of color mutions, including various shades of green, mauve, turquoise, cobalt, cinnamon, cream albino, lutino, and more.

Weight:
42 - 52 grams (1.5 - 1.8 oz.)

Average size:
16 centimeters (6.3 in.)

Lifespan:
10 - 15 years

Behavior / temperament:
The Lineolated Parakeet is becoming better-known as one of the highest quality small parrots. They are suitable for apartments and for families with children. They seem to lack much of the aggression that we sometimes see in other small parrots, such as the lovebirds or the parrotlets. Their pleasant voice is more chirplike or giggly than most parrot calls. They are growing in popularity and with very good reason. A choice of colors, a soft voice, a playful yet gentle attitude – these little gems have it all.

Housing:
A single pet Lineolated Parakeet needs a spacious 24”w by 18 “ d by 24” h powder coated metal cage to have plenty of room to stretch out and play. Your bird will also benefit from perches or playgyms around the house, so that this social species can hang out with you. That said, your Linnie's favorite perch might be your arm or your shoulder. They truly enjoy playing with their favorite people.

Unlike the lovebirds, the Lineolated Parakeets have been noted for their willingness to share an aviary with other birds. Be cautious, and pick species that won't harass these tiny gems. A pair of lovebirds could create a danger to the other birds in the aviary, but the Lineolated Parakeets are much more easy-going. As always, research the other species that you expect to live with your Linnies, to make sure that you have compatible species that will let each other alone.

Diet:
There are a couple of diets that seem to work well for the Lineolated Parakeet. Some people rely on a good small hookbill pellet for the backbone of the diet, supplemented with a soak and cook containing beans, grains, and brown rice. Others have recommended a proportion of about 60% high quality, small seed diet to 40% pellets. Whichever you choose for the core of the diet, you should also learn how to provide a “chop” salad from such items as fresh fruit, deep leafy greens, unsprayed dandelions, cooked corn on the cob, and other healthy items. Caution: No parrot should ever be fed avocado or chocolate.

Regularly test the freshness of the seed mix by sprouting the seeds. Germinated seeds make a great treat for your Linnie. Seeds that won't sprout are sterile or too old to offer your bird. European breeders supplement the diet with eggfood and vitamins during the breeding season, but only leave out as much eggfood as the birds can clean up right away, since spoiled egg is a growth medium for harmful bacteria.

Written by Elaine Radford

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