When your feathered friend turns into 120 grams of raw, flying fury, it can be tough to know what to do. Rest assured that your Quaker parrot's seemingly violent behavior is the result of normal parrot antics. Your fearsome pet simply needs you to provide more appropriate outlets.
The Best Defense
One might think that these midgets of the parrot world would be shy and retiring. One would be very wrong. The diminutive Quaker is a fierce defender of his nest and stuff. That could be toys, food or simply cage space -- the operative word is HIS. When your parrot sees your hand, he's sure there's a burglary in progress ... and that can mean a painful bite.
Experienced parrot keepers say never clean your parrot's cage while he's inside it for this reason. Instead, teach your feathered buddy to "step up" onto an object and move him to a play area for the duration of cage service, somewhere his mind will be fully occupied and off your possible depredations of his delicious pellets and treasured toys.
A Good Offense
Quaker parrots actively chase predators. In the wild, this means a mob of feathered furies might drive away a hawk. In your living room, it means you, your family and other pets may be subject to dive-bomb attacks. For everyone's safety, you must socialize your bird and interact with him often in friendly, rewarding ways to reinforce a calm approach -- to life, your other pets and your hand.
Wild Quakers grow up in colonies of up to several hundred birds. They learn early and often that they must respect personal boundaries. Unsocialized birds that grew up in human households can become overly aggressive simply because they never experienced a smack-down from older, bigger parrots for their bratty ways.
You can't give that smack-down yourself. Instead, shape calmer behavior. There are free or inexpensive parrot behavior courses that can assist you using positive reinforcement.
Quaker parrots are described as "intelligent" and "mechanically inclined." The only description used more frequently is "destructive." These guys build elaborate, three-room nests in the wild out of sticks by chewing and biting through wood. This need to satisfy his inner architect can lead your bored pet to some very serious dismantling of your property.
Quakers need many activities and toys that will challenge their active imaginations. Anything less is asking for a construction project that is likely to include a good deal of wreckage.
There's a good chance your feathered frenemy will repeat any behaviors that get a very strong response from you ... because he thinks it's funny. Seriously.
Quaker parrots are extremely social. To a lonely, bored pet, any attention is desirable. If you show your displeasure by screaming, all the better for these noisy squawkers.
Plan as much time as possible every single day to train and engage in fun, non-destructive activities with your bird so that the most exciting thing he can expect is not enraging you.
Angela Libal began writing professionally in 2005. She has published several books, specializing in zoology and animal husbandry. Libal holds a degree in behavioral science: animal science from Moorpark College, a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate student in cryptozoology.