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About the Author Colophon Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal on the cover of Word 2000 in a Nutshell is a parakeet. The name "par- akeet" is commonly applied to many small, colorful species of parrots that inhabit warm regions of the globe including tropical America, Australia and the Pacific, Southeast Asia, India, and Sri Lanka. Parakeets range in size from about seven inches to two feet, and are found in many basic and hybrid colors. In the wild, parakeets are highly active birds that feed on seeds and travel in flocks, sometimes inflicting heavy damage on fields. The Carolina parakeet, the only parakeet native to the United States, became extinct in 1918, partly because it was hunted down as a scavenger of fruit crops. Many kinds of parakeets are kept as pets, the most common being the shell parakeet, or Australian budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). The name "budgerigar" is de- rived from an Australian aboriginal term meaning "good food." Budgerigars average seven to eight inches in length, and weigh about one ounce. They are often green in color and have yellow heads marked with bars and cheek spots. Males and females