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The "Linnie" Or Lineolated Parakeet

The lineolated parakeet, also known as the "linnie," might be hard to find, but they make a great pet bird!

By Diane Grindol

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The lineolated parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola) has a small fanbase, but seems to be practically a secret to the general pet-owning population. Here is my attempt to bring the linnie to the limelight! If that name is a mouthful, you can refer to this parrot as the “linnie.” Bolborhynchus means “parakeet with a large beak.” Don’t be intimidated; lineolated parakeets aren’t prone to use theirs on you. It is also referred to as the barred parakeet because, in most color mutations, there are black bars on the feathers on their backs and wings.

A lineolated parakeet's natural call is soft and almost song-like. A linnie can learn to talk and whistle. You can keep a lineolated parakeet in an apartment or similar housing where you have close neighbors. Lineolated parakeets are about the size of a budgie or lovebird, with a calmer disposition than either pet bird. 

Lineolated Parakeet, LinneThe lineolated parakeet is also known as the linnie. 

Linnies come in lutino, albino, cobalt, blue and mauve color mutations, as well as the green color of wild lineolated parakeets and a dark green and olive green. They are native to Central and South America. One subspecies of lineolated parakeets, Bolborhynchus lineola lineola, is found from southern Mexico to western Panama. Another subspecies, Bolborhynchus lineola tigrinus, is native to northwest Venezuela and the Andes, Colombia and Peru. Linnies come from higher-elevation cloud forests and rain forests, though they also forage at lower elevations during the winter. In the wild, they are found in flocks of up to 20 birds.

Lineolated Parakeet Care
Keep your linnie in a spacious bird cage with close bar spacing. Linnies like to sleep in tents or huts, and they love to climb. Offer them swings, dangly toys and rope perches so they get plenty of climbing in. (As with other small birds, offer toys or perches that have rope strands only under supervision so they don’t get a leg caught in them.) Other toys include ladders, landing perches and dangly bells or beads.

Supervise a linnie if it is out of the cage at the same time as other birds. These are peaceful birds and don’t do well if confronted by more aggressive species. Never leave a linnie out of its cage alone with a companion dog or cat.

Give your linnie a shower or bath. They’re natives of the rain forest and will like being misted often, joining you in the misty bathroom air when you shower, or being offered a bowl in which to bathe.

Linnies As Pets
Linnie pet owners love the gentle, inquisitive nature of their birds. Some are shy, and very few are nippy. Shy birds can be won over with exposure to a variety of household activity, by feeding them outside their cage and by offering treats when you walk by.

Linnies hold food in their feet and like to hang upside-down. They walk with their bodies held parallel to the perch, unlike their more upright budgie cousins! They’re likely to have this posture when they’re at rest, too. Linnies express themselves by tail fanning and emitting soft, pleasant vocalizations. If you like lovebirds, but want a little more low-key pet bird, this is your parrot.

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The "Linnie" Or Lineolated Parakeet

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Reader Comments
I found a lineolated parakeet on craigslist. She had become hand shy because she wasn't being paid attention to. She was biting me and flying around like a crazy bird. I spent a lot of time next to her, working on the computer and reading outloud. Then I fed her treats out of a cup and then she started expecting treats out of me. I trained her to step up and I twist my finger a little if she bites, which she dosnt anymore. She gets a lot of fresh food and some rice and beans. Linnies are very shy and take a few months to get used to you and inanimate objects like food. Because of how long these birds live if your not willing to give a few months of training into your bird it's not going to be rewarding.
George, Chicago, IL
Posted: 1/2/2015 3:35:24 PM
There are no bleu linnies or albino
So also not cobalt or mauve
Johan, International
Posted: 11/24/2013 5:47:04 AM
Everything I have read about linies, including this, says how sweet they are. I set out in search of one for myself and after about 6 months found a breeder who offered handfed babies. I drove 2 hours to get my little bird and when I got there he was not sweet at all. I was really concerned but she assured me he would come around and just had to get used to me. I have had birds all my life so I know how to handle them. I have had him now for two weeks and he is the meanest bird I've ever had. When I try to get him to perch on my finger he will and then all of the sudden rip into my hand with his beak. His bites are very painful! I am really upset and don't know what to do. I'm considering calling the breeder in the next few days to beg her to take him back but I doubt she will. I don't know what to do. I just want to love him but he absolutely hates me and I don't know what to do!! I think this should be a warning to anyone looking for a lineolated parakeet. They absolutely can be very mean and aggressive even if handfed!
Jess, Cincinnati, OH
Posted: 9/7/2013 9:04:44 PM
susan, westchester, NY
Posted: 5/21/2012 10:49:55 PM
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