Quaker parrots are extremely intelligent, comical, and friendly birds.
They’re also quite high maintenance, so not everyone can handle giving them the level of attention and care that they need and deserve.
Quaker parrots can become aggressive or withdrawn when they don’t receive the attention they crave and aren’t taken care of properly.
However, when Quaker parrots learn to trust and bond with the people who care for them, they’ll show their appreciation with affection and cuddles.
Are Quaker Parrots Cuddly?
Quaker parrots’ behavior toward people will depend on how they’ve been raised and trained. Their behavioral characteristics range from friendly, cuddly, affectionate, and talkative to aggressive, noisy, and obnoxious.
Untrained, neglected Quaker parrots will likely be standoffish with people and could bite or show other signs of aggression if people come too close.
Quaker parrots may also display this type of behavior around unfamiliar people. For instance, Quaker parrots who’ve been rehomed several times are never able to build a bond with any one person. This can alter their behavioral characteristics and leave them untrusting of anyone they don’t know well.
Quaker parrots that have been properly trained and raised, and given ample attention and affection, will return that attention, affection, and friendliness to their owners.
However, Quaker parrots only like to cuddle the person or people they’ve bonded with. New owners must be patient as their bird learns to trust them and slowly creates a bond.
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 Quaker parrots are a part of their family, the same way dogs and cats often become “children” to their owners.
Mental and Health Benefits
According to Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Quaker parrot owners are as strongly attached to their birds as owners of other pets.
They state that “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 birds, they mentioned things like love, talking ability, and companionship. The bond people develop with their Quaker parrots helps improve their mental and physical well-being.
Many Quaker parrot owners specifically enjoy the loyalty their bird shows them. Quaker parrots often display jealousy when their owner’s attention is diverted away from them to something else.
Sometimes, Quaker parrots will show aggression toward other people in the owner’s household or family while turning on the charm and affection for the one owner they prefer.
Some owners find it amusing that their Quaker parrot chases, attempts to bite, or is aggressive in other ways to other people.
This can often become a problem when the owner doesn’t do something to encourage the Quaker parrot to be friendly to the other household members, but especially when the owner is encouraging aggressive behavior.
It can lead to overdependency or forming a mate bond between the owner and the Quaker parrot. Quaker parrots should only be forming mate bonds with members of their species.
Quaker parrots can become confused and frustrated, leading to bad behaviors such as severe aggression, excessive screaming, feather destruction, and self-mutilation.
When healthy bonds are formed between Quaker parrots and their owners, the result can be an amazing relationship full of mutual affection, cuddles, companionship, and conversation.
Are Quaker Parrots Affectionate?
While your Quaker parrot isn’t likely to curl up in your lap while you gently stroke its head, they can be very affectionate birds in other ways.
Wild Quaker parrots will choose a life mate and show that mate affection through things such as:
- Focusing more attention on them than other birds
Wild Quaker parrots are also very friendly and affectionate toward other members of their flock, but the sole focus of their attention is usually their mate.
Quaker parrots in captivity will show their owners the same affection as long as they’re properly cared for and given adequate attention.
Ways Quaker Parrots Show Affection
Forming a bond with your Quaker parrot can be a rewarding experience for both of you. Quaker parrots will show their affection toward you in many ways, including:
Quaker parrots love to cuddle. They don’t usually cuddle because they’ll let you hold them close or lie on your lap.
However, they have their own ways of cuddling. They may nuzzle your neck and gently rub their beaks on your cheek. When your Quaker parrot cuddles with you in this way, you know you have its full trust.
Your Quaker parrot 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 you or lick you.
Since Quaker parrots are skilled at mimicking sounds, they may even make a kissing sound.
Call for You
Your Quaker parrot will likely develop a call that sounds like a scream or a squawk specifically for you, and it will use that same call sound when it wants your attention.
If you don’t respond to it immediately, it may set your Quaker parrot off, causing it to get louder each time until you eventually respond.
When you hear it, it’s best to respond right away by either saying something loud enough that your Quaker parrot can hear it or entering the room where it’s at so it can see that you’re nearby and safe.
Gentle Nips or Beak Movements
Quaker parrots will usually gently nip the people they like. These nips shouldn’t be confused with biting as they won’t have much pressure and are meant only for affection.
They may also move their beaks a certain way or make sounds, such as:
- Sticking out their tongue
- Fluttering their beak
- Clicking their mouth
- Grinding their beak
- Moving their tongue around
Quaker parrots often make quite a bit of noise. After all, they love to talk to you, and they’ll do anything for a little attention.
You may hear your Quaker parrot 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 Quaker parrots, but sometimes when it bites you, it’s because it’s showing you its love and perhaps also being a bit territorial and jealous at the same time.
Parrots are known for having a jealous streak when they become attached to a single caregiver.
If you’re that caregiver, when your attention isn’t focused on your bird, it may cause some jealous aggression to slip through.
If this happens only occasionally, it’s not a big deal. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, you may need to figure out how to stop the jealousy, so the aggression doesn’t get worse.
Encourage your Quaker parrot to interact with other people in your household. Give someone else some of the daily bird-caring responsibilities, so your bird can become familiar with them.
Quaker parrots use preening techniques to keep their feathers looking nice.
If your Quaker parrot starts preening you by picking at or licking the hair on your head or face, it’s showing you affection.
While the preening is usually done gently, sometimes Quaker parrots can get aggressive with it. If this happens, remove the bird from reach of your face or head and shift its attention to something else.