Quaker parrots, also known as Monk parakeets, have a reputation of being territorial — but are also social and capable of being loving and loyal pet birds.
Bringing out the best in your quaker is just a matter of patience and investment.
To gain a quaker parrot’s trust, spend time around the cage to get the bird used to your presence. Then, start interacting with the bird gently and slowly, placing your hand in the cage for short periods of time, eventually leading up to offering treats out of your hand.
Read on to learn more about how to earn a quaker parrot’s trust. This article will discuss the temperament of this species, as well as what and what not to do when you’re getting to know your avian friend.
Is It Hard To Gain a Quaker Parrot’s Trust?
Quaker parrots are social, and in the wild, they’ll collect in flocks of hundreds of parrots. They enjoy making social bonds, so long as they consider you more like a parrot than a predator.
These birds also have a tendency to seek out a dominant position in the flock.
Altogether, it’s not difficult to gain a quaker parrot’s trust, as long as you spend an adequate amount of time getting to know your bird, understand its temperament, and are patient.
What Kind of Temperament Do Quaker Parrots Have?
Quaker parrots have a reputation of being aggressive bullies, but won’t necessarily display this kind of behavior if they’re tamed properly.
To avoid raising a nippy pet, you simply need to teach your bird that you’re a trustworthy authority in the flock.
Quaker parrots are also lively, intelligent birds that should not be judged by their bad reputation, because they can make for excellent pets. They’re fearlessly active, and love swinging and climbing.
Once they’ve become comfortable with a human companion, quakers are loyal and tend to stick to one person. They can be gentle and make good pets for children if raised properly.
Ways To Earn a Quaker Parrot’s Trust
While you’re getting to know your quaker parrot, it’s important that you follow a series of steps in order, gradually building up trust rather than trying to force a strong companionship from the start.
Although this takes patience and may be frustrating, the result will ultimately be a stronger bond and a better experience for your bird.
Follow these steps when you’re attempting to earn the trust of your quaker parrot:
- Put the cage in a quiet, low traffic area as the bird is starting to take in the new environment. It should be positioned as close to eye level as possible.
- Provide plenty of toys for stimulation, like the Super Bird Wicker Foraging Basket.
- Spend time near the cage without looking at the bird or talking to it directly.
- Spend at least an hour near the bird’s cage every day, talking softly.
- Move the cage to a slightly higher traffic area, so that it will become comfortable with all the different members of the household.
- Offer treats like millet seeds. You can do this by hand, provided that you move slowly and make the seeds clearly visible in your hand as you approach. Try this every day until the parrot is comfortable eating from your hand. Afterward, allow it to eat as much food as it wants.
- Use vocal cues when teaching new tricks, once your parrot is comfortable with you and has become inquisitive about what you want. This includes commands like “up” for stepping up on a perch, or “down” to encourage stepping down from a perch. It’s also a good idea to teach a simple “yes” and “no.”
- Try touching the bird’s head and beak.
- Close all doors and windows, then let your parrot out of its cage to explore. It’s also a good idea to cover mirrors and draw the blinds on any windows. Reflective and clear surfaces can be a danger to birds, as they don’t know the concept of reflection, and they might fly into closed windows thinking there’s open space, resulting in a collision, which could be fatal.
- Once your bird is comfortable with you, continue to spend a significant amount of time with it every day to continue strengthening your bond. Consistency is key.
What To Avoid When Bonding With a Quaker Parrot
While you’re taming your quaker parrot, there are a number of behavioral and environmental things to consider, including factors that should be avoided at all costs.
The following are behaviors and environmental changes that can cause stress in your parrot and prevent the taming process from going well:
- Providing too little time outside the cage leads to restlessness and may result in biting or other symptoms of frustration and boredom.
- Placing the cage in a high traffic room can be loud and intimidating.
- Touching the bird too soon or too often can cause stress.
- Avoid training in the evening when the bird is getting close to sleeping time. Morning is a better time for training because the parrot will be more alert. It will also be hungrier and thus more incentivized by treats.
- If your parrot ever becomes visibly stressed or panics, don’t keep trying to bond. Move away and give it time to recover.
- If your parrot tries to bite, don’t keep petting or attempting to bond.
- If you play music or the radio near your bird, make sure it’s not too harsh or noisy.
- If you have children, teach them not to scream around the parrot, as screaming may cause the parrot to scream back.
Ultimately, your goal is to teach your parrot that you’re friendly and not a predator, so your efforts should be geared towards appearing as safe as possible.
You should also be sure to provide a safe environment with plenty of food, water, and stimulation, as this will teach your bird to associate its safety and comfort with your presence.
Why You Should Get Your Quaker Parrot From a Breeder and Not a Pet Store
Quaker parrots that were raised in mass-producing pet stores are unlikely to have received the kind of care and attention necessary for taming, unlike ones raised by responsible breeders.
Responsible breeders will spend time getting to know these young parrots and teaching them that humans are safe to interact with, making your taming work easier.
If you got your quaker from a breeder, it’s likely they’re already comfortable with being hand-fed, and it’s very important to continue this and other kinds of close interaction.
You should ideally be spending several hours with your bird every day.
Be aware that a quaker parakeet acquired from a pet shop may be more afraid of you at first, and may have symptoms of chronic stress. These birds will require even more patience during the taming process.
A bird’s past plays a big role in how it will respond to training, but the lack of socialization during the early months or years of life doesn’t mean that your parrot won’t be able to trust you.
It will just take more time and patience to teach it that you’re safe to be around.
Gaining a quaker parrot’s trust takes time and patience but can be done by following a series of steps, gradually increasing the level of trust and strength of the bond between you and your parrot. This includes gradually spending more time with your bird, first by proximity, then by interacting directly and offering treats.