Parakeets are members of the parrot family and can be found in tropical and sub-tropical climates throughout the world. In general, these birds are smaller than other parrots and have long feathers on their tails. There are about 120 parakeet species found around the world, a number that is difficult to pin down due to the fact that the term parakeet is does not necessarily indicate that the birds are closely related evolutionarily or genetically. A number of parakeet species can be considered either parrots or parakeets, depending on the classification system used. The three taxonomical tribes that parakeets can be found in are platycercini, psittaculini and anari, each with dozens of parakeets.
Birds in the platycercini tribe are found in Australia, New Zealand, and nearby islands. This tribe contains about 40 different parakeet species, including one of the most recognizable, Melopsittacus undulatus, the budgerigar, or budgie. In some parts of the world, including the United States, the term parakeet is often synonymous with this parakeet species because of the popularity of this sociable, easily tamed bird in the pet trade. Aside from this parakeet species, the mallee ringneck parakeet, Bourke's parakeet, and the Princess of Wales parakeet are also common species in the platycercini tribe.
It is also possible to find a variety of parakeets in Asia and Africa. These birds are in the tribe of parrots known as psittaculini. The ringneck parakeet is common in Asia an can be identified by the dark band around its jawline. These birds come in a variety of different colors and, like many other parrots, are social and playful. The plum-headed parakeet, emerald collared parakeet, and the Newton parakeet are some of the other parakeet species found in this group of birds.
Another of the parrot tribes, anari, comprises a number of parakeet species that are collectively known as conures. These birds look similar to one another, though they are not necessarily closely related. Conures are sometimes referred to as small parrots and sometimes referred to as large parakeets. Green parakeets, slender-billed parakeets, and gray breasted parakeets can also be found in the anari tribe. Anari parakeets are native to North and South America and come in a variety of different colors, though the majority of parrots in this tribe are green.