Posted:8/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
Before we discuss Quakers, Indian Ring-necked Parakeets, Senegals, African Greys and Eclectus'......let's first determine exactly what makes a parrot a parrot.....
Birds are divided into 27 orders......beginning with the 'high flying' Falconiformes...i.e. Bald Eagle.......to the birds that do not fly...Struthioniformes...ie. Ostrich. Most pet birds are found among the Psittaciformes (psittacines: parrot family), Passeriformes (perching birds), Columbiformes (pigeon family) and Galliformes (chicken-like birds). There are over 9,000 living bird species which have been identified. The order of Psittaciformes (psittacines...parrots) includes 268 species of parrots, macaws,conures,rosellas,parrotlets,parakeets, lovebirds and budgerigars. This also includes 55 species of lories or lorikeets and 19 species of cockatoos (cockatoos and cockatiels). Whew! so now you know!
QUAKER PARAKEET - or Quaker Parrot, Monk Parakeet or Monk Parrot....these little bundles of sweetness and attitude are know by several different names. These wonderful birds are thriving in colonies all over the United States....that is why they cannot be sold to persons living in certain states. They can withstand all four seasons and have a tendency to become agricultural pests in the wild. The Quaker is a wonderful talker and very affectionate.......if you have ever had the pleasure of seeing a baby, you know why they have the name 'Quaker.'...as babies they 'quake' or quiver. Approximately 12 inches long with green feathers and a gray face they are quite adorable. Some mutations produce blue or cinnamon birds.
They have a tendency to be a bit noisy and destructive, so you have to not let them have the run of the house. They also have a tendency to become 'territorial' with their cage. We recommend getting them away from their cage for at least two hours per day to help to eliminate that behavior.
With the right environment, the Quaker is a wonderful addition to your family.
INDIAN RING-NECKED PARAKEET - These beautiful birds are native to India, Burma, Sri Lanka and parts of Africa. They come in several colors.....blue, albino, yellow, green and cinnamon. When the males reach adulthood, they get a ring around their neck which makes them easy to tell from the female.
These beautiful birds make wonderful pets IF handled with regularity.....if not handled daily, they have a tendency to become a little nippy. They are, by nature, shy, but affectionate. The owner has to show affection on a regular basis to keep them sweet. Very chatty and can have a wonderful vocabulary if talked to a lot.
They are about 16 inches long with a beautiful elegant tail. Their appetites are quite good and love to eat! As pets, they will not disappoint you if you show consistent affection.
SENEGALS - A wonderful apartment parrot. Not noisy and loud like other parrots. There is a lot a bird packed in this little body. The Senegal is one of my favorites.....very playful and affectionate as well as very loyal to their family members. They will mimic a few words but are not known for their talking ability. Their wonderful playful personalities well make up for their lack of vocabulary.
These sweeties have a tendency to get 'chubby' so they need a place to climb and exercise. They will be affectionate to your whole family if the whole family shows affection back.
AFRICAN GREY PARROT ( CONGO ) -- what can I say?.....highly intelligent and even more amazing...the ability to understand what they are saying! These parrots are a beautiful grey with a white mask on the face and a brilliant red tail.
Affectionate but NOT a cuddler.....they enjoy a scratch on the head but doesn't tolerate much more than that. Hand fed babies are not as nippy as some but they can take a healthy bite once in a while. These parrots do not have a 'scream' like other parrots so they are relatively quite....except for their constant talking......they will talk in the 'voices' of their family members......the Grey starts talking well at about 12 to 16 months of age. They will whistle and mimic all of the sounds of the home. African Greys have a tendency to pick feathers if they feel neglected or have not been socialized properly. This negative behavior can be minimized or totally eliminated with the proper upbringing, toys, good food and stimulation.
A wonderful choice for the right family.
ECLECTUS - How easy....the males are green and the females are red! A unique quality is that their feathers look very similar to fur. These parrots don't have the dust and dander other parrots have so they are a good choice for the family with allergies. They need to be bathed several times a week to make up for the lack of protective dust an oils. These beauties are not noisy and have a wonderful vocabulary.....they can sing but I recommend they 'not give up their day job' for singing!
Eclectus' make wonderful pets for the whole family....the males seem to be a bit more 'laid back' than the females. Their appetites are wonderful....normally eat anything you give them and enjoy every morsel.
I highly recommend these as a consideration for your family.
Hope you enjoyed this overview.....if you need more information just contact me or come in and visit. Paula, Patty, Beth, Vern or I will be most happy to chat with you and help you determine the right pet for you and/or your family.
Have a peaceful August