Parrots aren’t known to curl up in your lap or enjoy being hugged against your chest. In fact, a parrot may back out of your reach if you try. This leaves the impression that parrots aren’t cuddly, especially quaker parrots. As quieter, more reserved birds, quaker parrots are often slow to trust and picky about their owners.
Quaker parrots love to cuddle, but only with a person that they’ve bonded to. If a quaker has chosen you as its favorite human, it will be eager to snuggle. Parrots show this affection by preening your hair, kissing at you, and nuzzling against your neck or face. They do not like having their wings pinned down or having their movement constricted. So, while quakers can’t snuggle like cats or dogs, they are still one of the most cuddly parrots.
A quaker that wants to cuddle may begin singing, talking, or bobbing its head at you. These are all signs of affection and proof that your quaker trusts you. If the parrot doesn’t like cuddling just yet, spend more time playing with, training, and feeding the quaker. Once it feels comfortable enough to snuggle, reward it with petting, scratches, extra treats, and nuzzling back.
Are Quaker Parrots Cuddly?
Because of their quiet and docile nature, some people misunderstand quaker parrots as aloof and unfriendly. However, the exact opposite is true. Quaker parrots are cuddly when they trust their owners. As soon as a tight bond is formed, and only then, a quaker will be eager to snuggle up and cuddle with you.
These parrots are about 11 inches long and have a wingspan of about 20 inches. On average, they weigh about 3.5 ounces. This makes them an ideal size for cuddling. Your quaker will be able to comfortably perch on your shoulder, snuggle up against your neck, or keep you company without getting in the way.
Are Quaker Parrots Affectionate?
Of course, new owners should be aware that quaker parrots require a strong bond long before they get cuddly. Quakers may appear aggressive and stand-off-ish toward people they don’t know.
Unlike more boisterous parrots, like budgies or cockatoos, quaker parrots require trust before allowing others into their space. This can make it even more difficult if you’ve purchased the bird as an adult or if it’s a rescue.
Quaker parrots live for about 20-30 years. This gives you time to ease it into a new, comfortable, safe environment. With that kind of setting, quakers are one of the most loyal species of parrot there are. According to Anthrozoos, viewing your parrot as another part of your household will benefit it greatly. When treated as kindly, quakers thrive.
Quakers may even be considered the most cuddly parrot of all, so long as you’re willing to put in the effort. That’s because, unlike other cuddly parrots, quakers aren’t just content to receive affection. They will be happy to give snuggles and will even initiate cuddling sessions.
Don’t be stingy with scratches and petting. You’ll find the bird eager to preen your hair and nuzzle against your face.
How Do Quaker Parrots Show Affection?
Parrots show their affection in unique ways. New owners may struggle to interpret a sign of love from a quaker. If your bird doesn’t seem that cuddly, but you’re closely bonded, look out for these habits. The bird may have been cuddling all along, in its own way:
Quakers will preen your hair as a form of cuddling and affection. This involves the parrot tugging at strands of your hair or clothing with its beak. This will be done gently with routine strokes. The parrot is trying to help you stay neat and orderly as it does with its own feathers.
In the wild, parrots reserve this for other members of their flock, especially those they’ve bonded with. In the same way, you may gently pet an animal while you cuddle with it. A cuddly parrot will preen you out of love.
If your parrot hasn’t quite bonded but still likes you, it may preen its own feathers while you’re nearby. This shows that the quaker is relaxed enough to engage in personal grooming rather than being on high alert.
This is often the first step to cuddling, especially if you’re just starting to bond with the parrot. Quakers will often place their beak on your head or your cheek. This small peck (without force or pressure) works as a greeting and a playful nudge. Parrots only do this with birds and people that they like.
This is the clearest form of snuggling for a parrot. Since these birds dislike having their wings pinned down or their body restricted, they won’t rub against you full-bodied like a cat. Instead, they will nuzzle their beak, face, and head against the nearest part of you. This may be against your neck, hands, or cheek.
This is a trusting gesture for a parrot. Quakers are some of the most likely of any species to do it. You can reward the bird by nuzzling back.
While you’re cuddling the quaker, watch out. If it likes you enough, it may even regurgitate food against your shoulder, on your lap, or toward your face. This may seem like gross behavior, but it’s a sign that the parrot is trying to care for you.
In the wild, mates will feed each other in the courting and egg-sitting phase of their relationship. They’ll also feed their offspring in this way. In some cases, parrots that are close friends will even share food as a kind gesture.
If the parrot likes you enough to cuddle, it may also like you enough to provide a meal. Be sure to discourage this gently, though, as quakers may get their feelings hurt by strong reactions.
Head-bobbing is often a sign that a parrot is about to regurgitate food. However, it can also be a part of a dance or a sign that your parrot is excited. If the parrot routinely bobs its head whenever you’re nearby, then it’s saying:
- I’m excited to see you.
- Do you want to dance?
- Come look at me!
Likewise, if your quaker stretches out its wings and flaps (without taking off), then it’s excited to see you. It’s filled with enough extra happiness that it just has to let it out. Some parrots will only stretch out one wing, but it has the same meaning. More often than not, if you walk over to give it attention, it will eagerly scale up your arm to cuddle.
Quaker parrots are more likely to sing around people they want to cuddle. As one of the quietest parrot species, they’re more prone to whistling and chattering than screaming or calling. Even quakers will entertain themselves by making noise, but they learn very few words compared to other parrots.
That means if the parrot is singing around you in particular, it’s trying to catch your attention. It wants to share the fun new noise it learned, and it wants you to join in.
In that same vein, if the quaker uses words you’ve taught it, it’s pleased to see you. According to Bird Behavior, vocalization is an important part of connecting to other parrots in the wild. Parrots often mimic the sounds of new flocks they want to join as a way to get accepted. The quaker had the choice of making another fun sound it knew, and it chose to impress you instead.
If the quaker is talking away, and especially if it’s bobbing its head too, it’s ready to cuddle. A chatty quaker may even take breaks from speaking so that it can preen your hair.
Do Quaker Parrots Bond to One Person?
Quaker parrots bond to one person in a household. It’s rare for them to care about two people in equal measure.
Most parrot species choose a favorite human and prefer that person above all else. However, this is especially true for quakers. They’re slow to trust and choose their companions with some measure of discretion. They thrive best with a single, primary owner.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll be aggressive or hostile to everyone else. They may just choose to cuddle with you, and not with a roommate.
Keep in mind that parrots choose their favorites based on personal preference, but mostly based on who:
- Brings them home
- Feeds them
- Trains them
- Spends the most time with them
As such, if you want the quaker to cuddle with you, it’s important to put in the time and effort.
How to Bond with a Quaker Parrot
How do you get your quaker to cuddle with you? It will happen naturally once the parrot has formed a bond. As affectionate birds, your quaker will instinctively know to preen, nuzzle, and kiss at you once it feels safe and loved. To get the process started, you should focus on:
Training might seem like homework, and therefore a bore. However, quakers are intelligent parrots and like the stimulation. Teaching your pet to obey certain commands, do tricks, and behave will give it 3 wonderful things:
- An engaging hobby
- More of your undivided attention
- Treats, rewards, and praise when it succeeds
Just be sure to keep the training sessions to 20 minutes apiece. By spreading them throughout the day, your quaker won’t get overwhelmed.
As the parrot adapts to the training, you will also come to understand its personality, habits, and behavior. This makes it easier to bond during playtime or downtime around the house. It will even make the parrot well-behaved and more fun to be around.
Quakers need low-stress playtime as well. In the wild, they bond with flock members by scavenging, preening, and exploring their territory. This can be mimicked in your home by:
- Using toys, such as ropes, puzzles, and bells
- Playing fetch
Parrots can learn to play fetch. If there’s enough space, encourage it to fly back and forth as it retrieves items for you. The more of your undivided attention (and praise) the quaker has, the more likely it is to bond.
You can win the quaker over by providing tasty, healthy, and filling meals. The more variety there is, the happier the parrot will be, and the more it will look forward to mealtimes spent with you. You can even share certain meals, such as meat, veggies, and fruit that haven’t been seasoned or fried.
How To Show Affection To A Quaker Parrot
It’s important to know what types of affection your quaker parrot will accept. Once you form a bond, you don’t want to break that trust by accident. Quakers will easily hold a grudge if they feel slighted.
Even responding to its cuddles in the wrong way can feel like a rejection to your parrot. When your quaker is trying to snuggle, you can respond appropriately with:
This is one of the best ways to show your affection to your parrot. Quakers love being petted and having their head and breast stroked. Once yours is comfortable, it might even place its head near your hand to tell you it wants affection.
Quaker parrots enjoy being scratched along their head, near their wings, and across their back. You don’t want to be too rough with your scratches, but gentle pressure will be soothing. In the wild, this mimics the kisses and preening motions that quakers give each other.
It’s no fun cuddling someone that doesn’t cuddle back. If your quaker is nuzzling against your shoulder or neck, rub your cheek against its feathers. If it’s prodding your hand, then snuggle it gently with your fingers, or bring it to cozy up under your chin.
A trained parrot will understand that treats mean a happy owner. It’s important to make sure your quaker understands that you reciprocate and encourage it to cuddle in the future. Accomplish that by offering it a treat. Praising it in a happy tone of voice will also convince the parrot that snuggles aren’t just fun; they’re rewarding.
Quaker parrots do like to cuddle, but only with a person that they’ve bonded to. This can be accomplished by spending time with the bird, understanding what cuddling looks like for a quaker, and reciprocating the affection. That will make the parrot even more likely to cuddle in the future.