Quaker Parrots (also called Quaker Parakeets & Monk Parakeet) are a small breed of parrots, measuring only 12 inches from beak to tip of tail. In captivity and average of 20 years but can live up to and over 30 years with proper diet & care. They come in a few different colors but are generally found with green feathers on the outer body and gray feathers on the chest & stomach. Other mutations include the albino, yellow albino, yellow, gray, brown, sky blue, bright blue and various mixtures of green. Quakers are a very playful, social and friendly. They also have the ability to speak (human spoken words) surprising well for their size. They also recognize how to use words properly which shows their intelligence. Quakers are relatively easy to train with proper reinforcement and a little patients.
Why Name This Bird A Quaker Parrot?
Quaker Parrots were named "Quaker" because they actually quake! They do a little shake, fluff up and flap their wings. It is so cute when there are babies! They typically do this for food and attention when they are young but as they get older, they may start using it to show aggression. When my Quaker, Piccolo is cared or mad, he will ball up into a fluff ball and quake shake and strike at whatever or whoever is upsetting him.
Where Quakers Are From:
Quakers originate from South America, from Brazil to Argentina. They now can bee seen in parts of the United States in Florida, Rhode Island, California, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Louisiana and even Texas. This is from captive birds escaping from their homes and learning to survive in the wild. Enough of them have gotten out that they have been doing quite well with breeding. Quakers are also known for damaging crop fields so are illegal in a few states. Other states make it mandatory to keep your birds wings clipped, if they were to escape and able to fly, you could face fines and your bird will likely be put down.
Quakers In Captivity:
In captivity, Quakers are very loving to their human companions, and even can become extremely attached to them. What you don't want is a bird that will become attached to only one person. It is important that the bird interacts with all members of the house hold, even children. It is important that they establish relationships with more then one person because they can become quite aggressive to other people if not properly socialized.
Quakers are generally not picky eaters. They should be fed a base diet as well as fresh fruit & vegetables. Be sure to only use high-quality seed mix! Seed mix suited for Cockatiels & Conures will work just fine. Never feed them chocolate, avocados or fruit pits! Everything else is fine (human food included) in moderation. Water should always be supplied to them at all times, and kept fresh.
Quaker Parrots are an excellent choice if you are looking to breed a medium size bird. When you give them proper housing, diet and a good mate they will take care of the rest! They are very good parents in captivity as well. Females need to be fully matured before given the opportunity to breed so the recommended 2 years in age is important. The only way to sex a Quaker is through a blood DNA test. Females typically lay 4 to 8 eggs in one nesting. Incubation of the eggs takes a little under a month, 26 to 28 days is typical. If you are looking to handfeed the babies which will result in more passive birds, you pull them from the mother at 2 to 3 weeks of age. Babies should be ready to be weaned around 10 to 12 weeks old.
Choosing A Cage:
When looking at cages for Quakers bigger is better but too big is not good. You want a cage that will fit a good amount of toys & perches but still not be cluttered. A cage that stands 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide should be a good minimum to look for. Don't go to large though as they do not need that much extra room. Be aware that Quakers are also typically territorial with their cage and wont let just anyone touch it or go near it. They allow those who they consider companions to approach them while in or around their cage. Never let someone new (to the bird) near the cage or to put their hands inside the cage. Quakers also require a minimum of one hour outside of their cage every day. Depending on your life style, children & other pets, you can opt for training them to stay on their cage and provide them perches to sit on outside of the cage. You must interact with them while they are outside of their cage for an hour a day regardless to keep them happy.
Toys & Accessories For Quakers:
Quakers are very smart birds and require a good amount of different styles of toys. If they do not feel satisfied which their surroundings it can lead to them pulling out their feathers and that is something you don't want! You do not want a bored Quaker! Like most birds, they love to chew and should be given bird safe toys. They enjoy variety in bright colors, shapes, sizes and textures. You want toys that will stimulate their mind. Look for toys with wood, bells, softness, hardness, strings, big beads and shreddable toys. As for perches, you want variety! You will want to give them different lengths, shapes, thickness and textures as this allowed they feet to be properly stretched. Typical wooden perches aren't good for any birds feet, so look for natural ones that have fasteners on one side. Not many people think about this, but birds spend almost their entire life on their feet so a bed will do their little tooties a favor. Typical bird beds look like open, long tents. These can be found at most pet shops. Medium to large size is good for Quakers. You can also look into ferret beds as they come in a wider variety of shapes and sizes as well as fit Quakers perfectly.
Where To Buy/Pricing:
Never ever EVER buy a Quaker Parrot from a pet store! They need constant socialization to remain passive birds. They are rarely let out of their cages and become bitter toward humans. Only purchase Quakers as well as other birds & pets in general from specialty shops and quality breeders. Do your research online and find a local breeder near you. Make sure they are legal to own in your state and what the law and regulations on Quakers is before taking one into your home. As for pricing, you can expect to pay anywhere from $90 to well over $800 for a Quaker. Typically, you will find them for around $200 for a green color with gray chest, which is the most common mutation. Blue will be about double of that at around $400. More rare mutations such as yellow, albino and brown are typically well over $600.
Quaker Parrot Singing "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor"
Quaker Parrot Talking
Quaker Parrot Laughing
Quaker Parrot Doing Tricks
With patience and prompt and loving training, you can teach your bird to just about anything other larger birds can learn, including clear talking. Some Quakers will learn things all on their own, such as songs, words that you may use a lot, actions they know you think is funny, and laughing like you! They are little characters and love to laugh & love to hear you laugh. You can also potty train your Quaker as they are one of the few birds that show they are about to go to the bathroom. They will squat down and fluff. They love to learn new things and actually thrive off of using their mind. Using puzzle games, hiding food and playing games with them will keep them well entertained. You never want to use abuse when training a bird. You do not want to ever strike your bird either. You reward them with loving words or treats and discipline them with either silence (ignoring them) or putting them in time out (covering their cage). Quakers are known for having a terrible 2's stage which is between 8 months to 2 and a half years. This can last anywhere from a few months to over a year. In this stage they may be loud, aggressive or overly protective of what is theirs, that includes YOU! It is important to be patient as it should pass. This is from elevated hormones in their little body. Natural instincts kick in. They may show aggression in biting, yelling or even slamming and throwing their toys and food at you. Having a word established to let them know you do not approve before this stage happens will help out a great deal!
As you can see in the videos to the right, Quakers are very smart and love to be given attention whether it is just being held or playing games. As said above, they are very very smart birds and need to be constantly entertained to be happy. If they are not... They will let you know, trust me!
You never want to buy any pet out of impulse, especially a parrot. They need love and attention, as well as constant supplies and food. Please be aware that it is in a birds nature to be "noisy" and Quakers can and do become loud at times. If you can not deal with that, I suggest getting a smaller hook-bill bird such as a Parakeet, Love Bird or Cockatiel. To emphasize "loud" my Quaker, Piccolo can and does pop my ears on a weekly basis when he is playing or gets over-joyed. They, unlike other birds will have moments of being loud but are not consistently unbearable. I would advice that no one with a loud dog or baby get this parrot because they are commonly known for copying a baby's cry or a dogs constant bark. You don't want to listen to that for 20+ years! If you can tolerate a little noisiness & moodiness, are willing to train them & lovingly teach them right from wrong, they make very funny & rewarding companions.
Some Do's & Don'ts :
- Do - give your QP attention daily through training, kind words & petting.
- Don't - give him/her too much attention, there is such a thing as to much love with this bird.
- Do - bathe your QP at least every other day with a mist bottle or let it bathe in a shallow dish.
- Don't - bathe your QP in a cold room or where a draft is present, nor too late in the evening.
- Do - offer your QP a wide selection of fruits, veggies, grains and snacks.
- Don't - let your QP's diet be high in fat, sugar or salt.
- Do - let your children and other pets interact with your QP.
- Don't - let your children & other pets interact with your QP when you are not in the room.
**Always use caution with other birds, dogs & cats. Some animals may seem fine together but you don't want to risk your Quaker getting hurt or worse. Never leave him/her out of the cage when you are not home or are going to be in the other room for a prolonged amount of time. Piccolo sits outside his cage all day long but that is because I am in the same room as him 90% of the time and he knows not to leave his cage unless I am in here.
Feel Free To Ask...
If you have a question about Quaker Parrots, please ask. I would be happy to help you out!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Cathy Beije on September 20, 2020:
I just got two Quaker's given to me, I had been thinking of getting another bird, I had a parrot for over 20 years, and someone decided to clean the oven and left a Teflon pan in it and it killed Joey he was a African blue front, after years and now that I'm home 24/7 I'm ready to give these two a lot of love and attention, they seem very healthy the lady I got them from was getting to old to care for them, I was told they were about 2, most of the time they are very happy, love to interact, but one when I first got them likes to grab the others ankle and keep him or her from coming and giving kisses, it's not so bad about it now, every once in awhile it's like their fighting, the ones way more aggressive to the other, what do you suggest I do? can't afford to have them sexed, also what time of year do they molt? Do I need to add something to their diet? Also I want to clip their wings, not to sure how, don't want to hurt them. Sorry for all the stupid questions, glad I stumbled across your article.
ii3rittles (author) on November 13, 2013:
E carpenter - Sorry to hear that! A lot of times Quaker become so attached to their owner that a new pet or a new baby can cause this to happen. They are very jealous over little things. My Quaker wont let me talk on the phone. He attacks me over it. When he first arrived home I made the same mistake that many people do with Quakers... I gave him too much attention and let him have his freedom rather than training him it was a privilege. Getting another Quaker will result in making things worse as he would likely hurt or kill the other bird. They pull out feathers because of boredom or anger. I have a feeling it is a little of both. Try getting him some new toys and making sure he has one on one time with you and you a lone. They need one on one time for at least one hour a day to be happy. If you can not manage that, for the sake of his life and happiness, find someone to temporarily take care of him. I recently brought in 3 kittens to care for after their mother was killed and Piccolo (my Quaker) is not very happy about it. He doesn't pull out feathers but he screams and bites me. He also started banging his head on the cage. It is simply something you have to work your way around. They are needy attention loving birds. They need human interaction every day or they will become depressed. So I would say start by getting him a few new toys and playing with him alone for an hour a day and see if that makes a difference. I believe it will. Since he has already been a lone for years, it is not a good idea to get him a friend. If he doesn't take the anger out on the other bird, he will take it out on you even more and its not worth the risk.
E carpenter on November 13, 2013:
Help! I have a beautiful male quaker. He is 3 years old. We have been very close and cuddly for years. He is severely picking at his feathers because In the last year I have had a baby and as he is aggressive I have to drop my son off to be baby sat so I can let him out. I try to do this once a week. But he still is lonely and bored. I don't know what to do as I can't have him out every second like I used to. I feel so guilty. It is like he is wasting away... Should I get another quaker ... I feel like he is depressed :( or what else can I do? It is sad seeing his life be wasted :( his skin is completely bare of feathers all around his neck...
ii3rittles (author) on April 03, 2013:
Thanks for your comment whonunuwho! Birds make amazing companions, don't they!? :)
whonunuwho from United States on April 03, 2013:
WE have a parrot called a "Love Bird". Name's Mango. Sweet most of the time.He's very noisy and loves to join in with most any kind of music. Has a bad habit of nipping at the hand that feeds him. This was caused by a grandchild who pulled out a tail feather. We love our bird. Thanks for your nice hub. whonu