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Quaker Parrot Sounds and What They Mean (with Audio)

Nicole Cosgrove

February 22, 2021

Parrots are one of the few animals full of opinions, and they have many ways to vocalize them. Since they have such an effective defense of flying away when they sense danger, they don’t care that they are loud enough for the whole jungle to hear.

Just like we humans make different noises to signify a variety of thoughts and emotions, Quaker Parrots do too. Quakers are especially good at mimicry and are very vocal birds. Although their smaller bodies might not produce a sound loud enough to wake the jungle, they can undoubtedly sound the alarm in a house.

If you have recently adopted a Quaker Parrot and want help figuring out what their various noises mean and how to communicate with them, you have come to the right place. These 13 different noises can all be made by Quaker Parrots, and they each mean slightly different things.

Being aware of the significance behind each of the noises that your parrot makes can help you better understand their reactions and feelings during any given moment.

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Quaker Parrot Sounds and What They Mean

1. Chatter

General chatter is one of the most common sounds that you will hear these parrots make. Quaker parrots tend to be quite chatty and simply enjoy narrating as they go about their general business for the day.

Chatter can also be a bit of a compilation of noises. As birds learn more noises and quirks, they will begin to add them into their chatter routines. It is this consistent, low-level noise that gives many parrots the fitting nickname of “motor-mouth.”


2. Talking

Although this bird is talking with their owner about “making bacon pancakes,” Quaker parrots can say many different things. Once you have begun to bond with them, it is easier to get them to engage with you and begin to mimic the noises that you make.

Quaker parrots will mimic all kinds of sounds, not just the ones that you try to teach them. If they take a liking to something that someone says on the television, they may begin to repeat it. So, watch out that you aren’t saying something inappropriate around them because once they have a phrase in their head, you won’t be able to get it back out. That can make for some pretty embarrassing moments.


3. Singing

Although a singing Quaker parrot doesn’t necessarily sound as beautiful as robins hailing the springtime or cute chickadees during the winter, they do sing. Their melodies are not typically that smooth, but they put all kinds of sounds and noises into them.

Singing is another one of those behaviors that signify contentedness, comfort, and happiness. A Quaker parrot will only sing if they are comfortable in their surroundings and feel joyful enough to make a song about it.


4. Growling

Growling is a sign of aggression in parrots, just like for other animals like cats and dogs. They could also be warning you about something. When parrots growl at you, it is often meant to tell you to stop what you are doing or go away. In Quaker parrots, this sound is typically quite low. If they get quite agitated, it could start to sound like a warble.

If a parrot is growling, they feel uncomfortable and stressed out. They will bite someone who gets too close to them. The feathers on their neck will get raised, and their pupils might even dilate.


5. Beak Clicking

Beak clicking can mean a variety of things for a Quaker parrot. It is best to watch out for their other body movements to understand better what they want to communicate. Sometimes, beak clicking is simply part of their chatter or attempts at getting your attention. At other times, it is loud and meant to be a threat.

Quaker parrots are territorial birds. In the wild, they build condo-type nests that can have multiple rooms. They are protective of their area instinctually and shouldn’t be trained out of it. However, that means you need to be careful taking them out of their enclosure. Doing so can often result in beak clicking to try and protect their personal space. Their feathers might also fluff up, and their eyes begin to enlarge.


6. Tongue Clicking

Tongue clicking can sound like beak clicking, but it is generally a quieter noise. It sounds similar to the way that humans can click their tongues. Quaker parrots do so by using suction to click their tongues off of their beaks.

Quaker parrots do not make this sound as often as other parrot species, like cockatoos or cockatiels. However, they do sometimes if they want to gain your attention and are willing to start with small noises.


7. Laughing

Laughing is not a natural noise that parrots make. Instead, it is a sound that birds like Quaker parrots learn how to make to please their humans. A parrot will often learn how to laugh just by listening to your conversations. They are emotionally sensitive and intuitive creatures, and they can sense that laughter is related to your happiness.

Most parrots are good at laughing at the most inappropriate moments. You should be careful not to reward the behavior when trying to train them out of negative behaviors, like biting. Laughing in response will only encourage them further.


8. Purring

Just like growling is a sound shared by many animal species beyond parrots, purring is as well. A bird that purrs makes the sound for much the same purpose as a cat does, to signify comfort. They purr to tell you that they are comfortable and want you to keep doing what you are doing because it makes them feel good.


9. Screaming and Shrieking

Quaker parrots might be loud, but they are not as “good” screamers as other, larger parrot species. Their screams and shrieks are lower and not so resonating. However, in small homes, they can still be irritating.

A parrot that screams and shrieks does so to get your attention. They will often do this to tell you that they are either bored or lonely. You need to be careful when coming up to them afterward, since your attention can affirm the action. Instead, try to preempt this loud behavior with plenty of attention, and walk away when they begin to scream.

Parrots are social birds. If you don’t have hours to spend with them every day, then you should consider a different, lower-maintenance animal for a pet.


10. Beak Grinding

Beak grinding is a quiet noise. Although it can sound like chalk or scraping gravel to some people, a parrot only does it when they are happy. It is unlike typical human behavior, since teeth grinding tends to denote anger or discomfort. But parrots often make the noise when they are settling down or feeling relaxed.


11. Squawking

Squawking is more common than screaming for Quaker parrots, and most of the time, these two sounds seem similar. Squawking can be another sign of boredom. It can also mean that they are starting to get angry. In these cases, the sound might be accompanied by ruffled feathers or aggressive movements.

At other times, squawking might simply be excitement. It could happen when they get a new toy or get to explore something exciting.


12. Whistling

Whistling is one of the more stereotypical behaviors of all birds. Whistling for a Quaker parrot is often a joyful sound that they incorporate with their general chatter or while they sing. They never do it when they are angry. They might whistle to get your attention or to learn a new trick.


13. Silence

Silence for a Quaker parrot is extremely rare because they are such chatterboxes. Typically, prolonged periods of silence mean that these birds are asleep. However, sometimes silence can also mean that your bird isn’t feeling well or perhaps isn’t comfortable in their surroundings.


Featured Image: Kira Hoffmann, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.