Quaker Parrot


    Green Quaker


   Blue Quakers

The Monk Parakeet, also known as the Quaker Parrot, (Myiopsitta monachus) is a species of parrot, in most treatments the only member of the genus Myiopsitta. It originates from the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America.

The nominate subspecies of this parakeet is 29 cm long on average, with a 48 cm wingspan, and weighs 100 g. Females tend to be 10-20% smaller but can only be reliably sexed by DNA blood or feather testing. It has bright green upperparts. The forehead and breast are pale grey with darker scalloping and the rest of the underparts are very-light green to yellow. The remiges are dark blue, and the tail is long and tapering. The bill is orange. The call is a loud and throaty chape(-yee) or quak quaki quak-wi quarr, and screeches skveet.

Domestic breeds in colors other than the natural plumage have been produced. These include birds with white, blue, and yellow in place of green. As such coloration provides less camouflage, feral birds are usually of wild-type coloration.

The Quaker parrot is the only parrot that builds a stick nest, in a tree or on a man-made structure, rather than using a hole in a tree. This gregarious species often breeds colonially, building a single large nest with separate entrances for each pair. Their 5-12 white eggs hatch in about 24 days.

Quaker parrots are highly intelligent, social birds. Those kept as pets routinely develop large vocabularies. They are able to learn scores of words and phrases. Due to this early speaking ability, the Quaker Parrot is overtaking the cockatiel as the favorite bird to teach to talk.

They are good with people, can mimic voices and whistle. Quakers bond to one person when kept in a one-Quaker home, and can be very protective of this person. They are generally thought to be the best talkers of the "smaller parrots." Although they are good talkers it should be noted that the Quaker can be quite 'raucous'.

Quakers are also known to be escape artists and making sure they’re housed in a cage that is both safe and appropriate is necessary.For companion birds a cage no smaller than 50cm x 50cm x 70cm is recommended.

They are extremely hardy birds, though they are susceptible to fatty liver disease and feather plucking. A diet consisting of pleanty of fresh water, fruits and veggies as well as a diet based in pellets will provide your Quaker the majority of its nutritional requirements. Seeds and nuts are generally too high in fat and are best reserved for treats and training rewards.

Feather plucking is caused both by medical issues and behavior issues. Quaker Parrot training and establishing an early bond with your Quaker is one of the best ways to combat feather plucking. A bird that is raised in an optimal environment and gets the attention and care it needs goes a long way toward preventing feather plucking.

Article submitted by John McDougall