Monk Parakeets have also known as the Quaker parrot An adorable little green monster! Monk parakeet, mouse parakeet, and widow conure are the names used in French to name the Myopsitta monachus. Very often, in Quebec, its English name is used: “Quaker”. It is a bird that is native to central South America, more precisely, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and neighboring countries. In Europe, Asia, the United States as well as Central America, and the West Indies, there are large, well-established colonies.
A pair of Monk Parakeets builds a stick nest
SOURCE:Cornell Lab of Ornithology
How can this be possible? The most plausible hypothesis is that these colonies developed from a few individuals who escaped into the wild by humans and having succeeded in establishing themselves thanks to their resourcefulness and their great ability to adapt to climates and habitats. different.
This bird is so hardy that it can survive the winter (perhaps not a Quebec winter, however). In several countries, the monk parakeet is talked about; it can rob native bird habitats and ravage fields when a colony decides to go foraging. Unfortunately, it does not have a very good reputation.
Medium in size, it measures 30 cm and its mass is usually around 150 g. It is green with a pale gray forehead and breast, and its bill is pinkish beige. Its wings are a bit more colorful, as its flight feathers are a turquoise blue. Man, by dint of breeding them, has succeeded in developing monk parakeets of different mutations, but apart from blue rather than green individuals, these parakeets are very difficult to find on the market.
They do not have sexual dimorphism, which means that you cannot tell if they are males or females from their appearance. Their life expectancy is around thirty years.
Monk Parakeets In The Wild – (Myiopsitta monachus)
As a companion bird, the monk parakeet is similar to most parrots and the care given to it is the same. It has a granivorous staple diet, which must be supplemented with fruits, vegetables, cheese, sprouted grains, extruded foods, etc. Outings to stretch your wings are essential, every day. If your monk parakeet is happy, she will be an adorable and surprising companion. She is very good at learning to imitate sounds and short sentences, she is funny and her curiosity knows no bounds; she is not afraid of anything. Several contradictory testimonies are reported about his personality. On the one hand, she is adored and portrayed as a clever and cuddly clown and, on the other, she is hated and portrayed as an aggressive monster and tyrant.
First, one of the peculiarities of its species, which greatly influences its behavior, is its taste for construction. While the majority of parrots seek a hollow in a tree to set up their nest, our monk parakeet builds a complex nest for itself. Its buildings are small architectural gems and real apartments! In fact, the nests of these birds are divided, most of the time, into three different rooms: a room for laying and hatching, a living room for the little ones when they have grown up, and an entrance hall that allows being on guard.
When the monk parakeet is found in captivity, this behavior is written into its genes and results in very, very marked territoriality. It can be funny to watch him move objects around in his cage to decorate to his liking, but it’s no longer funny when our adorable companion turns into a ferocious beast and attacks any hand wanting to approach his cage. It is said that the smaller her cage, the more jealously she will guard it.
Second peculiarity: they are gregarious birds. The colonies live in “condos”; hundreds of families build their nests from that of their neighbors. Communication is essential between neighbors and we can distinguish different “dialects” from one colony to another. The essential tool for communication is the voice. Our little monk parakeet has a tendency to develop it with talent and to use it to call us… with force. Here too, we find two sides to the coin: it has a whole charm when it imitates sounds, when it speaks, and when it sings, but it loses a little of its charm when it feels abandoned and that she expresses her indignation by shouting at the top of her voice in the house.
The monk parakeet is one of the most misunderstood parrots. Too often, a bird raised in the wrong conditions will develop bad habits, which will lead to an escalation of calls and bites. Then the family will begin to fear it, reduce interactions and limit exits from the cage. This will have the effect of making the Monk Parakeet sick from loneliness and, as it is a species that tends to peck (pluck), other problems will develop. Unfortunately, stories like this, in the case of monk parakeets, in particular, are very common and lead to neglect.
Yet this kind of drama can be avoided. It must be understood that the monk parakeet needs its colony. It is essential that she does not become attached to a single human, and it is for this reason that all human members of her colony should take the time to handle, play with, and feed her so that she develops affinities with several people. In addition, it is advisable to provide him with several places equipped with different toys in the house. This way, she is less likely to become possessive of her toys and cage, as well as to develop territorial behaviors.
Understanding how our parrot works and adapting life in captivity to meet its needs are the first steps towards a healthy relationship with it. If we don’t have enough time to devote to our monk parakeet, we will never be able to develop this relationship of trust with her. On the other hand, if we invest a little in it, this bird will become the playful and cuddly little clown that we hear about.