4 Essential Quaker Parrot Questions Answered
Close-up of young beard man with his pet Quaker parrot on shoulder at home. Monk parakeet is looking at camera with curiosity.

4 Essential Quaker Parrot Questions Answered

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Quaker parrots a.k.a. monk parakeets are unique little birds.


Feathered factoid – Quakers are the only parrot that builds a nest.


Not just any nest – a condominium nest.


Quaker parakeets nests are so large that they accommodate dozens of birds who share body warmth enabling them to endure the harshness of winters in Chicago and other major cities around the country.


These heinous creatures are so threatening they are banned in 15 states to one degree or another.


Another issue is that they will build these giant nests within parts of electrical transformers providing warmth.


For decades utilities have worked with Quaker-centric rescues to safely move the birds away.


One of the byproducts of breeding on top of enterprise electrical equipment is the production of offsprings with handicaps.


With that backdrop, we will explore four questions that came across the 80 inches of my computer screens recently.



From Cindy V

my Quaker is 6 years old. and still doesn’t use his feet to hold anything – I see many pics that show them using a foot to hold treats – if he gets something he’ll carry it to his water dish drop it and then start to eat it?


Dear Cindy

Not all Quakers are able to use their feet to hold food, or at least not all choose to do so. It is thought that all parrots do that but not so, smaller ones are less likely to be able to.


Some cockatiels can do that, but it is not the norm for them at least.


The larger the parrot, the more likely they will have the ability to hold food with their talons.


If he is carrying his food to his water dish, he may like to eat it softened.


2 Quaker parrots in communal nest



From Katie L


Is there ever a chance my Quaker Parrot Blu will warm up to my other birds? 


He just turned 1, I’ve had him since he was a baby. 


We got Winnie the Cockatiel as a baby about 6 months after Blu and just a few weeks ago Chip the parakeet joined our flock. 


Blu isn’t as aggressive w/Winnie at this point, but he used to stalk her. 


He loved pulling a feather or biting her toes and as a result, Winnie is scared of Blu and little baby Chip. 


Chip wants to be near the other birds but Winnie has only had bad experiences w/another bird and screams and flies away any time Chip tries to be near her.


Blu goes into what I call full “velociraptor mode”. 


He studies little Chip, very curious, mimics Chips sounds but always wants to hurt him. 


I have taken measures to keep all 3 safe, they are never out at the same time.


I don’t know what to do, and poor Chip won’t come out of his cage. 


I’m happy to give him time and patience but Blu is very dominating. 


I’ve read things you’ve said about Peaches and how she only loves you and what you do if she bites. 


I’ve been wondering how Peaches treats your new bird, Keto. 


I know it’s hard to give advice when you haven’t seen them but I really want to do what is best for my birds and I can’t imagine it’s healthy for Blu to think he can pluck out feathers and generally be the schoolyard bully.


It doesn’t help that Blu will whisper through the bars of the cage to Chip “you’re a good good baby”. 


He’s hilarious and I love him. Any advice you have I will gladly accept. Thank you and I hope all is well w/your birds.


Full transparency, we have rehomed Peaches basically for this very reason.


Once we brought home Keto, she got very aggressive with him whether he was in the cage or out of the cage.


The bigger problem was she would attack Catherine if she was on the cage and Catherine walked into the room.


Not just a warning but a full-blown where is your skin and how hard can I bite?


She would sit on top of the budgie’s cage clearly waiting to bite some feet and they all stayed away.


She became much too disruptive within the household and felt she would be better off in a home with a single keeper is a single bird.


Having spent 22 hours a day and a birdcage for seven years certainly did some damage that we felt we could not undo.


So is very hard to predict what Blu will do.


You don’t mention your interactions with him how is that going?

Please let us know.




I have a Quaker parrot who was egg bound. I fed her ZuPreem Natural (now weaning her to Harrisons), veggies and fruits and she had a cuttlebone in her cage.


Once being egg bound, will this happen every time she produces an egg?


Hi Katie

Relying on a cuttlebone for calcium is not enough.


You should also put a calcium product in her water.


One of these products will help.


Nekton MSA or Morning Bird Liquid Calcium 4 oz


It’s important to know how are you petting her?


No more stroking her body, keep your hands to her neck, and head only.


She will enjoy the scritching, below the neck will stimulate her and cause her hormones to get going.


Do you have any bedding, huts or piles of materials that she burrows into?


If so, they all have to come out of the cage. No more hidey spots.


Do you have a full spectrum bulb within 6 inches of the top of her cage?


It should be on a timer set 12 hours on and 12 hours off.


This will regulate her hormone level, dim lighting will contribute to broody behavior and egg-laying.


These blog posts on the topic of Lighting and hormones in birds can be read here.


If you implement these practices your bird should not have to suffer another egg again.


Please let us know.


Many quaker parrots feeding from a large table 


From Joe T

Yeah but?

Quaker parrot has little arthritis, a pretty good bit in his feet and I had to take and give him some prescription medication.


He was having trouble going to the bathroom with that stuff what else would be good to give him to take anything natural maybe.


Hi Joe,

We don’t recommend administering any medication without the advice of an avian veterinarian.


The biggest problem is converting the dosage from a 150-pound human to a 3-1/2 ounce bird.


Further, no medication is going to solve your bird’s leg problems, it has to be done environmentally.

Arthritis is your bird’s handicap.


You’ll get the meaning of this by reading these 2 posts.


Conure with sore foot – help


How To Set-up A Handicapped Galah Parrot Cage


similar posts can be found here: 


The strategy removes stress to the foot reducing pain naturally.


Let us know it works out for you and your Quaker.





9 Quaker parrots congregating near water

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