Lineolated Parakeets are more commonly known as "Linnies," and less commonly as the "Barred Parakeet."  Linnies are a truly an unusual parakeet. Their intense black eyes and quizzical look offer up a most intelligent design inside that feathered head.  These colorfully barred parakeets also exhibit behaviors that are hard to understand and have caused several new Linnie owners to become discouraged.  Over time I will share my experiences and opinions about what it is like to live with a Linnie that will parallel  what I am currently learning about these sensitive birds. Like many Linnie lovers we find that available information is difficult to find, and at times this is reflected in the frustration new Linnie owners experience as they try to understand some of the puzzling behaviors of a young Linnie.

But oh my, all is not lost! If we can understand that Linnies are sensitive personality packed creatures that just need time to grow up and mature, then hope is in the air!  One must also understand that though a Linnie is not a large bird, they have packed into that head of theirs a great deal of intelligence!  With that said, they also have good memories.  A mishandled Linnie may not be so fast to forgive and move on like other birds such as cockatiels and budgies.

**In my opinion, based on the experiences I have had, and what others have shared: In no way do I say I am absolutely correct or an expert on Linnies. Each bird is an individual and may never present challenging behaviors. However, it is generally understood that Linnies are intelligent and sensitive. As you learn about these little sweethearts those two things are most important to keep in mind.

Tip #1   Please understand that Linnies may mature slowly and go through a hand shy stage that seems inappropriate for a hand fed baby. Hand shyness has caused many an owner to feel frustrated and wonder just what happened to "my sweet handfed baby!"  Time, consistency, lots of handling/snuggling, and a consistent "Step Up," and "Step Down," command will help to build confidence as your baby moves through this stage of what appears to be fear of hands.   Do NOT be afraid to smoothly move into your baby with cupped hands to scoop him up to snuggle under clothing. Pat and rub baby on the outside of your clothing,  An offered finger may seem frightening to baby.  Take your hand with thumb down and vertical to your body and offer your hand to baby like a wall to step up on. And ALWAYS tell your baby what you want! "Step Up, "Step Down, "and verbalize everything with fun drama in your voice (if that makes sense). In fact, talk to your baby bird much like you would talk to a human child. 

Patience is so important during this stage that I cannot stress this enough.


Tip #3

I work daily on "step up" and "step down" commands every time I handle linnies, especially when removing from cage. That way babies are familiar with these commands which will help ease them through the possible hand shy stage. Linnies are very active birds as babies and naturally just run around their cage when excited and happy.  I have learned that this "hand shy" stage is actually more akin to excitement and not fear. But if folks confuse this with fear, impatience with handling may lead baby to increase this behavior.

Tip #2

Linnies grow their nails unusually fast? I have to clip my breeders about every 2-3 months. In comparison, it is rare I have to clip my parrotlets or bourkes.  If  nails become too long Linnies WILL get them caught in cage wire, and other potentially dangerous places. Questions to ask yourself: Do you have a vet or pet shop that will do this for you?  Or will you do this yourself? I will make a video soon on techniques for clipping wings and nails. It is not a difficult process, but works best with two people.

Lineolated Parakeets are commonly called "Linnies", and uncommondly called the Catherine parakeet or Barred Parakeet. A Linnie is a small parrot found in highland forests from southern Mexico to Panama, in the Andes from western Venezuela to southern Peru and Bolivia, the Santa Marta Mountains in Colombia and the Venezuelan Coastal Range. Original color is green with black barring. Mutations now include Creaminos, Lutinos, Turquoise, Cobalts, Greens, Blue (though some aviculturists contest that there is not a true blue in a linnies), mauve (slate), cinnamon, golden, pied, silver, and violet.

Kickapoo now lives in Homer


Linda Rose Forney   503.460.7908

Lineolated Parakeet (Linnies!)

Suggested Foods and is not exhaustive:

  • Volkman's Small Hook
  • Sleek and Sassy Med Hook no sun
  • Mixed with equal parts of Sleek Sassy or Volkman's Canary and Finch feed, and crumbles or small pellets
  • Sunseed Med Hook
  • All natural small parrot pellets and seed: Zupreem,  Lafeber Nutriberries and Avicakes, Crazy Corn, Goldenfeast, Harrisons,
  • All Purpose poultry crumbles
  • Spray Millet (as a treat)
  • Cuttle Bone and Mineral Block
  • Sprouts!!!
  • Avitech All natural and FDA Supplements: Vitamins, Immune Boosters, Weight Gain, Probiotics, Electrolytes, Antifungal,

and so much more


Please avoid boxed feed such as Harts that is commonly found at Walmart, KMart and such. These seeds often sit in warehouses up to a year before even making it to the stores. And NEVER EVER feed your parrots wild bird mix.

I no longer raise Linnies, but have left this information up with hopes that it may continue to help people understand these gentle shy birds.

Tip #4

The way to a Linnies HEART is through a squirt bottle of warm water