Quaker parrots are remarkably sociable, even by parrot standards. In the wild, they collect in flocks hundreds of parrots strong. Bonding with your parrot basically means convincing him that you are an acceptable parrot substitute, not some fierce predator looking for a feathery snack.
Place the cage for your new parrot in a room that gets some traffic. If he is shy and your family is not, the living room might be too noisy to start with, but don’t stick the cage completely out of the way. He needs companionship. Also, the general background noise forms the first step in bonding with your pet.
Turn a radio on, softly, in the room with the cage. Quaker parrots live in a world of noise and this provides some reassurance. For obvious reasons, do not set the radio to a station that plays songs that you do not like or that has obnoxious presenters. This species is liable to imitate almost anything heard regularly, and sometimes things heard only once.
Spend at least an hour near the cage each day, just talking to your parrot to start with. Respond to any attempt he makes to interact with you intuitively. It doesn’t really matter what you say; he’ll pick up the general intention rather than the meaning of specific words.
Close all doors and windows leading to the room with the parrot cage. Also draw the blinds and cover mirrors, as glass is a hazard to a bird.
Open the cage door once he appears comfortable with you and allow him to explore. At this point, you may wish to begin basic training, such as teaching him to climb onto your hand on cue.
Move the cage to the busiest room in your home and spend as much time with him, in or out of the cage, as you can. Because they are so sociable, Quaker parrots need a lot of attention.
Provide a large variety of toys and change them regularly. Birds of such high intelligence need a lot to occupy them.
- Do not use swearwords in front of your Quaker parrot. Hilarious as you might find a vulgar parrot, this habit could cause him difficulties later on. If he has to be rehomed for any reason, he’ll have a much better chance if he does not screech obscenities at every opportunity.
- For the same reason, as well as your own peace of mind, discourage screaming behavior. If he starts screaming, don’t give him any more attention. Leave the room and, if possible, turn out the lights, until he calms down.
- If your home is empty for long periods of time, for example if everybody in the household works long hours, then a parrot is probably not an appropriate pet. Without enough companionship, Quaker, and other parrots, become extremely lonely and stressed. The only humane possibility in this situation would be a large aviary with several birds. A single parrot is out of the question.
Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.