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Parrots represent one of the big families of birds among avian members and are widely distributed across the tropical and sub-tropical regions and are also found in some of the temperate and sub-temperate regions as well. Highest diversity of parrots is observed across the Asia-Australia as well as the Central and South American biogeographical regions. True parrot species are found across Africa, Australia, Central and South America.

Parakeets are small or medium-sized member members of the parrot family too, but are not true parrots. It is quite unfortunate that most South Asian newspapers and magazine represent the South Asian parakeets as parrots in majority of their reports. This is not correct. No true parrot species are found in the Indian subcontinent region.

What we do see are a wide diversity different parakeet species like the Alexandrine parakeet, the rose-ringed parakeet or the blossom-headed parakeet to name only a handful of over dozen species. These are gregarious bird species that moves in huge flocks, nest in natural hollows of big trees and in the cracks and fissures of old abandoned buildings. Species are mostly sexually dimorphic meaning males and females can be distinguished based on the distinct colours, patterns, markings. Habitat destruction and illegal pet trades have made many species across South Asia vulnerable and endangered.

Saikat Kumar Basu