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Lineolated Parakeet

Bolborhynchus lineola


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This amazing species is really talented.

It is interesting to read comments, alas too few, of breeders who say they stay for hours watching their Lineos live happily in their aviary. Acrobats and jokers, they enjoy life.

It seems that it is possible to teach them specific acrobatic exercises that they execute if asked to. We are not interested in these aspects.

As far as talking is concerned, birdkeepers mention that Lineos have a quite good capacity to imitate the human voice and 'talk'.



This statement is valid for all species.

Only bird parents or experienced human breeders (for hand-raising) may feed chicks without incurring high risks of killing it.

It has been proved that hand-raised psittacidae become the best feathered pets.

Some pet shops sell chicks of different species before their are weaned. They pretend these chicks will be more attached to the human who has hand-fed them. This is non-sense and even criminal vis--vis the life of this defenseless creature who didn't ask for it.


If you have a pair and that they breed. You may try, at the end of the first four weeks after hatching, to take advantage of a moment when both parents are away from the nestbox to take one of the chicks out and give it the chance of getting used to your hand. Be careful with the room temperature which should be quite warm.

As usual among tames psittacidae, each Lineo will naturally elect its favourite partner(s). Nevertheless, it will not be aggressive towards someone who is not the preferred friend.

Generally, tamed Lineos enjoy human company so much that they remain tame even after breeding.

Acrobats by nature, Lineos love non-conventional structures in their aviaries. Forget perches parallel to the walls. Place also tree branches.

Use also do-it-yourself wood (round section of about 16mm) and cut it in such a way that you may create climbing structures inside the aviary.

In red are the non-parallel perches.

Create also mobile perches, hanging from the roof of the aviary.

Don't forget some hanging ropes of different diameters.


Feeding and care

In Nature : fruit, dry seeds, germinated seeds and even insect larvas.

In captivity : seed mix (type "parakeets") with some pellets but no sunflower seeds (too much cholesterol).

It is essential to vary food and include FRESH fruit and vegetables. Tastes depend a lot on individuals. Keep an eye on excrements. It is normal that they become more liquid than usual if birds eat a lot of fruit.

To avoid decalcification : can be important within young individuals. Give mineral complements (calcium). Cuttle bones remain a classic.

Do not forget that birds are as happy as yourself to change menu everyday.

Lineos drink a lot of water.

Make fresh water available on a permanent basis.

For the shower, use a plant spray.

ATTENTION : buy a brand new one and use exclusively for the Lineos' shower. Imagine the drama if you used it to spray chemicals and made a confusion !

A bath tup in the bottom of the cage is also possible but they prefer for sure the shower.

Breeding in captivity

In general, Lineos breed quite easily in captivity.

Although sexual maturity is reached at about 5 or 6 month, it is advised to wait until they are one year old if not they may not be mature enough to take properly care of the chicks.

Nest-box : dimensions : 15cm x 15cm x 30cm.

A small box guarantees that chicks remain together and warm.

Food complements during breeding : egg mixture, germinated seeds.

After fecondation, the female normally lays between four and seven eggs (one every two days). The incubation period is 18 to 23 days.

During the incubation/hatching period, it is recommended to regularly (but not too often; once a day is ok) have a look in the nest-box to verify if all chicks are alive. If one or more are dead it is important to take it/them away.

The evolution of Lineos' feet is very slow and takes time. Don't be scared after seeing chicks with strange shaped feet. They will change a couple of weeks later.

Parents' roles : the female lays the eggs and sits on them. The male doesn't sit but takes fully care of feeding both the female and the chicks. Lineos are, in general, excellent parents, this being one of the important reasons for the relatively low nest death rate. Nevertheless they may be unpredictable, succeeding all the eggs of one clutch and missing many of those of the next one.

If everything goes well, chicks will grow quite quickly and leave the nest after four to six weeks. Three weeks later they will be weaned and will be able to live by themselves.

If the young birds share the same aviary as their parents, it is necessary to move them to another one as soon as a new clutch is under way. There is a high risk that the parents would become naughty vis--vis the younger ones.

Without any external interference, pairs would be able to breed as much as four times a year. It is advisable to limit their number to two. The easiest way to control the processus is to take the nest-box away.



Birds of this species generally live about ten years. In general, they breed during six years.

Sexual longevity

The oldest MALE Lineolated that is stil breeding in the collection here is about 10 years old. He still likes the ladies, and they apparently like him! The last clutch he fathered contained six eggs, and they were all fertile. The last chick died in the shell. I suspect that it got pushed to the side and was chilled at the wrong time.

In my experience, and I've gotten the same word from at least two other breeders, the hens seem to slow down in their production at about three years of age. That is not to say that they stop breeding, but the clutches are smaller, and they usually take more time off between clutches.

They will start producing eggs at a young age. One fellow in Texas had a hen lay that was only 6 months old. The earliest I've had them actually produce is nine months. I never give them a nest until they are at least nine months old. If they start dropping eggs without an available nesting site to stimulate them, they are definitely ready to breed. I held one young hen back that started laying on the bottom of the cage (flight actually) when she was younger than nine months.

When I set her up to breed she continued laying on the bottom of the cage, and ignored the nest for an entire season. So I guess it is possible for them to develope bad habits! Interestingly enough, when she was set up to breed again the following season, she went into the nest immediately and acted like a veteran breeder!

Bob Nelson
Private Aviculturist
Coquille, Oregon


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.




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