Quaker Parrot (Avian Vet Reviewed Complete Specie Profile)

Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Ali Shahid

Quaker parrot is a medium-sized lime green color and playful parrot. Known for its excellent talking ability, adaptability, and friendly personality, the Quaker parrot is the best option for people who cannot afford African Greys, Amazon parrots, and Macaws.

Quaker ( Monk) Parrot

Also known as Monk parakeets, they are native to South America. Their availability makes them one of the most popular parrots of their size. They make excellent pets, make excellent first pets, and are well adapted to living in an environment in which human flocks are present.

However, they are illegal to possess as pets in some areas of the United States. It is a shame some states and cities outlaw Quaker parakeets because they can talk as well as African grays. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult your local laws before purchasing one.

Overview of Quaker Parakeet
OriginSouth America
Scientific NameMyiopsitta monachus
Common NamesQuaker Parakeet, Monk Parakeet, Quaker Parrot, Monk Parrot
ColorGreen
Size11 Inches
Weight100gm
PersonalitySocial, friendly, Active, and Adaptable
Talking AbilityExcellent
Noise LevelHigh
Price$400-$1000
Lifespan20-30 years
Clutch Size4-7 Eggs
Incubation Period24 Days
IUCN StatusLeast Concern

Origin and History

From Bolivia and southern Brazil into parts of Argentina, the Quaker parrot is indigenous to a small region of South America. In South America, the Monk Parakeet inhabits dry savannas and scattered woodlands up to an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet.

In the 1960s, Quaker parakeets were introduced to the United States through the release of pet birds or the escape of pet birds. In recent years, their numbers have increased, and they are now found in several cities throughout the country.

Today, Monk parakeets can be found throughout the world, including in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Numerous studies have demonstrated that they are the only parrot species that build nests. They spend considerable time constructing their homes from branches and twigs.

In some cases, their nests contain more than one room. Often, Quaker flocks establish communities through the construction of nests adjacent to one another. Depending on the nest community, the size can range from a small car to a compact car.

As with Indian-ringed neck parakeets, wild colonies of Quakers live in urban areas throughout the world. In some places, such as the southern United States, wild Quaker birds cause damage to crops and native birds because of their destructive habits. This is why they are illegal in some states.

Appearance

An average Quaker parakeet measures 11 inches in length, has a wingspan of 48 cm (19 in), and weighs 100 grams (3.5 ounces). Females are typically 10 to 20 percent smaller than males, making accurate sex determinations difficult without DNA testing or feather analysis.

Quakers are usually green in color, especially on their heads, wings, and backs. Gray breasts, cheeks, and throat are the bird’s most distinguishing features. Due to its coloration, it has been named after Quaker clothing from Colonial times.

Its flight feathers are a gorgeous shade of blue, and the underside of its tail is tinged with a lighter shade of green. They have horn-colored beaks and grey feet. Overall, they resemble stalky cockatiels. Several beautiful color mutations have also been produced in Quakers through captive breeding programs.

In the early 2000s, a hybrid blue Quaker parrot developed from this mutation and became one of the most popular mutations. It has been possible to create albinos, cinnamon, lutino, and pied Quakers through breeding. Quaker parakeets have 3 subspecies:

    M. m. cotorra: inhabits the southwest region of Brazil

    M. m. calita: This species is found in the Andean foothills, at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level.

    M. m. monachus: This species is native to Argentina

Temperament

Generally speaking, Quakers are very social, friendly, and courageous. Like little clowns, these birds provide a delightful source of entertainment. In terms of intelligence, talking abilities, and personality, these birds are excellent choices for people who cannot afford African Greys or macaws.

In a small bird’s body, these birds have the personality of larger birds. One of the most distinctive features of the Quaker parakeet is its quaking and shaking behavior. There is something unusual and disturbing about the way this bird bobs and quakes, although it is a natural response.

Abolish and outgoing, they are known for their exceptional ability to speak and tend to chatter a lot. As with larger parrots, these little guys require the same level of attention.

In captivity, they tend to form very close bonds with a single individual whose loyalty is well known. Developing a bond with a Quaker parrot will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. If you bond with another pet or human in front of them, they may become jealous.

In general, Quaker parrots are tolerant of other types of birds and have an even temperament. However, some Quakers may exhibit a slight nesting instinct, which may contribute to their cage territoriality. As a precaution, I recommend that Quakers should not be housed with other species of birds.

When you get home, you’ll be greeted with excited squeaks, and they enjoy being cuddled and petted. Generally speaking, well-socialized or hand-raised Quakers make excellent family pets. 

Pros and Cons of Quaker Parakeets
ProsCons
Child-friendly, affectionate, and gentle  
Beginner friendly.
An intelligent talking parrot 
Adaptable
Affordable
Easily available 
It requires a great deal of attention and mental stimulation
 Very LoudThe species is illegal in some parts of the United States.
They tend to be territorial about their cage or special area 

Reproduction

In most cases, females begin mating in August and continue until November. In the wild, the Quaker parakeet lives in pairs, and its nest contains separate chambers, each dedicated to a particular purpose.

There is an incubator and a feeding chamber where the young are incubated and fed. A female Quaker parakeet generally lays 4-7 eggs and incubates them for approximately 24 days.

Speech and Vocalization

It is important to note that Quakers are anything but silent! An individual who is sensitive to noise may wish to reconsider bringing this bird home. In some cases, they may disturb neighbors and even awaken the deepest of sleepers.

Positively, they are excellent talkers, capable of learning a wide range of words and phrases, especially if they are kept nearby. Moreover, when properly motivated by food or praise, they can learn tricks.

A hand-raised Quaker parakeet is a friendly and affectionate companion bird. In many cases, they can be purchased untamed, but with a little patience, they can be tamed down.

Diet

A pellet diet is recommended for Quakers since they receive the variety of nutrients that they require in each pellet and are more difficult to regulate on a seed diet. In the wild, they do eat a variety of seeds, but they also eat a variety of other foods.

So, it is difficult to mimic the exact diet they eat in the wild. They will likely suffer from nutritional deficiencies and fatty liver disease if you only feed them seed-based diets. As a result, I recommend pelleted food be the main component of Quaker parrot diets.

In addition to a pellet diet, Quakers should have chopped vegetables, fruits, eggs, and cheese. To prevent food from spoiling, it is recommended that fresh foods be removed after two hours.

If you feed your pet iceberg lettuce or cabbage, you should be aware that they may cause severe diarrhea. Having too much liquid in the diet may result in runny stools in the bird. It is recommended that you restrict fresh foods for a day to determine whether the issue is resolved.

Taking raisins and bananas in moderation is recommended since they may cause constipation. Approximately three tablespoons of pellets should be provided to these birds each day, along with some fresh fruits and vegetables.

If the fresh food has not been eaten by the end of the day, it should be discarded.  After a couple of hours, you can give your pet another feeding of fruits and vegetables. Fresh water is necessary for Quaker Parakeets every day.

The dish should be washed and rinsed thoroughly every day to prevent bacterial growth. The food can be supplemented with powdered vitamins.

They should be kept out of the water, as bacteria can grow on them. Provide cuttlebones to your parakeet so that it can get calcium and prevent its beak from overgrowing.

Health Problems

Quaker parrots are commonly known to exhibit feather-destructive behaviors, such as plucking out feathers. Additionally, they are affected by fatty liver disease, which is associated with a diet high in fat, specifically a diet containing seeds.

If you provide your bird with a well-balanced, varied diet- with seeds only given as occasional treats- he or she will be able to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, monk parakeets can contract and transmit psittacosis from their droppings.

A wild population of parakeets could spread this disease widely. Humans can succumb to psittacosis in extreme cases. In addition, Quaker parakeets are also prone to some diseases, like Aspergillosis, Polyomavirus, and Pacheco’s disease.

Caring for Quaker parrots

Ideally, a cage should be approximately 18 inches (46 centimeters) long, 18 inches high, and 22 inches (56 centimeters) wide for a Quaker parakeet. But this may vary based on the size of your Quaker parakeet.

The cage should be provided with a perch so that your parakeet can stand on it. You should consider the size of the perch in relation to your bird’s feet when choosing a perch. Feeding and drinking areas should be kept away from perch areas because droppings may contaminate them.

A cage with ladders, ropes, and bells will keep your bird occupied. Sudden temperature changes can cause a great deal of stress to Quaker parakeets. Therefore, cages should be kept away from windows and other wind-exposed areas.

In addition to bonding with your Quaker parakeet, grooming can help them become more comfortable with you. However, get your vet’s instructions before you try it. Initially, it is best to take it to a veterinarian.

Exercise

As the best way to burn off your Quaker’s energy, provide him or her with plenty of toys and a play gym. It is recommended that Quaker parrots spend at least two hours outside of their cage in a bird-safe environment.

Put up your curtains, close your doors, turn off your ceiling fans, block fireplaces, and remove potentially toxic plants and animals. You should provide your bird with balls, bells, and smaller chew toys to keep him or her engaged and interested.

Puzzle toys are often a source of entertainment for these brilliant birds. Provide adequate nest-building opportunities for Quaker parrots.

You may see your bird weaving things into its cage bars or building nests in corners of your home using random items. Keep an eye on these curious birds while they are outside their cages. 

Taming your Quaker Parakeet

When hand-taming a young bird, it is easiest to begin at the beginning. It may take a few tries before your bird finds a treat that he or she enjoys. Start by feeding your bird treats through the bars if it is afraid of your hand near the cage.

The Quaker may require some time to acquire trust in you and to understand that you have no intention of harming it. As soon as the bird becomes familiar with you, it can be taught to sit on your hand using the same method.

It is important to keep in mind that Quakers are large birds with sharp beaks that can bite very hard when provoked. When interacting with children, take extra care.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Quaker Parrot

The Quaker parakeet is easy to breed and available at pet stores, adoption centers, rescue organizations, and breeders. However, the problem is not the availability of these birds but their legal status.

As I mentioned earlier, Quaker parrots are illegal in some states. If you intend to keep a Quaker parrot, ensure you comply with local laws. You can adopt Quaker parrots through your nearest bird adoption and education foundation since many of them lose their homes for a variety of reasons.

Quaker parrots are typically sold for $400 to $1,000 by breeders. In the United States, if you’re looking to bring a Quaker parrot into your home, there are numerous breeders and pet stores to explore. Here are some well-known options, each with its own unique offerings:

1. Quaker Love Aviary

  •  Location: Fort Wayne, IN
  • Description: A cozy, in-home aviary specializing in Quaker parrots, though they’ve been known to care for various species like Green Cheek Conures, Blue Crowns, Peach Fronts, and more. While they no longer breed, they occasionally raise birds with utmost affection, ensuring they become cherished family members. Check out their available birds on the Available Babies Page. For inquiries, you can reach them at (260) 615-3388.

2.  Florida Bird Breeders

  • Location: Tampa, FL
  •  Description: A dedicated bird breeding facility offering Quaker parrots, also known as Monk Parakeets, in various colors such as green, blue, yellow, and white. Explore their selection on their website or contact them at (813) 843-8876.

3. Fly Babies Aviary

  • Location: Florida
  • Description: A bird breeding facility committed to raising Quaker parrots with love, ensuring they are friendly and sociable. Their hand-fed parrots come in a variety of colors. Visit their website or contact them at (954) 725-0088.

4. Birds Now

  • Description: An online platform that compiles listings from various aviaries, breeders, and bird rescues. If you’re specifically interested in Quaker parrots, check out their section dedicated to these birds and browse through available options based on your location.

Exploring these options allows you to find a Quaker parrot that suits your preferences and provides a loving addition to your family.

You can also find Quaker parakeets in pet stores like Petco. Adoptapet and Pet Finder are two online rescue and adoption organizations where you may find Quaker parrots.

The best bird to look for is one that is active, bright, and alert. Know the breeder’s breeding practices and the origin of his or her birds, and make sure the breeder is forthcoming.

Why is the Quaker Parrot illegal?

Quaker parrots make excellent pets because they are easy to keep and adapt well to captivity. However, when allowed to roam freely, these birds are capable of adapting to their surroundings and multiplying in numbers. In the past, small flocks have formed many times as a result of this, particularly in the south of the United States.

Several loose birds can create a serious threat to farmers due to their ability to destroy crops and reproduce rapidly. The birds can be noisy and aggressive, and some people say they can stop other birds from gathering food once their numbers grow.

Additionally, Quakers build large nests with multiple rooms to accommodate large numbers of nesting birds. These nests are prone to becoming quite heavy and toppling structures below.

City workers can be put at risk if they need to work on the transformers on telephone poles, where they build their nests. These are the reasons why some US States have banned these parrots.

Here is a list of US states where Quaker parrots are legal and illegal:

Legal:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Illegal:

  • California
  • Colorado (unless owned before 1990)
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming

Author

  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

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