If you live in a warm climate, you may have noticed a big flock of noisy gray and green parrots flying about. These birds are Quaker parrots, a popular pet for many bird lovers. Because Quakers are so hardy, they have colonized in quite a few spots, including Florida and California. These little guys can really do some damage to your local farm crops. Concerns about crop destruction and competition with native birds have caused lawmakers to ban ownership of Quakers in quite a few areas. Before you decide to buy a Quaker, make sure these birds are legal in your area.
The gregarious Quaker is a fairly good talker. While these birds do not have the mimicking ability of some of the large parrots, such as the African grey, they do develop large vocabularies fairly easily. One major drawback to the Quaker’s vocal nature is its noisy vocalization. Although quite a few people keep this bird in their apartments, it isn’t an ideal apartment pet because it will disturb your neighbors when it cheerfully greets each new day with a slightly raucous squawk.
Since the Quaker is actually a member of the conure family, it is no surprise that these birds are often cuddly and playful. They are an excellent choice for a family pet, since they rarely bond so strongly to one person that they refuse to allow anyone else to handle them. Quakers are usually quite happy to hang out on a favorite person’s shoulder and chatter away to themselves.
Since Quakers have been popular pets for many years, several color mutations have been developed. The normal gray and green Quaker is quite attractive, but you may prefer a blue, yellow, pied, albino, cinnamon or lutino bird instead. Most of these mutations are much more expensive than normal Quakers and are harder to find. Luckily, your bird’s color will not affect its ability to be a wonderful pet.
Your bird’s cage should be about two feet wide by three feet long. Be sure to shop for a cage made with heavy wire, since this parrot’s strong beak can easily bend cage bars that are made with the lightweight wire that is suitable for parakeets or cockatiels. Quakers aren’t tidy birds, so if you are concerned about keeping your floors clean, you should look for a cage with a metal apron that is designed to catch seeds and feathers or you should shop for an acrylic cage.
Quaker parrots like to chew, so you should plan to buy bird toys on a regular basis. If your bird doesn’t have enough toys and doesn’t get enough human interaction, he may start to pluck out his feathers. This behavior is common in Quakers, especially when they are bored.
If you want a bird that is cuddly, playful and talkative, then the Quaker parrot may be the ideal bird for you. Just keep in mind that this bird can be on the loud side, so you may want to meet a few Quakers and listen to their vocalizations before you decide to bring home a Quaker of your own.