Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why Quaker Parrots Name Their Babies

Just as humans name their babies, quaker parrots name their babies as well.
A national geographic team has conducted an experiment to prove this.
In the experiment scientists set up 17 quaker parrot nests and attached microphones to them to record their calls.
The scientists found that in each nest the mother names their children before they could even make a sound.
Each baby had its own unique name and learned to respond to it after several weeks.
Each child would mimic its own name just like a human child learns by repeating words it learns.
Scientists also found out that each mother named her children a name similar to her own.
The names and variations of the names are passed down through generations of children.


It is currently unknown why quaker parrots name their children, but scientists have some very good guesses.
Most likely the names help their mother find their chicks when flying long distances to communal foraging sites.
Quaker parrot mothers need to keep track of their children for a relatively long time compared to other animals, until the quaker parrot babies can become independent.

Here is a national geographic video to go along with the article.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Where do quaker parrots come from?

In this article the origin of quaker parrots in the United States is discussed.

In August 1967 a shipment of wild Quaker Parrots were accidentally released at the JFK, NY airport. Many of the quaker parrots managed to breed and live on. Quaker parrots exhibit semi-migratory patterns and have been know to travel long distances within the U.S.

Since the release (also noted as "the great escape"), thousands of quaker parrots have been seen in cities all around the United States.

Quaker parrots can be found in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York (Brooklyn), New Jersey, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida,  Chicago, Massachusetts, Virginia and Oregon.

Many U.S. citizens are often surprised to find quaker parrots (typically a tropical bird) in the most unexpected places.

 Atop telephone phone poles

Playing in the snowy city park

Eating from domesticated birdfeeders.

"The Great Escape" as this incident is sometimes called has allowed the spread of a tropical bird into thousands of environments the bird was originally suited for.

However the birds have adapted and are now thriving all over the states.

Quakers are extremely intelligent creatures and have found ways to survive.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quaker Parrot Biting

Why do Quaker Parrots bite?
"Don't bite the hand that feeds you"
Many people are concerned when they experience their Quaker Parrot biting them.
It is important not to take natural behavior this personally.
A quaker parrot may bite for a number of reasons.
Most likely if a parrot tries to bite you they are:

    1.    afraid
    2.    confused
    3.    stressed out
    4.    acting out of instinct

All species of animals need some way to convey that they need space.
Just like humans, quaker parrots do not always want to be touched.
It is important to respect the boundaries of your parrot friend just as is expected of humans.

How can I prevent biting?

1.) Don't punish your Quaker Parrot
Parrots do not learn by punishment because they do not understand what they've done wrong.
Quakers learn best by positive reinforcement.

2.) Stay calm
It's important to remain calm if you've been bitten (this is sometimes easier said than done).
Losing your temper will make appear unstable.
Quaker parrots need the assurance of a calm loving figure who respects their boundaries and needs.
With this said though, trying to baby your parrot after they've bitten you should be avoided as well.

3.) Don't antagonize your quaker parrot, and don't let others antagonize either
If your quaker parrot bites someone who is putting their fingers in their cage, don't make a game out of it by continuing to poke.
Your parrot will continuously warn/bite the person which will stress them out.
The mentality will form that the parrot needs to defend their personal space.
This can increase stress in the parrots life which will increase biting.

4.) Learn to read your parrot's body language and behavior
It is important to learn the different moods of your parrot.
Are they happy, sad, bored, excited, agitated, defensive?
These are all things to keep in mind.
Learn to read your parrot and respect their boundaries and you will likely have a long healthy relationship.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quaker Parrot Dietary Information

The food you feed a quaker parrot determines the length and quality of the parrot's life. Thus a good diet is extremely important!

What consists of a good diet?
Variety. Many people think birds just need bird seed. Birds however, like humans need a variety of foods. Imagine eating the same thing every day! It is your responsibility as a parrot caretaker to take care of your parrot and provide them with the best, because they deserve it!

Bird seed or pellets?
Both. Avian experts and bird enthusiasts often say that a pellet based diet is superior to a seed based diet. Pellets have more nutritional value than bird seed, so it is recommended that you feed your quaker a pellet based diet more so than a seed based diet. However quaker parrots love cracking open seeds as well, so it is recommended that you feed your quaker seeds as well.

Quaker parrots love the challenge of 'foraging' where they have to find the food in order to eat it. Thus shelled almonds and shelled raw unroasted peanuts are a great occasional treat for your parrot as well!

Fruits and vegetables
It is very important that parrots eat their fruits and vegetables (especially fruit!).
This may sound like a joke, but many avian dietary specialists recommend that your parrot should eat between 20-40% fresh food! The remaining percentage should be filled primarily with pellets.

Avoid fatty/salted food
Quaker parrots have been known to get hypertension and diseases due to fatty livers.
Thus it is very important not to feed your quaker parrot salty or fatty foods.

Water water water!
Please make sure you give your parrot plenty of fresh drinking water! Water is the essence of all life and this is absolutely one of the most important things to feed your quaker parrot.
Make sure your quaker always has fresh water. The water should be changed twice a day at a minimum.

Toxic Foods
Here is a list of foods that are toxic to quaker parrots

Apple seeds
Fruit pits (like the pits of cherries and peaches)

Some Quaker parrots have eaten chocolate and been ok, but others have died within hours. This is not a risk worth taking!

Parrots like to eat with their family
Eating is one thing that certainly brings people together. Birds, like people are very social creatures and birds like to eat with their family as well. An excellent way to bond with your parrot is to eat your meals together. Imagine the psychological damage you would go through if you had to eat all your meals by yourself in a cage. Make your parrot a part of your every day life and they will surely appreciate it. You are all they have.

Friday, May 17, 2013

DIY Quaker Parrot Toys

Quaker parrots often times need toys to keep the amused and to challenge them mentally.
Parrot toys can be broken down into several categories:

Foraging Toys:
Foraging toys are usually some type of food that the parrot can only get at once they can figure out how to open it.
Examples of foraging toys are different types of nuts such as an almond in a shell or a pecan.

Shredding Toys:
Parrots often will spend their spare time shredding things if while they are not talking.
Some people suggest giving birds edible flowers to shred. Another option here is wooden or paper toys such as a tissue paper roll.

Foot Toys:
These are types of toys that a parrot can play with by manipulating the object with their feet.
Brightly colored foot toys are usually recommended.
The main goal here is to create a challenge for the quaker parrot by using toys with movable parts.

All in all the main goal of picking toys for your quaker parrot is to find toys that will keep your parrot engaged and mentally stimulated.

Each parrot is different and you will need to figure out which type of toy your parrot likes best.

While toys are good they are no substitute for actually playing with your parrot.

Remember, parrots are social creatures!
This means they often times need a friend (another parrot or human companion).
Happy creating!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quaker Parrot Cages

Finding a large parrot cage for your bird is often on the top list of priorities for people who have birds as pets. While finding the largest parrot cage available is a good idea, perhaps a better idea is to have no cage at all. This may seem impossible and dangerous at first, but I assure you it is not if you are willing to put the time into training your bird to live outside a cage. It is even possible to bring your bird outside for flight and exercise while still being sure they'll come back to you! This process is called freeflighting, and we will discuss the process in a later article.

Here is some information on birds in cages. For information on freeflighting please check out some of our other blog posts.

In the wild parrots live in flocks and are never alone. Even if a parrot gets separated from the flock for just a little while the bird will wildly call to their flockmates to find them. Birds need company, so if you are considering buying a quaker parrot, consider getting at least a couple. The birds will preen each other, play toether and fly together and it is really a beautiful bond that you will get to experience as a bird owner. Here is a video of birds preening each other.

In the wild many birds will never take another partner if their first partner is lost.

Anyhow, life in a cage, even a large parrot cage can be devastating for birds. Especially if they have no partner. Many times birds will suffer from loneliness and stress from confinement. It makes sense if you think about it. How would you feel if you spent 95% of your day in a cage not much bigger than your body? And even more so imagine having wings and the instinct to fly but lacking the ability to do so due to confinement or clipped wings? Anyhow. Quaker parrots are known to be temperamental, but perhaps this is because they are pack/flock animals and being isolated is simply not good for their mind. Being caged can produce a sort of OCD behavior, such as the parrot weaving its head back and forth, or shifting constantly from one foot to the other. In come instances the bird will pluck its own feathers or even show aggression towards people who put their fingers near the cage. Often times this is seen as normal behavior, but without a cage, even a large parrot cage you are much less likely to see this behavior.

In addition, many birds and especially larger parrots are taken from their natural environment by smugglers, and over the pat ten years this has led to a significant drop in wild birds which is really quite sad.

And many times when birds are bred in captivity (like birds sold at pet stores), if the bird gets older than ten weeks of age and doesn't sell they're often just kept for breeding purposes and destined to life in a small cage.

Anyhow! There is good news for all of you who do take care of a parrot now. You can begin to form a new bond with your parrot that will last a lifetime. And you can be sure they will thank you for it too. Freeflighting is the process of teaching a bird to fly and come back to you. If you practice freeflighting with your bird, you can take your parrot outside to play and fly. If you have 2 or 3 parrots it's even more exciting! Here is a quick demo I found on youtube! Later we will describe this training process and you can have one of the healthiest relationships imaginable with your pet quaker parrot!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quaker Parrot Babies!

Here are some pictures of baby quaker parrots! They are so cute! Adult quaker parrots can live to be up to 40 years old!

The life of baby quaker parrots:

After the mother quaker mates with the male quaker, babies may be born after a three month period. The mother may lay up to five eggs at a time. After about a year of sitting on the eggs the eggs hatch, birthing new baby quaker parrots!

Baby quaker parrots are born with feathers, though coloration of the feathers becomes more defined with age. The first batch of feathers you see are their down feathers. The bird's primary flight feathers (primaries) won't grow in until later.

When the quaker parrots are old enough they will begin flapping their wings to learn how to fly. In their natural habitat they might first begin learning to fly by hopping out of the nest and up to another branch. Throughout their adolescence they will perform many test flights until they are confident. When the time is right the quaker will make its first flight. In an undomesticated environment, if the bird survives or does well its first flight it will likely live. If the bird does not survive or is not very good at flying it will not live long enough to reproduce. This is the process of natural selection and it is just a part of life. After the bird learns to fly it will spend its life flying around its natural habitat with other birds, living a beautiful and free life in the sky!

Baby quaker parrot eggs