Quakers - Parrots
Purchasing a hand raised, well-socialized baby is a sure way to get a terrific pet Quaker. When you hear those sweet squeals of pure joy when you walk in the door (especially after a tough day at work), you will know that it was worth the effort!
Quakers are intelligent, comical and engaging birds. They have a wonderful zest for life that I find contagious. Their personalities are always “on”. I know of several Quakers that are little escape artists – they actually figured out how to open their cage doors. I’m not at all surprised to find other Quakers that are mechanically inclined. Quakers are also fearless birds. I have heard of Quakers chasing after dogs and cats - but be ready to step in to protect your feathered friend if necessary.
Most Quaker Parakeets are very vocal. I’m sure there are very few Quaker owners who consider them quiet birds. My Quakers can entertain themselves for hours practicing their chirps, whistles and human vocalizations. The level of these vocalizations, for the most part, is moderate and is not disturbing to me or my neighbors. In fact, I really enjoy listening to their chatter.While many Quaker owners report having the same experiences with their birds, a few have birds they consider extremely noisy. Apparently some Quakers feel the need to vocalize at a level that causes their owners’ ears to ring and can be heard outside the home for some distance away. These very loud vocalizations appear to be limited to short periods of time during the day.Tips for minimizing the noise include covering the cage for a few minutes, giving baths (not as a punishment but as a way to release pent-up energy), whispering to the bird and providing a special treat – especially one that takes some time and effort to eat. It is more effective to anticipate when your Quaker is going to be noisy and take steps to prevent it than to wait until it is in “overload” mode.
As far as talking ability, Quakers have an amazing capacity to imitate both sounds and human speech. In a June 1995 article, Bird Talk magazine placed the Quaker Parakeet on its top ten list of the best talking birds. While their speech doesn’t equal the quality that is found in African Greys and some of the Amazons, it is definitely good enough to be clearly heard and understood. And the intelligent creatures that they are, they often use their large vocabularies of sounds and words at the most appropriate times.
At first glance, the quaker or monk parrot (Myiopsytta monachus) does not appear to be particularly compelling, but it's plain colours and unimpressive size mask a truly exciting personality. Among other things, it's not unusual for this intelligent little bundle of energy to use human words with understanding before it's six months old.
General care requirements for quakers are similar to those of other parrots. These birds need a nutritious diet; a clean, safe environment; exciting toys; opportunities for independence; and opportunities for interaction. Quakers need access to clean, fresh water for drinking and bathing. Like human children, a quaker parrot might be so interested in anything and everything that it will refuse sleep if it is not provided with a cover or a roost cage in a quiet area away from human activity.