The Quaker parrot, also known as the Monk or Grey-Breasted Parakeet, originated from south eastern Brazil through Uruguay to north eastern Argentina.
Quakers are small, only reaching 28 to 31 cm long, with a wing span of about 48cm and a weight of 90 to 150 grams. The natural colour of the Quaker is green, with pale grey on the forehead, cheeks, throat and chest. There are several colour mutations of the Quaker, although many colour varieties are not yet commonly available. The blue mutation has become very popular within
Australia and many blue Quakers are now being kept as treasured companions.
Quakers can live to be 25 to 30 years of age and perhaps even longer, with a healthy diet they are very hardy birds.
Nature of the Quaker
The Quaker Parrots are very smart, inquisitive, fun loving and energetic creature. They love to play with their toys, swings and bells. They can entertain themselves for hours practicing their chirps, whistles and human vocalizations.
Both male and female Quakers have an amazing capacity to imitate both sounds and human speech. Most Quakers start talking at 8 months or so, although many start even
earlier than that.
Quakers need to be well socialised with the whole family to avoid them becoming a one
Cage for Quakers
When selecting a cage, it is important to select the largest cage you can afford, there is a wide variety of cages available at birdsville, remember the bigger the cage the happier the
bird. Quaker Parrots are very active, playful birds and require room for many toys, perches, food/water dishes, as well as sufficient space for them to move around.
It is a good idea to have a cage that is lockable; Quakers can be are little escape artists and figured out how to open their cage doors. Toys are very important item in a Quaker’s cage. Most birds enjoy toys, but with Quakers this seems to be especially true. If toys are not provided for entertainment, a Quaker may find less than desirable ways to relieve boredom such as screaming or feather plucking. Keep three to four toys in the cage at a time. Rotating the toys on a regular basis with others you have on hand will keep your Quaker happy and entertained.
There are many different perceptions concerning the best diet for Quaker Parrots, but most would agree that a seed-only diet does not provide complete nutrition for birds. A combination of pellets, seeds, fruit and veggies is recommended.
Pellets are developed to meet the nutritional needs of birds, so they should be a part of a
bird’s diet whenever possible. At Birdsville we recommended the Vetafarm Maintenance ellets or Routy Bush Maintenance Pellets feed with seed.
Seed is still very important for birds as it encourages the natural foraging behaviour, with the cracking of the seed. The best seed for your Quaker parrot is either Cockatiel mix, Peachface Mix or Small Parrot. Birdsville recommended a small parrot mix for younger birds and Peachface or Cockatiel mix for older birds.
Quakers also need their diet supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis and a calcium bell or cuttlefish.
Do not feed your bird (or any other bird) avocado, onion, chocolate, caffeine or alcohol.
Introducing your new bird to existing birds
Once you take your bird home you should keep it in a separate cage and allow the bird to adjust accordingly. Always allow at least 2 weeks before introducing the bird to an existing bird.
It is risky mixing different species with Quakers parrots and it’s not recommended to mix any parrot with a much larger parrot as the smaller bird could easily be harmed or killed. Keeping Quakers with similar sized birds is recommended if this is what you choose to do. I’ve seen Sun Conures and Quakers live together very well, but remember not all birds are the same and will not always get along just like people. Ask is store for more information about mixing different species with Quakers.
The cage requires regulars cleaning and old food shouldn’t ‘be allowed to accumulate in the cage, on perches or in feeders. Water should be changed daily basis. Do not allow fruit and veg to go moldy.
Your bird will need to be wormed in a few weeks to two month after being taken home (check with the staff from Birdsville, when purchasing). Young birds that have been recently weaned have a delicate bacteria’s developing in there gut, worming at this stage could harm the bacteria’s development and your new bird. Worming will need to be done
every 6 month. Worming your bird is essential for the health of all parrots in captivity.
Lice & Mites
These are the two most common parasites of cage birds and their environment, but are easily controlled with a Mite and Lice spray, available at Birdsville. When using spray, spray bird, entire cage, perches, nesting box and toys, remember to remove all water and feed and avoid spraying in birds’ eyes. Your bird Lice and mite bottle will explain how to use, remember avoid the mouth and eyes.
This is an important factor of having a well behaved hand raised bird. The bird need to behandle in a quiet, relaxed situation, Spending time with your bird while watching TV or reading is perfect, but don’t over stress your bird in the first few weeks of taking it home babies need rest. The more time you spend with your bird, the better your bird will become.
Quakers amazingly are the only parrot species that build nests. In the wild, Quaker nests consists of 3 areas, area 1 the eggs are laid and incubated, area 2 the chicks are moved here when they are about a month old, so more eggs can be laid in area 1, and area 3 is where he parents guard their eggs and babies. Quakers will attach their nest to other existing Quaker nests; these nests can be huge and quite heavy.
In captivity Quakers will happy breed in a nesting box with substrate placed inside. Nesting box and substrate are available at Birdsville.
Uruguay, where Quakers naturally occur, is the same spot on the equator as Sydney so breeding is perfect in this climate, but they are very adaptable parrots and I’ve heard reports of people breeding these birds in all states of Australia.
Quakers are prolific and easy breeders. They become sexually mature at 1 to 2 years of age,
although it’s usually closer to 2 years. The average clutch size is four to eight eggs, and a second clutch is usually started when the first is about 4 weeks old.
Incubation time is 23-26 days, and babies fledge at six to eight weeks of age.
The sex of the bird cannot be determined by its physical appearance but only by DNA or surgical sexing.
More information can be found in store 445 Gardeners Rd Rosebery or call Birdsville (02) 9667 2555.