Quaker Parakeet

Quaker Parrot - Monk Parakeet

Family: Psittacidae Bubba!"Bubbu"Myiopsitta monachusPhoto courtesy: Darla Walton
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Hi! I've 2 monk male parakeets. They are several- months old. I noticed that they started to feed each other recently. Is this normal? or should I separate them?... (more)  carnation

   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

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Myiopsitta
  • Species: monachus

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

carnation - 2016-03-17
Hi! I've 2 monk male parakeets. They are several- months old. I noticed that they started to feed each other recently. Is this normal? or should I separate them? & if I do so will they be ok, cause I know they are very social & live in groups.

B A COBILLAS - 2003-07-22
Cosomo Quaker is a 3yr old female and very talkative. She is lively and will follow me all over the house. She loves a good game of pick-a-boo. She will call MOOOOM until I find her. Her favorite hiding place is on my shoulders directly behind my head where I cannot see her. She has a wonderful sense of humor. She is not as adventurous with new foods. She has a Meyers parrot sibling and they are very much like human children fighting over a favorite toy not to be shared. They are very gentle with each other. Cosmo loves her younger brother and even tells him "loooove you." My quaker is not a quiet bird, she is very vocal with her family. She has been an inspiration for my Meyers parrot...taught him to talk. :)

  • Haley - 2010-03-14
    Hi! I just got some green spotted puffers and I have heard that you should keep them in freshwater when they are young...I have got them in saltwater now. Is that ok?
  • keith ferreira - 2011-03-31
    Hi, i just got into parrot fish and like them very much but, could you tell me what is the natural color of the fish? We have about 4 colors here in trinidad and tobago.
  • rob - 2011-05-05
    I went in to check on the birds tonight to cover the cage up with the blanket. What I saw was the 2 finches setting in that other nest sleeping while the other nest with the eggs in it left alone. ???
  • Akshay Amle - 2011-08-24
    Actually the thing happened is I wanted to buy red belly piranha, and I wasnt knowing how to identify one, and the local pet store told me that this are RBP, and even they have/had red belly i mean reddish color at their bottom and now it's confirmed that its pacu, but I dont know whether it's a red belly pacu or black pacu. I think i should sell all those and just buy a RBP.
  • Elaine du Plessis - 2011-10-07
    My moms Quaker named Tiger was put down on Tues. He had a large tumor under his wing. He was like a human, he spoke all day, he was 14 hrs old. My mom is devastated and so are the rest of the family, we are desperately looking for a young hand reared Quaker, please let me know if you know of anyone that can assist. It would make my mom the happiest person alive. Thanks so much. I live in East London and my mom is in Grahamstown. My cell number is 0827238881 x x
  • Tiffanie - 2012-04-30
    I have 3 red tailed tinfoil barbs, they seem to be getting along with all my other fish.. I have a 180 gallon tank, 55 gallon tank and a 110 tank that houses my turtles.. In my 180 gallon tank with the barbs I have ballas, oscars, redtailed shark, black shark, lobster, kissing graumi and a Pike Cichlid.. I feed them all a lot, but I don't want my fish to starve.. How often is it recommended to feed these big barbs? I am sorry to hear about your fish, I cry when one of mine die.. =o)
  • Alfred Minio - 2012-06-19
    well as with my sick fish i think he may have had a stroke if thats possible, he is in a permanent 'c' shape and the second set of fins on the bottom seem to be paralyzed but its been a few weeks and he gets around and he's eating again. as for keeping the black morrs with my common ive had them together for about 3 or 4 months now and my morrs are just plain fat, i also added 2 sarsasa commet goldfish and even tho they are faster they all get along just fine. instead of feeding them 2 or 3 times a day i just feed them a little bit every hour or so and they'll just search the bottom in-between feedings.
erica johnson - 2014-04-26
Yess I have a question. My friend got bit by a centepede that he had and he is scared that he will die and he doesn't know all the facts.

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.
ARI - 2010-05-05
i am from south africa and looking for quaker mutations to import.