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Lineolated Parakeet

Bolborhynchus lineola


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Adult male

Size : length = 15-16 cm (6 to 7 inches)

Weight : 55 gr.

Morphology : Not so long body, very small tail. Roundish head. Small horn colored beak. Eyes : large and brown.


Shining emerauld green feathers on the wings.


Forehead : yellowish green.


On older green birds, one can sometimes observe yellow feathers, mainly on its forehead.

This Lineo hatched back in 1992. His parents were both plain green and he was plain green as well.
With age, he got these elegant yellow feathers.

Bird owned by Tim & Laura Deitz, breeders at Columbia, Pa, USA. e-mail :

Photo by Bob Millard, Virginia, USA.



Large eyes.

If you wish to see a close-up of an eye with its pupil, click on this link. A new window will open. To pursue your visit, close that new window.

Crown : blueish green. Feathers of the back : dark green or olive with black bars.

Shoulders : black area.


Feathers of the abdomen :
yellowish green with black spots.


Feathers of the thorax and hips : lighter yellowish green.


Tail : short and triangular shape.
Tail feathers :
dark green with a black ending.

Feet : skin color or slightly greyish.

Adult female

Body of the same size as males', sometimes slightly smaller.


Around the eye : feathers start very close to the eyes' edge. Very little skin apparent.


Black hedges of the feathers, specially on the shoulders.
The female is on the foreground.


Tail wings ending on a black area
which is smaller than males', and sometimes inexistant.

Sexual dimorphism

Size is not a determining character.

One of the two most visible differences is the size of the black area at the end of the tail feathers. Females have for sure less black.

The other very visible different is the size of the black area on the shoulders. Females have also less black there.

As dimorphism is not huge, if you wish to be sure of the sex of a bird, only endoscopy and DNA testing can give you a definitive answer.


Soon after hatching, chicks are pink with a light white duvet.

At about two weeks, the crown shows blue shades. After that, green feathers will appear, but the intensity of the color is lighter than for adults. The first black spots will also be less strong.


Geographical origin

South Mexico, Western Panama, Northern Colombia, Venezuela, Andean mountains in Peru.


Historical curiosity

The proceedings of scientific meetings of the London Zoological Society, show that among the acquisitions to the menagerie made during July 1886, should be noticed two rare American parrots : a Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) and a barred parakeet (Lineolated parrakeet - Bolborhynchus lineolatus).

Habitat in Nature

In the forests and mountains normally up to about 2.000m. Have already been seen as high as at 3.000 m. Sometimes visible in the savana. Some now and then, they make incursions on cultivated land (about 750 m), for feeding purposes. Even if Lineos may spend quite sometime on the ground, they will seek for shelter at night on top of tall trees preferably hollow.

As in Nature, these birds live at high altitudes, low tempratures are not a problem. Wild Lineos have been observed gladly taking snow baths in the mountains.

They are quite robust and fly fast and straight at medium to high altitudes. They may fly for long distances.


Habitat in captivity

Lineos easily live in captivity. They should be given a large cage or, better, a home aviary. Ideal dimensions for one to two pairs : 80x50x100 cm. Even in countries with mild climates, it is not advised to place the aviary outside as these birds would suffer from large and sudden temperature change.

Minimum size for an aviary for maximum six birds : 0.85m x 0.55m x 1.5 m.

The cages and/or aviaries should not be placed directly at sunshine. It's preferable to place them in a shady area.

Social life in Nature

Generally in groups from 6 to 30 birds. Groups of about one hundred individuals (up to 150) exist but it is very hard to see them.



Really calm birds, Lineos are peaceful, non-destructive birds. Although being parakeets, Lineos behave in a way which ressembles mostly to parrots.

Thus, they very often use their feet to grab food to eat or toys to play with.

Furthermore, during moments of great excitment, it is possible to observe their eyes blinking, which is typical of large parrots.

These characteristics have led some authors to define Lineos as "parrots in a small body".

As Lineos are not aggressive, it is not advisable to make them share an aviary with aggressive species. Lineos would probably not defend themselves and be wounded or even killed. Lineos use their beak to eat and to hold on objects, not to bite. An aviary with wood structure is perfectly possible for these birds.

Excellent acrobats, Lineos only fly when they have to.

Apart from flying, their movements are generally slow and smooth.

Lineos are very curious. Even if it is 'wild' (not hand-raised) it will not be scared if you go very close to the aviary to watch. It will probably stop all its activities and stare at you. This may last for a while.

If it feels a threat, it will fly away or, better, drop to the ground and, there, run quickly to a shelter.

On its perch, mainly to sleep, Lineos adopt a curious posture. Clinging to the perch, they will let their head fall and lift their back and tail. Certain breeders say that Lineos adopt the "bat posture".

Some breeders advise to let a nest box all year round in the aviary so that the birds may sleep in there. Others recommend to place nest boxes exclusively during the breeding season. The main reason is that these birds breed so easily that if you give them the chance to do so, the hens will soon be exhausted.

One of our Lineos likes to spend a lot of time, and even sleep at night, in its grain container.

The majority of psittacidae are noisy. Lineos aren't. Apart some rare moments of excitment or conflict, during which Lineos shout not very loudly, their normal sounds are sweet with many different intonations. See "Taming" to learn more about their usage of their syrinx.

Tension builds up.

A conflic scene.

Lineos spend much less time than the majority of psittacidae toiletting their feathers. Nevertheless, they are extremely tender between themselves (regardless of the sexes) and they take care of the others' feathers. This phenomenon gives rise to some tender and charming scenes.

To communicate among themselves and, sometimes with humans, Lineos use their voice, and from time to time, they open their tail feathers.



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