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how do I know if my quaker parrot is happy?

How To Tell If Your Quaker Parrot Is Happy

(Last Updated On: August 4, 2023)

Quaker parrots, known as Quaker parakeets, monk parrots, and monk parakeets, are naturally happy birds with friendly, loving, and fun-loving personalities.

Although Quakers are usually cheerful, they can experience unhappiness. If so, there will be obvious changes in their behavior, desire to be social, and aggression level.

Is My Quaker Parrot Happy?

Quaker parrots bond closely with their owners because they like to give and receive affection. They enjoy being talked to, given attention, petted, and involved in daily activities.

Although they’re naturally happy when cared for properly, Quakers can go through times of unhappiness, experiencing stress, anxiety, and low mood.

Quakers can also grow sick and don’t feel good. If their illness is just something simple like an upset stomach due to eating too much dairy (lactose intolerance), they’ll return to normal in 1-2 days.

Signs of Unhappiness or Illness

When Quakers become unhappy or sick, their behaviors may change. If you notice anything unusual, it’s important to learn why the bird suddenly feels low.

There are obvious behaviors that indicate there’s something amiss with a Quaker parrot. Other signs, like sudden pacing, head swinging, or toe-tapping, have more subtle causes.

quaker parrot happy sounds

Feather Plucking

According to Veterinary Clinics of North America Exotic Animal Practice, feather plucking, also called feather-destructive behavior, is common in captive birds.

That said, Quaker parrots naturally remove worn-out feathers while preening themselves. It becomes an issue when they obsessively start feather plucking because it leaves bald, featherless areas.

Birds pluck their feathers for various reasons, including:

Once Quaker parrots start feather-plucking to self-soothe or occupy their time, it can be hard to get them to stop. Sometimes, the behavior progresses to self-mutilation, harming the skin and bones.

Plucked feathers grow back unless the feather follicle is irreparably harmed, meaning most birds won’t have permanent bald spots. Of course, recovery depends on finding and resolving the trigger.


If a Quaker parrot isn’t normally a biter but suddenly starts biting, it could signify it’s sick or unhappy.

Biting in birds is usually a sign they’re stressed or scared. If they feel threatened, they may bite as a defensive response. However, biting can sometimes signify a bad mood due to discomfort.

Increased or Decreased Vocalizations

Quaker parrots are usually talkative, making noises to communicate or let you know they’re happy.

Sometimes when a Quaker parrot has a negative experience, it can become much louder to the point of screaming, or it may become quieter, saying little. It’s the deviance from the norm that’s significant.

Quaker Parrot Body Language

Learning more about the body language of Quakers enables you to understand how it feels.

Body Language Meanings

Quaker parrots display body language that lets you know when they’re thriving. They’ll also show certain body language that alerts you when they’re unhappy, angry, or scared.

Sometimes, body language has more than one meaning. To decipher the double meaning of avian body language, you must look for other signs that’ll tell you if a Quaker parrot is feeling good.

Here are some happy body language in Quaker parrots:

Beak Clicking

Quakers often click their beaks when pleased to see you because it’s their way of greeting a much-loved owner upon entering the room, especially if they’ve been away for most of the day.

They may also click their beaks when they feel good about what’s happening around them. Beak clicking can occur when they’re warning someone to stay away.

Wiggling Tongue

When you see a Quaker parrot wiggling its tongue, it’s usually happy or wants attention.

Ruffling Feathers

Quakers often ruffle their feathers when preening themselves, wet and trying to dry off, or cleaning off dust and dirt. They may also ruffle their feathers when resting or relaxing.

Shaking and Quivering

Shaking and quivering are normal body language. A Quaker parrot may shake or quiver because it’s contented, scared, or nervous. The bird may also clean its feathers before shaking them to dry off.

Shaking can signify illness, or it could mean that a parrot feels cold and is shivering to get warm.

This body language must be interpreted with other behaviors to determine the true meaning.

Head Bobbing or Swaying

Quakers often bob or sway their heads when excited or want attention.

They sometimes head bob when asking you to feed them. Baby Quaker parrots often bob and sway their heads at the adult birds to get their attention when hungry and want to be fed.

Wagging Tail

Sometimes Quakers wag their tails when excited or as a greeting when they see you. Usually, Quaker parrots wag their tails when they feel upbeat.

how to make a quaker parrot happy

Quaker Parrot Happy Sounds

Current Biology stated that Quaker parrots have “highly expanded brains and highly developed cognitive and vocal communication skills.” These qualities allow them to mimic human speech and sounds.

ABC Science stated that Quaker parrots use their tongues to form sounds and words like humans. Quakers make sounds to converse with you or let you know how they feel.

Quaker parrots vocalize when happy, but some sounds are unique to each parrot, which makes it difficult to give a full list of happy sounds that Quaker parrots make.

When Quakers are happy, they’ll whistle and chatter while making familiar sounds they’ve learned to mimic and words they’ve learned to say.

Quaker parrots can make laughing sounds, which is an entirely mimicked noise. When a Quaker parrot hears you laugh, it may start making this sound.

There are times when Quaker parrots laugh at the wrong times, such as when they’re being corrected for something they’ve done wrong or when you’ve banged your knee on a table.

Quaker parrots can recognize how your voice sounds before you start laughing, so they’ll often start laughing as soon as you do.

It can be fun when a joke is told, and a Quaker parrot laughs just as you deliver the punchline.

How To Make A Quaker Parrot Happy

Quakers are social birds who thrive on companionship with humans and other birds. Adding a second same-species bird will provide companionship if you’re short of time due to various commitments.

Giving a Quaker parrot attention is the one guaranteed thing that’ll keep it happy. You should also take it out of its cage and play and engage together to provide much-needed enrichment.

Place its cage in an area of the home with more activity, like the living room. Quakers love observing the hustle and bustle and listening to sounds from everyday activities.

Aside from engagement and a clean, spacious cage, sufficient food, water, and toys will usually be sufficient to keep a Quaker parrot happy.