What Is a Quaker Parrot?

Parrots are magnificent creatures. They are knowledgeable, exotic, and beautiful animals. One might find themselves wanting to have a Quaker […]

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Parrots are magnificent creatures. They are knowledgeable, exotic, and beautiful animals. One might find themselves wanting to have a Quaker parrot but have found out that they are banned in some states and are incredibly dissatisfied with this information. However, you may be wondering the very question of what IS a quaker parrot?

Quaker parrots are also known as Monk parrots or Quaker parakeets. They are a species of true parrots in the family of Psittacidae. Their colors are small and bright green with a greyish chest and greenish-yellow abdomen. Overall, its average lifespan is between 20 to 30 years. 

We have a lot of bullet points to be going over today. Many of which are going to be essentially what Quaker parakeets are and how they are unique. If you wish to get them as a pet, especially if they are legal in your US state, then all of this information provided to you is something you need to keep in mind!

Where Do Quaker Parrots Come From?

These birds are native to a part of South America. Their range extends from Central Bolivia and Southern Brazil into parts of Central Argentina. They usually live in the woodlands and have been known to build strong community bonds.


These are the only parrots that are known to have built nests. Many of the time, these birds are known to collect numerous twigs and branches and live right next door to each other. Quakers will create small communities this way. Sometimes, their nests can get to be as big as the size of a compact car.

Quakers also live in many urban areas around the world. Feral colonies live in many urban areas around the globe. In the south of the USA, wild Quakers can also risk native bird species and crops.

Can Quaker Parrots Speak?

Quaker parrots are the birds to get if you wish to adopt a bird that can talk. Many of their owners speak on how these domesticated birds are little chatterboxes and how they love to mimic you. Monk parakeets do exceptionally well with learning vocabulary with their words and sounds. They also tend to outweigh other parrot species in terms of clarity in their voices.

If you are worried about bothering your neighbor, do not fear. Your parrot speaking will not be enough to worry them because they do not have an ear-piercing scream, unlike other species. However, they will most definitely make their presence known within their homes.

Why Are They Called Quaker Parrots?

I do not know about you, but when I think of the word “Quaker,” my automatic thought is, “Polly wants a cracker?” You may be thinking the same way as me and also might be wondering the very same question as to how they got their names in the first place.

Some humans say that they have gotten their names because they have a gray part in the front of their necks, which looks like an old Quaker bib. However, these birds’ names also attribute to their constant quaking motions due to how they bob and shake (or quake) in a unique way, especially if they are irritated or excited about something. When they are babies, they will also quake when they are begging for food.

In terms of their monk names, people state it has come from the color going against their back of the bird’s head just like a monk.

How Big Do They Get?

Contrary to popular belief, Monk parrots are relatively small creatures. They are just around 11 to 12 inches in length and weigh about 3 to 5 pounds, so they will not be taking up much space, unlike the Scarlet Macaw, which is just over 2 feet tall. Overall, Quakers are medium-sized birds.

All birds need a spacious space to live to thrive and an enclosed space outside to succeed, but Quakers and other medium-sized birds will do very well with a smaller amount of space than a large bird. We also recommend that these birds will need a minimum of 18” x 18” x 18” with bar spacings of 5/8. As with many other birds, this species will need room to move around freely and not feel like they are in an enclosure.

This is especially true so that these birds can feel safe to build their nests. Ensure them with other toys and bird-safe materials, allowing them to make one of them ever so desire.

How Long Can They Live?

As mentioned previously, domesticated Quaker parrots live to be anywhere between 20 to 30 years. A parrot can go further than 30 years, but it entirely depends on you and how they are treated. Diet and proper care play an essential role as to how long they will be living. Genetics also plays a part in their lifespan.

On the other hand, in the wild, Quaker parrots live up to 15 years instead of the one mentioned above. You would think that they would have the ability to live longer from not being domesticated, but this is because they are exposed to a wide variety of dangers daily instead of their domestic relatives. Hawks and other carnivores lurking around still take even those who live near the cities.

What Type Of Diet Do Quaker Parrots Need?

If their diets are not closely monitored, Quakers tend to become overweight just like some other bird species, like the Cockatoos and Amazons. They will need a high-quality pellet diet with a healthy mix of seeds, fresh vegetables, fruit, and nuts. This will mimic what they eat in the wild as well.

© Gary Kurtz / Flickr

You are going to feed your bird roughly three tablespoons of pellets each day, as well as offering 1/4th a cup of fresh fruits and veggies in the morning. If they are not eaten by the end of the day, discard them, but you can also offer a second feeding of fruits and vegetables a couple of hours before bedtime.

Freshwater always needs to be available for them, and never give them any toxic foods, such as avocado, chocolate, and coffee.

Having a millet sprig is completely fine for a treat as a bird, but this is as long as they are healthy. Make sure to not overdo it with nuts and seeds that contain a lot of fats because it can cause rapid weight gain when offered freely. These nuts and seeds include stuff like sunflower seeds and peanuts.

Here are some other healthy fruits and vegetables that you can feed your Quaker parakeet:


Birds love seeds, but not all are a good fit for them. It would be best to avoid any fruit seeds and pits, but all of these listed down below are an excellent choice of vitamins and minerals that your bird is provided with. Here are some of the fruits that your Monk parrot can eat down below:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon


Not all vegetables should be given every day due to certain aspects that some of them contain. If you give your bird canned foods, these include a lot of salt, which is never good for your bird, so make sure to wash it off before serving thoroughly.

Another essential thing to remember is to avoid mushy or moldy food. Any bits after 1 to 2 hours of serving should immediately be disposed of. Also, something else to note is that if they are frozen, it is typically fine, but always make sure to look out for any sodium within the bags. You should also give pale vegetables with high water content in small amounts.

  • Artichoke
  • Beans cooked well
  • Bean sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Peas and pod
  • Potatoes cooked
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato cooked
  • Zucchini

Why Are Quaker Parrots Illegal?

One must ask themselves: why on Earth is such a cute little innocent bird illegal in some states in the USA? Well, to answer this question, being put in simple terms: many states have outlawed Quaker parrots because they are viewed as an agricultural threat. These birds can lay 5 to 12 eggs and multiple very quickly. The eggs hatch within 24 days and a breeding pair can produce six clutches per year.

© Singing Wings Aviary

You also have to think about it this way: if a Monk parakeet will be living in a colony of, say, 20, and each one has a pair, they can produce at most, up to 720 birds per year! That does not include other colonies that may be nearby. So, as you can see, they can become a massive issue for our society in the long run.

Some bird lovers may believe this is an excellent thing. Still, realistically, if you like to grow a vegetable garden or have a specific tree in your backyard (like banana or apple), this would cause a problem for you as you are attempting to be self-sustainable.


In a nutshell, Quaker parrots are intelligent creatures from South America and are from the Psittacidae family. They are banned in some US states, but that does not mean they are not a great animal to have around. Before getting one, make sure they are legal in your area, and always make sure you give them enough love and attention so these creatures can live the best lifestyle possible!

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