The Quaker Parrot (or Parakeet) is very underrated as a pet! Although it isn't as colorful as many parrots, its variegated green and blue feathers and the scalloped gray feathers around his face and chest are lovely. It is a small parrot- a little larger than a robin, but it has a great big personality! Quaker parrots are often great talkers, rivaling the African Grey in the ability to pick up human speech.
Also known as the Monk Parakeet, the Quaker parrot originated in South America. But the feisty green parrot has naturalized as far north as Chicago, Illinois, where it lives through their harsh winters with apparently no problem. Unfortunately, its ability to make itself at home where ever it lands has caused several of the United States to outlaw or restrict ownership of these birds as pets.
States which ban ownership of Quaker parrots:
States which restrict ownership of Quaker parrots:
Georgia (License required from the State Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division ($236.00), the license from the State Department of Agriculture, No transport across state lines, Strict regulations concerning housing, security, sale, etc.
New Jersey (You cannot breed or sell them in pet stores. Pet ownership not mentioned.)
New York (closed-band only)
Ohio (clipped wings only)
Virginia (closed-band only)
The Quaker parrot is the only parrot who builds a nest from sticks. All other parrot species nest in tree cavities and other dugout spaces. The Quaker parrot nest looks like a huge jumble of sticks from the outside, but inside you can see a very carefully constructed spiral pattern with smooth surfaces for the birds to sit on. The nests are incredibly strong and if made from sturdy sticks can be cleaned with a power washer without ruining them. Wild Quaker nests often have many "apartments" for different families of Quakers. In urban areas, they are often built atop electrical transformers and stadium lights that result in those responsible for the equipment knocking them down.
Pet Quakers will happily entertain themselves making nests from sticks, drinking straws, and other similar items inside their cages. This makes them ideal pets for people who must work away from home. The Quaker will work all day as well, and when the owner arrives home in the evening he will be ready to interact with his flock member!
These birds are quick to pick up the human language if they are talked to often. They are more likely to learn language from casual talk than from repetitive teaching, but they will learn that way as well. Through repetition, they can learn little songs and phrases. They often can say 100 words or more and can attach meanings too much of what they say.
Many Quakers develop a distinctive and very annoying call that discourages some people from obtaining a Quaker as a pet. This habit can be diminished by talking a lot to the bird. He will want to communicate with you and may well choose your language when he doesn't get results!
Quakers are not as bad about chewing as other kinds of parrots if they are provided with nesting materials. They can, however, bond strongly to one person, so if there are several members in the family, make sure all of them handle him regularly so that he will not bond too strongly to one and attack the others. Like other parrots, they need toys such as bells, daily interaction, baths, an avian vet and a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and pellets.