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A lineolated parakeet, also called a linnie, barred parakeet, or Catherine parakeet, is a small parrot. Native to highland forests of South and Central America, the lineolated parakeet gets its name from the black and dark green stripes on its green plumage. There are two subspecies, Bolborhynchus lineola lineola and Bolborhynchus lineola tigrinus, the latter of which has more prominent stripes. Lineolated parakeets are kept as pets, and many different color mutations have been selectively bred for.
The lineolated parakeet is about 6.5 inches (16 cm) long and weighs from 1.5 to 1.8 oz (42 to 52 grams). Their plumage is olive green with stripes, darker green on the tail, and blue under the wings. Lineolated parakeets have pink legs, cream colored beaks, and dark brown eyes. Males of the species are very similar in appearance to females, though they may have darker stripes. Juveniles are less prominently striped than adult birds.
In the wild, lineolated parakeets live in groups of six to 30 birds, though flocks may be as large as 150 birds. Their diet consists of seeds, fruit, and sometimes insect larvae. Birds lay four or five eggs at a time, and they hatch within three weeks. Chicks leave the nest about five weeks later. The lifespan of a lineolated parakeet is about ten to 15 years.
While wild lineolated parakeets are mostly green, with darker stripes, a great variety of color mutations are available in birds that have been bred as pets. Silver, violet, cinnamon, white, and different shades of blue and yellow birds exist. As a pet, the lineolated parakeet is valued for its calm and quiet disposition, making it ideal for those who live in an apartment.
Lineolated parakeets are intelligent, playful, affectionate pets. Some can mimic human speech. Linnies enjoy burrowing, hanging upside down, and being bathed or misted with water. Like most pets, lineolated parakeets have specific dietary and medical needs. It is important to keep their nails trimmed and to provide wood or a cuttlestone for them to keep their beak from becoming overgrown.
Though the lineolated parakeet has a loyal following, it is not as popular or available as other, better-known parrot species. Lineolated parakeets require lots of attention, affection, toys, and space for exercise, but will reward owners with loyalty and love. They can become very bonded with human owners as well as with other birds, and form monogamous bonds in the wild.