FAQ Monk Parakeet-Quaker Parrot
The Quaker originates from S.E. South America. In particular Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Myiopsitta monachus monachus - nominate subspecies
Myiopsitta monachus calita - Mendoza Grey-breasted Parakeet
Myiopsitta monachus cotorra - Paraguayan Grey-breasted Parakeet
Myiopsitta monachus luchsi - Luchs's or Bolivian Grey-breasted Parakeet
Most common in the US is monachus monachus, also known as the Monk Parakeet, or Grey-breasted Parakeet.
Here are some of the Quaker Parrot / Monk Parakeet most FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, FAQ:
- 1 What does a Quaker Parrot look like?
- 2 Are Quaker Parrots illegal in some States?
- 3 What is the personality of the Quaker Parrot?
- 4 What is the Quakers Life Span?
- 5 Is The Quaker known to have health issues?
- 6 Quakers speaking ability?
- 7 Do Quakers make good pets?
- 8 What is a good diet for the Quaker Parrot?
- 9 What kind/ size of cage should a Quaker have?
- 10 What about Quaker's nesting habits?
- 11 Quaker Parrots' Breeding Habbits?
- 12 How much do Quakers cost?
- 13 Is my Quaker Parrot Pregnant?
- 14 What are the differences between Male and Female Quakers?
- 15 What are the differences between Green and Blue Quakers?
- 16 Where does the name "Quaker Parrot" "Monk Parakeet" come from?
- 17 Where did the Blue Quaker, and other Quaker Mutations come from?
- 18 Where can I learn more about Quaker Parrots?
The Quaker Parrot is a large parrot in a tiny body. He is a little smaller than a Conure, with a larger tail. The QUAKER PARROT is 10-12 inches in length, and weighs 90-130 grams.
While there are several new, an exciting varieties, the QUAKER PARROT is mostly green. The forehead, chin, breast, and belly, have varying shades of gray to blue-gray. The flight feathers, and the underside of the tail, are usually a deep blue. The under-belly, thighs, and sometimes the upper-inner-shoulders are a pale yellow-green. The beak is yellowish-brown. The legs are gray, and the iris is dark brown. See my Pictures of Quaker Parrots.
Yes, Quakers are illegal in California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wyoming. This list was made possible by (Jeff Sofa, Linda Greeson, Theresa Jordan, and Quakerville.)
A few States have such tough regulations, that it's near impossible to own them legally. Many other States have laws such as, banding, or clipping requirements.Be sure to check the regulations in your State.
The reasons behind these laws, are the fact that, many people believe the Quaker to be a threat to agriculture, and native species.
Many tests have been done in the US. None have proven the Quaker to be a menace to agriculture, or native species, although, they have been a very costly problem for local utilities.
Because of their habit of nesting on utility poles, power, phone, and cable outages have been reported.
The Quaker is a very intelligent creature, capable of mimicking many sounds, and human speech. Rare to the "speaking bird" world, is "time appropriate speech".
SMOOCHES loves music, and loves to dance. It was around 11:00-11:30 PM, and a great song came on. The three of us were in the living room, singing, and dancing. We kept saying "Let's Dance", which he says very well. He didn't dance. He didn't say "let's dance". His reply was, "We Go Beddie-bye?"!! I think these little bundle of feathers may have more sense than we do!!
They are very playful, always wanting to be the "center of attention". While, at first, you may think it's funny that he wants to help you type on your PC, eventually, he'll learn to remove keys from your keypad. OOOOHHH, let's not forget they think they are "surgeons". An out of place anything must be removed. Freckles, moles, scabs, these things "don't belong". "Here let me help you with that"! OOOUUUCCCHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But on the other hand, while sitting quietly, watching your favorite TV program, he'll be coooing, and rubbing his head under your chin, occasionally, whispering in your ear, until he notices your ear ring "Must Be Removed"!!!! You can't help but love these little guys!!!
The Quaker seems to have "no fear". They have been known to chase down large dogs, and cats, children, and adults. I like to think of this behavior as (LPS) Little People Syndrome. While that dog, or cat may be running for dear life, the table could turn quickly! Keep a close eye!!!!!!!!!!!!
All of these behaviors are common to the Quaker, but easily corrected at an early age. Don't loose your cool, and nip it in the bud.
I can't seem to find any scientific data on the life span of the Wild Quaker, but most estimates I have found, range 4-12 years.
The Quaker Parrot, in captivity, with proper care, and nutrition, can easily live 20-30 years. The Quaker is not really a pet, but more of a companion.
Most people understand the term, "Dog Years". This is a comparison of average Dog Life Span, to average Human Life Span. Dog average is around 15 years. Human average is around 75 years. This gives a ratio of about 5:1. Using the same formula, we have Quaker years, to Human years. The ratio is, (+-), 2.8:1.
The most common health problems with the Quaker Parrots are, Feather Plucking/Self Mutilation, and Fatty Liver Disease (FLD). Fatty Liver Disease is caused from excess fat. A mainly seed diet has too much fat for your fid, and little nutrition. Stick to a mainly pellet diet, supplemented with fresh vegies, and fruit.
Don't leave fresh foods in the bowl much more than an hour. Food goes bad, then, so does your bird. Your little bundle of feathers should have fresh water daily.
Quakers are not vegetarians, they also eat meat. All meats should be cooked "well", and low-no fat. Try to avoid spices. Salt is a bad thing!!!! See my Lists Of Healthy Foods
Feather Plucking can come from a variety of sources. The most common, being boredom, but other serious health issues can also cause the plucking. If you have a plucker/mutilator, consult an Avian Vet ASAP.
Some things you can do to prevent/alter plucking are add/change toys. Spend more time with your fid. Sometimes, relocating the cage is the answer. Extreme plucking can become "self mutilation". This is where the bird starts tearing into it's own flesh. Sometimes, even chewing off it's own toes. Please, don't allow it to go this far!!! If the plucking continues, or worsens, see an avian vet.
Other things that could harm your companion are listed in my Toxic Chemicals Chart.
Quakers are terrific mimics of sound, and human speach. In the afternoon, I'll be spending some time with SMOOCHES. I stop to take a large drink of water. He listens to the sound of the water coming out of the bottle, pouring into my mouth, even me swallowing. Any time I put something to my mouth, I hear from SMOOCHES, me chugging water.
SMOOCHES came home at about 11 weeks old. His first word was "WHAAAT?!?!!", at about 22 hrs of being home. Now at about a year and a half, he has an extensive vocabulary. Words, and phrases such as, Come 'ere, what are you doin', I'm a very good booooyyyyyyyy, that feels so gooooooood, we go beddie bye, can we go to bed now, and much, much more.
Many words/ phrases are time appropriate. About a 1/4 of a second before he decides to bite, he says ouch!!!!! Unfortunately, this 1/4 of a second, is not enough time for a human to respond. If he's tired of being on his perch, and wants to go home, he says "we go beddie bye", or "can we go to bed". When music is playing, and we start bouncing around, he says "let's dance".
Very few parronts have said, after years, their Quaker has never spoke. A few say their Quaker started speaking at 2-3 months. Most Quakers will say at least a few words, many with a very large vocabulary. Speaking, starting time averages around 6 months old.
Quaker Parrots as pets........
First, let's think about pets. Dogs, and cats might live to 12-15 years. The Quaker, with proper care, can live 25+ years. This not a pet, but a family member.
That being said, Quakers make wonderful members of the family. Just as, every dog is different, every cat is different. Every Quaker is different. Some love all humans. Some take to specific humans. Some regard one human as "god", and all others, as targets for blood!!!!
Unlike many other animals, the Quaker is very receptive to training. The Quaker "wants" to learn anything you can throw at him, including proper behavior.
The key to Quaker training is, they are VERY EXCITABLE!!!! When trying to discourage an unwanted behavior, keep your own excitement level to a minimum. When encouraging a behavior, take the excitement level over the top.
All Quakers are trainable. Hand raised would be much easier, but older Quakers, or raised by their parents, may take a bit more time, and patience. No matter the situation, with the proper time, and care, your fid will be a highly valued family member.
The Quaker Parrot, in it's natural habitat, generally eats fruits, vegies, seeds, nuts, berries, and insects.
In captivity, the Quaker's diet should start with pellets, (Cockatiel-Conure size is a good place to strat). An all-seed diet does not provide the proper nutrition for your Quaker, and can lead to Fatty Liver Disease. The pellet formula is designed for proper nutrition.
Fresh vegies,and fruits should be added to the diet. Your Quaker will also enjoy, on occasion, rice, pasta, toast, meat, and many other things you eat.
There a few things you may eat, that may harm, or even kill your Quaker.
Take a look at Lists Of Healthy Foods
When giving your Quaker fresh foods, make sure to remove uneaten portions after an hour, or so. We don't want to get him sick, from healthy foods gone bad.
Most agree, that 18x18x24 is minimum. This space barely allows your Quaker full range of motion, along with a perch, and a toy. The bar spacing should be no less than 1/2", and no greater than 5/8". Your Quaker, with proper care, will live 20-30 years. This space would be comparable to you spending your life in an 8x10. Provide your Quaker with as much space as you have, and can afford.
Within the cage, should be several perches, and toys. The perches should vary in size, and shape for the health of your fid's feet. The toys should vary in size, and shape, for health of body, and mind. Moving, and changing toys, and perches will keep your Quaker from boredom. Boredom can cause serious health issues, such as, feather plucking, and self mutilation.
In the wild, Quakers build large, intricate nests, that may house dozens of mated pairs. These nests are generally referred to as, condos. The Quaker Parrot is the only Parrot that builds a nest. Most Parrots take over abandoned nests, find nesting under brush, or in a hollowed out logs/trees, or even burrow into the ground.
With other Parrots, after mating, raising, and fledging, the nest is again abandoned, waiting for the next mates to find it. For the Quaker, the nest is "home". The Quaker usually attaches it's nest to an existing Quaker nest, forming an apartment-like structure. In some cases, the Quaker has been known to share it's condo with other bird species, and even small rodents. I found 8-10 nests in one tree in N. Miami housing 75-100 Quakers. Here are some pics.
Male and female work together, building the nest, caring for the young, and in general maintenance.
At home, your Quaker may enjoy being given some building materials. Tooth-pics, straws, and yarn are in the favs list. Don't just go outside, and start gathering things for nesting materials. Many things could be toxic to your fid. Here is a list of Toxic Non-Toxic Plants, Trees, and Branches. Pay close attention to germs, molds, fungi, and additives. Materials from the wild, should be cleaned with a mild, bleach-water solution, then sun dried for several days, or put in the oven on 350 F for 30-40 mins. With the proper materials, your Quaker may astonish you with his engineering-know-how.
Quakers are very prolific. That does not mean, putting two Quakers together, is going to give you offspring. In that sense, they're a lot like us. We meet, we hit it off, maybe something will happen. If we don't mesh, it aint gonna happen. A male, and female don't just breed. For Quakers, it's a life-long relationship.
Breeding season is generally, early spring, and early fall. It's possible to have another breeding session during the summer.
The Quaker is, usually, sexually mature around 1 1/2 -2 years, although, I've heard of females laying eggs at 6-7 months. Before breeding, an appropriate housing for the young is established. Once the nest is built, it's time to think about raising the young. From successful breeding, to laying is about 25 hrs. Clutch size is 4-8 eggs, avg. 5, with a second clutch following about 4 weeks later. The young are ready to venture from the nest, at around 7-10 weeks old, in captivity, 8-12 weeks.
You could easily spend thousands, on a large parrot, whom looks great, and speaks very well, but not much of a personality. The Quaker is a HUGE parrot in a tiny body. He may not have all those beautiful colors, but his speech, and personality, more than make for it.
Depending on where you live, and if you buy from a breeder, or a pet store, the price would be $50-$300. For a "Blue", $200-$800. There are other varieties, not as common, that may fetch much more money, if you can find them.
Pregnancy is described as, the Embryo attaching inside the Mother, being carried through term, live birth, and suckling. Based on this, Quaker Parrots do not get "Pregnant".
After Quaker Parrots breed, if the eggs are fertilized, after around 25 hours, the hen lays an egg, with another one following every other day. Average cluch size, 4-8 eggs. A second cluch may follow in about 4 weeks. The eggs are incubated in a nest 24-28 days. Just because they're breeding, that doesn't mean eggs will follow. Some hens never lay eggs. Some hens, with out a mate, will lay repeatedly.
The male and female take turns guarding the nest, and searching for food, and maintenance materials. This is not a common practice to all birds.
You can provide your Quakers with a nesting box, and nesting materials. Following hatching, hand feeding will take 8- 12 weeks.
Since your asking if she's "Pregnant", she may be "egg bound". Is she remaining at the bottom of the cage? Does she appear swollen under the rump? If so, see an Avian Vet Immediately!!!!!!!!!!
Basically, there are no obvious differences between male, and female Quakers. In fact, the only reliable sexing tool, is DNA testing. This testing can be done with blood, or with "blood feathers".
Most "Quaker Slaves", say they don't see any real difference between their male, and female Quakers.
The major difference between Greens and Blues, is obviously, the color.
Average weight for a greem Quaker Parrot is 90-130 grams. Most people agree that the Blues are a bit smaller. SMOOCHES, a Blue Quaker, is nearly 2 years old, and averages 90 grams.That's on the small end of the scale for Greens.
Most people say that Blues have a slightly, milder attitude than Greens. SMOOCHES, as wonderful as he is, can be very pushy, and stubborn.
While preening, kissing, and cooing, he may notice a freckle, a piece of jewelry, a sore, or maybe even an impression on your shirt. These things "Must Be Removed"!!!
These self proclaimed "Dermatologists" have obviously, never heard of "Anesthesia"! If the Blues are milder, I can only image, the Greens are "Sadists"!!!!! HHHaaa!!!!!!!!!
"QUAKER PARROT", "QUAKER PARAKEET", "MONK PARAKEET" "GREY-BREASTED PARAKEET"......
The young Quaker Parrot has a habit of shaking, or "Quaking". This habit lessons with age, although, seen in adults on occasion. It is thought that this is the origin of the name "Quaker Parrot".
We've all heard of "Robbin-Red-Breast". The name pretty much says it all. The Quaker Parrot / Monk Parakeet has a Gray Breast, hence the name "Grey-Breasted-Parakeet". This coloring, also resembles the wardrobe of a "Monk Priest". It is believed, this is the origin of the name "Monk Parakeet". Oh, by the way, the coloring of the Quaker Parrot also resembles the wardrobe of the early "Quakers".
The Blue Quaker Parrot Was first noticed, in the wild, in Belgium, in the 1950's. A well known "Bird Raiser" of the time, "The Duke of Bedford", had several pairs caught for him. It is believed that all Blue Quakers come from this stock.
In the 80's and 90's, several pairs were shipped to U.S. breeders. Over a couple decades of testing, and research, breeders have found, almost all colors of Cockatiels can be realized in Quakers. Through this testing, many Mutations have come about. The Blue is the most prevalent. Other Mutations include Yellow, Cinnamon, Pied, Pearl, Pallid, Lutino, Albino, and a few others, plus combinations of the afore mentioned.
Take a look at "Blue Quakers" for more info on the "Tweaking of Colors".
You can find a great deal of info @
This page outline, and some info was borrowed from Shelly Lane @