Quaker Parakeet

Quaker Parrot - Monk Parakeet

Family: PsittacidaeBubba!"Bubbu"Myiopsitta monachusPhoto courtesy: Darla Walton
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Hello I too have a quaker parrot who has recently finished his molting. Recently I discovered a puffiness on his left side. When I looked it appeared that he... (more)  Michele

   Quaker or "Monk" parakeets are some the nicest birds around! They are good talkers and are extremely loveable and cute.

Skittles!"Skittles" Photo courtesy: Darla Walton

   The Quaker Parakeet or Monk Parakeet is very charming! This inquisitive bird is a great talker, enjoys human interaction, head scratching and cuddling. They are hardy, adaptable, and easy to breed. With good socialization they can be very calm and peaceful, one of the best companions! Quaker "Monk" Parakeets are considered a very good "first" bird!
   Because the Quaker Parakeet or Monk Parakeet have established themselves in areas other than their original habitats, notably in Puerto Rico and in northeastern parts of the United States, they are not legal to own or keep in all states. To find out if they are legal to own in your state, click here:
Quaker Parakeet Legality.

To learn more about Parakeets and their needs visit:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Parakeet

Geographic Distribution
Myiopsitta monachus
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Myiopsitta
  • Species: monachus
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Scientific name: Myiopsitta monachus

Description:    These parakeets are generally quiet birds and their sweet disposition makes them exceptional pets. The Quaker Parakeet gets it's name from the facial feathering that has a gray bibbed pattern, resembling an old fashioned Quaker costume. Besides being known as Quaker Parakeet and Monk Parakeet, they are also called Green Parakeet, Grey-breasted Parakeet, and Montevideo Parakeet. This is the only member of it's species and there are 4 subspecies mostly distinguished by size and color intensity.
   The Quaker "Monk" Parakeets cheeks, throat, crown and lores are gray. It's upper breast is gray with light edges, giving them a scalloped appearance and the lower breast is yellowish. The back of the head, neck, rump, wings and the rest of the under parts are green, and there can be some blue outer feathering. It has a long, pointed tail with a mixture of yellow and bluish green. The female is lighter in coloring than the male.
   The normal green Quaker Parakeet is by far the most common, but other mutations are also available including yellow, blue, pied, and albino varieties. The young birds have a gray forehead with a green tinge. These birds grow to a length of 11-12" (29-30 cm).

Distribution:    The Quaker Parakeet or Monk Parakeet is found in South America, central Bolivia, southern Brazil, parts of Argentina, and Uruguay. Recently they have established themselves in other areas like Puerto Rico, and northeastern United States.

Care and Feeding:    Fresh food and water must be provided daily. Quaker "Monk" Parakeets eat a variety of sprouts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and commercial pellets. They like nuts with the shells cracked, such as walnuts, pecans and almonds. They also enjoy the same nutritional foods humans eat, including cooked chicken. Cooked beans, rice, and grains are also enjoyed, but soft foods like these will spoil in about 4 hours. An occasional millet spray is a nice treat.
   They do like a regular bath. A heavy crock placed on the bottom of the cage will do fine.

   See About Parakeets: Care and Feeding for more detailed information.

Housing:    A cage size of 18"x18"x21" ( cm) is fine if the parakeet is let out during the day to spend most of its time on a play pen or parrot perch. Otherwise, a roomy cage is required.
See About Parakeets: Housing for more extensive housing information.

Maintenance:    The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Weekly you should wash all the perches and dirty toys, and the floor should be washed about every other week. A total hosing down and disinfecting of an aviary should be done yearly, replacing anything that needs to be freshened, such as old dishes, toys and perches.

Social Behaviors:    In the wild, these birds live in flocks and are very social. In captivity they have a peaceful, pleasant nature and will become very tame with attention and patience. However, if they are neglected, they can start screaming and become aggressive. They can also be very territorial about their cage.
   Hand fed babies or a well trained older bird make the best pets.

Handling/Training:    The Quaker Parakeet or Monk Parakeet is a great talker and very trainable!
See About Parakeets: Handling and Training for more detailed information.

Activities:    These are very energetic birds! Besides flying, which is important for all parakeets, these birds love to chew! Be sure you provide them with lots of assorted toys and wood chews, perches and swings.

   The Quaker Parakeet or Monk Parakeet is very easily bred. It is best to breed them in an aviary as they need lots of space and plenty of shrubbery. They may use nesting boxes, but they prefer to build their own nests using twigs and grasses. The female builds the nest, attaching her nest on to the other bird's nests. It can take up a lot of room in an aviary! The hen lays four to eight eggs and the young will leave the nest at about six weeks.
See About Parakeets: Breeding and Reproduction for more information.

Potential Problems:    If these parakeets are neglected, they can start screaming and become aggressive. They are known to have a loud scream.
See About Parakeets: Potential Problems for more information.

Availability:   The Quaker Parakeet or Monk Parakeet is very common and reasonably priced. This bird is generally available at pet stores or from breeders.

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Quaker Parakeet

Michele - 2013-11-11
Hello I too have a quaker parrot who has recently finished his molting. Recently I discovered a puffiness on his left side. When I looked it appeared that he scratched himself. Today I again look and he has been scratching himself all around his neck area. He hasn't shown any out of the ordinary behavior. Could this be related to his pin feathers. The one's on top of his head have stopped. I know to take him to a vet. Just looking for a possible explanation?

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    Excessive scratching could be a sign that your bird's skin is very dry, flaky, and feels itchy. Try increasing bathing to see if it helps. Another possibililty is red mites. Cover the cage with a white sheet in the evening, and see if there are any dark brownish red little dots on it in the morning.
Karen Graves - 2004-04-15
Skittles was my first Quaker parakeet,an adopted bird from a home that
neglected her.She was very cage territorial, but with lots of love,patience,and attention,she has become my best friend.She says a few words that I taught her,imitates my laughter, and loves rock n roll music,dancing along on top of her cage.Hannibal, my second Quaker,I bought from a local pet shop as a baby.Hannibal is a cute,
but clumsy bird,with a sweet disposition.He to is learning how to talk and says "Thankyou" when I change his water,or give him fresh food.Hannibal loves to beat up his yarn and bell toy,and I frequently hear him ringing his bell,chattering merrily away in his funny way.
Nebbish my third Quaker,was also a rescue bird,and was in a bad way when he came to live at my house.

Erin - 2004-03-07
i have a second hand quaker and this site really helped fix some problems!!! i was amazed by how much he improved just from the help of this site.

Anonymous - 2004-08-26
This site iz great-thanxx

Cristina - 2013-07-18
My Quaker Parrot, Molly, just recently started hanging around at the bottom of her cage. Which is unusual since she's always running around in and out of the cage. I saw her scratching here and there, and thought maybe she wants something to run around in. Like paper. I gave her some torn up pieces of newspaper and let handle her business. She seemed content. Which helped stop her excessive scratching at the bottom of the cage. But now she just hangs around there. She nods her head towards me and eats every once in a while. The only time she doesn't hang there is when it's time to sleep. She goes back to her usual perch at the top. She seems content when I wrap my hand around her like a blanket and makes these chirp sounds and flaps her wings excessivly when she's happy to see me or approves of me. When I take her out of her cage and into another room she grows desperate in trying to locate her cage when she's away from it and tries to pry herself away from me to get back to cage. She's never done this before. And gets extremely furious when someone other than myself approaches her or her cage. Her eyes and nose are not runny or anything. Is she trying to build a nest and protect it?! She only lets me touch her and put my hand in the cage...

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-07-24
    It is possible she is going through a mating phase. I know with my parrot she would periodically go into 'heat' and would become very attached to me and repeat some weird rituals (such as turning around in circles for long periods of time). That may be what is going on with her. If that's what is going on she will probably come out of it eventually. I know it might be hard, but also try not to encourage this behavior because she might also consider you her 'mate,' and you want her to know you are not her mate.

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