The Amazing Quaker Parrot
The Quaker Parrot also known as the Monk Parakeet is a native of South America and is actually found in large feral colonies in southern Florida, the northeast US and the Midwest.
Some places consider them pests due to their destructive tendencies in the wild and have outlawed them. If you’re interested in getting a Quaker Parrot for your home, make sure it’s legal to do so first
The Quaker Parrot gets their name from their unusual behavior which looks like they’re quaking and shaking. In reality this head bobbing and shaking behavior is quite normal.
They grow to approximately 12 inches in length and are primarily green in color.
They have a grey face, neck and chest and like the Ringneck Parakeet they come in a variety of color mutations including blue, yellow and cinnamon. The color mutations are highly regarded and can be extremely expensive. Their coloration and size means the Quaker bird is often confused with the Conure.
Another feature that is unique to the Quaker Parrot is that they build stick nests unlike the majority of parrots which live in holes in trees. They tend to breed and live in colonies with several entrances to a single nesting structure for each pair. It is said that the nests can reach six or seven feet in length. Breeding pairs lay five to 12 eggs which hatch in about 3 to 4 weeks.
Quaker Parrots are not the right bird for everyone. They can be extremely noisy and persistent. On the plus side, they’re affectionate birds who get along well with most everyone.
Like the African Grey, when they are reared in captivity from a young age they can learn to speak a large number of words and are considered among the top talkers in the bird world. Quakers are known to be escape artists and making sure they’re housed in a cage that is both safe and appropriate is necessary.
They’re fearless and getting out of their cage is more of a challenge than a quest to escape. To keep their intelligent minds busy, place puzzle toys in their cage.
A good size cage is always a plus and many conure cages are ideal for the Quaker Parrot. Minimum size requirements are 18x18x18 with bars about 5/8” apart. Plenty of fresh water, fruits and veggies as well as a diet based in pellets will provide your Quaker the majority of its nutritional requirements. Seeds and nuts are generally too high in fat and are best reserved for treats and training rewards.
In captivity they live 15 to 20 years and are generally easy to care for, keeping in mind that they are noisy birds who do need plenty of your time and attention each day. They range in price from $50 to $200 depending on their coloring and the breeder.
They are extremely hardy birds, though they are susceptible to fatty liver disease and feather plucking . Feather plucking is caused both by medical issues and behavior issues. Quaker Parrot training and establishing an early bond with your Quaker is one of the best ways to combat feather plucking. A bird that is raised in an optimal environment and gets the attention and care it needs goes a long way toward preventing feather plucking.
The Quaker Parrot is a fun, fearless, and talkative little bird who would make a fine addition to any bird loving home. They’re companionable with all family members and even other family pets. Quakers are much better pets if you properly train them using our trick training methods.
The Quaker Parrot is a great bird companion if they’re legal in your state and you can accommodate the noise. Daily care, feeding, and training and TLC go a long way toward keeping your Quaker happy and healthy.