Quaker Parrots

Quakers Can Be Fun Little Birds!
Quakers Can Be Fun Little Birds!. Bo Chambers/Getty Images

Common Names:

Quaker Parrot, Quaker Parakeet, Monk Parakeet.

Scientific Name:

Myiopsitta monachus.

Origin:

South America, with feral colonies established in parts of the United States.

Size:

Medium, about 12 inches in length from beak to tail, weighing between 80 and 150 grams.

Average Lifespan:

20 to 30 years in captivity, depending on quality of care.

Temperament:

Quakers are very confident and social birds.

They seem to be a very large bird in a little bird's body. Bold and outgoing, they tend to chatter a lot and they are quite active little birds. They love to interact with their "flock" and are known around the world for their exceptional talking ability. In captivity, they tend to bond very closely with one person, and are known for their loyal nature. Most hand fed Quakers are quite gentle and many make wonderful pets for younger bird owners. They have been spotted in the wild in many vicinities in the United States. They travel in small flocks and build "Quaker Condominiums" in some of the oddest of places such as the tops of power line poles. They have been seen in Chicago, New York as well as all over South Florida. Speculation as to how these feral flocks developed seems topping in the direction of these birds escaping from homes and then finding each other, flocking up and raising families.

 

Colors:

The normal colors of an adult Quaker are a vivid green on the head, wings, and back, with a splash of whitish-grey on the face and chest. They have gorgeous blue flight feathers and a lighter green tinge on the underside of their tails. Captive breeding programs have also produced a variety of beautiful color mutations in Quakers.

There is a blue hybrid Quaker Parrot that was developed a few years ago. but the typical color you usually see is green. 

Feeding:

Quakers are known to be extremely good eaters. They thrive on fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and healthy table food. Fresh vegetables such as root vegetables, peppers, and colorful produce are critical in their diets. They do well in homes when this diet is supplemented with quality commercially formulated pellets and healthy seed such as hemp, flax and chia seed. The occasional millet sprig is welcomed as a favorite snack.  Some quakers tend to become overweight if allowed to indulge in too many fattening nuts and seed treats, so be sure to offer your Quaker fresh greens, legumes, pasta, and other vegetables as a main food source.

Exercise:

Quakers are very active birds, and need to have an adequate amount of space in which to play. Provide your Quaker with plenty of toys, and a play gym as a place to burn off their energy and play. Providing toys on the gym is always welcome and they will give your Quaker parrot something to do.

This time outside of the cage is important in order to ensure that your pet stays happy and physically fit. Lots of small toys such as balls, bells and smaller chew toys will engage and interest your bird in play time activity. 

Quaker Parrots as Pets:

Known for their charming, comical personalities and their willingness to learn human speech, the Quaker Parrot is an excellent choice for those who want all the fun of a large parrot in a smaller package. They adapt well to living in a "human flock" setting, and enjoy spending time with their owners.

Although it is easy to become enchanted with these sweet little birds, take caution before rushing out to get one -- because Quakers are able to adapt to living in different climates, they are illegal to keep in some parts of the U.S. In some places, particularly southern states, these feral Quaker populations have established breeding colonies and pose a risk to crops and native bird species. A handful of these states will euthanize pet Quakers if they are found, so be sure to check your local laws to make sure that it is legal to keep a Quaker so that you (and your bird) stay out of trouble. There are many Quaker parrots who have lost their homes for a variety of reasons and are available for adoption. Contact your nearest adoption and education foundation for information on how to adopt one of these playful companion birds. 

Edited By: Patricia Sund