quaker parrot (monk PARAKEET)
THE QUAKER PARROT PROFILE
Quaker parrots (or monk parakeets) are known for their charming, comical personalities and their willingness to learn human speech. It is an excellent choice for bird lovers who want all the fun of a large parrot in a smaller package. They are a very popular pet, good for dedicated beginners, and adapt well to living in a "human flock" setting.
Native to a small portion of South America, the Quaker parrot's range extends from central Bolivia and southern Brazil into parts of central Argentina. They typically live in the woodlands and are known for building strong community bonds. The most interesting habit of wild Quakers is that they are the only parrot to build nests. While other species will find tree cavities to call home, these birds spend a lot of time creating elaborate dwellings from twigs and branches. Their nests even have multiple rooms, one for the eggs and another where young chicks will move to make room for more eggs.
Flocks of Quakers will often build nests right next to each other. Each mating pair gets its own dwelling, but share walls with their neighbours to create what has come to be called "Quaker condominiums" or "Quaker apartments." Some have reached an estimated 200 pounds and are the size of a compact car.
The normal colors of an adult Quaker are a vivid green on the head, wings, and back. The bird's most distinguishing feature is the gray breast, cheeks, and throat which resembles Colonial-era Quaker clothing and how it received its common name. They have gorgeous blue flight feathers and a lighter green tinge on the underside of their tails. Their beaks are horn-coloured and their feet are grey. One of the most popular is a blue hybrid Quaker parrot that was developed in the early 2000s. Breeders have also created albino, cinnamon, lutino, and pied Quakers.
Males and females look alike. As with all monomorphic bird species, the only way to know for sure the sex of your bird is through DNA sexing or surgery. All of our Quakers are DNA’d which is included in the price of your bird.
In captivity, Australian King Parrots live an average of 25 to 30 years with proper care
Quakers are very confident and social birds by nature. 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 handraised Quakers are quite gentle and many make wonderful pets for younger bird owners.
The only times when Quakers are known to show aggressive tendencies is when they are neglected or their home is threatened. A bored parrot is not fun to be around and these little guys need just as much attention as the bigger birds. Since they do take pride in their home, they can become possessive over their cage as well.
CARING FOR THE QUAKER PARROT
Once you develop the connection to a Quaker, you'll enjoy years of companionship. They enjoy cuddling and being petted on the head and many owners look forward to the excited squeaks that greet them when they get home. These birds are delightfully entertaining as well and they're often referred to as little clowns. Most Quakers develop a great vocabulary and can even put together multiple phrases to get a point across. They can get sassy, too, which just plays into their spunky character. Mimicking sounds and singing are other talents of this little beauty.
The loudness of this parrot is subjective. Some owners say that it's a quiet bird while others think they're too noisy. Indeed, Quakers are little chatterboxes, especially when you get more than one bird in a room. They certainly don't give out the ear-piercing screams of other parrots, but they will call out on occasion. Like other parrots, Quakers who are neglected will resort to feather plucking. They require stimulation and self-mutilation is a common, though unhealthy, way parrots deal with boredom and angst. If you have the time and patience to put into their care, Quakers are relatively easy to rehabilitate compared to other parrots. Often, it's the broken bond with their original owner that affects them most. They just want to be loved and feel part of what they consider their flock. If you provide enough love and attention, they can turn around.
Quakers are known to be extremely good eaters and their diet should mimic the fruits, vegetables, and nuts they eat in the wild. They thrive on fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and healthy table food. Root vegetables, peppers, and colourful 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 flax, and chia seed. The occasional millet sprig is a welcomed snack.
Some Quakers tend to become overweight if allowed to indulge in too many fattening nuts and seed treats like sunflower seeds, peanuts, and millet. To prevent this, be sure to offer your Quaker fresh greens, legumes, pasta, and other vegetables as the main food source.
As with all parrots, fresh water should always be available. You should also avoid toxic foods for birds like avocado, chocolate, and coffee. All our hand raised birds come with a list of approved foods and foods to avoid.
Quakers are very active birds and need to have an adequate amount of space in which to play. Their cage needs to be a minimum of 18 inches square, though they'll do even better in the largest one you can provide. Make sure it's tough, too. These birds not only like to chew, they are well known for learning how to open the cage and escaping as well. 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. A bath inside the cage should be considered a must with this bird and acts as another form of entertainment.
The nest-building instinct is still alive and well in captive Quakers. Your bird may try to weave things into the bars of his cage or may choose to begin nesting in a corner of your house using random things he finds. For this reason (and others), it's best to supervise these curious birds during the hour or two they're allowed out of the cage to exercise each day.
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 playtime activity. These very intelligent birds will often have fun with puzzle toys, some figuring out the secrets at a surprising speed.