Quaker parrots can be friendly and loving pet birds. They can also be high maintenance, so not everyone can give them the one-on-one attention and care they need to thrive in captivity.
They can become unhappy and withdrawn if they don’t get the attention they crave. However, once Quaker parrots bond with humans, they show appreciation through their affectionate actions.
What you get from a relationship with a Quaker parrot is proportionate to what you put in. If you show a parrot love by meeting its care needs, it’s far likelier to reciprocate.
Are Quaker Parrots Cuddly?
Quaker parrots’ behavior toward people depends on their upbringing, training, and care. Their behavioral characteristics range from friendly and fun-loving to boisterous and poorly behaved.
Untrained or neglected Quakers will likely be standoffish toward people and could show unfriendliness or act defensively (hiss, lunge, or bite) toward those who get too close.
Quakers may also display this behavior toward unfamiliar people. For example, Quakers who’ve been rehomed several times or mistreated by a previous owner may never establish bonds of love and trust.
Birds that have been properly trained, raised, cared for, and given attention and affection will likely return this warmth and kindness to their human caregiver(s).
Quaker parrots will nuzzle against those they’ve bonded with closely. Of course, new owners must be patient because it takes time for pet birds to trust individual humans.
Human and Quaker Parrot Bond
The bond that can develop between a human and a Quaker parrot has been likened to the same kind of bond humans have with cats and dogs.
The deep companionship that can develop over time often leaves owners feeling like their Quakers are a part of their family, the same way dogs and cats often feel like children to their owners.
Mental Health Benefits
According to Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Quaker parrot owners are as strongly attached to their birds as owners of other popular family pets.
They stated, “Avian companions met the psychological needs of humans and provided social support or fulfilled esteem and cognitive needs.”
When owners were asked what they loved most about their pet birds, they mentioned a loving nature, talking ability, and companionship.
The bond humans develop with Quakers improves their overall mental and physical well-being.
Many owners enjoy the loyalty their birds show them. Unfortunately, Quakers can display jealousy when their owner’s attention is diverted from them toward something or someone else.
Owners feel flattered because their Quakers become one-person birds. However, this usually happens when a parrot is removed from its parents before weaning or lacks a cagemate.
However, Quakers can become hostile toward household members, chasing off and nipping others. This can be due to overdependency or an inappropriate mate bond between the owner and the parrot.
The result is that Quaker parrots become confused and sexually frustrated, leading to negative behaviors like screaming, biting, feather plucking, and extreme jealousy.
Are Quaker Parrots Affectionate?
While a Quaker isn’t likely to curl up in your lap while you gently stroke its head, it can be affectionate in other ways. Wild Quakers will choose a mate and show them affection through:
Wild Quaker parrots are friendly and affectionate toward other members of their flock, but the sole focus of their attention is usually their mate. Quakers in captivity will show their owners the same affection.
Ways Quaker Parrots Show Affection
Forming a bond with a Quaker parrot can be a rewarding experience. Quakers will show their affection toward you in many ways, including:
Quakers cuddle differently, so they may nuzzle against your neck and rub their beak on your cheek. When a Quaker parrot cuddles with you this way, you have its full trust.
A Quaker may dole out kisses to show you affection. They’ll gently peck your skin, especially around your mouth or cheeks. It may even lightly nibble or lick you with its tongue.
Call for You
A Quaker will likely develop a call that sounds like a squawk specifically for you, using that same calling sound when it wants attention.
If you don’t respond to it immediately, it may set the Quaker parrot off, causing it to get louder each time until you eventually respond.
When you hear it, respond immediately by saying something loud enough that the Quaker can hear it so that it can determine that you’re nearby and safe.
Gentle Nips or Beak Movements
Quaker parrots gently nibble or preen people they like. These nips shouldn’t be confused with biting because they won’t have much pressure and are intended only for affection.
They may also move their beaks a certain way or make sounds, such as:
- Sticking out their tongue.
- Beak clicking.
- Grinding the beak.
Quakers often make sounds because they love talking to you and will do what it takes to get attention.
You may hear a Quaker singing to you, whistling at you, or even purring like a cat. All of these are noises of endearment because it’s happy to be with you.
Biting is usually a sign of aggression in Quakers, but sometimes when it bites you, it’s because it’s showing you love and perhaps also being territorial and jealous at the same time.
Parrots have a jealous streak when they become attached to a single caregiver, especially if it lacks an opposite-sex, same-species cagemate.
If you’re that caregiver and your attention isn’t focused on them, it may manifest as jealous aggression.
If this happens only occasionally, it’s unlikely to be a problem. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, you must stop the jealousy so the aggression doesn’t worsen.
Encourage a Quaker parrot to interact with other people in the household. Give someone else one or two of the daily bird-caring responsibilities (like feeding) so it becomes familiar to them.
Quaker parrots preen their feathers to get rid of dirt and ectoparasites (like mites) and remove or organize them. If a Quaker preens you, it’s showing love and affection as it would toward a flock mate.