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Monk Parakeet

by Edgar Gonzalez
Monk Parakeet

The monk parakeet, also known as the quaker parrot or parakeet, is one of the most popular pet birds in the United States.  Known to be primarily blue and green, it’s considered a small bird which lives up to 30 years.  Easily available, low maintenance and with an extraordinary mimicking ability, the bird has set up large wild flocks from southern Florida to the Northeast and Midwest.  In some places the flocks are so large, the bird has been banned.

The bird is the only parrot who builds its own nest instead of nesting in a hole in a tree.  They are also known to begin talking at a fairly young age.

The monk parakeet is native to South America, primarily Argentina and nearby countries.

The species love to chew and can attack furniture so you must provide a good number of chewable toys and branches.  They are willing to build nests inside their cage if provided with twigs and other nesting material. They are known to build elaborate oven-like nests with many chambered pots out of thousands of twigs. 

In the wild a single nest structure can contain up to 20 nest chambers and in extreme cases it can house more than 200 nests.

Known also as the quaker parakeet, it gets that name from its shaking or quaking.  They tend to bob or shake in a way that may look disturbing but it is an actual natural behavior.  They are quite social and like the company of humans and other monk parakeets.  They can actually become depressed if they are left alone for too long.  A pair of monks will bond if introduced early enough in their lives but will also keep the bond with their owners.

The monk parakeet is quite noisy and can get loud so beware if you have sensitive neighbors.  They are great talkers and are able to learn many words and phrases more so if they are kept as the only bird.  They can also learn to mimic human speech.  The monk parakeet is quite intelligent and can learn tricks. 

by Edgar Gonzalez

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