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Quaker Parakeet

pic quakerpic quaker6Quaker parakeets are also called Monk parakeets and Quaker Parrots.

They are a medium sized parrot with a long tail and they are about the size of a cockatiel but a little bit stockier.

Wild Quakers are mainly green in color with grey on their chests and head. They also have blue primary flight feathers and blue under their tails. Their coloration provides excellent camouflage against the colors of their native habitat. Quaker parrots that have been domestically bred also come in other colors like light blue and yellow.

Quaker parakeets are very intelligent and have the capacity to learn a large vocabulary. In fact, they are considered one of the best talkers! They are also excellent mimics and enjoy recreating household sounds.

If properly socialized, they are friendly and affectionate. However, they can get fairly territorial around their cages so it is good to provide them with alternate play areas throughout the house.

One of the quirky habits of Quakers is their love of rearranging the objects in their cages just to their liking. If you move something in their cage they will likely move it right back! They also like to weave feathers, strips of paper and similarly pliable materials through the bars of their cages. Quakers are the interior designers of the bird world!

quaker mapQuaker parakeets are native to South America. Specifically, they originate from Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

Their native habitat is semi-arid brush and savanna. Quakers are very adaptable to a wide range of climates and environments. In fact, feral populations have been established in urban areas like New York and Chicago where it can get very, very cold.

Flocks range in size from a few pairs up to over 100 birds. Flocks tend to be larger outside of the breeding season.

Their diet in the wild consists of grass seeds as well as fruits and berries, buds, flowers and occassional insects.  Farmers are not very fond of Quaker parakeets. They consider them to be pests as they can cause significant levels of crop destruction.

Quaker parakeets are the only parrot that builds nests using sticks and twigs. They build them high in the trees or even on the sides of cliffs. They are also the only parrot that builds communal nests holding up to 20 pairs of birds. Each pair of birds has its own condo with a separate entrance and two room living chamber.

Quakers are very prolific breeders. Clutches range in size from 4 to 8 eggs and they can produce as many as six clutches per year.

The wild population of Quaker parrots is not considered threatened.

Listen to Quaker parrots in the wild:

Myiopsitta monachus
    © 2015 Cornell University


View a video of a flock of feral Quakers in Brooklyn:

See and listen to a vocal Quaker sitting outside his nest:

Source: The Internet Bird Collection

To see more pictures and information on Quaker parrots click the link below:

Common Name


Quaker Parrot, Monk Parakeet

Myiopsitta monachus


Life Span: 25 -30 yrs.
Length: 11" (29 cm)

4.5 - 5 oz (125 - 140 grams)

pic quaker nest
Feral Quakers Communal Nest Built on Power Pole
  • The name Quaker comes from their natural behavior of bobbing and shaking (quaking) when they are babies.
  • The name Monk parakeet came from the resemblance of their head coloration to a monk's hood.
  • Feral populations of Quakers have been established in the US, England, Spain, Belgium and Japan.
  • There is an entire website dedicated to the feral flock of Quaker Parakeets in Brooklyn at
  • Brooklyn College has a monk parakeet as an "unofficial" mascot in reference to the colony of the species that lives in its campus grounds. It is featured on the masthead of the student magazine.
  • It is estimated that the feral population of Quakers in Florida is greater than 100,000 birds.
  • Quaker parrot nests can grow to the size of a small car and up to 100 pounds.
  • In urban areas Quakers often build their nests on the top of power poles around the conductor for heat.
  • Did you know that owning Quaker parrots is illegal in several states? Many states have outlawed them because they are thought to be a threat to local agriculture if they escape. Some of the states where you can't own Quakers include California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.  Several other states also impose restrictions on the ownership of Quaker parrots.
  • Paraguay featured a Quaker parrot on a postage stamp.
stamp Quaker
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle of a Quaker parakeets.
  • Take a quiz about Quaker parakeets.
  • Print a Quaker parakeet coloring page.
  • Watch this amazing video of a Quaker parakeet building a nest with sticks in a bookcase! with amazing skills:

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