Parrot Species – An Overview of the Different Types of Parrot (Part I of II)

In terms of taxonomy (the scientific classification of animals) parrots belong to the Psittaciformes order, within which there are two families: Cacatuidae and Psittacidae. The Cacatuidae family consists only of the Cockatoo, with all other parrots belonging to the Psittacidae family. However, taxonomy aside, we tend to group parrots under the following headings:

  • Budgies
  • Cockatiels
  • Cockatoos
  • Conures
  • Macaws
  • Parakeets
  • Parrotlets
  • Parrots
  • Lovebirds

In looking at these groupings we will explore beyond the more well known examples of parrot such as the Meyers Parrot and Amazon Blue Fronted Parrot.


The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) is also referred to as the parakeet, shell parakeet, budgie, and common pet parakeet. However, it is not correct to refer to the budgie using the broader classification of parakeet as the budgie is in fact a particular type of small parrot native to Australia. These little birds grow to around 7 inches and a weight of up to 40 grams. They have a green body with black and yellow markings on their back and wings. The have distinctive yellow heads with blue beaks. In captivity they have been cross-bred to create small parrots with an amazing array of colors.


The Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), also referred to as the Quarrion and the Weiro, is native to the most arid areas in Australia. Many variations of cockatiel plumage have been bred in captivity, but the standard is a grey cockatiel, with some white markings on the edge of each wing, orange markings around the ears, and a yellow head. One interesting thing about cockatiels is that they mimic sounds such as whistling far more easily than voices, and when frightened they hiss like a snake.


There are 21 species of cockatoo, one of which is the cockatiel described above. The cockatiel, as the smallest and most popular of the cockatoos, is usually described separately. The cockatoo belongs to the Cacatidae family. This bird hails from a diverse geography, which includes Australia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Cockatoos are very popular and loving pets, and are revered for their skills in mimicry. Some cockatoos face extinction due to illegal trade, and it is recommended that you only consider buying a captive bred specimen.


Conures is not a scientific classification, but is used to group together a number of small and medium sized parrots. Some of the common characteristics of this group are that they are small with long tails and strong beaks. Some conures are: Aratinga, Carolina Parakeet, Enicognathus, Gold-Capped Conure, Golden-Plumed Conure, Golden Conure. Jenday Conure, Nanday Conure, Patagonian Conure, Pyrrhura, and the Yellow-Eared Conure.

Source by Danny Oakes

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