Introduction


What is the goal of this page?

All authors of Lineolated Parakeet literature consider these birds to be calm and gentle creatures.

Some quotations: "The Lineolated Parakeet is a pleasant aviary bird, not bothering with its voice." (Dathe 1983)
"Lineolated Parakeets are endearing birds which are suitable for keeping in cages. Soon they are confiding and they have a relatively pleasant voice." (Pinter 1992)
"Very suitable for room keeping, very popular." (Robiller 1986)
"They are agreeable animals and their voice is pleasantly chatting." (de Grahl 1985)
"The behaviour of these little South Americans is quite pleasant. They are not noisy and their need to gnaw is quite low." (Heßling 1988)
"Although the South American Lineolated Parakeet is rarely available in our region, on account of its gentle nature it is very suitable for room keeping or aviary keeping in groups (...)." (Alderton 1997)
"Although the plumage of those little parakeets cannot be compared with the blaze of colour of other parrots, according to my taste this is fully compensated by its droll and confiding nature." (Weber 1989)

But why are these little parakeets, compared to budgies or cockatiels, that rare in European households?
Why is there so little good, detailed literature on the Lineolated Parakeet available?
Why is it that the international internet supplies concerning this Thick-billed Parrot are that few?

Prante wrote about this in 1975: "Regarding this subject (Lineolated Parakeets) I would like to state that these animals were imported quite often several years ago, but it was missed to build them up specifically. This probably happened, because one could not make a lot of money with them. It would be a pity for our lovely hobby if they would disappear totally out of our aviaries some day."

Fortunately, this did not happen. Today there is a solid population of Lineolated Parakeets in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, Mr. Prante was right: Lineolated Parakeets are fancier's birds. You can't earn much money with them.

But why is that the case?

"We never observed them exchanging affections or copulating. These birds seem to be quite spiritless." (Ziegler 1966)
"This parakeet is native to Middle America and doesn't seem to be attractive as a result of its entirely green plumage." (Kautzmann: concerning the colour supplement A-Z news 1972 p. 302)

They do not have the typical endearing traits such as a richly coloured plumage, lovely singing or an imposing height. Kept in small exhibition boxes and/or under stress they are reserved and shy, their posture seems frail and lethargic. During the familiarisation period they are as temperamental as a snail and they spend their days staring at you silently.
In a nutshell: At first sight Lineolated Parakeets are boring!

Initially, this scares most of the people considering them as pets off. After all, you would want something to look at and watch - something alive.

You have to take the time to get to know the Lineolated Parakeet in order to discover their real "talents". After the period of familiarisation to new surroundings they soon learn to trust their new owner and as a result please with a surprising variety of behaviour and sounds.

Based on my experiences with these birds I can assure you:
Lineolated Parakeets are not boring!

However, I would like to point out that keeping single birds (Lineolated Parakeets as well as other parrots) should be deprecated. The real characters of these little trolls will only come to light when they are kept in pairs - or even better - a flock. The aviary should give them enough space to fly.

This homepage offers all owners and owners-to-be detailed information on their "Flying Emeralds". Only those who are well informed can keep their parakeets in a way which is reasonably close to their natural environment (anyway, as far as this is possible in captivity!?). Collecting sufficient information on Lineolated Parakeets is anything but simple, something I learned during the three months I spent constructing this page. This page was designed to spare anyone who is eager to learn or seeks help a lot of trouble. In my opinion, anybody who wants to gain knowledge should have the possibility to do so.

In addition I hope that the Lineolated Parakeets that waste away in tiny cages or in solitary confinement will eventually get the chance to show their true nature. With the help of this homepage the owners can realize their mistakes and change their bird's habitats so that they too, will soon be able to enjoy a different side of their birds: They fly in circles with their partner bird, groom each other for hours or just jump around on fresh branches with pure vitality. It is my highest priority to clarify the needs of these little parakeets.

Additionally, I would like to put an end to the old-established prejudices regarding the Lineolated Parakeets. Lineolated Parakeets bore a shadowy existence beneath the budgies and cockatiels too long. While reading this homepage, you will realise that Lineolated Parakeets are anything but boring and perfect pets. Maybe I will be able to increase the popularity of these loveable dwarfs.

I'd like to add the following:
Especially BEFORE purchasing one of these birds, you should realize the responsibilities this venture will entail (this naturally applies to all kinds of birds!). The accommodation should be of sufficient size and cleaned regularly, the birds need to be fed regularly. Who will take care of the animals if you are on holiday or in hospital? Are you willing to accept restrictions and/or interferences by the birds (e.g. granting of daily free flight, closed windows and doors during free flight even in midsummer, dirt in your apartment, gnawed wallpapers or books, ...)? You must consider that the purchase of the birds probably is the lowest financial investment, because food, accommodation and veterinary consulting cost a lot of money, too! Are you really up to all this? And we're not talking about a month or a year, but maybe 10 or 15 years or even more than 30 years (for bigger parrots)!

I hope you will have lots of fun discovering the mysterious world of the "different parrot" - the Lineolated Parakeet.

Sigrid Maerz, Osnabrueck (Germany), 2002-09-29