Critter Culture
Consider a Quaker Parrot for a Smart, Playful Pet
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Consider a Quaker Parrot for a Smart, Playful Pet

Ellie, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Nov 26, 2020

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Quaker parrots, which some people call monk parakeets, are native to South America but have become a popular pet all over the world. People often choose Quaker parrots as pets because they have outgoing personalities that make them fun to watch and play with. They can also learn to mimic human speech, which is another reason for their popularity. The birds have social personalities and ample intelligence, so they make a great addition to many households.

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1

Quaker parrots can bond with each other

In the wild, Quaker parrots form communities of dozens of birds, so they are naturally sociable with each other. As pets, two or more birds will usually tolerate each other as long as they have enough room and food. Most enjoy spending time together, especially when they want to play, and can form close bonds. Keep new birds in separate cages at first and introduce them to each other gradually until they form a bond.

2

Feed them a diverse, vegetarian diet

Quaker parrots love to eat! Their diverse diet in the wild includes fruits, nuts, and vegetables native to the South American rain forest. At home, you can recreate their natural diet by giving them leafy greens, root vegetables, nuts, and fruits. They should also get about three tablespoons of pellets – dried food designed for their breed – each day. The birds will eat too much if you let them. If they become overweight, reduce their food or encourage more exercise.

3

Quaker parrots need a lot of playtime

Many people love Quaker parrots for their playful personalities. When you keep them as pets, give them plenty of stimulation via toys and attention. Put toys designed for small parrots in their cages so that they can occupy themselves during the day, and change the toys often to prevent boredom. Since the birds have strong nesting instincts, give them straw, twigs, and other items to assemble. Ideally, allow birds at least two hours of playtime per day outside of their cages.

4

Children and Quaker parrots usually get along

Some parrot species are too aggressive to let them play with kids. Quaker parrots, however, are usually friendly and gentle, so you can let them play with children under supervision. This should be limited to children who are old enough to follow instructions and play gently, and only with birds you already know to be safe.

5

They can learn words and phrases

Like many other parrot species, Quaker parrots have a talent for mimicking the sounds they hear and they can pick up several words and phrases. The birds tend to learn what their owners train them to say. They might reproduce some random sounds, but you can really get them talking by having their favorite person repeat words in front of them. Expect your Quaker parrots to start speaking when they’re about six months old.

6

They talk a lot, but they aren’t very noisy

Quaker parrots rarely screech like some parrots do. Since they’re pretty quiet birds, you can keep them in an apartment without bothering your neighbors. Of course, keep in mind that all animals have unique personalities, so you could get one that makes more noise than normal for the breed.

7

Choose the right size cage for your birds

Since Quaker parrots have a lot of energy, they need cages that give them room to move around. For one bird, you should have a cage with at least 18 square inches of space. If you want more than one parrot, you will need to get a bigger cage. Don’t forget that you will also need more space for water, food, and toys.

8

Watch Quaker parrots when they’re out of their cages

Keep a close eye on your Quaker parrots when they’re out of their cages. Even the nicest bird can destroy items around the home. If you don’t watch them, they could tear apart your curtains and furniture while playing. They can also put themselves in danger by playing with other pets. Most of them won’t think twice about interacting with dogs and cats they know. Keep your birds safe when they’re out having fun.

9

Quaker parrots are fun to watch

Quaker parrots can quickly become your favorite entertainment. The birds have huge personalities that make them fun to watch. If you have more than one Quaker parrot, expect them to roll around and flap their wings together. Strong grouping instincts mean they don’t shy away from other people and pets, and their antics seem almost intended to make you laugh.

10

Some places won’t let people own Quaker parrots

Many states have laws that prevent people from keeping Quaker parrots as pets. Although the birds are fun and adorable, they can destroy natural habitats and buildings. Their intelligence, nesting instincts, and big appetites mean that they often steal homes from other birds and animals if they escape their home. Getting a nest of Quaker parrots on a building can be expensive to repair. Research the rules in your region before beginning your search for the perfect parrot pal.

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